published Monday, December 24th, 2012

A sensible path to safety

House Speaker Beth Harwell presides over a floor session in Nashville in this file photo.
House Speaker Beth Harwell presides over a floor session in Nashville in this file photo.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Despite the concerns of House Speaker Beth Harwell, several Tennessee lawmakers apparently agree with National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, who said Friday that more guns in schools is the best defense against deranged shooters. And if communities can't afford enough law enforcement officers for all their schools, LaPierre and several of our legislators say, then schoolteachers themselves should be trained and armed to shoot it out with potential mass murderers.

From there, we suppose, they would say we need arms training and more guns for theater owners and moviegoers (Aurora, Colo.), college professors and students (Virginia Tech), shopping mall store owners and casual shoppers (Oregon), church and temple visitors (Wisconsin). By their perverted logic, people in these and other daily pursuits all need to go armed and ready to duel at all times with crazed shooters who may pop up any moment with rapid-fire assault rifles, 30-bullet magazines, armor-piercing ammo, the surprise factor, and an ample will to die quickly.

So much for rational legislative thinking, a safe civil society and freedom from the need to go armed and ready at all times to assert vigilante justice. Never mind the physical, mental reality that few among us could suddenly engage a gunbattle without an adrenaline rush, shaky hands, nervous aim, and a propensity to dive for cover when a rapid-fire shooter opens up the artillery.

No thank you.

There are good reasons why a large majority of Americans don't own a gun, have never fired one and don't want to assume, or feel capable of assuming, full-time gun-carry and deadly duty self-protection.

Most people, these numbers suggest, don't want to make safety from irrational gunners a fearful, full-time priority in their lives and daily activity: that's why we have laws and police. Most likely believe it would be hard to aim and shoot straight first -- an especially valued skill if you're in a crowd of innocents -- when fear drains your blood, and possibly your bladder. As most professional police officers report, even the most well-trained officers shake with nervous fear in gun-related encounters

A far better strategy for a safer society lies in an outline presented by the nation's more thoughtful mayors' coalition to President Barack Obama last week. It calls for a range of needed reforms, including: Require every gun purchaser to pass a criminal background and mental health check, which only happens in about 60 percent of gun purchases because of so many loopholes and gaps in voluntary state data to federal agencies. Block sales of high-capacity rifles and ammunition magazines, and prosecute violators of this law. Make gun-running a federal crime. Require federal agencies to report records to NICS. Repeal blocks on gun sales data that hamper law enforcement.

Sensible gun laws would not violate the Second Amendment. They would merely restore a sense of reason in our safety standards.

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jesse said...

Aren't the "School Resource Officers" armed?

What's the difference? If they can keep down drugs,gang violence and weapons why not stop a mass murderer!

December 24, 2012 at 6:45 a.m.
EaTn said...

I bet our state legislation is willing to increase taxes to fund armed guards for all our schools.

December 24, 2012 at 7:54 a.m.
nucanuck said...

The NRA position on school violence has thrust, once again, the US into the international limelight for gun policies that make our country a laughing (crying) stock for the rest of the world.

From international military agressiveness to Homeland Security to our gun mania, we are a county gripped by fear and allowing that fear to infect our lives in ways that damage our entire culture.

Is too much not enough?

December 24, 2012 at 8:14 a.m.
Oldhickory said...

More people die everyday from alcohol and tobacco use in this country. Both products are legally manufactured and purchased by citizens. It's likely that more innocent persons die each day at the hands of drunk drivers and, if you believe the CDC and Surgeon General, from second hand smoke than did in Newtown.

If we're going to have our second amendment right taken away in the hope of "a far better vision for a safer society", then I say we need to simultaneously establish new prohibitions on all alcohol and tobacco as these products have killed far more persons in the United States.

December 24, 2012 at 8:33 a.m.
jesse said...

If prohibition worked we would be alcohol and drug free today!

Instead we got the mafia and drug cartels!

I guess all we lack is "GUN RUNNERS!"

December 24, 2012 at 8:47 a.m.
conservative said...

I would like to say that Liberals are mentally ill but that would let them off the hook so I will will just say that they act like they are mentally ill.

