If you deplore the idea of teachers carrying concealed weapons, watch the Colorado teacher who already does, as reported on CBS News. Are you sure Colorado shouldn’t be allowed to allow that school to allow that teacher — perhaps even encourage him — to keep his weapon in his boot? And others like him?
But even if schools should be allowed to have such carefully-regulated programs, none should be forced to — and, in any event, it’s by no means all that needs to be done.
We have a crying need for: a ban on the sale of assault weapons (as Ronald Reagan and Antonin Scalia both favored, and our local police do) . . . bans on the sale of bump-stocks and “gun kits“ (where you assemble your own untraceable weapon from a few parts) . . . a ban on the sale of high-capacity magazines . . . heightened requirements for the purchase of “silencers” (Republicans are trying to loosen them) . . . a hike in the age of purchase to 21 (dads could still buy rifles for their 12-year-olds) . . . effective universal background checks that close “the gun-show loophole” and screen out — or at least subject to greater scrutiny — those with mental health or disciplinary histories.
Expelled from school? Court filings for restraining orders against you? 911 reports of domestic violence? On the no-fly list? Even anonymous tips called into a special FBI hot line? Folks like that should be subjected to more scrutiny.
Think of the airport. The TSA pre-check line goes quickly because the TSA has no reason to worry about you. That should be the way with gun sales. Most people, not having red flags, would automatically be in the fast lane. But if something does pop up, well, then, moderately inconvenient, frustrating — and possibly unfair — as it may be, the screening process is more intrusive, in the interest of public safety.
And another thing: unless you were a member of a well-regulated militia (now known as the National Guard), you should need a license — like a driver’s license — to own a gun. To get it, you should have to pass written and proficiency tests. An eye exam couldn’t hurt, either.
(Wanting to be well-regulated, the militia wouldn’t admit just any fool. It would do a little background-checking of its own.)
Finally, just as pilots’ licenses have different requirements for different aircraft, so should weapons require different licenses for different types.
To me, all the above is common sense. Your thoughts?
What’s also common sense is that we cannot threaten to confiscate guns — even the assault weapons already sold — because this plays into all the fears and propaganda of the NRA and would likely doom any legislation.
What would be good is to sue (or regulate) the gun makers — as we have sued (and regulated) the tobacco makers — to devote 20% of their profits each year to a program of buying back assault weapons and contributing them to the Armed Forces.
There’s also likely something sensible to be proposed about the sale of ammunition.
Maybe not the 22-caliber slugs we kids used to fire, under close supervision, as 10-year-olds at Camp Wigwam. (I was good!) But quantity-limits and/or taxes and regulations on, say, armor-piercing “cop-killer” bullets? Don’t you think?
Which brings me to this, from our own estimable Jim Burt, in Texas:
I’m sure you’ve seen discussions of the lethality of the AR-15 round via the hydrostatic shock administered by its high velocity and the accompanying energy, which leaves a tunnel of mangled tissue through the body . What I haven’t seen is what I was taught 50 years ago when the M-16, the militarized version of the AR-15, was introduced into service. (I had previously trained with the M-1 and M-14, which fired heavier, larger diameter rounds.)
What we were told at the time was that the light weight of the military round (same weight as the civilian equivalent) caused it to tumble when it hit flesh, so that in addition to the hydrostatic shock induced by the mere power of impact and passage the bullet, over an inch long and a little less than a quarter inch in diameter, would be turning end to end and ricocheting off bones as it went through a body.
Explosive rounds – hollow or soft points of the “Dum-Dum” variety, named after a British arsenal in India which pioneered such ammunition against restless natives – were banned by the various arms control treaties, but the tumbling simulated that mushrooming effect.
Incidentally, this behavior makes such ammunition and the weapons that fire it completely unsuitable for hunting, because they spoil the meat, by turning too much of it into hamburger on the hoof. That’s what’s being used on our children and our neighbors.
Republicans in control of Congress think that 18-year-olds on the no-fly list must be allowed to buy assault weapons — as they now are. They believe it’s part of what James Madison, et al, meant by “a well-regulated militia.”
The NRA-endorsed Republican solution: train and arm a million teachers. (And clergy? And movie-theater projectionists?)
Which bring me, finally, to this, from our own estimable Mike Martin in Arizona:
Now, suppose I’m a teacher in a classroom with a gun provided by President Bonespurs. In the middle of the lesson in walks the student everybody calls “Crazy” because he is.
“Well, I’m glad you could join us,” I say to him.
“How glad you gonna be when I shoot everybody?” he asks me.
I immediately open a drawer of my desk and pull out the Glock provided precisely for this purpose. Crazy looks at me and laughs, “What you gonna do? Shoot me? I haven’t done anything.”
He has a point — though as he says this, feeling threatened by my own weapon (and being crazy), he pulls his own.
I raise my Glock near my chest.
Crazy grins and brings his gun to HIS chest. Nodding to his terrified classmates he says, “How many you think I can shoot before you hit me?”
I glare at him, “I’ve been practicing. You won’t be able to kill more than two or three.”
Crazy smirks, then quickly squats behind a student to open rapid fire around the classroom. I quickly snap off a shot, but hit the student in front of him, as Crazy keeps shooting students right and left. I try to get off another shot but one of the panicked students runs across my line of fire toward the door and I drop him. Crazy keeps shooting while laughing loudly. I finally get a clear shot off and Crazy falls back, his gun sliding across the floor.
Just then the door bursts open. A police officer sees bloody students everywhere and me, with my smoking gun. Reflexively, he fires. I go down with a bullet in my chest.
In the ER, I lie on a gurney watching President Bonespurs take credit. “Six fatalities. Horrible. Horrible! But that’s less than half what we had at Parkland, less than a third Sandy Hook. People are saying, if it hadn’t been for me, it would have been much, much worse. That I can tell you.”
Quote of the Day
Probably the greatest harm done by vast wealth is the harm that we of moderate means do ourselves when we let the vices of envy and hatred enter deep into our own natures.~Teddy Roosevelt, 1902
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