School Massacres: When Will We Protect Our Children? December 15, 2012Posted by federalist in Education, RKBA.
Tags: Newtown Shooting, school shooting
Another utterly horrific and completely preventable tragedy unfolded today as a suicidal lunatic managed to kill 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Preventable why? Not because we can detect psychopaths before they act. Nor because we can stop them from acquiring lethal implements. Predictably, many people are obsessing over the particular weapons used in this case: handguns. Indeed, in the United States mass homicides are mostly carried out with firearms. But without access to guns homicidal maniacs turn to other weapons: knives, motor vehicles, or bombs. Indeed, across the world lone psychopaths have carried out massacres of this scale with all of these weapons and more.
What characterizes this and every other massacre in modern American history* (and indeed many more throughout the world) is not the fact that the killer used firearms. After all, many killers, including many bent on mass murder, wield firearms. No, the single most striking characteristic that distinguishes massacres from common murders is that the victims of the former are always defenseless. In the United States rules and laws serve as virtual government guarantees that targets in certain areas will be defenseless. All mass shootings have been in such “unarmed victim zones:” schools, private facilities that ban gun possession, and government installations.
Firearms may be effective tools of mass murder, but they are even more effective tools of defense. Lone gunmen do not succeed in massacring people where citizens are routinely permitted to carry firearms. This is not for lack of trying, either. Armed citizens have stopped so many attempted homicides that the unspoken outrage is that we continue to send our children to schools that are painstakingly stripped of defensive arms.
This is the outrage: Armed citizens are the only common defense against massacres. Whether it’s a maniac wielding guns or knives, or steering a vehicle or bomb past a barrier into a crowd, a bystander with a gun is the only practical and reliable means of putting the massacre to an end. Yet we round up our children every day and put them in the care of a few adults who are forbidden to carry guns.
We should be demanding exactly the opposite: Those who we trust to care for our children should be required to provide for their defense. We will never know when or how the next lunatic will embark on a homicidal rampage, but we do know that the only thing that will reliably stop his diabolic plans will be an armed target or bystander drawing a gun and shooting him until he stops.
*There are two notable exceptions to this claim: The Oklahoma City bombing, and the 9/11 attacks. Both are excluded because they required exceptional premeditation and execution, and only the former could be plausibly attributed to a lone psychopath.