A ban on assault rifles, if it were sincerely intended, would be absurd as a response to Newtown: small guns are much more likely to kill in such settings. Let those of us who sincerely love children put some of these latter in the hands of responsible teachers.
The need for private citizens to be armed with AK 47’s is far less clear to the American public—even those of us who keep a revolver close to our bed—than the need to defend oneself, one’s property, and one’s family against home invaders. The two “needs” are not identical, or not to most of us. I for one would hate to open up with the equivalent of a machine gun on a shadow in the dark after hearing a downstairs window shatter. Too many bullets would go astray—some of them, perhaps, to find a resting place in a neighbor’s bedroom or nursery. Inasmuch as the objective at this tense moment would be to diffuse the threat to my family’s safety, scaring off the intruder would be an entirely acceptable outcome. A single round would probably do this, even if it ended up between the eyes of a portrait hanging on the wall (like the shot of Pushkin’s Silvio). Handguns are also easy to hide in a place secure from children. Assault rifles, in contrast, are fairly tough to stuff under the mattress or lock in a drawer.
People utterly devoted to defending the Second Amendment to the utmost extent often counter that the military-class weapon is indeed necessary to citizens for potential application to military uses. The day may come when we must dissuade the National Guard and local police forces from ransacking our homes at will or rounding us up and cramming us in cattle cars. While I am not unsympathetic to such concerns—far be it from me to scoff at the notion of troops being used against American citizens, which indeed is well within the present administration’s parameters for executing policy decisions—I have difficulty seeing how this scenario plays out well for the freedom-fighters. The ruling elite have already sent drones to cruise over every acre of American soil. Even without the menace of a high-tech vaporization from the heavens, what band of Minute Men could survive the onslaught of one Patton tank? I don’t think you can buy those at gun shows, and I know they don’t fit into most garages.
Besides, I should think that a good deer rifle would be a very effective antidote to a bullet-spitting assault rifle. If the vigilante sniper can engage his totalitarian adversaries in the right setting, he should be able to pick them off long before their wild spray of ammo comes close to him. (1)
My freedom-loving American heart, then (or just “my freedom-loving heart”, since “American” has become just a geographical designation), would not be broken if assault rifles were severely regulated. Yet as a response to the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, this agenda is perfectly idiotic. It addresses absolutely none of the factors that made the horrid atrocity of December 14 possible. (And may we dispense with calling such events “tragedies”? A tragedy involves a person’s bringing about his own ruin through a character flaw. The wanton, inhuman butchery of these little children is a tragedy only insofar as the arrogant naiveté of the adults entrusted with protecting them impeded adequate preparation against foreseeable evil.) Adam Lanza could have created the same carnage in Josey Wales fashion—with two belts of cap-and-ball revolvers. Musket balls blow big holes. The latest news, in fact (or the latest misreport), is that he left his assault rifle in the car. The toddlers that he immolated at close range were utterly defenseless against any sort of assault, and the adults who lost their lives trying to shield the children had no weapon of defense more potent than an eraser or a yardstick.
Yet in a manner that has become fully typical of our mullahs in Washington, the diabolical outrage at Sandy Hook Elementary has become the pretext for checking off another item on a bureaucratic “to do” list: i.e., “ban assault rifles”. Is there no end to the fatal stupidity of the post-American public, that it should not be able to see through the posturing of this same old “new” crusade?
Children are not now safe in their schools, just as travelers were not safe aboard aircraft after the 9/11 attacks. The obvious solution to the latter crisis was to arm pilots in the cockpit. The adopted solution was to conduct inexplicably random searches of boarding passengers that include criminal groping and regular use of carcinogenic x-rays. The right course was abandoned for an absurdly incommensurate and inept one in order (one can only suppose) to put more power in the hands of the central government: at the very least, to create more jobs for union workers. The obvious solution to the high risk of deadly invasion in our schools is to train and equip school employees in the art of repelling deadly force with deadly force. Give teachers guns, and teach them how to shoot straight. No school massacre will ever occur again in… in whatever we are now to call our disunited nation.
