In reply to Brandon Owens’ Jan. 3 letter to the editor titled “Answer isn’t more guns,” I confess to ambivalence at Mr. Owens’ recommendation: “We should have an open discussion before intentionally bringing guns into our school hallways.”
What Mr. Owens fails to acknowledge is that such a discussion only will take place among responsible and law abiding people. Criminals and the deranged will “intentionally” bring guns wherever they choose (including “into our school hallways”) despite any conversation that takes place. The only way to assure that the unstable and reprehensible among us are disarmed is to obliterate private gun ownership altogether and confiscate the more than 300 million firearms in civilian hands. Because such an initiative is guaranteed to fail in this country (never mind the practical impossibility), Mr. Owens’ proposed discussion is little more than window dressing.
Regardless of where one stands on the issue of gun control, I am bemused at the outrage provoked by suggestions that armed officers be deployed on school grounds. Armed security personnel are routinely assigned to banks, government buildings, gated communities, golf courses, warehouses, parking garages and more. Type “armed security jobs” into the search engine of your choice for a kaleidoscope of what we regard to be worthy of armed protection. Here’s a typical listing: “SECURITY GUARD [=(name withheld) Plumbing Supply is seeking a security guard for our East Side facility.” Toilets deserve armed security. Our kids, not so much. On Friday, July 20, the Steamboat Today reported that Steamboat Springs police officers were assigned to conduct “walk-throughs” during screenings of “The Dark Knight Rises” at Wildhorse Stadium Cinemas in the wake of the Aurora shootings. One wonders if Mr. Owens found that to be “appalling.”
Absent the outright confiscation of all privately held firearms in the United States, Mr. Owens’ insistence that campuses remain gun free guarantees exactly what happened in Connecticut when the mandate is ignored: bloodshed and mass murder with no means to defend against it. Now that’s appalling.