A Better Answer than Gun Control

What happened in Connecticut is an astounding tragedy.  Who can understand why an alienated young man would kill elementary school children who can bear no connection to his misery?  

I have seen a number of responses to the awful events of that Friday blaming a lack of gun control laws.  I’m not a gun guy.  I don’t like them.  I fear the possibility of my children being hurt by a gun either in my home or some other house.  

But gun control seems like a less good answer than a security guard at the entrance to each school. Nobody gets in without clearing security first. It is inconvenient and unpleasantly restrictive, but better than trying to gain inventory control over every firearm in America.

As things stand now, I could walk into my child’s elementary school and do almost anything.  There is no one to stop me.  The ladies at the front desk might take note and try to get some response from visitors, but the actual security level is very low.  

The fundamental purpose of government is protection.  It is not welfare payments, the provision of insurance, the redefinition of marriage, or any number of other purposes we have adopted.  Government is there to deter and punish those who do wrong.  If we are going to have public schools, then perhaps we should make sure that there is only one way into a building and that any visitors have to get past an armed security guard.  I can imagine few better uses of tax money than securing the place where we send our greatest treasures.

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5 thoughts on “A Better Answer than Gun Control

  1. The elementary school was locked down at 9:15 AM, and yet the gunman shot his way through a window to get in. With the kind of firepower he has, we would need a Die-Hard Bruce Willis as a security guard to stop him.

    There are just too many powerful guns. A civil society shouldn’t allow these guns for any reason whatsoever. A gun-banning law plus a gun-buy back program will be the best use of our tax money. I’m all for spending millions to buy back guns and disarm them.

  2. David, it is a fantasy for the government to gain control of all the firearms in America. An absolute dream. Besides which, there is something totalitarian about a government disarming its populace. Dan Carlin (one of the most popular podcasters) has a good show on the issue where he talks things through very thoroughly. I have no problem with taking all the assault weapons or whatever extreme class of gun you want to name, but that’s a tiny portion of the guns in America. It might feel good, but wouldn’t achieve much.

    • I can’t see how hiring a security guard – for, say $40K a year here in NY/NJ plus benefits, and you would need 2 because one would call in sick or on vacation – is a better answer. That security guard might serve as a deterrent, but again, the perpetrator usually came heavily armed. So, comes down to it, the security guard is no match. And while we have them in schools, we should have them in movie theaters and shopping malls, because just in 2012, these are the places you might get shot while you are going about your life. I think the cold-war approach – which is mutually disarmament – is a lesson to learn from here. Less guns, less powerful basically WMDs – for all citizens. It’s a safer world than going back to the wild west days when everyone carrying a gun.

  3. Actually, I don’t think the choice is either militarize our schools or disarm our citizens. The problem really isn’t security vs. freedom. To “fix” the problem we need to start by addressing how we handle mental illness in this country. Sure, we shouldn’t let mentally unstable individuals own dangerous implements, but we can’t end it there and think we’ve “taken appropriate action.” And I really hate to see us turn our schools into a prison in order to keep our kids safe. We should ask, rather, what are we doing for and with the mentally ill? It seems like that’s where this whole problem begins almost every time a tragedy like this happens. Not all mass murders are ill but many of them are.

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