Can the US arm its schools, as the NRA suggests?

The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre is speaking currently about the shootings in Connecticut and his central policy suggestion is a massive expansion of government and policing.

He proposes adding security personnel to all of the country’s approximately 100,000 public schools.

I assume that most public schools would require a number of officers to protect facilities from early morning until afterschool activities end.

Some facilities are also large enough that a single officer would likely be ineffectual at protecting hundreds, or thousands, of young students.

So we’re talking about adding between 100,000 and 200,000 people to the government payroll at some level, at the very least.

There would also be administrative personnel and other costs. LaPierre acknowledged that police, school and other local government budgets are already strained.

And he proposed no new Federal taxes to fund the initiative.

So what do In Boxers think? The NRA obviously opposes any new restrictions on the availability of the kind of assault rifle that was used in the Connecticut massacre.

Is this kind of increased security — as an alternative — workable, or affordable? Do you like the idea of a school that has a significant security presence? Do we live in a world where that’s necessary?

Comments welcome.

130 Comments on “Can the US arm its schools, as the NRA suggests?”

  1. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    “…how many were police shooting criminals…”

    Another laughable digression from the real discussion. It used to be that police would brag about retiring without ever having to draw their service revolver. Yes, they used revolvers. Six guns. None of them wore body armor. For extreme situations they brought out the special teams that had basically WWII vintage flack jackets and scoped rifles.

    Why is is so dangerous for cops these days? Because there are too many weapons, both legal and illegal, in the hands of too many people.

    And how many people are killed by cops every year by accident? What about cops who pull their gun and fire thinking in that instant of panic that they are holding a Taser. Why are cops so afraid? Because they know there are too many people running around with weapons.

    If you support your police you should be demanding better control of firearms.

  2. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Mervel, the lists aren’t meaningless. I was quoting from lists of gun deaths per 100,000 in population. Yes, you can look at variable across societies and you find again and again that there is a strong correlation between the intervention of US gun manufacturers in the society and gun violence.

    Some years ago the head of police in Brazil begged the gun manufacturers to stop selling weapons to Brazil. Our demand for illegal drugs and our war drugs has escalated gun violence around the world. Why so many weapons in Afghanistan? Because we paid to send them there.

    The assault weapons ban that we had didn’t last long enough to make things safer. Prohibition ended but we still maintain laws on who can make, distribute, sell and consume alcohol.

    The numbers are there already. You are falling into the trap that the Tobacco lobby used, that GE used concerning PCB’s, that the Coal Lobby uses against the idea that global warming is real and man-made…
    Again and again the people with facts are dismissed. Again and again the deniers ask for one more study, okay one more after that one too. They can all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but some of us are on to their lies and distortions.

    You of all people should understand that evil exists and the voice of evil is saying ‘wait, we need to do something else first” before we do what any sensible person knows is the right thing to do – ban assault style weapons and high capacity magazines.

  3. Walker says:

    “I have heard more than once on this board how outlawing things don’t work; how prohibition in the 30′s didn’t work, well we like guns at least as much as we like booze and pot in this country, so how well is prohibition going to work?”

    Mervel, it’s not the same at all. People don’t die because some lunatic buys pot. People don’t accidentally kill their son while cleaning their pot. If you reduce pot usage by 10%, what good have you done. If you reduce the number of guns out there, you stand a good chance of saving lives.

    And besides, one of the main reasons to legalize pot is to keep pot dealers from killing each other, with guns. Remember all the gun violence in the ’30s? What was the cause, Mervel?

  4. mervel says:

    I am not against making assault weapons illegal along with high capacity clips, this was however done between 1994 and 2004, ten years, that should have been enough time to show some sort of impact, it didn’t make much of a difference. However, maybe it will this time. I am however very very much against starting another “war” this time against illegal guns. Guns like many drugs, crystal meth, pot etc, can be made at home. You can also pretty easily convert weapons to higher capacity and also into automatic.

    The AK-47 is actually a very simple durable gun that is easily assembled, which it is why it is the “peoples” gun used in poor countries all over the world.

