- We tried banning semi-auto rifles that looked scary for 10 years under the Clinton ban. Even the federal government’s own review of the ban is clear regarding the fact that the Clinton ban had no significant affect on violent crime or shootings. We’ve been there and we’ve done that. It didn’t work then. It won’t work any better now.
- We have strong protective laws in place, background checks being one of them. However, many states and federal agencies still refuse to enter data into the system. That is a failure of government. It is not a failure of the second amendment protected right or of law abiding gun owners.
- The second amendment was included in the Bill of Rights by our founding fathers for the express purpose of ensuring that law abiding citizens would never again fall victim to a tyrannical government. Therefore, it was the clear intent of our country’s founders that Americans should have, own, possess and bear those arms which are suitable for military use in order to defend themselves and their country against violence, crime and, yes, tyranny.
- The argument that citizens should not have weapons designed for military use is absurd. The previous paragraph (# 3) above explains one reason why. The other reason is clear to anyone who knows anything about firearms. The overwhelming majority of firearm designs ever created were created for military use. That includes semi-automatic rifles and pistols, revolvers, bolt action rifles, lever action rifles, single shot rifles, pump action rifles and shotguns, the blunderbuss, muskets, flintlocks and just about every other type and kind of firearm ever created throughout history. If we are to swallow the “military use” argument, we must first ignore the entire history of firearms development.
- Hundreds of millions of firearms are in private ownership in this country. The overwhelming majority of which are never used in a crime. Even if they were, the second amendment protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. When crimes are committed, we must prosecute the criminals and leave the law abiding and their constitutional rights alone.
- The AR15 is the most popular rifle in American history. It is used by countless Americans for hunting, shooting sports, recreation and, yes, self-defense. Among those guns used in crimes, the AR15 and other semi-automatic rifles are among the least often used firearms by a very considerable margin. Now, if you are one of those folks who would argue that an AR15 is not useful for hunting, I would remind you that I have been shooting for 55 years and hunting for a long, long time. I cannot count the number of hunters that I have met in the field who were hunting with some variant of an AR15. It is an extremely accurate rifle and a wonderful hunting rifle. I have one for that purpose myself.
- Laws currently exist which empower law enforcement to investigate threats, address the mentally ill and arrest or incarcerate those who commit crimes or who are deemed to be a danger to themselves and others. It is a crime to make terrorist threats and/or to threaten others with death or serious bodily harm. In fact, in many juristictions it is a crime punishable by imprisonment in the county jail, which would certainly take the offender out of the running for the next active shooter incident. Likewise, there are laws on the books in every state of the union that I’m aware of, which empower law enforcement to commit, for psychological observation, those who are suspected of mental illness and who, in the officer’s opinion, present a danger to themselves or others. In California, where I live, that statute is in the California Welfare and Institutions Code 5150. Every other state, as far as I am aware, has a similar law. That certainly is the case with Florida.
- Local, state and federal law enforcement have all the laws they need to prevent school shootings. Unfortunately, they don’t always enforce them. This was the case in Florida. The Florida shooting was a failure of law enforcement to do it’s job. That shooting was absolutely preventable. It was not a failure of the second amendment or law abiding gun owners.
- Gun Free Zones don’t work. That much should be plainly obvious to the most casual of observers. Given the number of shootings that have occurred in “gun free” zones, one would think that the entire world would stop relying upon them. I have carried a gun for most of the last 38 years and I train security officers who carry guns precisely because a bad guy with a gun can only be stopped by a good guy with a gun. If gun free zones actually worked, police and security would just hang “gun free zone” signs at the entrance points of ever city and leave their guns at home. Now, if you are so far gone that you actually think that is a good idea, I invite you to take a look at England’s crime rate and listen to England’s police officers, more of whom are asking to be armed now than at any point in recent history.
- There is plenty of money available to provide for top-notch school security. The United States gives countless billions of dollars to other nations in the form of foreign aid, yet starves our schools for funding. It’s time to spend those foreign aid dollars providing for the security and protection of our own children FIRST. Once the security of our school kids is completely provided for, then we can contribute to the welfare of other countries with whatever money is left over, if any.
- One school resource officer is not enough. For some reason, that I will never understand, our society is perfectly comfortable having guns in banks to protect the money, in malls to protect the shoppers, at the Oscars to protect the actors, in courts to protect the judges, at football stadiums to protect the fans, etc., etc., but we won’t train and arm responsible adults in schools to protect our children. Instead, we place ONE school resource officer on a campus that, in some cases, spans 100 acres or more. In spite of the obvious fact that ONE officer cannot protect a campus that large, we refuse to acknowledge that placing that ONE officer on campus is a pointless “feel good” gesture that will likely have zero success when a school shooter shows up. The odds are that the school resource officer will never get to the right place fast enough to protect the kids. That ONE officer is nothing more than a scarecrow, and everybody knows it. Now ask yourself this question: what happens when that officer is out sick or on vacation? I’d be willing to bet you that the schools go unprotected during those times.
The bottom line is this: liberal anti-gunners have had their chance to solve this problem. No law they have passed, no gun free zone they have created, no violence prevention program they have installed has done one iota’s worth of good. It’s time to try something new. Here’s an idea to start with: let’s hold the shooters responsible and not law abiding gun owners. Let’s stop talking nonsense and take REAL action toward protecting our kids. Here are simple steps we can take:
- Prosecute every felon who knowingly attempts to purchase a firearm.
- Enforce our existing laws against people who make terrorist threats, threats of violence, or who demonstrate that they are a danger to themselves and others.
- Invest in our schools by hardening every classroom and building. This can be done by hardening the existing buildings or by installing a level IV armored safe room in a corner of every classroom and building.
- Recruit, arm and train willing and able teachers and school staff. Then empower them with limited law enforcement authority. They will then be sworn law enforcement officers while on campus complete with police powers and qualified immunity from civil actions filed by the family of whatever nutcase school shooter they are forced to stop. For those who consistently argue that teachers would be too frightened or cowardly to actually protect the kids, I would remind them of the number of teachers who have given their lives to protect their students during active shooter incidents.
There is much more that can be done, but those four simple steps are a good start. In fact, just taking those four steps will probably put an end to school shootings. The question is, does our society have the willingness to face reality, grow a set and do what is necessary to ensure that our school children and their teachers make it home at the end of the school day? Or should we continue to debate the same gun control and gun free zone nonsense that liberals have been pushing for decades while we wait for the next school shooter to murder more of our children?