This has been a hard time. The nation has been filled with grief, flags fly at half-mast, and in many homes, parents hug their children – even the grown ones – a little tighter.
Using his mother’s guns, Adam Lanza created a huge pain footprint within a matter of minutes. Those guns were bought by Nancy Lanza to protect her against adult strangers. They ended up killing her in a sprayed mess of blood, brain, and bone – Adam fired four dum-dum bullets into her face – and destroyed over 20 children and the adults who taught them.
The National Rifle Association’s (the premier gun manufacturers’ lobbyist) response to the Newtown massacre is ludicrous. More guns have been proven to create more mayhem and deaths, and the NRA wants them in schools? For 30,000 Americans, this will be their last holiday season – because they’ll be killed by guns in 2013 – and gun manufacturers want to double down?
So, let’s say that post-Newtown, the NRA gets its way and every school in the US is assigned at least one armed guard stationed in its halls at all times. Hang the expense! More guns make everyone safer, right? Despite research from other nations that shows the exact opposite . . . but don’t let facts cloud your thinking.
The proportion of mental illness among these guards is going to be approximately the same as the proportion in the rest of the American population. It will also be just as unaddressed, since mental and emotional health take a backseat in US concerns.
So we’ll have a cohort of mentally ill people, mostly male, carrying loaded weapons in a building of vulnerable, smaller, people. Does that sound smart to you? Some teachers abuse students, some parents abuse students (their own children and others’). The NRA wants to add armed adults to schools?
In addition, just strapping on a gun doesn’t guarantee that the person wearing it is not a criminal, or potential criminal. Schools have other vulnerabilities (cash, data, hardware) to be exploited by the opportunistic, and how much easier when they carry a machine that deals death.
Also, let’s face it – no one guard, or two, or several, can totally protect a school at all times. Guards eat lunch, use the bathroom, get used to the job and relax. In large high schools, the square footage a guard would be responsible for is immense. Even in an elementary school, how easy it would be for a murderer – or several – to cause a distraction at one end of the school, then run to the other end and blast the windows with bullets in order to enter. The guard would be rendered useless. Even if he ran – if overweight or obese, his speed would be compromised – he could not prevent murder. If the attacker wore body armor, a guard might not be able to kill him even in a direct encounter, and he himself would be eliminated.
Count up all of the above. They’re why placing armed guards in every American school to prevent massacres is not a simple solution.
It’s a solution thought up by the mentally simple.