Now is the time for a national dialogue on mass murderPolicy

I am tired of writing about tragedies.  Another morning in America, after a day of violence that has shattered our holiday season.  We, the people, are going through every conceivable emotion from despair to rage, trying to come to grips with tragedy.  Again.

I, like many other second amendment advocates, wrote on social media yesterday that “now is not the time for politics.”  Almost immediately, one of my liberal friends demanded, “If not now, when?”

He has a point.  It’s easy to deflect these questions by saying it’s “too soon.”  But at some point, that answer just doesn’t cut it anymore.  That some men in America make the decision to kill in large numbers, often ending their own lives as well, is a problem that has been festering for too long.  It is a problem hanging over the heads of every American – our street corners, movie theaters, shopping malls, schools, churches, even our homes have all been struck by these killers.  We can’t ignore the issue anymore or write it off as just another one of those senseless things in life you can’t understand or prevent.

It is already becoming a cliché that we need a national dialogue about what happened in Connecticut.  And I agree with that – who doesn’t?  It’s a fundamental part of being human to try to come to grips with the unimaginable.  We do need to talk about what happened, why it happened, how and what we can do about it.  We need to talk about how we handle such events in the mass and social media.  And we must figure out how to prevent them.   The discussion needs to happen, and it needs to happen now.

But it can’t just be a random discussion.  It needs to be concrete and rational, and based in fact – not just plain old facts, but facts that are truly germane to the discussion.  The goal of the conversation can’t be to just “raise awareness” or “move the debate.”  It needs to be a conversation that leads to developing solutions – not just platitudes and absurd solutions, but the real kind of solutions that actually address the causes of these crimes and ways to prevent them.  And, most importantly, we need to focus the conversation on solutions that can be implemented, and when implemented have a good chance of success.

There are a few things we can throw out from this conversation immediately:  first, we can’t, shouldn’t and won’t ban guns.  Not only does that ignore the real problem, it is an emotionally driven overreaction to what happened.  It has absolutely zero chance of being implemented and in the places where outright bans have been tried they’ve all failed.  And from a practical perspective, it’s just not possible: there are over a hundred million gun owners and close to half a billion guns in America – the vast majority of which will never be used in a crime and will never be fired in an act of violence.  The solution to this problem does not involve a gun ban.

It’s also pointless to talk about things like concealed carry, x-number-of-gun-a-month laws, the gun show loophole and all of the other gun related controversies that don’t seem to apply here.   I’ve seen folks on Twitter asking why people don’t have to take a class to buy a gun – as if that would have changed anything.  These issues are for another day – they may make a difference in some kinds of crime, but not in the mass murders we’ve seen over and over lately.  These aren’t the problems we need to be discussing now, so they need to be left out of the debate.  All they do is make a difficult discussion that much harder.

On the other end of the scale, we can’t demand everyone own or carry a gun, either.  Let’s face it, there are a lot of people who are scared of guns, who don’t understand them, don’t care to learn, and react to them they way I react to bedbugs.  Flooding our schools with guns isn’t a viable solution, and there’s no point in even going there.  The people who demand bans and dislike guns aren’t bad people, either.  I think they’re misguided and typically ignorant of guns, but they don’t deserve to be ridiculed for thinking differently.  Many are just exasperated by a problem they think has a simple solution – the solution’s simple because it won’t affect them.  At some point, they need to be educated.  Ramping up the rhetoric and paranoia does not help.  These people aren’t the problem, but they have to be part of the solution.

That being said, I do not believe – not for one moment – that the solution to preventing mass murder has to or should involve law-abiding citizens giving up their freedoms and liberties.  That has rarely, if ever, solved anything.  It simply creates new problems and it damages the fabric of the country.  It creates tension, distrust and cynicism and – most important – it’s just plain wrong.

The problem of individual men making the conscious decision to kill many people at once is not new. We’ve been dealing with this in the United States for over half a century.  We’ve taken rational steps to ensure that criminals and the mentally ill cannot buy guns legally with common sense solutions like background checks.  Those steps need to be reviewed to make sure we’re not missing anything.  We also need to have a frank discussion about mental illness, its treatment, how it’s perceived in society and how it’s dealt with.  Because of the stigma of mental illness, too many people who desperately need treatment don’t get it.  Too often there were warning signs that were missed, not taken seriously enough, or these men fell through the cracks.  That can’t happen.

