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Don’t take our guns; channel them into proper uses
Written by Jim Robertson   
Monday, December 31, 2012 8:35 PM

“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”  So reads the Second Amendment of our Constitution.

With the latest in a line of mass shootings, this one occurring in Newtown, Conn., the ever-simmering debate on gun control will no doubt be brought to a boil this year.

The National Rifle Association favors armed guards in the schools. Teachers in Utah are responding in increased numbers to attending concealed carry classes Under Utah’s concealed carry law, it is legal to pack heat in a school.

My experience is that when you up the defensive measures the assailant ups the ante. 
Individuals with the skills to go from a friendly presence in the hallway to a trained counter-insurgent in less than a blink of an eye are few, schools are many.

Not to denigrate the skills of police personnel who are serving as school resource officers, but at best they get lucky and are able to take down an assailant after only losing a few kids or staff.

As a deterrent, not so good. If I am planning an attack on a school or other public venue, the first thing I am going to do is take out the guard.

Or I can up the ante by using a device of mass destruction. A bomb doesn’t have the personal satisfaction of shooting dozens of helpless individuals but it certainly counters the deterrent effect of an armed guard.

Our problem is that we believe in the safety of our free and open society, and are shocked when acts of domestic terrorism strike home.

If you live in parts of the Middle East, just boarding a bus or sitting in a coffee shop amounts to a death defying act despite the level of security enforced daily.

We aren’t shocked when this or that faction of extremists walks into a crowded area and detonates a vest full of dynamite believing that they are martyrs to some cause.

We are all too ready to blame TV, movies, video games, the Internet for leading our young terrorists astray. Whether mentally challenged or not, one thing seems to stick with me.

By and large, the individuals doing the shooting are loners. This last youngster was such a square peg that his mother thought it was better to home school her misfit.

I wonder if she had a moment to reflect on that choice before he emptied a pistol into her face?

One good thing about home schooling is if the student goes berserk, you only lose a family, not the next generation of a community.

Many high schools in this country, particularly in large cities, employ metal detectors and other security devices. You don’t hear of mass shootings in those schools.

Violence there is generally personal and dragged in from outside the premises.  Not much call to have grade school entrances equipped with magnetometers and bomb sniffing dogs.

There is no perfect defense. One person willing to trade their life for the opportunity to kill others will almost always succeed.  Our problem is how to identify those individuals and deal with them effectively before they can trigger an horrific act.

There is nothing wrong with owning guns.  I own several.  I don’t need a 50-shot clip to hunt.

I’m trying for one shot, one kill, not turning my quarry into swiss cheese. Our Founding Fathers didn’t envision a scenario that called for getting off more than a couple of shots a minute from their muzzleloaders.  Don’t take our guns, just channel them into proper uses.

Jim Robertson is a longtime Harrison resident, a member of Harrison City Council, and a weekly columnist for The Harrison Press.

Last Updated on Monday, December 31, 2012 8:37 PM


0 #1 2013-01-01 03:16
Being armed gives and individual options. Not guarantees.

Gun Free Zone laws did however guarantee a school full of unarmed individuals with no option but to resist.

I also call BS on your claim you own a gun any gun, or you've even fired one. How do I know this? Anyone who's used a gun knows its a magazine, not a clip.