Monday, December 17, 2012

How to stop school shootings and mass murder

Responsible gun owners recognize an AR-15 (the military version is the M-16) as a good rifle. It is very good at killing lots of people. Remington manufactures a 90-round drum magazine for the weapon's .223 ammunition (5.56 mm NATO), which costs about $120.  Standard magazines are 20 and 30 rounds.  There is no reason to produce a 90-round magazine.
I qualified with the M-16 during basic training in the Army.  It is a fine weapon, but it was designed to kill lots of people.  The M-16 was not made for hunters; it was made for soldiers to kill the enemy.
Adam Lanza killed 20 children with an AR-15.
The unspeakable tragedy on December 14 in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 20 6- and 7-year-olds and six teachers died could not have been prevented.  This was the fifth school shooting this year since an eighth grade student engaged police officers at Cummings Middle School on January 4 in Brownsville, Texas, and was killed.  No one else was killed or injured.
There have been at least 73 school shootings since the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in Littleton, Colorado, in which 15 students and a teacher were killed; 23 wounded.  The gunmen killed themselves.
If we had a solution to this, I think we would have found it already.  It is sad commentary on our people and political leaders that we haven't.  We must try to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of mentally ill people.  But budgetary cutbacks on mental health services and institutions -- both at the state and federal level -- make it unlikely that someone who wants to kill lots of people will provide warning signs to a mental health professional before he strikes.
I'm afraid gun control won't work very well either, but reimposing the assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004, might help some.
Security doors for schools that require the person who wishes to enter the locked security door to push a buzzer or intercom and a camera trained on the entrance is certainly a low-cost approach.  These security doors are probably being installed in schools around the nation as I write this.  At least I hope so.
The only common-sense solution is to arm teachers and teach them how to use their weapons to protect themselves and their students.  Not all teachers, but at least the ones who volunteer to get the firearms training they will need.  And there definitely needs to be a semi-automatic pistol in the principal's office, which is usually found close to the entrance of schools.
It's either that, or post an armed guard at the front door.  Because how do you keep crazy people from getting guns and killing people?  As a nation, we don't have good options to resolve this.  Now the politicians will appoint "blue-ribbon commissions" and special committees of lawmakers to come up with suggestions to solve the problem, but new policies and laws and enforcement are not what we need.  We need to do something practical to protect our children in the short term, so this is what I think we should do:  Arm teachers.


  1. I have to agree with this on several levels.
    I have to say that it is sad that we have reached this point. Arming teachers is a great idea. This is apparently common practice in other countries across the globe. I do want to note that people need to be screened before arming them for this situation. There are just some people who react to stressful situations with panic...the ones who should be armed are ones who are able to stay calm during this type of situation.
    Secondly, there is a huge problem with access to mental health programs on all levels. Sadly, people realize that someone needed help immediately (after something like this happens). This is not to say that everyone with mental health issues is a danger...but we are part of a society where people are inadequately evaluated and treated. More of a "you have a problem, let's put a bandage on it".
    Third, even though we have "come so far" in science, etc., it seems that no one worries much anymore about character or consequences...everything is about "me, me, me" and "Oh, the poor thing must have had an unfortunate childhood; therefore, instead of punishing, let's rehabilitate <we wouldn't want to cause self esteem issues or hurt someone's feelings".
    Anyway, the only gun control that is important to me is, "are you able to control your gun?"
    People who want a gun are going to find a gun or make a gun and ain't no law gonna stop 'em...just saying. Thank you, I have had my say.