We also need to talk about the media.  Some of the reporting of the tragedy yesterday was tragic itself.  While it can be frustrating to have a cop repeatedly say they can’t answer something, we now know why – not everything is as it seems at first glance.  The press spent almost half the day mistaking the shooter for his brother.  They may have been given the information by a law enforcement official, but they shouldn’t have run it until the ID was confirmed.  But the race to be first outweighed the race to be right.  That lapse in journalistic ethics has harmed the reputation of a 24 year old man who did nothing wrong.  Other reporters were shoving cameras in the faces of 3rd graders and asking them how they feel and the inevitable proselytizing by news anchors on the cable news nets was nauseating.  The way the media turns these events into a feeding frenzy raises serious questions in my mind about copy cats, and how anyone who wants to go out in a blaze of glory knows exactly what to do to get the media to pay attention.  We have got to come up with a better way of reporting this kind of news.

It’s obvious there are a lot of questions to ask, a lot of answers to digest.  But I am confident that working together, we can solve this problem.  This dialogue can be constructive if we just focus and don’t let the desire to score a few cheap points overwhelm the need for a real, workable solution.  We must find a way to prevent these crimes and we must do it without trampling on our civil liberties.

One of my favorite political quotes just happens to come from a Democrat, Bill Clinton.  He remarked that “[t]here is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.”  I have always believed that.  There are solutions to these problems – no problem is unsolvable.  We simply need to commit to finding the right solutions, doing so in a united way, and being persistent and dedicated to seeing the job through.

We can and we will stop this violence.  And we can, and we must, find solutions that work and don’t require sacrificing our liberty and our principles to do so.   This is an American problem that demands a uniquely American solution.  I am confident we can do it.

We just need to make up our minds that now is the time.

  • MD Russ

    Very well written, Brian. Unfortunately, we will never have the rational conversation that you envision. The gun argument is mired in the same absolutism as the abortion argument. On one hand, you have people who want abortion banned and doctors or others who perform the procedure imprisoned or even put to death, even when the pregnancy results from rape or incest. On the other hand, you have people who want abortion on demand for minors with no parental notification, paid for by the government. It is hard to find a middle ground there.

    The gun argument is even worse because of all the misinformation and outright falsehoods that get inserted into the discussion. As an example, read Ezra Klein’s piece of garbage in yesterday’s Washington Post, 12 “facts” about guns and mass shootings. He reports the number of “mass shootings” in the US as determined by Mother Jones, either ignorant of the fact or ignoring the fact that Mother Jones counts any shooting involving more than one victim as a “mass shooting,” as if two victims of a shooting incident is exponentially more of a crime. That is like calling a pipe bomb a “weapon of mass destruction.” Then he goes on to enumerate gun control policies that are popularly supported without mentioning that most of them are already Federal law, such as background checks and bans on felons and the mentally ill possessing firearms. I won’t waste JR’s bandwidth here pointing out all of Klein’s other misrepresentations.

    Of course, the pro-gun side of the argument isn’t exactly pure and truthful, either. GOA is probably the biggest offender, with their constant clamoring for the end of gun-free zones such as schools, malls, and other public places. I have been a handgun owner my entire adult life, have a quarter century of military training and experience, and have had a concealed weapon carry permit in Virginia for almost 20 years. The last thing I would do would be to whip out my small semi-automatic handgun on a guy with a loaded AR-15. That would be suicide. However, GOA would have us believe that a kindergarten teacher with a .38 special in an ankle holster could have stopped Adam Lanza.

    What we don’t need in this country is a debate or “conversation” about guns. We need to discuss how we identify and treat people who are mentally ill. Seung-Hui Cho, Jared Loughner, Adam Lanza, and other real mass murderers (as opposed to the Mother Jones variety) had documented mental problems that their families, friends, and even law enforcement in some cases were aware of, yet nothing was done to treat them and protect both them and the public from their murderous impulses. You are absolutely right, Brian. We can’t ban guns; that train has long left the station. But we can do a better job getting mentally ill people off the streets.

    • http://www.facebook.com/alton.foley Alton Foley

      Very well written MD. Unfortunately you drag your reader through a whole lot of fluff before the final paragraph where you concisely restate Brian’s article. We need to find out what causes mass murders. And guns ain’t it.