For we are no longer a nation—in proof whereof, consider that the rational choice will again be avoided in order to magnify centralized power for a megalomaniac elite. Though I have already stated that I view private ownership of assault rifles with distaste, the official response to Newtown really does appear to justify the “paranoia” of Second Amendment zealots who view their tyrannical rulers as coming to disarm them. Even though Adam Lanza seems not to have employed his assault rifle while making his offering to the Devil, he might have been carrying an Uzi or a sawed-off pump-action shotgun or any other state-of-the-art instrument of death and still have been quickly neutralized, if only he had been surrounded by teachers with guns. He was alone: his adversaries could have numbered in the dozens. He was entering an unfamiliar structure: the teachers would have known every turn in every corridor. His objective was to keep walking and killing: theirs would have been accomplished merely by breaking one of his legs with one bullet. There is no sane reason why people who love children should not exploit the potential of such high odds against the assailant.
The teacher/defender’s task could enjoy even higher likelihood of success with minor structural adjustments in school buildings. For instance, every classroom could be fitted with a semi-cylindrical projection from its inner wall into the access corridor. This half-turret would be made of impenetrable material and would possess a narrow slit, running a full 180 degrees, for a firearm’s muzzle. (The aperture’s metal door would be slid open from the inside: or perhaps two such doors, locking at the 90 degree midpoint, would be better so as to eliminate “blind-siding”). The defender would then have complete coverage up and down the corridor while offering only the smallest of targets to the assassin.
The person on duty at the front desk should have a “code red” button to hit whose activation would mean one and only one thing: shooter loose in building. Every occupant of every room would then know what to do. The classroom redoubts would be waiting with pistols pointed and hands trained in their use.
I know my fellow educators well enough to anticipate the horror with which these suggestions will be received among them. I can hear from my chair the platitudes about “creating a culture of killing that lets the shooter win even if he fails”. The nurture of such intellectualist fatuity is not worth the life—nor even the maiming—of a single toddler. Our children are not pawns in some chess match of high idealism. Bringing down a child-killer before he finds his first target is a “righteous kill” every time. Professionals who can’t understand this probably shouldn’t be teaching our children, in any case; for if their values are so warped as to prize an absurdly utopian vision that denies the fact of human evil above the survival of a six-year-old girl or boy, then their moral influence may scarcely be assumed wholesome on any subject.
A more substantive objection would be that, especially among older children, a gun-toting teacher might inadvertently attract more gun violence to schools. Teenagers could be expected to mob the teacher in order to come away with the firearm as a trophy, even if they intended no more mischief than simply “counting coup”. The answer to this objection is technological, and has already entered the experimental stage. Guns of the future, like cars and other items of portable property that represent tempting targets to thieves, will be “smart”. That is, they will read the user’s fingerprint (or perhaps even his DNA) before agreeing to function. A government that truly had the best interest of its citizens at heart would promote actively such initiatives instead of ignoring them to strip away the public’s most effective defenses.
While we await this technology’s coming to fruition, selected elementary school teachers should proceed to arm themselves with conventional handguns. No one should be pressed into such service; but the teacher who is ready and willing to be a first-line defender should have the weapon secured upon his or her person at all times, probably under clothing and out of sight. The objection that a toddler would eventually latch onto a mislaid gun and shoot somebody accidentally makes about as much sense as the admonition that transporting kids in cars will lead to their heisting Mommy’s key, cranking up the SUV, and driving themselves into a tree. In a nutshell, incompetent idiots should not be enlisted for this duty.
Should people be teaching at all who are too dumb to keep a deadly weapon safely concealed? Should pilots be in the air at all who are too unstable to abstain from playing OK Corral the first time they take off with their sixguns? The Left’s high alarm whenever anyone not in uniform has a weapon reflects a very curious conviction among its faithful that responsible adulthood does not exist. Authority must always be postponed (in that deconstructive fashion which mesmerizes academic Leftists) to a metaphysical Otherness… such as the President and his minions: a.k.a. God.
