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Kristin | December 21, 2012

The Worst Idea There Ever Was


158425155_jpg_CROP_rectangle3-largeBy Kristin

We're all trying to come to terms with the fact a young man shot his way through locked doors and used tiny bodies for target practice.  My mind goes so far, and then stops.

And I try, like any person, to think of possible ways to prevent this from happening.  I think of ways we can improve mental health care, ways we can entertain young people without letting them think killing is thrilling, and ways we can keep weapons whose only purpose is killing large numbers of human beings out of the hands of the untrained, the unfeeling, and the disconnected.  I try to think of ways to protect my own 6-year old first grader, whose body, when I look at it, doesn't seem to have enough real estate to sustain eleven bullets from an assault rifle.

But the solution proposed by the NRA, to put armed guards at schools, is the absolute worst solution I've heard of.

We've seen this solution in other vulnerable places.  Bodyguards paid to stand before business in Israel and throw themselves at a bomber, armed guards at large Jewish gatherings in Seattle since the shooting in Belltown, and armed guards on airplanes.  But a school is a place full of children.  A school is no place for a weapon of any kind - not in the hands of a security guard, not in the hands of a teacher, and not in the hands of a mass murderer.

I would go so far as to say that it's more likely my daughter will be shot if there is an armed guard in the school than if there isn't one.  While the string of massacres makes my anxiety spike, so that I'm almost certain one will happen at her school in the next five minutes, my rational mind reminds me that she's more likely to die by drinking bleach than in a school shooting.

Our nation needs to address the ridiculous situation we've gotten ourselves into.  There is absolutely no reason a person should be able to buy an assault weapon and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in rapid-fire magazines.  Sports enthusiasts don't need this.  Hunters don't need this.  Collectors don't need this.  If you don't know what a gun can and should do, you shouldn't own it.  Your child shouldn't have access to it.  We need to stop allowing citizens to own this kind of weaponry, and we need to interpret the second amendment as I believe it was intended - to allow the formation and arming of "organized militias" of citizens. 

Despite everything, my daughter is safer in her school than in my kitchen.

Unless we start encouraging guns in schools.


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My first thought when I heard about this was that the number of injuries or deaths from in-school accidental shootings would soon outpace the number of the same in mass shootings.

You are absolutely right: we have to address the other, deeper societal issues that seem to dispose us toward violence and the belief that "killing is thrilling." While the events of Newtown are horrifying, and we never want to see the same happen again, to me armed officers are a band-aid solution when major surgery is what is needed.

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