      • MD Russ

        Alton,

        Thank you, I think. I thought that my ‘whole lot of fluff’ was contributory to Brian’s very well taken point–if we let this discussion devolve into another useless and pointless argument about gun control then we will solve nothing. And I do agree with you: guns don’t cause mass murders or even necessarily facilitate them. How many guns did Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, or Jeffery Dahmer use? A sociopath is a sociopath. Without a gun, it just takes longer to commit the horror.

    • http://twitter.com/icanhasbailout Santa Claws

      One aspect of this that needs to be confronted is that psychiatry as practiced today is essentially a mass medical experiment, with witch doctors who understand only one tiny part of an incredibly complex neural system taking the approach of “disrupt/facilitate this chemical mechanism and see what happens”, having no understanding whatsoever of the full consequences of their actions. This results in a lot of medicated zombies with essential aspects of their humanity disabled from these brain experiments, and it is no surprise that they don’t act fully human in the aftermath.

      • MD Russ

        Claws,

        It rare to find someone who is an expert in such diverse fields as both psychiatry and self-defense, although it does happen when the expertise is self-proclaimed. However, I suspect that your knowledge of psychiatry is most likely as a consumer and not a practitioner. Tell me, do your problems also include a deep-rooted inferiority complex that causes you to cower behind an anonymous screen name?

        • EricMcGrane

          ^^^^ this is what an ad hominem “attack the messenger” (poster) looks like.

          Like “MD Russ” really tells us who YOU are? Ooops, yeah we noticed.

          • MD Russ

            Stick it where the sun never shines, Eric. Claws was being a troll and I called him on it. If you follow my posts here, you know that I am normally polite and patient. I just don’t suffer fools.

          • EricMcGrane

            Yawn.

          • http://twitter.com/BrianSchoeneman Brian W. Schoeneman

            Claws is that troll Alexis.

        • http://twitter.com/icanhasbailout Santa Claws

          It’s no surprise that, in the sea of ignorance you swim in, someone who is reasonably well educated in pertinent topics of the day would seem otherworldly to you. But if it’s any consolation, statistically speaking I am the most intelligent person in terms of raw IQ that you will ever encounter in your life.

          • http://twitter.com/BrianSchoeneman Brian W. Schoeneman

            Unlikely.

  • johnjaylives

    Brian,

    That’s a very thoughtful post. However, I don’t know that you’ll ever come to any satisfactory conclusions as far as policy/legal solutions.

    My wife’s a psychologist who works with a number of different type of mental health issues. She has some interesting (and I suspect, accurate) insights about these questions.

    Yes, there’s no doubt that this is getting to be a bigger and bigger issue. Obviously, I think most rational folks on the left and right would agree that most of the time there is an underlying mental health issue.

    However, my wife says there are 2 related issues to this. First, you would have to reform mental health laws to allow for more leeway for involuntary actions. In VA, the standard is simply, “Are you an immediate threat to harm yourself or others.” There are a lot of folks my wife has seen over the years….in which, sure, there are suspicions that the person could use violence against themselves or others (usually a family/significant other), but you can’t honestly say you believe they’re an immediate threat.

    I’m not sure society is ready to loosen these laws to a slightly less stringent standard.

    Second, and this is certain to rile up budget hawks, is the poor state of mental health services in Virginia and in the nation. Let’s face it folks…..people who are unstable are very unlikely to be able to hold down a job. These are folks who don’t have any other option than going to the Community Services Board which provides indigent mental health care. Again, RATIONAL people understand this. How many mentally ill people are able to afford the 75 to 100 dollar an hour private therapy sessions? Realistically, less than 1%. Community Services Boards do a lot of good, but anyone who works at these organizations will tell you that they’re not even in the realm of receiving realistic funding. But I don’t think budget hawks are going to all of a sudden say, “Sure, let’s increase CSB funding in VA by 25%.” It’s not going to happen. And so these folks on the margin of society will be lucky to receive mental health services once every other month or so. And we as a society hope and pray that what little service that they do receive is able to keep them from “snapping”……

    And as my wife says, there are simply some people who are going to snap no matter how many services are provided. It’s an ugly truth.