    We need to make our country less violent there is no doubt about that and I think making guns socially unacceptable to use for personal defense and settling arguments and stand your ground type of nuttiness would really help. I am really against concealed guns in general.

    But anyway like I said we don’t know what works.

  5. mervel says:

    Walker what I meant and I think you know what I meant, was that the logic against prohibition of something that is in high demand be it pot or guns, is the same.

  6. mervel says:

    From a CNN article about why people own assault weapons:

    “It may not be the best or most important reason, but military-style weapons often appeal to the enthusiast side of the American gun owner. Just like many car lovers who dream of owning a Lamborghini, many gun owners get excited about the idea of owning an AR-15.

    “There are people who buy certain types of firearms because they have a certain image — the AR-15 is one of them,” says Austin Nikel, a former AR-15 owner in Boulder, Colorado.
    Hollywood has glorified the image behind those certain types of weapons.
    Austin Nikel, gun owner

    “One thing about this country is how Hollywood has glorified the image behind those certain types of weapons. A lot of guys grow up with GI Joe, and that image is extremely attractive. It grabs you and affects you.

    “A lot of people buy the AR-15 because, well, it’s cool.”"

    Our culture says its cool, for me this is part of our basic problem, its not necessarily the gun, its the type of culture that thinks owning a military gun is cool, I don’t think this exists in other cultures in the same way. These guys producing these blood fest movies from Tarentino all the way through the Soprano’s, Dexter and Breaking Bad (which I really like), glorify and desensitize us to killing human beings.

    Yes outlaw the weapons but we also must make it socially unacceptable to enjoy violence.

  7. Rancid Crabtree says:

    People don’t die because some lunatic buys pot.

    Really? Thats such a ridiculous statement. Pot growers and dealers have been killing each other for decades. This idea that pot is so innocent is a crock. The only people spewing that nonsense are pot heads that want to continue getting high. People steal to get money to buy pot, people kill and get killed doing that stuff. Its no different than the cigarette smokers complaining about sin taxes and how second hand smoke doesnt hurt you or alkies telling you they dont have a problem. Look in the mirror, theres the problem.

  8. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Crabtree, is that you standing behind me in the bathroom?

  9. Walker says:

    “Pot growers and dealers have been killing each other for decades.”

    Sure, Rancid, but only because it was illegal. Just like the rum runners of the ’30s. Making drugs illegal makes them extremely profitable to sell, which causes dealers fighting amongst themselves over turf. Legalize them, and the bloodletting will stop.

    So it’s still true, people don’t get high on pot and then go kill folk. The killing goes on amongst the dealers.

    You sound like you’ve never smoked, Rancid.

  10. Walker says:

    “Look in the mirror, theres the problem.”

    Rancid, I haven’t smoked in twenty five years.

  11. Rancid Crabtree says:

    No, of course I never smoked pot! It’s illegal, morally wrong, ethically wrong and illegal! Holy crap, what a fool I was. I never honestly considered the people posting here were a bunch of druggies. Well…..all of a sudden a lot of this discussion makes sense.

    I spent most of my career dealing with the fall out from your beloved pot and other drugs. 33 years of seeing what it brings to people. And you think legalizing it will fix it. It’ll fix it just like ending prohibition ended alcoholism.

    Mr R

  12. dave says:

    “I spent most of my career dealing with the fall out from your beloved pot and other drugs. 33 years of seeing what it brings to people.”

    We had another poster on this site who was in law enforcement for 30 some years, was a radical conservative, and also hated pot for reasons that were never clear. He left in a huff one day (not a puff, har har), over I forget what topic.

    Brett, that you?

  13. dave says:

    Tragedy in Webster NY. Firefighters murdered when responding to a fire. Early reports are that an assault weapon was involved… again.

    Think the NRA and pro-gun apologists will suggest we put armed guards in burning houses? The absurdity of their position will become clear one way or another, I just hope more people do not have to die before we get these guns off the streets.

  14. Rancid Crabtree says:

    He did a couple over 20 years Dave and left when one of the regulars here compared everyone in the Tea Party to the animal that killed those people in Norway. Some people have more character than others. I talk to him most every day, he’s my nephew. I even use his wireless connection as did the neighbor on the other side who went by another name here. I worked in corrections. I used to post here too under my name, Harold Fenwick.

