FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

A “Good Guy With a Gun” Isn’t Enough

After the massacre of kindergarteners at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, the gun lobby offered its usual blame-the-victims, good-guy-with-a-gun excuse: If only the teachers had been armed!

This time, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, someone did have a gun — but the armed school resource deputy chose to hunker down outside while the mass murderer finished his work, rather than entering to confront the killer.

The now former deputy hasn’t explained his failure to act. Perhaps his inaction was simply cowardice.

But this good guy with a gun might well have decided, after he heard the spray of semi-automatic weapon fire, that his handgun wasn’t going to be enough to stop a killer with a high-power assault rifle.

Maybe he thought entering that building would be brave but suicidal.

How admirable it would have been for the deputy to lay down his life for those children. But expecting people to give their lives isn’t really a plan for stopping school shootings. Telling school guards, teachers, and coaches they should be ready to engage in shoot-outs with heavily-armed killers doesn’t fix the problem.

The proposal that armed citizens are the answer to armed killers is out of touch with reality. The suggestion that professional guards can do much better is equally unrealistic. Most school guards likely feel they didn’t sign up for urban warfare against military hardware.

There are about 130,000 elementary, middle, and high schools in America. If every single one of them had an armed guard ready to give up his or her life, armed with their own assault rifle, the next mass killer would begin by abruptly pulling out his handgun and shooting the guard.

Does anyone really imagine that all day, every day, every guard in every school will have his or her gun at the ready?

Perhaps one regular armed guard isn’t enough, then. How about a platoon of U.S. Marines at each entrance to every school? And shouldn’t they have their guns drawn at all times, trained on the entering students, safeties off?

Would this make our children feel safe?

I know I’m not the only one to think there’s something wrong with this picture. Most of us understand full well that more people with guns — or engaging in an arms race with deranged killers — isn’t the answer.

The answer is obvious: There is no good reason for civilians to own AR-15s or other assault weapons. Such weapons of war should be outlawed.

Most Americans appear to agree that stronger gun control is the answer. But that hasn’t been enough to cause our government to act. Why? It’s not enough to say that the NRA and its fanatical supporters are too strong.

The real problem isn’t just those who regard guns as sacred. The problem is ordinary citizens who don’t want assault weapons on the streets or in our schools but don’t treat this as a “do-or-die” issue — which it literally is.

While many people care, they need to care more. Maybe the activism of the survivors in Florida can change this.

If you’re appalled when school children are gunned down, but not appalled enough to hold the people who enable that accountable, you’re part of the problem.

More articles by:

February 19, 2019
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Troublesome Possibilities: The Left and Tulsi Gabbard
Patrick Cockburn
She Didn’t Start the Fire: Why Attack the ISIS Bride?
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Literature and Theater During War: Why Euripides Still Matters
Maximilian Werner
The Night of Terror: Wyoming Game and Fish’s Latest Attempt to Close the Book on the Mark Uptain Tragedy
Conn Hallinan
Erdogan is Destined for Another Rebuke in Turkey
Nyla Ali Khan
Politics of Jammu and Kashmir: The Only Viable Way is Forward
Mark Ashwill
On the Outside Looking In: an American in Vietnam
Joyce Nelson
Sir Richard Branson’s Venezuelan-Border PR Stunt
Ron Jacobs
Day of Remembrance and the Music of Anthony Brown        
Cesar Chelala
Women’s Critical Role in Saving the Environment
February 18, 2019
Paul Street
31 Actual National Emergencies
Robert Fisk
What Happened to the Remains of Khashoggi’s Predecessor?
David Mattson
When Grizzly Bears Go Bad: Constructions of Victimhood and Blame
Julian Vigo
USMCA’s Outsourcing of Free Speech to Big Tech
George Wuerthner
How the BLM Serves the West’s Welfare Ranchers
Christopher Fons
The Crimes of Elliot Abrams
Thomas Knapp
The First Rule of AIPAC Is: You Do Not Talk about AIPAC
Mitchel Cohen
A Tale of Two Citations: Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” and Michael Harrington’s “The Other America”
Jake Johnston
Haiti and the Collapse of a Political and Economic System
Dave Lindorff
It’s Not Just Trump and the Republicans
Laura Flanders
An End to Amazon’s Two-Bit Romance. No Low-Rent Rendezvous.
Patrick Walker
Venezuelan Coup Democrats Vomit on Green New Deal
Natalie Dowzicky
The Millennial Generation Will Tear Down Trump’s Wall
Nick Licata
Of Stress and Inequality
Joseph G. Ramsey
Waking Up on President’s Day During the Reign of Donald Trump
Elliot Sperber
Greater Than Food
Weekend Edition
February 15, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Matthew Hoh
Time for Peace in Afghanistan and an End to the Lies
Chris Floyd
Pence and the Benjamins: An Eternity of Anti-Semitism
Rob Urie
The Green New Deal, Capitalism and the State
Jim Kavanagh
The Siege of Venezuela and the Travails of Empire
Paul Street
Someone Needs to Teach These As$#oles a Lesson
Andrew Levine
World Historical Donald: Unwitting and Unwilling Author of The Green New Deal
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Third Rail-Roaded
Eric Draitser
Impacts of Exploding US Oil Production on Climate and Foreign Policy
Ron Jacobs
Maduro, Guaidó and American Exceptionalism
John Laforge
Nuclear Power Can’t Survive, Much Less Slow Climate Disruption
Joyce Nelson
Venezuela & The Mighty Wurlitzer
Jonathan Cook
In Hebron, Israel Removes the Last Restraint on Its Settlers’ Reign of Terror
Ramzy Baroud
Enough Western Meddling and Interventions: Let the Venezuelan People Decide
Robert Fantina
Congress, Israel and the Politics of “Righteous Indignation”
Dave Lindorff
Using Students, Teachers, Journalists and other Professionals as Spies Puts Everyone in Jeopardy
Kathy Kelly
What it Really Takes to Secure Peace in Afghanistan
Brian Cloughley
In Libya, “We Came, We Saw, He Died.” Now, Maduro?
Nicky Reid
The Councils Before Maduro!
Gary Leupp
“It’s All About the Benjamins, Baby”
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail