General Question

flutherother's avatar

Is putting armed guards in schools a good idea?

Asked by flutherother (22579 points ) December 21st, 2012

The National Rifle Association has called for an armed security guard to be placed in every school in America, in a defiant response to the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut last week. What do you think. Is this a sensible response to the recent tragic events?

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65 Answers

hearkat's avatar

It may be necessary, at this point, since weapon and ammunition regulation only makes it a bit more difficult for someone planning to break the law anyway to obtain a firearm.

But once a determined gunman takes out the armed guard – who would likely be uniformed and stationed near the main entrance, and therefore an obvious target – what good would they serve?

Besides, it places yet another financial burden on the taxpayers to have to pay several additional armed officers. They would have to be present at all extra-curricular event, as well, I’d imagine.

It’s a tough call.

syz's avatar

Of course not. A sensible response it to take a hard look at a culture in which it’s easier to buy a gun than to buy a car, and a country in which the mentally ill are on thier own.

Lightlyseared's avatar

It would depend on the guard. If they have passed extensive psych screening, are highly trained with excellent discipline and fire a million rounds a year practice then probably they would make the place a lot safer and everyone would feel better if they were around but then those sort of people don’t end up working in schools do they. If its someone who applied for the job because they got bored at macdonalds and thought it would be cool to have a job where they carry a gun then probably not.

tedd's avatar

No, it’s stupid.

Guns were not the cause of last Fridays massacre in Connecticut, and they most certainly aren’t the answer.

We need to pay even half as much attention and money to mental health care/treatment as we do to guns, and it would fix a lot of our mass shooting problems.

CWOTUS's avatar

If you’re really interested in improving security at schools – and after the past week, who isn’t? – then here is an article that you ought to read and discuss.

No, “armed guards at schools” are not a particularly good idea, however (as stated in the article, among many other things) if you’re going to have a cop at the school anyway, as many schools do with a “School Resource Officer” then he should be armed. “Security” is not maintained by a uniform or a badge. And there’s a lot more to “security” than just being armed and shooting, too.

For one example, fire hoses can be used with great effect to aid security. It’s hard to advance, aim and shoot against a column of 300 psi water being streamed into your face. But how many schools even consider, much less train, their personnel to use this type of non-lethal and always-on “security aid”?

Read the article.

Mariah's avatar

I was disgusted by that entire speech.

Gun violence is not solved by more guns, in my opinion.

Judi's avatar

Me too @Mariah . I kept yelling at the TV.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

The very thought disgusts me.

I live in northern Virginia, just across the river from Washington, DC. After the Virginia Tech massacre, a local politician stated, in public, that all those students and professors should have been armed. If only they’d been carrying semi-automatic weapons, the entire tragedy would have been avoided. The parents and families of those victims were so outraged, the politician lost his election in a landslide. Chalk one up for the side of reason and sanity.

bookish1's avatar

Holy hell, no.

cheebdragon's avatar

Most new guns have laser grips now, making it pretty hard to miss your intended target.

@Mariah how would you solve the problem? There are over 200 million guns in the US, you can’t go door to door collecting them from people even if guns were banned. You will never be able to get them back legally. Schools are already gun free zones, just like the movie theater in Colorado (they even had a special sign stating that concealed weapons were not allowed in the building.) Should we focus more on helping people with mental problems? Personally, I don’t see how medicating more people could solve anything, considering the amount of people already being medicated.

Mariah's avatar

@cheebdragon More focus on treating mental health =/= medicating more.

jonsblond's avatar

I’ve read several stories like this one about former or retired servicemen standing guard at their child’s school. I don’t see anything wrong with this, but having your average Joe rent-a-cop is something I would not agree with.

poisonedantidote's avatar

That sounds like the opposite of what is needed, the problem to start with is weapons getting in to schools. It is a bit like having a force feeding officer in all the fast food outlets.

I would go with increased security instead.