    Can there be some things done that don’t involve gov’t? Sure. But they would probably have to come from all of us.. One aspect would be to have a little more tolerance and understanding of those with mental health issues. We know “that guy” that comes into church or wherever we are…..what’s the first reaction of 99% of us? Look away. Just trying to be a little more understanding of the mentally ill is probably something we could all do. I know to some on this board, that may sound “lefty.” But it’s not. I don’t think it’s conservative or liberal to try and be a little kinder to those who are struggling with these issues. You want to make someone “snap”? Look away, ostracize, and keep praying the manager “throws that guy out.” All that does is cause further alienation from society…and that alienation can eventually lead to self-harm or violence towards others.

    Perhaps an effective conservative-libertarian response to these tragic shootings would be for voluntary efforts to help the mentally ill. And efforts to promote “not looking away.” Actually trying to interact with and integrating these people into common society is probably a lot more effective than any gun law or anything gov’t can do. But I don’t know that we’ll ever see that. One can hope though….

    • http://twitter.com/BrianSchoeneman Brian W. Schoeneman

      I agree with this 100%, and that’s one of the issues I campaigned on – the mental health system in Virginia is in woeful disrepair and needs more resources and a top-down review. And we must certainly be working with outside groups in the community. With a family member with a mental illness, I know how hard it has been for us to access the resources we need and too often the jails become the caregiver for those with mental illness. This needs to stop.

    • pinecone321

      All you have to do is look back to the Carter big heart “feelers” who thought even the severly mentally ill had “civil rights.” They were put out on the streets of America. How dare you call anyone mentally deficient. The institutions that housed these people were shuttered. According to the Communist started ACLU, it was as bad as slavery.

      I really don’t believe it is a matter of funding. I believe it goes far deeper than funding, it has everything to do with “discrimination.” How dare you call anyone mentally damaged.

      I’ve read that in Conn. the legislature wanted to increase laws against those that have been found to be a danger to themselves and others. The ACLU interceded and made sure the bill never passed or had a chance of passing.

      The ACLU is evil, despicable, and one of the worst organizations in existance in the US today. No wonder George Soros funds the ACLU heavily.

  • http://twitter.com/WillieDeutsch Willie Deutsch

    Appreciated your article, and I would agree that the policy discussion needs to be more about mental health than guns. I will say in terms of when is too early… If someone wants to say x situation means we need x policy then we need to wait till we have all the facts about x sit. Waiting two days wouldn’t hurt MSNBC.

  • Jennifer Ward

    This post is very well stated and sums up my feelings exactly. I would love to see this in print! I hope you submit it to a newspaper.

  • Back-bencher

    Ummm…maybe people should go to church, especially as kids, learn right from wrong, actually be taught the Commandments and be told that they have meaning. Thou shall not kill. How hard is that to understand? Maybe kids who take up the goth lifestyle should be shaken by the shoulders and be told to snap the hell out of it. Being a teeneager is actually supposed to be fun. Wearing all black clothes and black eye make-up, except at Halloween, is weird and stupid. We need to be more judgmental about weird behavior and speak our mind. Not speak less. “Honor thy mother and father.” This dude blew away his mother in front of her classroom – not at home in private. Clearly he wanted to make a major statement. Guy’s f’ed up. We also need to better understand the human mind and understand what makes someone do this. Do the drugs being prescribed today have these horrible side-effects? I am not by any means a deeply religious person, but I do think that our country has in many ways turned away from God. When was the last time a regular church-goer turned into a mass murderer? (I’m sure someone will find an answer to this questions, my point though is it is probably extremely rare.)
    Our country’s culture is deteriorating before eyes and has been since the 1960s. Mass murders and massacres get big ink, and rightfully so. But does anyone know how many murders have been committed in Chicago, Illinois this year. None of reading this blog would live in these neighborhoods. Why isn’t the National Giard patrolling these streets with the Chicago PD to clean up this mess? Why isn’t President Obama making a speech about his home town? Why isn’t President Obama telling every American to shape up and get squared away? He doesn’t want to be judgmental. Doesn’t want to offend. Wants to blame guns instead. That’s the easy course.

    He can’t blame America’s dive into the cultural gutter. That would offend Hollywood. Blaming guns – let’s face it – Red America – is easier.

  • oldgeezer

    Just wondering why this massive government psy-op at this point in time ???

  • http://twitter.com/icanhasbailout Santa Claws

    Brian Schoeneman getting something somewhat right… the world has turned completely on its head!

    If he’s willing to follow through the logic that “giving up liberties is no solution to mass murder” to things like the War on Terror, DHS, & TSA, I would dare say there might actually be common ground here. Is this actually a principled stand on liberty, or just camouflage?

