Sunday, January 20th, 2019

Gun rights advocates, be careful what you wish for


After the mass shooting in Connecticut, the left has had its “gun control now” moment. Now the other side is returning rhetorical fire and calling for the arming of teachers.  Pro-2nd amendment gun advocates say if we arm teachers, we could possibly stop these mass shootings faster. Texas is moving in that direction.

Looking back on my education history, I’m not sure arming the teachers I had would have been a good idea. (Although there was one physics teacher on the edge of retirement who used a small cattle prod on students…)

Regardless of the feelings such an idea engenders, a practical case can be made for allowing teachers to be armed. However, gun advocates might want to think twice about such legislation, and not just because it is likely to be unpopular.

All it will take is for one teacher to not have the gun secured away and for one child to find it for a really tragic situation. The news will be filled with the picture of the eight-year-old who shot a classmate by accident or over a soccer ball.  There will be more than a backlash against allowing guns in the classroom. The backlash will be against gun rights in general.

So, purely from a political standpoint, is it worth the risk for gun rights advocates? Of course not. So why give ammunition (pun intended) to the other side by bringing it up?

(For those of you with short memories, this was proposed in Wisconsin by then-State Rep Frank Lasee in 2006. It did not have good timing.)

And if arming teachers and putting more guns in the schools is a bad idea, this idea (at the end of an interesting article) is even worse.

I’d also like us to encourage people to gang rush shooters, rather than following their instincts to hide; if we drilled it into young people that the correct thing to do is for everyone to instantly run at the guy with the gun, these sorts of mass shootings would be less deadly, because even a guy with a very powerful weapon can be brought down by 8-12 unarmed bodies piling on him at once.

I wish 8-12 unarmed bodies had charged Megan McArdle before she could type that into her article.

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