Shippy's avatar

It took a long time for society to get into the mess it is in. So yes, in the meantime protect the children. They are the most important. They are too vulnerable at present.

jerv's avatar

@jonsblond I’m not sure rent-a-cops get weapons training, and those that do probably aren’t as vigorous as what any ground-pounder gets in boot camp.

josie's avatar

The Israelis do it.

Admire them or not, they have become experts at defending and protecting themselves.

Admittedly, Israeli private citizens are limited as to what and how many weapons they can own. But they are not worried about fellow Israelis. Just like we are not worried about normal people.
Their problem is lunatic Palestinian Muslims. Our problem is lunatics.

tedd's avatar

@cheebdragon @Mariah Exactly, mental health treatment does not purely mean medication. In some cases it certainly would, but in many cases it would mean respite care, psychiatry, ABA therapy, etc, etc.

The boy I work with had 3–4 violent outbursts a week when I started working there 3 years ago. Today, after intensive care and treatment he has reached the point where he can properly handle his emotions and hasn’t had a violent outburst in months.

I am not at all for taking away gun rights, but I am also strongly against putting more guns in schools (even in the hands of policemen). We need to see this for what it is, not a gun problem/medication issue… a mental health wake up call.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@josie yes but the Israeli idea of defending its citizens involves indiscriminately killing Palestinian civilians. Are you suggesting indiscriminately killing anyone who seeks help for a mental health problem? Anyone who watches violent films or plays video games? anyone who happens to be a moody teenager whose parents own a gun?

cheebdragon's avatar

A lengthy study by Mother Jones magazine found that at least 38 of the 61 mass shooters in the past three decades “displayed signs of mental health problems prior to the killings.” Even if we started a witch hunt to find these mentally unstable people (something civil rights activist would have a field day about). That wouldn’t solve the problem of those 23 people that seemed perfectly normal before their shooting rampages. Medication isn’t a magical cure.

SuperMouse's avatar

In August 2012, when there was a shooting at the Empire State Building, all nine people who were wounded were wounded by NYPD officers attempting to take down the shooter. These are people who are theoretically at least, trained marksmen. If there were even more bullets flying around Sandy Hook that day how many more funerals would the town have to endure? How many more would have been wounded?

It is also worth looking at a point made by Gavin DeBecker in his book The Gift of Fear. Debecker points out that many, many well known killers worked as security guards at one time or another. Probably not a bumper crop of hirees to protect our kids.

I can’t say I know a perfect solution for this problem, but I can say it is probably not having armed teachers, principals, or security guards at schools.

josie's avatar

@Lightlyseared

Not sure what your point is, but I am also sure that you do and that’s all that matters.
I thought the question was about putting armed guards in schools. My point is -The idea has a precedent.
If you have something against the Israelis then formulate an Anti Israeli question and maybe I will jump in the thread.

tedd's avatar

@cheebdragon I would wager many of those people could have been treated better for their mental health issues, and that many of the 23 probably had mental health issues that weren’t diagnosed, which is yet another issue with our mental health care system right now.

And again, medication and medication alone is not at all what “more mental health care” means. And it’s not like we would have to go hunting for these people, every day I am exposed to people begging for help with their children who have mental issues, and being turned away by programs that don’t have the resources and insurance agencies that won’t pay the costs.

SuperMouse's avatar

@cheebdragon finding and helping people living with mental illness can’t really be characterized as a “witch hunt”. Most families dealing with a mentally ill relative and many people living with mental illness would welcome treatment. Currently there are not too many resources available and easily accessible to people dealing with these issues, especially if they don’t have medical insurance. I agree that medication is necessarily always the answer, but some kind of mental health support is definitely called for.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

In 2009 at the most populous army base in the US, Fort Hood, a gunman killed 13 people and wounded 29 others. The place was full of guns of all types. Still, he murdered 13 people. For the record, the man was a psychiatrist.

syz's avatar

From Slate.com:

In a somewhat unhinged press conference, National Rifle Association head Wayne LaPierre argued that instead of regulating guns better we should have a police officer in every school. He suggested we could pay for it by cutting foreign aid.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics there are 98,817 K-12 schools in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says cops make $55,000 a year. So we could put $5.4 billion as the low level estimate of the cost. Cops obviously have health care benefits and pension and disability benefits for police offers tend to be fairly costly so the real price would be higher than that.

