There’s been much talk about the Second Amendment, arming teachers the NRA, and March for Our Lives. I’ll endeavor to connect dots, albeit, with my usual snark and sarcasm. I’ll cover the categories separately.
I’ve written about the Second Amendment before. Do you see any well regulated militias, unless they’re the National Guard? That worked when we were a rural country, and everyone knew their neighbors. The Second Amendment never says who regulates the militias. I’ll let the Supreme Court and Congress work out the details for the 21st Century. My British and Canadian friends are perplexed that Americans are even having this discussion. To them it’s simple. “Ban the guns!” One British friends refers to gun supporters as “Gunnies.” They can’t fathom the Second Amendment, or why we haven’t repealed it. Well, my friends, I have an answer for you. To get rid of civilian gun ownership in the United States, we would have to have a cataclysm, like Germany and Japan at ground zero in 1945. I don’t even want to imagine what it would take for that to happen. Firearms have been a part of the nation. Yes, when the Second Amendment passed, all rural people especially had muskets and Pennsylvania long rifles. People hunted, and there were those pesky Native American attacks. The Founding Fathers feared a permanent standing national army. They were concerned it would become an oppressor as the British Army was in the American Revolution. (Ah, so that’s the plan, he said with dripping sarcasm. The British want us disarmed, so they can come back in, though they have enough issues with Brexit).
Polls show most Americans want gun controls and better checks. I hear little about wanting to repeal the Second Amendment.
Yes, the criminals will get the guns no matter what. I would rather have better trained legal gun owners ready and able to protect themselves and others. You also have to trust the people in power to have the populace as everyday citizens be completely gun free. Probably besides our geography with two oceans, no one in his right mind would invade us. The threat is from cyber criminals. I don’t see Mexico or China trying to conquer us anytime soon.
You have to be trained to drive a car. Why not training to legally obtain a gun?
AR-15’s and other semi automatic weapons. You can have one, but it needs to stay at the range, strictly for target shooting, and you need to have insurance on it. Please let me know how you would use an AR-15 to defend yourself. Wouldn’t a handgun work? Please enlighten me on this one. I saw something on NRA TV and the man speaking said Coach Aaron Feis at Marjory Stoneham High School could have saved the AR-15, he could have saved more lives and possibly ended the shooting spree. One question. Strategically, with all he had to do, how could he carry that weapon around all day? More on arming teachers later.
The NRA: They seem to see this as zero sum. They seem to see this as any sort of restriction is the beginning of the slippery slope toward disarming the populace and introducing tyranny. They might be right. After all, the German pastor Martin Niemoller said, “First they came for,” etc. and he turned out to be right. I can’t swear the NRA’s right, but they could be. I’d like to think they aren’t, but you it’s hard to undo tyranny, once it rears its ugly head. I will cover more on this in the next paragraphs.
Not sure who would take the guns away. I’m trying to imagine a Kentucky National Guardsman taking the firearms from his nearest and dearest, and who would give the order.
Personal Experiences with Firearms:
Have I fired a gun? Yes. What did I feel? The power of the weapon, but also the responsibility of it. I have the same responsibility with an automobile, or a power saw.
A friend of mine, who’s a gun expert brought up something that might be an issue for people afraid of guns. I grew up in New York City, where for most people, the only guns you see are on cops. As she puts it, for many people now the gun has a scary mystique about it. She may have a point. Once I handled a gun, no mystique, treat it with respect. I see it as one more thing I need to be responsible for.
The Students at Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School: Let me begin this paragraph with the following: I’m sixty-one years old. I graduated high school in 1975. The idea of someone shooting up my high school never occurred to any of us. This seems to be an epidemic since Columbine in 1999. It’s true, Australia and the United Kingdom stopped having mass shootings after 1996. The United Kingdom has had acid and knife attacks, but nothing on the scale we’ve had shootings.
I won’t mention the shooters name, so he won’t be given more publicity than he deserves. There were so many red flags, it was like capes in front of bulls in a bullring.
I watched last Sunday’s 60 Minutes with the kids. The interviewer, Sharyn Alfonsi asked if any of them had parents with firearms. Two raised their hands. The students make it clear this is only about automatic and semi automatic weapons. They have the right not to get shot, when they go to school. I plan to march in Tucson’s march on Saturday. I don’t agree with everything, but again, I march for their right not to be shot. You have to admire their courage and gumption, They have an advantage in that the community is well to do, and this is a highly ranked school. Speaking of schools let’s move on to them.
Schools: I’ll cover two things here. Architecture and Armed Teachers.
