My letter is in response to Julie’s letter last week. Stricter gun control is not the answer to protecting our children. In fact it will do more damage than good.
You asked “If in the end the solution makes it harder for a person to buy a gun, so what?” Well I will tell you what, Adam Lanza didn’t have guns that HE legally obtained. They were his mothers guns. So I ask you how would have stricter laws prevented this tragedy? The answer is it wouldn’t have. Adams mother was a law abiding gun enthusiast. She raised her son to respect guns and taught him how to handle guns safely. In fact it was a source of pride for him, his respect and safe gun handling. But it isn’t respect for guns that prevents violence, it’s respect for life.
Something regarding guns and evil that has been missing from the news, and that’s probably because the body count wasn’t spectacular, is the story from April, where a man recently freed from jail went to a church and shot a member of the congregation and then was shot and killed by another member of the congregation. I wonder how many people would have died had there been no one with a gun to stop him?
As well, what about the same weekend that the Newton Killing happened that a man in San Antonio took a gun to his place of employment. There he chased the people out of the restaurant and then shot someone in the parking lot and went into a movie theater where he was then shot and restrained by an armed guard. I wonder what would have happened had there not been an armed guard there?
Also largely unreported by the national press was a would-be massacre stopped in a Portland-area mall by an armed citizen with a concealed-carry permit, on the very same day as the Newton Massacre. The contrast between the unarmed victims in Newtown and the Clackamas shooting was stark. Jacob Tyler Roberts was shooting random shoppers with his AR-15, when a man pulled his gun as Roberts’ gun jammed. Although he never had to shoot his weapon to end shooting spree, it was the mere presence of the weapon that prevented more deaths. “I know that after he saw me, I think that the last shot he fired was the one he used on himself.”
I might also remind you that evil doesn’t just use guns. China has strict gun control laws, and yet the insane people still find way to harm innocents. In September a man armed with an axe, killed 3 school children and injured 13 others. And in 2010 there was a string of knife attacks against school children that left 20 dead and 50 injured.
You said, “Evil trumps good when people do nothing.” I wholeheartedly agree with you. But taking guns out of law abiding citizens hands does nothing but make them vulnerable to the evil you speak of. I Suggest instead we put more guns into law abiding citizens hands. Put us on the same playing field as the bad guy.
In Harrold ISD, Harrold Texas, the superintendent did just that. In October 2007, he enacted a plan where certain faculty, who have undergone special training are now armed with a concealed weapon daily. The identities of the armed faculty is held in strictest confidence as well to keep the entire school district safe. They call this plan the Guardian Plan and personally I think it’s an excellent idea. I recently found out the while I was in Junior High my 7th grade science teacher carried a weapon to school with him daily. He did this for the entire 22 years he taught school and only the administration was aware. I know I always felt safe in school,and knowing this now I don’t feel any less so.
Honestly, with 3 children in the school district, I would feel safer knowing that there were armed teachers and faculty who could protect my children from a mad gunman. I know for a fact that the Newton Massacre happened within 4 minutes. The questions I ask, will locked doors keep my children safer? Not if there are windows that can be broken into. Will our Sheriffs dept have enough time to respond? Well that is very unlikely they can respond in enough time to keep the damage to a minimum since they could be anywhere in our county at any time. If that time happens to be at lunch and an armed gunman shoots his way into the lunch room 30 kids could easily be killed before there is any police response. But if there is a trained,armed teacher or administrator in there with our kids, well that could and would easily minimize the damage done to our community.
So yes, something needs to be done, but if you ask me my plan actually protects innocents while yours leaves them unarmed and “trumped by evil”.
Andrea B Wilson