Brian Kotowski: Kids deserve security

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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.

Brian Kotowski

Milner

Comments

rhys jones 1 year, 6 months ago

Do you have children Mr. Kotowski? If not, how can you presume to speak on behalf of those who do? Are you aware that fully one fourth of all gun crimes seen in America's emergency rooms are commited with guns wrested from armed guards?

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/02/opinion/at-the-er-bearing-witness-to-gun-violence.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0

Are you aware that many parents are uncomfortable sending their children into an environment guaranteed to have loaded weapons present? That the carnage and murder committed at Columbine occured despite the presence of two armed guards, who were powerless to stop it?

Is the reason you propose these measures because you prefer it to the alternative, including further restrictions on high-capacity assault weapons and possibly handguns? Might these restrictions affect yourself? Do you realize that many or most mass murders occur in places besides schools?

If there is such a market in hot toilets, are you suggesting guards were placed there at public expense? Or does the private dealer find it cost-effective to provide their own guards at their own expense? Are not the armed guards you cite in most or all circumstances funded by private money?

How do you propose we pay for the police state you propose? Approach the Chinese for more money? Pass the debt on to the children you purport to protect?

In whose interest do you propose this action -- the children, or yourself?

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Rob Douglas 1 year, 6 months ago

Every day, Americans protect themselves, their families and their property with the appropriate use of force. Here is just one more excellent example with both a print and video presentation. http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/mother-of-two-surprises-burglar-with-five-gunshots/nTnGR/

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 6 months ago

She hit him 5 times and he lived to tell the tale. Got into his car and drove off. At least he fled. It has me reconsidering the options. .357 or .45. Preferably with a minimum capacity of 10 rounds.

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rhys jones 1 year, 6 months ago

Your hero used her weapon in self-defense on private property -- not an assault rifle on public property. You are comparing apples and basketballs -- invalid logic in any circumstances. Your spray-the-bullets-and-hope-you-hit-something approach smacks of one losing the argument. Let the public decide: Let's VOTE ON IT.

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Doug Starkey 1 year, 6 months ago

More guns in school, by teachers and armed security guards, will only result in one outcome; more gun violence in schools. A gun is designed for one primary purpose. It's a lock that more guns will result in more guns in school fired accidentally with with deadly, unintended consequences. More guns in schools will also result in the escalation of incidents between student and teacher, or student and security guard, into gun violence.

Having armed guards in every school does not guarantee mass murderers will be stopped, in fact the Columbine incident shows that having two armed guards at a school may not help at all. We can count on one thing with more guns in schools, more deaths by guns in schools.

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Steve Lewis 1 year, 6 months ago

The facts do not support that more guns lead to security, when the U.S. has this ugly distinction:

"Among the world's 23 wealthiest countries, 80 percent of all gun deaths are American deaths and 87 percent of all kids killed by guns are American kids."

ABC News http://news.yahoo.com/gun-deaths-familiar-american-experience-143015822--abc-news-topstories.html

Assault weapons should be banned.

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rhys jones 1 year, 6 months ago

Hey Brian -- If you're not doing anything better tonight 6-9, I highly recommend "50s R&B with Jivin' Gene and Neil Pellegrin" on WWOZ.org. Great stuff, much of which you have not likely heard before.

Digression concluded. Enjoy!!

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Melanie Turek 1 year, 6 months ago

Rob and Brian, anecdotes are not the same as data.

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Steve Lewis 1 year, 6 months ago

Melanie,

I agree. Anecdotes fail to address the whole of the gun question. The above statistics describe a costly outcome of NRA politics. Anecdotes cannot erase the scale of the harm done.

But anecdotes are are powerful. These from Aurora Colorado belong next to Brian's other reading:

Witnesses watching movies in theaters next to the one where the shooting took place said bullets tore through the theater walls and they heard screaming.

"You just smelled smoke and you just kept hearing it, you just heard bam bam bam, non-stop. The gunman never had to reload. Shots just kept going, kept going, kept going," one witness told ABC News.

"I'm with coworkers and we're on the floor praying to God we don't get shot, and the gunshots continue on and on, and when the sound finally stopped, we started to get up and people were just bleeding," another theatergoer said.

"All the ammunition he possessed, he possessed legally, all the weapons he possessed, he possessed legally, all the clips he possessed, he possessed legally,"

http://abcnews.go.com/US/colorado-movie-theater-shooting-suspect-bought-guns-6000/story?id=16817842&page=2#.UOy6maUamao

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