Monday, December 24, 2012


The latest pundit to reject out-of-hand the possibility of armed personnel in schools, Eugene Robinson:
Where to begin? Let’s assume, for the moment, that we decide to pay the multi-billion-dollar cost of placing one gun-toting officer in every school. What would the officer’s orders be? Shoot anyone who looks suspicious? If not, the officer would wait until an assailant — someone like Adam Lanza — displayed a gun or started firing. What sort of arsenal, and itchy trigger finger, would the officer need to be certain of shooting the assailant before the assailant shot the officer? How many twitchy, furtive, suspicious-looking UPS deliverymen would be tragically cut down in error?

So I guess there could be multiple officers in each school. For a glimpse of that dystopian future, recall the shooting a few months ago outside the Empire State Building. A gunman began firing, uniformed NYPD officers responded, they tried to take the gunman down — and nine innocent bystanders were wounded, all by police gunfire. Now imagine that sort of thing happening in a school, and think how many children would be killed by errant shots from police officers’ weapons.

Now consider the profile of these mass shooters, such as Adam Lanza. These disturbed young men are meticulous in planning their unspeakable crimes. Does it occur to the NRA that if a would-be shooter knew there would be armed police officers at the school (or movie theater, or grocery store), he might be sure to wear body armor? So will the school cops wear body armor, too? Do we require students to wear uniforms of Kevlar too?
Wait---so having killers dressed in kevlar is an argument for less armed employees in school? I'm lost.

As before, I'm not sure that arming school personnel is a good or desirable idea, but the opponents to this idea are remarkably irrational in their opposition. Robinson's theory of a "dystopian future" asks us to imagine "how many children would be killed by errant shots from police officers' weapons." Uh, Gene---I can think of twenty kids who were killed by a lunatic's weapons a few weeks ago. The police showed up afterwards.

"That sort of thing" happened in Newtown while no armed guards were present. Their presence might have stopped it. The fact that Robinson refuses to even consider the option---except with only barely-coherent arguments---once again proves that the anti-armed-guards-in-school crowd are just repulsed by the thought of guns and would never deign to consider utilizing them for any purpose.

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