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No, Let’s Not Turn Schools Into Garrisons

The Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, about which I’ve refrained from commenting for lack of anything useful to say, has occasioned a debate about the need for renewed gun-control legislation at the national level. That’s fine. I’m doubtful that advocates will have much to show, legislatively speaking, after this outcry subsides. And with any luck, mass shootings will continue to be a rare occurrence and schools will remain the statistically safest place children can be.

Such, at any rate, is the reasonable, conservative/civil-libertarian case against overreaction.

Here’s a conservative version of the case for overreaction (via the blogger Econophile):

Arm some teachers and staff members so they can protect themselves and our children. I know this will get a big reaction from those against firearms, but think it through in light of the reality of the issues that I have outlined. It is not possible to prevent these tragic shootings before they happen, so should we leave our children unprotected while some maniac walks around and shoots them at will?

BigHollywood’s John Nolte agreed, tweeting: “Why are schools not treated like airplanes as far as security? Are we going to ban mega-clips and then remove air marhsals [sic]?” And: “Why are airplanes secured with armed personnel but not schools? We’ve stopped hijackings and terrorism. All Left wants tho is gun control.”

So let me see if I have this straight: more gun control is tantamount to creeping tyranny, but succumbing to hysteria and fear and calling for armed teachers is a blow for freedom.


about the author

Scott Galupo is a freelance writer living in Arlington, Va. In addition to contributing to The American Conservative, he writes for TheWeek.com and reviews live music for The Washington Post. He was formerly a staff writer for The Washington Times and worked on Capitol Hill. He lives with his wife and two children and writes about politics to support his guitar habit.

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