COLUMN: Armed guards in schools a 'dumbass idea'

I agree with Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. Placing armed guards in every school across the nation is a “dumbass idea.”

In response to the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., the National Rifle Association proposed placing armed guards inside every school in the country. "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” NRA Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Wayne LaPierre said.

The NRA’s logic is much like the Simpsons episode when Springfield is overrun by lizards; snakes are brought in to eat the lizards, then gorillas are brought in to eat the snakes. Instead of addressing the larger problem, the NRA wants to bring in “good guys” with guns to kill the “bad guys” with guns.

But what happens if a “good guy” with a gun turns out to be a “bad guy” in disguise?  Do we bring in “really good guys” with guns to monitor the “good guys”?

Moreover, where are all these "good guys" going to come from? According to the President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, it would take 100,000 new police officers to put an armed guard in every school across America, and there’s already a shortage of qualified police applicants.

Of course, the NRA has thought of that, and they propose the even more brilliant idea of training gun-nut volunteers to act as armed guards. I wouldn’t feel right about sending my kid to a school where some NRA-approved gun fetishist lurks in the hallways, trying to suppress his urge to discharge his sexy gun at the first sign of distress.

It’s not surprising the NRA supports this ludicrous plan of action, since the other extreme course of action would be to ban guns for everyone. Since the NRA is an association of gun enthusiasts, of course they’d rather everyone have a gun than no one have a gun.

If anything is to be accomplished in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, we need to step back and look at this issue pragmatically. Just as we shouldn’t be influenced on gun policy by a group of people who sit around and polish their gun barrels at weekly meetings (I’m assuming this is what happens), we also shouldn’t try to eliminate all guns.

We like taking the easy way out in America. We focus on reactionary measures rather than preventative measures. Preventative measures are often too expensive or complicated.

Talking about gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy is a reactionary measure. It gives us something to bicker about on Facebook, while 26 students and teachers remain dead. No matter what we do with guns, there will still be damaged people in the world.

In a country where the prison system is the biggest provider of mental health services, perhaps guns are not our biggest issue.


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