At any rate, on both the policing side and the gun control side it would be a mistake to focus too much on spectacular school massacres. What happened at Sandy Hook was terrible, but at least 78 people have been shot and killed in America since then. If you want to regulate guns more strictly, the smart play is to focus on the portable concealable handguns that are widely used in those “ordinary” crimes and if you want to spend billions on hiring new police officers the smart play to focus on deploying them in the high-crime neighborhoods where most of the murdering happens. Obviously one would hope that a less-armed, lower-crime society would also feature fewer monstrous massacres as a side benefit but concentrating our policing resources on static defense of K-12 schools would be foolish.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@josie My point is (and given that it is such a very fucking simple one I fail to see how you missed it but hey ho) some of the reasons given to explain school shootings have been – watching violent movies, playing video games, and mental health problems due to the fact Americans would rather pay for guns than health care. Lets think about that – lots of people watch violent movies and yet don’t go on shooting sprees, lots of people play video games and yet refrain from trying to recreate it in real life and lots of people have mental health issues without ever getting violent – so how exactly do you propose you differentiate from the normal people and the psychos whose going to go on a shooting spree? Tell me please?

josie's avatar

@Lightlyseared

The psycho is the one who shoots down the door and starts killing children and teachers. That would be the one the armed guard might be helpful in dealing with.

The normal one is outside in the car waiting to take the children home. The armed guard doesn’t care about them.

mazingerz88's avatar

To be fair, it is a good idea. If those armed guards pass a mental health test, they might actually prevent the next massacre. Another good idea is for the Supreme Court Judges and all the politicians in Capitol Hill to acknowledge that the present interpretation of the Second Amendment is really idiotic. They keep giving in to citizens with gun lust. Imagine if there really are no guns around. Well at the least, we would not be talking about gun massacres.

CWOTUS's avatar

Not to come down on you personally, @Hawaii_Jake, but US military bases here and overseas, by policy, require all personnel (except fire bases in combat zones, obviously, or those participating in live fire exercises) to be arms-free.

Here’s a source for that information.

zenvelo's avatar

My first thought was: Can the NRA get the House of Representatives to pay for this? A cop in every school is pretty expensive.

Second thought was: what else will they do? I don’t want my kids going to school with a police man arresting every teenager having a mood swing.

Third, does this mean the shooter will just take out one classroom? A cop can’t patrol the whole perimeter, he’ll wait for back up, meanwhile a shooter is still killing kids.

cheebdragon's avatar

@tedd can’t imagine why people wouldn’t want to be treated this way. Maybe they should improve how they treat people before we worry about how insurance will cover it.

@supermouse actually, just because we have no intention of killing them doesn’t make it any less of a witch hunt. Not everyone that’s crazy is dangerous, and not everyone that’s dangerous is crazy. Think of some of the worst serial killers, sure they were into weird shit, but do you really think therapy would have helped dahmer or kaczinsky? Kaczinsky participated in a psychological test when he was 18, the test was meant to provide the FBI with psychological profiles to help determine what kinds of people they should be keep an eye on, criminal profiling basically. Kaczinskys results were so spot to where they should be, they gave his results the name Lawful. That test might have caused some of his insanity though, there is a show on the science channel about it if you want to know more. Consider the level of crazy it would take for someone to gun down a bunch of children or a theater full of people, do you honestly think therapy could curve that fucked up kind of desire?