    The answer to these problems is far bigger than your gun bans. But go right ahead and fool yourselves into thinking it will change anything. The problem is the cancer in our society and you are doing nothing but furthering it with your support of drugs, lack of willingness to address mental issues and your infantile belief that banning this or that will change anything.

    BTW, the reason we hate pot so is because of family members that we killed because of pot, because of kids that started with pot and became addicts to harder drugs. But you go right on believing it’s so tame it’s practically good for you.

  15. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Here’s something to consider- The school where Obamas girls go has 11 armed guards on duty. Those are the regular guards and not counting the Secret Service detail. If it’s good enough for the Obamas it should be good enough for us.

    The firefighter shooter in Webster was a convicted felon that murdered his grandmother with a hammer and did a mere 17 years for it. He was legally barred from possessing any gun whatsoever. By his actions I suppose we should also be outlawing matches and hammers along with guns. We shouldn’t spend any time looking into how a felon got the guns, the ammo, why he was on the street at all, why he wasn’t in a mental institution, etc. No, easy, legal access to hammers, matches and lighters and easy legal access to guns he was legally barred form having are the problem. The fact he was breaking the law in the first place by having any gun proves more laws that only affect law abiding gun owners is the answer to criminals with guns. Just like the Sandy Hook shooting proving that gun free zones work. It’s simple logic.

    Guns, hammers, fire. Who really needs them?

  16. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Now heres another really bright idea. A downstate paper somehow violated the privacy of legal permit holders and produced an interactive map giving their names and addresses. http://www.lohud.com/interactive/article/20121223/NEWS01/121221011/Map-Where-gun-permits-your-neighborhood-?nclick_check=1

    In what has to be the best case of turnabout being fair play, a blogger has provided detailed information on the papers staff! http://christopherfountain.wordpress.com/2012/12/24/sauce-for-the-goose/

    I love it!

  17. Mervel says:

    Well that IS a fantasy that somehow we are going to get these guns off the street. Certainly there may be a dent in the number of them floating around, but particularly criminals will always have weapons. Its not like long guns or hand guns are going to be made illegal, and there will always be a black market for most of these assault weapons. Restrictions are coming however I think the long term trend will be to restrict the legal ownership of all guns, thus we see the uptick in guns sales. Its a prisoners’ dilemma game. People who would not normally have a gun may buy them just due to the fact that so many criminals have guns, but everyone would be safer if there were fewer guns floating around.

  18. Mervel says:

    I don’t think people on either side of the debate are really interested in solutions based on data or what may actually work, we all just want to make our cultural points about being pro or anti-gun, just another political debate, LaPierre is certainly just a part of those politics, he is not really interested in what works or does not work, he is an political advocate, but the same holds for the other side.

  19. dave says:

    “Well that IS a fantasy that somehow we are going to get these guns off the street.”

    The buyback program in Australia was not a fantasy. It actually happened. It actually worked.

  20. dave says:

    “The firefighter shooter in Webster was a convicted felon that murdered his grandmother with a hammer and did a mere 17 years for it. He was legally barred from possessing any gun whatsoever. ”

    And yet he did. Because these guns are so easily accessible. Ban them, get them off the street, and those two firefighters are still alive.

  21. If Clapton is God, Warren Haynes is Jesus says:

    How do you secure a school with law enforcement personnel when you’re already broke and laying off dozens of school personnel per year? How do you secure a building with one, two, maybe three law enforcement personnel when you have multiple regular door entrances, shop classes with multiple overhead doors, students actually outside the building working like in a Forestry, Electrical, Carpentry, Auto-tech, Auto-body, etc. CTE program? How would an armed guard possibly stop a killer on a huge campus with students located all over the building inside and out?

  22. Marlo Stanfield says:

    Question, for those of you here who oppose any and all further restrictions on guns: What gun restrictions are reasonable? If you were on a presidential commission or something, and had to make recommendations on overhauling gun laws, what would you recommend? Is requiring a pistol permit going too far? Concealed carry permits? Background checks? Should fully automatic guns be legal?