Architecture: Why would school architecture be involved? I worked in several workplaces that were moved and renovated. If you have school shootings, for security reasons, do you now have to build this into your specifications? I don’t know how you would do it, but I do know it would make building schools more expensive, because you would need to hire security consultants to help with the design.
Arming Teachers: I was trying to remember my teachers and which ones I’d want armed. I’ve read pros and cons.
An armed teacher might save the day. It’s uncharted territory. School security officers worked in Great Mills, Maryland, but not in Parkland. So one win, one loss on that score.
A teacher might be able to save the day, but several things need to be covered.
- How many teachers want to be armed on school property?
- Even if your teacher IS armed, do they want that sort of responsibility?
- The training would have to be very high level. Does she (Using she for convenience) work in range practice, in between lesson plans? Who pays for her ammunition, and the firing range? Or does she practice at the police range? This leads to:
- Is Mrs. Johnson a fourth grade teacher, who happens to pack heat, or is she a cop/sheriff’s deputy, who happens to teach fourth grade?
- Let me turn this on its head. One of my favorite mystery authors is Craig Johnson, who’s a rancher in rural Wyoming. (He writes the Longmire series, which is also on Netflix). One time, when he came to speak in Tucson, he explained that, a deputy may have a long estimated arrival time, poorly working radios, and no hope of backup. In that case, your teacher may really be the thin line, you don’t know.
- What about the dangers of armed teachers? Could some slick student take her firearm? Can a shooter just take her weapon? What about a firefight, with all sorts of students around? Again, it goes back to training. If the student is outside her classroom, does she leave her students? What would her gut tell her? What if she’s shot? Will the SWAT team mistake her for the shooter? These questions would have to be answered.
- Some schools would have an abundance of armed teachers, others wouldn’t.
- I asked about whether your teacher is a teacher first? You would have to pay her two salaries. One as a teacher, the other as a sheriff’s deputy.
- One of the young people killed, Peter Wong was in the school JROTC program. Tell me, do they have regular rifle practice and are they now the school militia, if the worst happens? Does the school have an arsenal? Just asking.
Why has the United States been plagued with these shootings, especially in the last twenty years. They never happened on this level before. Admittedly, there’s probably research out there, I haven’t looked at it.
I’ve been discussing mass shootings. What about the one and two shootings at a time in poorer neighborhoods? Different solutions there.
There are also shootings in churches, malls, etc. Do we become an armed camp? Just asking.
Accurate statistics are necessary. (Not like the book How to Lie with Statistics). Need to ask questions here.
- How often has it happened that a good guy stopped a bad guy with a gun?
- When a good guy stopped a bad guy with a gun, what type of gun was used?
- Is the gun more likely to be used on the good guy, say in a house break in?
- How often are firearms stolen from the good guys?
- What’s the chance of an accident, or the gun being used by the lawful owner in anger, say on a spouse?
I’m asking these questions, to see what works.
Celebrities and Guns: Many celebrities are backing the marchers. Some have provided thousands of dollars. As some have stated, they had armed guards at events such as the Oscars. In other words, is it the gun they object to or who has it?
Hamilton vs. Jefferson:
That’s Alexander Hamilton vs. Thomas Jefferson. Forget Democrat vs. Republican, our divisions are Hamilton and strong central government, (Mostly for economic reasons), and Jefferson, liking the Yeoman farmer and not really liking much above county government. The NRA, for example is Jeffersonian. A wealthy liberal Angeleno would be a Hamiltonian.
I think Hamilton is going to win. Why? Fewer rural people more urban.
In conclusion, so far I can only ask questions. If I had the answers, I’d be a hero, but I’m not even close.
Going on what I know now, which could change with more reading and evidence, this is what I support:
I support the Second Amendment, maybe with modifications. A private citizen doesn’t need a military grade weapon. I can’t imagine an AR-15 at ones bedside, but can imagine a Glock. You have the right to defend your home. You aren’t required to have a firearm, but citizens qualified to have firearms, should have the right, to practice, enjoy target shooting, for those who still hunt, be able to do it. Now, I’m going to be Hamiltonian.
- As the Second Amendment says, “A well regulated militia.” You need to practice regularly like the Israelis, and the Swiss. If you have to defend your home, shooting your child would be a bad thing.
- Gun laws have to be Federal. Now, you can’t have a firearm in New York City? Big deal, bring it in a car from Virginia.
The guns aren’t going away in the United States, unless there is a complete cultural shift. I don’t see that happening in my lifetime. Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom are very different societies. Thank you for reading, remember I am telling you what I think from my knowledge and experience. I’m open to discussion and ideas.