WestRiverrat's avatar

More gun laws will not change anything. The shooter in Conn was already prohibitted from having guns on several counts. If you intend to break the laws about murder, then laws against guns in schools and age limits on handguns are not going to deter you at all.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I would not want this in any of the schools my children attend.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Columbine High School had an armed sheriff’s patrol who fired at the gunman. Source

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Sorry, I just posted a similar question because yours was too easy to miss. I am glad you asked the question.

The answer to too many assault weapons surely cannot be more assault weapons.

Only members of the military and certain police squads require such weapons. These are not designed for hunting or for protecting your home from burglars or other intruders. Having them at home is an invitation to future massacres.

cheebdragon's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence right, because we all know cops never commit crimes? Do you know the cop to citizen ratio? Even in lower populated cities, it’s still about 1 cop for every 1,000 citizen. Higher populated cities like San Diego has 17 cops per 10,000 residents. I’m sure those 17 cops with guns can handle everything. There is a book called “Dial 911 and die”, in my opinion, the title alone couldn’t be more accurate.

Mariah's avatar

@cheebdragon I know this is not the point you’re trying to make but the point you raised could be a good argument against armed guards in schools. Cops and guards commit crimes too, and are not exempt from mental illness.

cheebdragon's avatar

@Mariah police carry weapons daily, how many have gone out and comitted a mass shooting? I can’t think of any, can you?
Police officers should have guns, no one is denying that, but when there are only 17 cops for every 10,000 residents, it’s ignorant to think that they should be the only ones allowed to own a gun and to think that it would make everyone safe.

Mariah's avatar

For the record, I am not of the viewpoint that no one should be allowed to own a gun. I just think they need to be harder to get, particularly the ones designed for mass killing. I am aware that total prohibition of anything rarely works.

mpippin's avatar

I think that during this day and time, YES, there should be armed officers at schools. If you had asked me this 20 years ago, I would probably answered differently.. I wasnt scared when I was in school. Someone busting in and shooting me and my classmates wasnt even on our minds! But now, I worry about my sons and daughter-in-law’s (1 6th grader and 2 college) safety every day… I think an officer would be beneficial to the school. Just imagine if there had been an officer in Sandy Hook that day… A principal and a teacher might also have been saved and not in direct gunfire trying to protect the school.. As a matter of fact, some schools in my area do have what they call Resource officers.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@Mariah ANY gun in the hands of someone intent on killing is a gun capable of mass killing.

In “Appendix A” Roth et. al found, “contrary to our expectations, only 2—3.8 percent – of the 52 mass murders we gleaned from the Nexis search [from Jan. 1992 through May 1996] unambiguously involved assault weapons. This is about the same percentage as for other murders… media accounts lend some tenuous support to the notion that assault weapons are more deadly than other weapons in mass murder events, as measured by victims per incident. However in Footnote 61 Roth states: “If, for instance, the substituted long guns were .22 caliber, rimfire (i.e., low velocity) rifles (and in addition did not accept large-capacity magazines), then a substitution effect [as a result of the assault weapons ban] would be less likely to have demonstrably negative consequences. If, on the other hand, offenders substituted shotguns for assault weapons, there could be negative consequences for gun violence mortality. ”

Gary Kleck in Targeting Guns: Firearms and Their Control (Walter de Gruyter, Inc., New York, 1997) after examining the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Reports for the years 1976 to 1992, reports “the rate of killings with four or more victims was higher in 1976–1982, prior to the popularity of assault weapons, than in 1983–1992. Regardless of the numerical cutoff defining mass shootings, there was no increase in such incidents associated with the increased popularity of assault weapons after 1984”.

Dr. Kleck also states that “Oddly enough, mass killings are actually less likely to involve the use of guns of any kind than homicides involving small numbers of victims. For all murders and non negligent manslaughters covered in Supplementary Homicide Reports (about 90% of all U.S. killings) for the period 1976 to 1992, only 48.3% of victims killed in incidents with four or more victims were killed with guns, compared to 62.3% of those killed in incidents with three or fewer victims. This is mainly due to the large share of mass killings committed with arson, which is rarely involved in ordinary homicides.”

