I had wondered, along with everyone else of course, what the NRA's response to the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting (in Newtown CT) was going to be, as they sat back quietly. Would their response be cautious and reflective, or would it be arrogance? Would they make bold moves towards reigning in gun violence, or would they point the finger at others and deny that guns are possibly part of the problem?
Days later, of course (as I took a little time after their response to come back and post this article), we know how they proceeded -- with arrogance and disdain towards any new gun control, or any elevation and tightening of existing gun control laws. Guns aren't the problems, people are the problems (well d'uh!, very true, but that doesn't mean that people with problems should have easy access to guns). Mental health care is the problem (true, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't look at possibly tightening up gun access a little more). Not having armed personnel in the schools, that was the problem -- at least according to the NRA. OK, perhaps they have a little bit of a point there, but you can't convince the liberals that want guns outlawed of that.
Witness, for example, the mayors and other elected representatives that are taking pot shots (pun partially intended here) at the NRA's idea as being rooted in lunacy. Uh, yeah, sure. The idea of putting armed guards in schools, or arming teachers/school administrators is a horrible one. Except, well, hmm, where does the President and First Lady of the U.S. send their children and how many armed personnel are there in that location at any given time? Why is that necessary again? Oh, yeah, for their safety, right?
How about those other politicians? How many of them send their children to private schools that may employ elevated security levels compared to their public school counterparts? I'm sure it's not an insignificant number, but of course we won't hear about that from the mainstream media as they are co-conspirators in pushing the liberal agenda and helping to tighten down the access to guns for law abiding citizens.
Honestly, so many things were done right with Sandy Hook elementary and yet we are here a few weeks later with too many youngsters dead, and some promising young adults dead as well. Because one seriously unbalanced individual got access to weapons -- illegally, as he had been precluded from buying weapons and was actually stopped in doing so because of his own mental health issues -- well, now we are again hearing that we must change and must stop the easy access to weapons.
Never mind implementing more gun safety classes. Doing that might lend support to the NRA and the NRA might be able to solicit members in the classrooms if they were allowed to be involved in developing the training (uh, who else but a group that would want to help ensure access to guns for law abiding citizens would you want to put in charge of providing such classes?) or leading that training, or so worry the liberals (such as those in Maryland, which stopped short of tightening up their own gun access one year because the Democrat governor couldn't and wouldn't work with the NRA in the manner that I just described, and wouldn't allow for training that had any involvement with the NRA).
Never mind putting more money into mental health -- ooops, wait, that might still come, and I really hope that does, but then again, if rumors are true, the individual that shot up Newtown was possibly doing so because he was worried that his own mother was going to push to get him committed to a mental health care facility because, well, he was that bad off. Sadly, she wasn't able to do so, and here we are later looking back at the wreckage and damage he brought forth on that poor community and the families there.
Quite honestly, I could be convinced to tighten up on gun access a bit. The gun show loophole should be closed. Background checks should always be required and always be completed before someone can buy a weapon. Mental health records should be shared with law enforcement more easily so that persons that are mentally imbalanced are not able to obtain weapons so easily. Trigger locks should be required, guns should be kept in gun safes, etc. The clips/magazines could be restricted to smaller sizes with significantly reduced capacities, or special permits could be required (which required special training, and more requirements on controlling access to the clips/magazines) before someone could buy larger capacity clips/magazines. Perhaps some tightening up of allowance for purchase of munitions could be put into place, though I'd be somewhat cautious in that area.
But... none of that excuses the quick dismissal, by those on the liberal side, of the idea of helping to make schools safer by allowing for armed guards and/or by allowing school system personnel that complete established training to arm themselves, it is possible we could make schools safer for our children. Yes, we'd have to be concerned that the school personnel and/or armed guards kept the weapons away from children and I do understand those concerns, but like the idea of allowing airline pilots and flight crews to arm themselves, this isn't as nutty an idea as some so quickly state.
If these politicians think that schools don't need those armed guards, then they need to stop being hypocrites and stop sending their kids to private schools with armed guards. Hell, most of them should have long since stopped doing that any way, just because they keep feeding us all the load of crap that we need to keep pouring money into public education and not put it into school vouchers and such, but of course they never did stop there, so I don't expect to see change here either, but it would be nice if all sides would actually try cooperating a bit with the others so that we could take the best of *all* of these ideas and put them into effect rather than so quickly trashing the ideas of others that we have to maintain such staunch opposition towards just because they differ from us politically.
The safety of our children should be a priority for all of us.