And “God”, of course, takes full advantage of this superstitious subservience. The oligarchs of our dysfunctional union may always be expected to pursue a rigid policy agenda in callous indifference to its practical liabilities. As the infantilized electorate wallows in the paternalistic lap and whines for more protection, “Father” doubles down on his control of our lives. The pattern is becoming ubiquitous. Consider Paul Driessen’s deeply disturbing piece on how the Environmental Protection Agency is slaughtering rare species in pursuit of “environmentally safe” energy sources:
<<US Fish and Wildlife Service and American Bird Conservancy say wind turbines kill 440,000 bald and golden eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, cranes, egrets, geese and other birds every year in the United States. Turbines also eradicate countless night-flying, insect-eating bats. However, new studies reveal that these estimates are frightfully low, and based on misleading or even fraudulent data. The horrific reality is that, in the United States alone, “eco-friendly” wind turbines are killing an estimated 13,000,000 to 39,000,000 birds and bats every year!>>
What has the Newtown massacre to do with the extermination of the whooping crane? Nothing at all, we ought to be able to say: cranes and eagles, however much we may love them, are not our children. Unfortunately, the two have everything in common—as do both have much in common with the insolent government-engineered frisking of air travelers. All are cases of power grabs proceeding under the guise of concern for the innocent and defenseless; and in every case, the innocent and defenseless are or will be more victimized than ever because of the new “protections”. Wind energy is a boondoggle that produces negligible electricity at immense cost while enriching Democrat donors and undermining the domestic private sector: its environmental impact is actually catastrophic, as Driessen explains. Airport x-ray machines may end up shortening the lives of more frequent travelers than would have been saved by the nabbing of one box-cutter per ten million ticket-holders: they inure the general population to contemptuous treatment, however, and also cycle vast amounts of cash into Democrat Party coffers through the exponential multiplication of union labor. A ban on assault rifles may save a few children—but not nearly as many as would have been saved by arming responsible adults within school buildings: the important thing, though, is to begin the long process of utterly disarming an entire citizenry, a strategy dictated by the Democrat Party’s true political ideology, demagogic monarchy.
Bottom line: more children will die because we are not taking the right measures. When the next massacre is carried out with a Glock instead of an AK 47, then the refrain will be that “we haven’t gone far enough.” Eventually no private citizen will have any effective form of protection at all. Then “God” will kick in your door and come for your children because you voted for the wrong party… and our last freedoms will go the way of the bald eagle.
Don’t trust these people. Get mad about the Newtown murders, by all means—and question, even, why certain people are allowed to purchase assault rifles. Lobby for the development of “smart” weapons. Most of all, demand that qualified teachers in elementary schools be allowed to arm themselves. A security guard won’t do: he’ll be the invader’s first target, and once he’s down, the psychopath runs the table. Ask Madams Smith and Jones to strap a little revolver in the small of their back, under their sweater—a revolver loaded with hollow bullets.
Don’t look to “God” to control the habits of lunatics in our society: you would only be asking for more dead children. Because our president isn’t God, whatever he and the Democrat Party may think.
(1) This subject is not exactly my bailiwick; but one online source that strikes me as reliable, inasmuch as it stresses how dependent accuracy is on the shooter’s training and the load, ranks sniper rifles as effective at approximately twice the distance of assault rifles. See http://gunwiki.net/Gunwiki/FactorsOfEffectiveRange. I would add that, of course, the kind of shooter who wades into masses of people has little concern for long-distance accuracy. A semi-automatic handgun would actually suit his purposes much better, since he could hide it, point it, and reload it much more easily. To pursue assault rifles as a response to the Newtown killings, then, is perfectly inane if we accept it a perfectly sincere—so much so that we must suspect a profound insincerity.
(2) “Stop Subsidizing the Slaughter” (townhall.com, 15 Dec. 2012), http://townhall.com/columnists/pauldriessen/2012/12/15/stop-subsidizing-the-slaughter-n1467370.