Incidentally, there are an estimated 4 million assault rifles in the U.S., which amounts to roughly 1.7% of the total gun stock. (Institute for Research on Small Arms in International Security, Assault Rifle Fact Sheet #2, 1989)

source

augustlan's avatar

All of the high schools in my area have a cop on duty in the school every day. It’s disconcerting, honestly. I do not want to live in a society that requires an armed guard in every school, and by extension, every public building. There should be an expectation of relative safety in our day to day lives. If America is so unsafe, we need to do something about the root causes of that situation. Our culture of violence, our shitty mental health system, and the proliferation of unnecessary guns.

cheebdragon's avatar

Almost every single government building in the United States has some form of security, most have cameras, armed guards, and metal detectors. And yet no one seems to have a problem with them having security, but when it comes to your children, you figure a fucking fenced off playground (that even my grandma could climb over if she needed to) is perfectly fine for protecting the kids?
Fuck the kids, we need to make sure our scumbag politicians are safe from harm so they can continue screwing everyone over.
I’m sorry, but the government workers, politicians, lawyers, and judges (all of whom are adults that are actually semi capable of defending themselves or at the very least aware of what they should do in an emergency situation), none of them mean anything to me, I don’t care how safe they feel at work, but my 6 year old son, he means everything to me and his safety is more important in my opinion.

Response moderated (Spam)
SadieMartinPaul's avatar

What good would it really do to assign an armed police officer to every school? Schools have many windows; that’s a good thing, because natural light and fresh air are beneficial to learning. In compliance with fire regulations, schools have numerous doors; that’s also a good thing, for obvious safety reasons.

The school in Newtown had securely locked all of its doors for the day, so the gunman shot through a window to enter the building. He could have chosen any window, or he could have shot off the lock on any door.

Unless a police office can make himself ubiquitous, guarding every classroom and corridor for the entire school day, what’s really accomplished?

cheebdragon's avatar

What’s really accomplished by security in any location?

WestRiverrat's avatar

@cheebdragon it encourages the nutcases to look for easier targets elsewhere.

jrpowell's avatar

@augustlan :: Those cops are most likely there to deal with things like fights and drugs.

But one cop won’t help for a mass shooting. This is where I went to high school. It would take 100 people to form a perimeter. If it is just one guy you wait until he turns his back and shoot them in it.

Unfortunately the nut is going to do what they plan on doing. They intend for it to be their last day. I like the solution of better mental health treatment and maybe make it that if someone wants to do this that they have to switch guns/clips 5 times to to kill 30 people.

It would be a slow process of slowly collecting clips but eventually you could reduce the availability and make them very expensive. And you then have the chance to catch people looking to purchase them so you could get them off the street before the do something drastic.

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syz's avatar

Look, you can never guarantee that something like this will never happen again. But you can damn sure make sure it’s less likely and harder to do. (This really resonated with me.)

It is completely illogical that it’s so easy to buy/obtain a gun. It’s completely illogical that we don’t require safety training, testing, licensing, taxes, and insurance to own a gun. None of those things infringe on anyone’s rights in any way.

When I first looked at this 2 days ago, the number was 114. Now it’s 139. How can we continue to pretend that there’s no problem with the status quo?

CWOTUS's avatar

The point of a (real) security presence at a place like a school is the same as…

Two hunters were camping for the night when they were suddenly awakened by their dogs baying at a bear that was crashing through the woods toward their campsite. One of the men jumped out of his sleeping bag and started running away from the campsite, wearing only the underwear he had been sleeping in. The other hunter started to pull on and lace up his shoes.

The first hunter stopped and yelled at him, “Don’t bother with shoes! You can’t outrun a bear!”

“I don’t need to outrun the bear. I only need to outrun you.”

.
The school doesn’t have to be a fortress. Our civilization hasn’t devolved back to that level yet. It just needs to be a slightly harder target than, say, a convenience store or a suburban bank branch.

bookish1's avatar

@CWOTUS: That was originally a lawyer joke, wasn’t it?

