Should the Government Put Cops in Schools?
by Aeshna Chandra on Friday, October 11th, 2013
In the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting last year, politicians on both sides of the aisle have asked that we take serious action on gun violence. Suggestions range from stricter gun regulations to armed school employees, either trained teachers or cops. The Obama administration has listened to these demands, allocating $45 million to place armed cops in schools, according to Yahoo News. However, many question the wisdom of this decision: is it unsafe for children to become exposed to guns at such a young age? Should children be kept away from deadly weapons?
One side, headed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), believes that gun-on-gun retaliation is the best way to combat armed violence. “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun,” said NRA Vice Executive President Wayne LaPierre. Others, including many parents, think that guns in schools would promote an even greater gun culture. The New York Times reports that approximately 600 children were accidentally killed by firearms last year. While the NRA has attempted to downplay this figure by comparing it to the total number of accidental adolescent deaths, the factual evidence is still significant enough to warrant attention.
Given this statistic, allowing guns in schools would be counterproductive toward the goal of preventing gun violence. Although most children can handle themselves in the presence of weapons without harm to themselves or others, even the slightest potential for harm should negate the idea of arming school officials immediately.
Furthermore, reducing attackers’ access to guns is a much more direct path to a safe America than arming schools. Easy accessibility to guns can only increase the amount of violence in our country. Although some might argue that we have a constitutional right to have guns, the Founding Fathers created the Second Amendment with the need for an armed militia to rebel against a dictatorial government in mind. Since the U.S. has moved far beyond the 1770s, its residents do not have the same necessity to bear arms.
The deaths of these 600 children resulted from easy access to guns and lax gun laws, which, among other things, allow the mentally ill to purchase weapons. State and federal laws permit adults to keep their weapons, unlocked, in a house with children. Children can easily access these weapons, resulting in many deaths every year. In addition, killers in mass shootings have used legally-obtained, semiautomatic weapons. If laws against these types of weapons were stricter, fewer of the shooters would be able to obtain weapons, alleviating the need for armed cops in schools. By taking this non-violent, peace-promoting approach, the Obama administration could reverse the violent gun culture in the U.S.
The Obama administration, instead of spending $45 million to place armed cops in schools, should fund a committee to create and enforce stricter gun laws, creating a safer environment for children. Preparation for an unlikely attack is not worth the cost of an increasing gun culture. Instead of introducing more guns to protect us from guns, we should keep them out of the hands of those who might do harm.
Short URL: http://miltonmeasure.org/?p=5197