On Friday, Vice President of the NRA Wayne LaPierre held a press conference in the aftermath of the Shady Hook Elementary School shooting and made great arguments for the Second Amendment and how it is used to protect the public. He made great points about violence in movies and video games and about the inaccuracy in the media regarding ammunition and firearms and pointing out the lies that just one more gun ban or one more gun control law will protect people "where 20,000 others have failed!" So what issue do I consider the NRA wrong on? The fact that LaPierre called on Congress to put armed police officers in every school and to do it before January.
"I call on Congress today to act immediately, to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school — and to do it now, to make sure that blanket of safety is in place when our children return to school in January."
Friends it sounds good doesn't it? But remember, this is calling for more government. Please do not mistake my comments on this issue to be completely in opposition to the NRA. Nothing could be further from the truth, but do you realize the funding this would take? Do you realize the amount of competent policemen this would take to achieve? This is a terrible call and though LaPierre is willing to put his money where his mouth is and offer training, the question I have is, why doesn't he offer to simply do this for teachers and other school officials? Why must we constantly be looking to government to solve the problem?
LaPierre said, "Our training programs are the most advanced in the world. That expertise must be brought to bear to protect our schools and our children now. We did it for the nation's defense industries and military installations during World War II, and we'll do it for our schools today."
"The NRA is going to bring all of its knowledge, dedication and resources to develop a model National School Shield Emergency Response Program for every school that wants it," he said. "From armed security to building design and access control to information technology to student and teacher training, this multi-faceted program will be developed by the very best experts in their fields."
There it is! Simply get Congress to remove the "Gun Free Zones" and start training teachers and principals. They obviously are prepared to teach them, along with students. This would be at no additional cost to taxpayers or the federal government and would not require the feds to do anything except untie the hands of the people. In fact, it could be argued, and is being argued, that States have the right to make this a part of their system now.
I realize, even according to polling, that most Americans agree that putting police officers in every school is a good idea, but again, I ask you, how practical is it compared to letting teachers arm themselves, have a concealed carry permit and be trained? When you compare the two, I think, at least for conservatives and liberty lovers, the second approach is the better of the two.
If you follow LaPierre's reasoning, how far will this be applied? After the next shooting at a mall, will we hear cries of "an armed policeman at every entrance, store and elevator?" What about the next shooting at a place of worship? Will we hear the cries of "an armed police officer at every place of worship?" If more government is the answer we give and ascribe to, then how can we rightly say we are for smaller government?
While I am for much of what the NRA stands for, which is why I'm a member, I think the approach that Gun Owners of America's President Larry Pratt was much more in line with my own thinking and results in less government and less costs. It is a whole lot more reasonable and practical. This is why when my membership runs out this coming year, I'll be joining with the GOA. We need small government answers to issues like this, not bigger government responses.