WestRiverrat's avatar

@bookish1 It wasn’t originally about hunters. Hunters would have shot the bear if it had entered their camp.

hearkat's avatar

@augustlan – the video is “not available”

Brian1946's avatar

@augustlan @hearkat

The video is available to me. My browser is Firefox.

BTW, it makes some excellent points about the efficacy of armed civilians trying to protect themselves against unexpected attacks.

augustlan's avatar

Hrm. I’m not having any trouble accessing it. I use Firefox, too.

Judi's avatar

Not working for me either . No Firefox here, just internet explorer and it made my coputer go wacko.

Brian1946's avatar

When I use Google Chrome, I don’t get the video or any indication that it’s “not available”.

However, when I right-click on the empty space where I think the video should be, it says “Movie not loaded…”.
Perhaps it’s because of the overall flakiness of Flashplayer 11.

hearkat's avatar

OK – that explains it – I was trying different browsers, but on the iPad. It is working in Chrome on my laptop.

RAJH's avatar

I am a teacher who has been living in the Netherlands for some decades, where gun crime is extremely rare and mostly linked to large scale robberies and where guns are completely illegal for citizens. I was hoping that I could bring a sober outsider point of view to the table.

Granted though – unfortunately the culture in the US is going full circle to Wild West justice for All style living which is very scary. But I would like you to consider something A LOT SCARIER, especially all you people who do actually have kids in school – and I would like to focus specifically on kids with guns:
There is a lot of talk about mental health. I, however, would like to challenge that MANY KIDS WHO GO TRIGGER HAPPY ARE COMPLETELY NORMAL, harmless kids with an opportunity to do harm.

How many kids are bullied, go to bed at night dreaming of blowing up someone’s head, shooting a teacher or a fellow student or even his parents or carers. This is a totally normal human way of venting anger and issues. This is why we “sleep on it” and have a new perspective the next day.

Now give this completely normal angry kid access to a gun…..

So my point is that people always start digging into mental health backgrounds when a shooting occurs. Guns, however, should never ever be an option to begin with. If it isn’t, that angry kid fantasizing about doing harm will simply dismiss it as silly and go to school armed with his fists, his lunch box and his fast legs.

People have to realize that bullying in society is a real problem. But it does not stop at school and it does not stop at growing up. Many schootings occur by someone with a chip on their schoulder, no matter what their age is. And the longer it lies dorment, the stronger it can be. These are cropped up emotions – not mental health issues. Those should be the last people to give access to ANYTHING that can be construed as a deadly weapon, let alone guns.

Focus should be on anger management and educating kids that guns are not the answer. We need to start educating our kids that guns are bad and only for on TV and that there is help and support for just about any feelings they may have. We should all be responsible parents and help the turnaround of an increasingly aggressive militant culture. Strangly enough none of the 21 measures that Mr Obama (bless his soul) suggests actually attacks issues from this very basic angle.

Therefore, the above is a tall order. In the US, A monster has been created within a culture and I could write a book on how I think a U-turn could be achieved in this mentality. None of it would be very helpful unless guns are made illegal to the common citizen. Of course we all know that this is very improbable in the US. Sad as it is, a lot of people in the US feel that it is their God-given right to defend themselves with the power to kill, not simply to immobilize. The word “defence” on it’s own already suggests that all other means of negotiation are out the back door. Just the other day, an elderly man shot two teenagers just because they had an argument on his property. He had no mental health issues but he felt that he had the right to kill.

The only way to stop deaths by shooting is to ban guns for any other purpose than a legally professional need and institutionalise/imprison any citizen who gets caught having one. This measure does not exlude any serviceman who uses a gun inappropriately. Amnesty would have to be granted for anyone to hand in any guns or other deadly weapons, as happens in Britain for instance. Any gun sold legally should be trackable and serious sentences should be upheld for possession of illegal weapons.

