The Only Way to Stop School Shootings
Senator Dianne Feinstein's ghoulish eagerness to exploit the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut for political gain is reminiscent of stock horror movie villains who need and crave the blood of innocents for their unholy agendas. Feinstein's agenda is an "assault weapon" ban, and it needs to be shut down before it gets started.
Suppose that Feinstein had somehow been able to make all magazines larger than 10 rounds disappear overnight. Mass murderer Adam Lanza would have had to switch magazines more frequently but, as he was the only armed person present in the school, he could have done that at his leisure. The only armed person present could, in fact, have wreaked considerable havoc with only a knife or an axe. The phrase "the only armed person present" indicates the only rational solution to the problem in question, as does the fact that Lanza turned his gun on himself only when the arrival of other armed people (police) changed his situation to his disadvantage. This reinforces the lesson that, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.
Other hoplophobes want to ban or restrict the private ownership of body armor. Lanza's was actually irrelevant to his crime because none of his victims could shoot back. It would not, however, have given him an instant's protection from a law enforcement officer or an armed citizen -- at least not one who had completed a defensive handgun course from Front Sight or the Gunsite Academy. I can recommend the former from personal experience, and I know of the latter through its association with Lt. Colonel Jeff Cooper. We will discuss this further, but it is first useful to revisit the dishonesty of the enemies of the Second Amendment.
The Million Mom March, 2000-2001
This creation of Hillary Clinton and Donna Dees-Thomases lasted less than two years. I was, in fact, the person who gave pro-2nd Amendment columnist J.R. Labbe proof that it was using 501(c)(3) tax exempt money to promote anti-2nd Amendment House candidates on its Web page. The Million Mom March crumpled up the instant Labbe exposed its misuse of tax-exempt money for electioneering. I then got it kicked out of free office space it occupied in a California hospital, by sending a certified letter about its activities to the city's mayor. The Million Moms' loss of funding and free office space compelled it to liquidate in October 2001; the Brady Campaign's current Million Mom March is not the same corporate entity.
The MMM then filed a highly creative Form 990 tax return in which it told the Internal Revenue Service that it had not lobbied for legislation or spent any money to influence legislation.
If this is not sufficient proof of its dishonesty, there is also the matter of its claim that twelve children are killed every day by firearms. Comparison of the MMM's figures to those of the Center for Disease Control showed this to be true only if one includes "children" who are old enough to vote, sign contracts, and enlist in the Armed Forces without parental consent. The MMM therefore wanted to create an image of small children killing themselves or others with unattended handguns, when the vast majority of the fatalities involved violent teenagers and young (legal) adults who knew exactly what they were doing.
The MMM's solicitation of money and volunteer time under false pretenses was morally, although perhaps not legally, fundraising fraud. Hillary Clinton, Tipper Gore, Dianne Feinstein, Jerrold Nadler, Carl Levin, John Conyers, Nita Lowey, Carolyn McCarthy, Jan Schakowsky, and other enemies of the Second Amendment involved themselves in this fraud up to their necks. Several of these individuals signed their names to a House resolution that repeated the falsehood, "12 children in the United States are killed every day by gun violence."
The enemies of the Second Amendment have to lie because the truth is simply not on their side, but this still leaves us with an unanswered question. What would have stopped Adam Lanza from murdering 26 innocent people?
The Front Sight Solution
I can personally recommend Front Sight, where I recently took a 4-day defensive handgun class. The day begins at 08:00 and ends no earlier than 17:00 but, when you finish the last day, you have the enormous personal satisfaction of having learned to do things you never imagined you would ever be able to do. This includes being able to draw a concealed handgun to fire an accurate shot into an armed felon's head at 3 to 7 paces. Adam Lanza's body armor would have therefore been irrelevant to an armed teacher or other school staff member who had taken the Front Sight class or its equivalent.
Front Sight also emphasizes responsible firearm ownership and usage. You learn a good general rule as to when you can use deadly force; if the issue not worth dying for, don't. This means you don't shoot somebody over a property crime, which is in fact illegal in most jurisdictions. If the criminal is threatening your life, or the life of somebody whom it is your duty to protect, then you can and must shoot.
There is meanwhile is a huge difference between hoplophobia and responsible respect for firearms. A gun is, in fact, safer than an automobile when you follow the safety rules for both of them. I don't remember the last time I heard of a death or even a serious injury on a firearm range, but a highway can kill or injure you even when you obey all the traffic laws. A deer can jump in front of you, a drunk driver can swerve into your lane, and countless other things beyond your control can cause a collision. We nonetheless accept cars as indispensable assets to our daily lives, and we respect but do not fear them. People who learn to handle firearms responsibly and effectively, and that is part of the Front Sight experience, similarly respect but do not fear guns.
The next question is as to whether teachers should carry guns in the classroom. Israeli teachers often do, which is why school shootings are very rare in that country despite the prevalence of terrorists who would love to repeat the Ma'a lot Massacre. A gun on a teacher's belt might admittedly be intimidating to young children who do not understand its purpose. An alternative might therefore involve gun safes that open to the biometric (fingerprint) identities of all school staff members who have passed background checks and have completed a defensive firearm course. Opening the safe would automatically call police. Had this solution been in place in Newtown last Thursday, Adam Lanza's rampage could have been shut down far more quickly, and most of his victims would still be alive.
William A. Levinson, P.E. is the author of several books on business management including content on organizational psychology, as well as manufacturing productivity and quality.