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More guns for NRA solution

January 23, 2013
By Jay Light , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

The National Rifle Association's solution to gun violence is more guns - in schools, theaters, shopping centers and homes everywhere.

I'm trying to imagine scenarios in which their logic works and am having a hard time.

In the home, for instance: Even the NRA says that guns should be locked up and that for complete security, they should be partially dismantled and the ammunition locked away separately. Of course, the only way you can be sure nobody else has access to the locker is to wear the key around your neck at all times. How many of us are willing to do that?

The mother of the Newtown shooter, Adam Lanza, was known as a "gun enthusiast" and the weapons he used in the massacre were all legally owned by her. I wonder how she handled this question of security. (Unfortunately, we can't ask her. She's dead.)

If you're a hunter or target shooter, a locked cabinet makes great sense. But if your reason for having the gun is protection of life and property, this doesn't compute. An armed intruder isn't going to warn you that he's coming in so you can get your weapon out of the locker and assemble and load it. So the only way the gun is going to do you any good is to have it right at your side, ready to go at all times. Likewise, at night, if it isn't under the pillow or right next to the bed, it won't help.

If the reason for having the gun is to protect yourself against the government when they come for you and your guns, the sad reality is that they'll get you anyhow. If the idea that you might take a couple of them out before they do makes you feel any better, then I guess you should go for it. You might, however, be better off spending the money on therapy for your paranoia. Ask any number of guys who barricaded themselves in their houses and either killed themselves or were killed by police in a hail of gunfire. (Whoops, I guess you can't ask them either. They're dead, too.)

The same problem arises with the idea of arming teachers. You can't just keep the weapon sitting out on the desk or even locked in a drawer. A mentally ill student might just snap, grab the gun and start shooting. The only way it would be of any use would be for the teacher to be wearing it right on his/her hip. While that might be a way to keep order in the classroom, I can't believe it would be helpful to learning.

I'm conjuring up images of all my old public school teachers "packing heat" and can't stop laughing. There is the possible exception of my sixth-grade teacher, a mean woman whom I disliked. With her, the image works. However, I'd have been more afraid that she would shoot her students rather than protect them. There are nut-cake teachers, too.

The NRA is passionate about the government's supposed, "assault on the Second Amendment." They conveniently omit the first part of the sentence, "A well regulated Militia (sic), being necessary to the security of a free state, . . ." Using their convoluted logic, what's to stop private citizens from owning rocket-propelled grenades, mortars, tanks, or even (if you can afford one) a modest nuclear device?

Even the most conservative justice on the US Supreme Court, Antonin Scalia, in a 2008 decision, said the right to bear arms was not without limits, "We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of 'dangerous and unusual weapons.'"

The question, therefore, comes down to where the line is drawn.

I don't think anybody would dispute that semi-automatic military-style rifles (some of which can easily be made fully-automatic) like Bushmasters, AK-47s and AR-15s are dangerous. Maybe the problem is how "usual" they've become.

As to armed guards everywhere else in our society, I can only wonder how many there are at the NRA headquarters in Washington. Either there are dozens protecting everyone inside, or there may not be the need for any, since, according to their philosophy, everybody inside should be carrying a gun and can protect him/herself.

After all, you never know when some usually rational gun-control supporter might just snap, get an AR-15 and walk in and open fire.

I'm not advocating it; just saying it could happen.



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