    I’m curious, because I’ve brought up the point several times that there is a long legal precedent of regulating guns in this country, going back to even before the Second Amendment was passed, and a couple of you have said you feel that the laws we have now violate your rights. So what wouldn’t violate your rights?

  23. Marlo Stanfield says:

    Rancid, in a sense I agree with you — the real problem is too many criminals with easy access to guns, mostly handguns. Most murders, and other violent crimes involving guns, are committed with handguns, by people who already have a record and shouldn’t have them in the first place. Not by legal gun owners. But the current laws make it too easy to buy guns “legally” and resell them on the black market. The majority of the guns used in street crimes in a lot of Northeastern cities originated in the South. At the least, I think we can all agree that we should beef up the ATF’s budget so they can investigate gun thefts and shut down gun dealers who keep breaking existing laws.

    I think there are some other things to be done beyond that, such as limiting how many handguns you can buy within a certain period (let’s say, two per visit to the gun store, 15 in a year), and requiring background checks on private sales of handguns. Neither of those steps would really make it harder for people who can legally have handguns to buy them, and they would do a lot to make it harder for straw purchasers and illegal buyers.

  24. myown says:

    Food for thought:

    Pro-Handgun Experts Prove That Handguns Are a Dangerous Choice for Self-Defense

    http://www.vpc.org/studies/unincont.htm

  25. The Original Larry says:

    Ahhh….we’ve moved on from “assault weapons” to hand guns, have we? Hey, maybe it’s just my paranoia…

    By the way, it’s clear to me that many of the anti-gun folks here have never actually purchased one of those easily obtained “asault weapons” or any other type of firrearm, for that matter. In New York City and in New Jersey you can’t purchase or legally possess any type of firearm (nothing, no shotguns, rifles of any description, handguns…NOTHING) without registering, waiting for approval (length of time determined by the whim of the relevant police authority) and being approved. Same goes for handguns in the rest of New York State. Additionally, there is no reciprocity on licensing between NY and any other state. Obviously, that only covers two of the 50 states, but the fiction that you can just walk into any gun store and come out armed to the teeth is just that: fiction, at least in this area.

  26. Marlo Stanfield says:

    Right. New York and New Jersey have strict gun laws. Most states don’t.

  27. The Original Larry says:

    I would guess most of the posters here are from NY. So what do they base the “guns are so easy to get” rhetoric on? Frequent trips to Alabama?

  28. Walker says:

    No, Larry, from what I read, Pennsylvania and Virginia are the chief source of illegal guns in NYC. There are videos on YouTube of people walking into gun shows and walking out minutes later with all kinds of weapons, without so much as giving their names.

  29. Hoosier3 says:

    Ron Paul is retiring and we will lose one of a handful in Congress that truly support liberty and freedom. I thought I would share his view with you. An ever intrusive government created by those we have elected to protect our freedom and liberty calls for a better politically educated voter. Educate yourself and if your elected representative votes one time to regulate your liberty and freedom eliminate them with your vote. Our Constitution and Bill of Rights are absolute. Those that believe it should be changed to benefit government are an enemy of “We the People”. Eliminate them from office for they are not worthy of our support.
    Below is a quote from Ron Paul:
    “While chastising Democrats for their renewed calls for gun control, he claimed the call for more school officers is in the same vein.”
    “Predictably, the political left responded to the tragedy with emotional calls for increased gun control. This is understandable, but misguided. The impulse to have government ‘do something’ to protect us in the wake national tragedies is reflexive and often well intentioned,” Paul said. “The political right, unfortunately, has fallen into the same trap in its calls for quick legislative solutions to gun violence. If only we put armed police or armed teachers in schools, we’re told, would-be school shooters will be dissuaded or stopped.”
    He continued: “I don’t agree that conservatives and libertarians should view government legislation, especially at the federal level, as the solution to violence. Real change can happen only when we commit ourselves to rebuilding civil society in America, meaning a society based on family, religion, civic and social institutions, and peaceful cooperation through markets.” Ron Paul

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