Read the recommenations of this writer:

"A far better strategy for a safer society lies in an outline presented by the nation's more thoughtful mayors' coalition to President Barack Obama last week. It calls for a range of needed reforms, including: Require every gun purchaser to pass a criminal background and mental health check, which only happens in about 60 percent of gun purchases because of so many loopholes and gaps in voluntary state data to federal agencies. Block sales of high-capacity rifles and ammunition magazines, and prosecute violators of this law. Make gun-running a federal crime. Require federal agencies to report records to NICS. Repeal blocks on gun sales data that hamper law enforcement."

Not one of these recommendations would have stopped Adam Lanza from his killing spree.

December 24, 2012 at 9:15 a.m.
conservative said...

Clinton Pledges Funds to Add Police to Schools

Violence: President also earmarks money for child-counseling programs. GOP critics say youth problems should be addressed at home.

April 16, 2000|LAWRENCE L. KNUTSON | ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON — Marking the first anniversary of the shooting deaths at Columbine High School, President Clinton announced $120 million in new federal grants Saturday to place more police officers in schools and help even the youngest kids cope with their problems.

"In our national struggle against youth violence we must not fail our children; our future depends on it," the president said in his weekly radio address

December 24, 2012 at 12:14 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Thanks for the chuckle, con-man. That's really funny - you, the crazed christian, calling anybody mentally ill. I would say that's like the pot calling the kettle black but comparing you to a pot would be a compliment. Even a thick metal pot has more going for it than you do.

We have laws (and even Biblical commandments) against killing and stealing but just because they aren't 100% effective, should we scrap them? Why don't you pull out a few verses from your holy book and lay some quotes on us? I'm sure there's something in there about it being God's will that Americans own AK-47s and AR-15s and that we blow each other's brains out with them.

December 24, 2012 at 12:25 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Oldhickory, it's obvious that you don't exercise your critical thinking skills too effectively, do you? Nobody - let me repeat...NOBODY - is even remotely suggesting a repeal of the second amendment. NOBODY is even remotely suggesting coming and taking away your guns or anybody's guns for that matter. If you think that we all have a right to own high-powered military style weapons of mass destruction and the only solution to the problem is to put more guns in more places and not do anything to limit or curb the violence in the first place, then you are part of the problem, not the answer to it.

The first amendment gives us the right to free speech but we don't have the right to cry "fire" in a crowded theater. And we don't have the right to own whatever new hi-tech weapons come off the assembly line and just because they're called "arms" think that we have a right to bear them. The types of weapons that seem to be so popular with the Rambos and the psychos who use them have no business being in the hands of anyone but the military or swat teams. The second amendment is not an open door to the toy-land of man-toys that the gun companies and their inventors can dream up and market to kill people in faster, easier, and more heinous ways.

December 24, 2012 at 12:30 p.m.
tipper said...

Right. Let's demand our teachers add to their list of being teachers, psuedo-parents, psychologists, sociologists, baby-sitters, doctors, disciplinarians, food providers and crisis managers the dangerous job of being an armed security guard. Of course we won't pay them any more than they currently make and we can continually harp upon how bad of teachers they are. If I were a teacher, and the poor excuses we call "state legislators" force teachers to be armed, I'd strike the school systems for years. Let all the kids be home-schooled since the public school system is so bad.

December 24, 2012 at 12:39 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Goor point, tipper. What teacher in their right mind would want to be burdened with the added responsibility of being an armed guard? And if the gun nuts who simply want to see more guns in the hands of more people think that armed security guards or cops at every school are the answer, then who do they think is going to pay for those guards? Most of the ones calling for this kind of "solution" hate public education anyway and don't want to pay any taxes towards it. I suppose they're going to be for higher taxes to pay for all those guards? Not likely.

December 24, 2012 at 1 p.m.
jesse said...

HEY ROO!

A teacher that CARED!!

Like the one in Sandy Hook that laid down her life trying to protect a child!

Put you in that situation?? SEE YA, I got pressin buis.in Toledo!!

YOU ARE the REAL DEAL ,roo!Just ain't the deal you think you are!!

December 24, 2012 at 1:12 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Once again, chihuahua jesse yaps.