This would of course never happen in America without enormous protest, a series of dead presidents and maybe even civil war. Until then, I opt to kiss my kids good-bye at the back door every morning and wave them off on their cycles that will take them unharmed and without guidance to a safe Dutch school.

I am sorry that this blog has turned more into an article, but appreciate anyone who is still reading and hope to have added a fresh view to the arguments.

CWOTUS's avatar

Welcome to Fluther, @RAJH, and thanks for your thoughtful post. I don’t know if this is your first post or not, but most first posts here are not so well written and thorough. So congratulations; I hope you’ll stick around.

But I disagree with most of your conclusions.

In the first place, despite the news, which always focuses on the bad, the abnormal and tragic happenings, the US is a generally safe place. Gun violence is not a major issue day-to-day, except when such awful incidents take place and everyone focuses on “how awful America is”. Except it’s not.

Aside from that, it is one thing to ban something, and say, “That is illegal, you must not have it or use it. If you have it, turn it in for destruction ‘for the public good’.” This didn’t work with alcohol, in fact, it made alcohol a much larger problem than it ever was before Prohibition. It hasn’t worked with drugs, which have generally increased in quality and quantity (according to news reports) with every year since I’ve been an adult (and that’s been a long time). And it won’t work with guns. What will happen is that many people will follow the law, as many people always attempt to, and many more people will deliberately and willfully flout the law. I am one of those people. I don’t even own a gun! But I will. It is quite another thing to move from “thou shalt not” to “we’re coming to take them away from you”. As you correctly note, the chances of that happening are nil. Even our politicians are not that stupid, and let me tell you, they are plenty stupid.

Finally, I would have thought that most Dutch, especially the older folks who remember and who lived through the history of the mid-twentieth century, would recall the lesson of “what happens when only the legal professionals” have weapons.

I’m simply astonished that people really believe, “Well, all that unpleasantness from WWII is behind us. Let’s give thanks that that will never happen again.”

It’s always just a matter of time, you know. And a government that says, “We don’t trust you with weapons; give them to us. We’re the professionals, and we know what to do,” hastens the day.

Finally, I doubt that guns are as difficult to obtain in the Netherlands as you might like to think. I’m pretty sure that heroin and cocaine are still illegal there, aren’t they? Would you have any trouble finding those things if you wanted them?

Banning guns is not confiscation. An outright attempt at confiscation, in my country, would lead to deserved violence on the government that attempted it.

RAJH's avatar

Thank you for your comments. Yes funnily in a way I agree with most your counter arguments, which may seem a bit fickle. I certainly agree that outright bans can be counter productive, however, I do not think that it is as severe as you may think. However, controlled bans will empower the law to punish those in the wrong. If you do not make something illegal then you can not lawfully control it. I agree that bans may spur people on to break the law. What I do not believe is that it will make things worse. And I strongly believe that the average Joe is unable to handle the psychological burden of owning a deadly weapon.

Maybe in a way we are counterparts where I may think gun crime is out of control in America today and where you think that drugs are easy to get in the Netherlands. They are not. I can not say that there are no drugs and that there are no guns, but they certainly will be pounced on like a leopard. The ban is total and the policy is zero tolerance. I guess, what people abroad see is a distorted picture of Amsterdam, not the Netherlands, where trafficking occurs. But I think most important of all is the culture. Possession of (fire) arms, like drugs and teenage pregnancy are considered social suicide. And I think that there’s where the main difference lies between the two countries.

Before I went off on a tangent with my utopian views of a gunless world :-) the blog was about having armed guards in schools. I do stand by my point that I was really trying to make. Guns are used by normal people in an abnormal frame of mind. The gun culture should be tackled by educating young people of alternatives. We must at all costs avoid to submit young people to even more gun use and steer them towards a more positive social stance. Putting armed guards in schools would teach kids the oposite. Gerardless of the fact that it is unlikely to prevent casualties.

cheebdragon's avatar

Guards armed with taser guns then?....you can’t argue that.

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