It didn’t take long for the tragedy in Connecticut to be turned into a vulgar devolution into the politics of gun control. The President has commanded Congress to aggressively sign gun control legislation immediately if not sooner. The AP writes, “The President tasked Vice President Joe Biden with leading the administration-wide effort to create new gun control policies. Obama also wants his team to consider ways to improve mental health resources and address ways to create a culture that doesn't promote violence.”
Problem solved. Just as the President decreed an end to violence in Iraq and bequeathed to every American free health care in his first term, he’s going to ban guns, perfect the practice of mental health, and make ours a violence-free culture next month.
There are things that could be done immediately to minimize the likelihood of future mass shootings—acting early when we see signs of mental irregularities, for example—but at the end of the day, we can’t eradicate evil. Others are going to plot mass shootings in the future, and they will acquire their weapon of choice irrespective if it’s legal. So how do we stop them?
The pragmatically realistic answer is: with guns.
The President isn’t averse to using guns to advance a particular policy-initiative (think Fast and Furious), so he ought to be open, at least, to the idea of doing away with gun-free zones. When James Holmes set out to open fire in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, he had a choice of seven theaters within twenty minutes from his home. Six of the seven allowed those with carry permits to bring a firearm into the theater; the seventh had a prominently displayed sign forbidding weapons inside. That theater wasn’t the closest to Holmes’ house, but it was the one he chose. Coincidence?
The last time we had an assault weapons ban in place, the massacre in Columbine occurred. That alone makes the case that gun controls laws don’t work. The question is, do they make the good guys amongst us more vulnerable?
The answer should be a matter of common sense. In Connecticut, the principal and a teacher lost their lives trying to jump the shooter. It’s reasonable to say that had they been armed, they might have been able to fire first.
Some will question the wisdom of teachers being armed, but what about a plain-clothed policeman? Speaking about allowing guns in schools to avoid a tragedy like the one in Connecticut, Huntsville City Schools Superintendent Casey Wardynski said, "I don't have a problem adding mystery to the equation."
That’s the major rationale behind doing away with gun-free zones. It’s psychological. If I’m doing business in a place where guns are allowed, I’m safer than I would be in a gun free zone whether or not I’m armed. The bad guy who wants to open fire in public is going to have my place of work low on his list of targets. Theoretically, when he passes by my establishment because he knows I might be armed, lives have been saved.
It would be an unquantifiable number of lives, of course, which can make the case harder to make. But it can be made. And if Connecticut tragedies are to be averted in the future, it must be made.
By: Will Anderson
The Will Anderson Show M-F 6pm-8pm on 800 and 1230AM and 106.5FM WBHP