Many teachers care about, even love, their students enough to probably risk their lives for them in cases like that. Rejecting the notion that arming teachers with weapons to prevent another attack as a "solution" to the problem is not a sign of not caring. It's a sign that they're smart enough to realize that that is NOT the answer to the problem, and in fact it could even exacerbate it.

I don't know what kind of "deal" you think I think I am but it's no skin off my nose. Your derogatory comments come across to me like...yap yap yap yap.

December 24, 2012 at 2:52 p.m.
gjuster said...

Actually Rickaroo, Gov Cuomo of NY has suggested confiscating guns - and more will come out for that "solution"

December 24, 2012 at 3:07 p.m.
nucanuck said...

We have quietly given up much of the protection granted under the Fifth Amendment without so much as a wimper. The Second Amendment creates more division than protection.

Our once great country is tearing itself apart from within because we can't agree on either the problems or the solutions. We ignore success by others and continue to yell past each other.

Does anyone really believe that guns make us a better country? A gun culture is a curse that we don't have the collective courage to acknowledge and begin to address.

December 24, 2012 at 3:30 p.m.
DJHBRAINERD said...

With reguards to todays events hasn't the time come for us to put armed guards on firetrucks? Do we not have to do something to protect those that protect us? (sarcasm intended)
It is hard for me to understand why so many people think they can do something to control the caos that surrounds thier lives. Armed guards armed teachers gun bans I can't seem to ever remember such a horrific act as to kill schoolchildren and no law will stop someone who would be so inclined to want to harm a child. Evil exists in this world and you can make evil illigal by any law you would like but it will still be with us. So I will ask agian , How is the total banishment of guns working out for the mexicans, north koreans, cubans, how did it work out for the germans prior to WW2? We have been blessed with several decades of relitive peace on this continent and I fear that we have become complacent to the existance of evil. We refuse to keep people convicted of crimes behind bars and we value material possesions above relationships to the point that people try to buy happiness at the mall. but we refuse to recognise evil in its purist form. That person was for a lack of a better term was a demon among us. His desires outweighed the lives he took. So go pass a law against evil it will do as much good as armed guards on firetrucks.

December 24, 2012 at 4:37 p.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

Will someone please help me understand, or, discover the 'ergo' within this information?

Now, first of all, I will invoke the earliest major newsflash I could find:

William Spengler: William Spengler: William Spengler:

Armed with a Smith & Wesson .38 caliber revolver, a Mossman 12-gauge shotgun, and the Bushmaster, Spengler killed two firefighters, and injured two more as well as an off-duty police officer at the scene. As a convicted felon, Spengler 'could not legally own a firearm' and police are investigating how he obtained the weapons.

Well, if the readers/commenters of the Chattanooga Times Free Press has a life-or-death emergency.......Just Call a Hippie! Or, Just Call A Neighborhood Gang Leader! Or, Just Call A Convicted Multiple Felon Who Continues In That Life! Yeah, maybe I just discovered the 'ergo' to the above tragic news flash.

December 25, 2012 at 8:46 p.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

Revisiting Newtown, Connecticut:

Hey, novel idea...LIBERAL DEMOCRATS! Maybe, if we just ban the assault weapons, and, maybe handguns, then we could just observe what happens when an Adam Lanza tosses several Molotov Coctails into a Sandy Hook classroom, instead. I ASSURE YOU TREE HUGGER ABORTIONISTS THAT THE DEATH TOLL WOULD EXCEED WITH EXTREME NUMBERS THE NUMBER WHO WOULD BE BURNED ALIVE.

The same would go for a movie theater, or, quiet suburban home.

I am personally issuing an urgent wake-up call to the Liberal Democrats of this United States of America!

Ken ORR

December 25, 2012 at 8:47 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Ken Orr,

You're the most illogical human being on earth.

December 25, 2012 at 10:44 p.m.
conservative said...

This writer believes that he should never own a gun. I agree, he will just shoot his eye out.

December 26, 2012 at 9:18 a.m.
Easy123 said...

Conservative,

You might be the lamest person on earth.

December 26, 2012 at 2:59 p.m.
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