    Back on topic, what exactly is wrong with arming those responsible for the safety of children entrusted to their care?

    • http://twitter.com/BrianSchoeneman Brian W. Schoeneman

      It’s not realistic. I’ve proposed the same thing in the past as a kind of “modest proposal” style argument to make people think. The reality is we place enough responsibility in teachers in the classroom as it is. They need to be able to focus on their jobs as teachers, without the added responsibility of being law enforcement officers too. It takes quite a bit of police training on proper use of force before we send them out on the streets, and that’s not even including the general weapon proficiencies we demand. Adding that burden to a teacher who may not want that role doesn’t seem reasonable to impose. Now, requiring more armed security – actual police, not rent-a-cops, is probably a good idea.

      • http://twitter.com/icanhasbailout Santa Claws

        Being prepared for self-defense is not the same thing as being law enforcement. A hundred million citizens are armed for self-defense without requiring LEO training.

        Whether a person wants the role or not is immaterial in the face of a deadly threat – that role is imposed on them, and what matters then is whether they can defend themselves or end up as casualties.

        There are nearly a million incidents per year of citizens lawfully using firearms to deter, prevent, and stop crimes in progress. Few of those citizens have LEO training, yet they are successful in stopping crimes anyway.

        Cops are no substitute for armed citizens defending themselves and each other on the scene. 2nd Amendment supporters are usually familiar with the following quotes: “I carry a gun because I can’t carry a cop” and “When seconds count, the cops are only minutes away”.

        Sadly, Brian, you still don’t get it. Government does not solve problems, it creates problems. Solving problems is up to we the people taking personal responsibility; in the instant case, the responsibility to defend oneself and one’s neighbors from violence. I would use my weapons to stop a crime in progress being perpetrated against you.

        Putting the burden of public safety on the government rather than on the citizenry where it properly belongs (as the 2nd Amendment makes clear) is a morally and legally flawed approach.

        • http://twitter.com/BrianSchoeneman Brian W. Schoeneman

          I never said that being prepared for self defense is the same thing as being law enforcement. What I said was that making teachers be prepared for defending kids would require the same kind of training that we provide law enforcement. Teachers are, after all, government employees. I would want them to have at least the same kind of training and ability as anyone else we charge with defending other people – not just themselves.

          Yes, millions of citizens defend themselves every year. But they do that voluntarily. Your suggestion was “arming those responsible” for our kids. Most of those people don’t want to be armed, and don’t want to have the responsibility of having to be first-line defenders in these situations. And, frankly, they shouldn’t have to be. Again, we spend a lot of money training teachers to teach, and a lot of money training cops to be cops. Your suggestion would blur the lines between the two. I don’t think the lines need to be blurred. The more logical solution is to increase the number of trained professionals in the schools, not turn the entire teacher force into a militia against their will.

          This isn’t a question of putting public safety on the government – it’s simply recognizing that we hire citizens to become teachers to teach. We don’t hire citizens to become teachers so they can also be first responders. They don’t want that job and we can’t force them to take it.

          As usual, your problem is that you’re not living in the real world. Whatever solutions we develop have to at least have a chance of being implemented.

          • http://twitter.com/icanhasbailout Santa Claws

            Once again, you mouth the “what” of the party line having
            no understanding whatsoever of the “why”, and thus go straight to your big government instincts as the solution to every problem. You’re a caricature of a Democrat feigning being a Republican, with an immediate resort to statism rather than personal responsibility in every case.

            You betray yourself as not being a pro-2nd Amendment supporter at all, since anyone who can actually read the text of the amendment can see it makes clear that we are all “first responders”. The militia (all persons capable of bearing firearms) are supposed to be well-versed enough to use a weapon to defend their homes, not to hide like cowards and wait for the government to do it for them. It’s not the act of a decent person to stand aside and let a tragedy unfold while doing nothing so that someone else can do the dirty work for them.

            Whoever is on scene is a de facto first responder, whether they like it
            or not, whether trained or not. It’s you who lives in a fantasy world.
            You talk like someone who has never actually been in an emergency
            situation. Those us of who have been in such a situation know that to wait for the government to arrive means innocent people die.

            As long as you create a “no gun” zone where someone intent on
            creating mayhem can be 100% assured that no one will be able to fight back, it’s an invitation to the attacker to hit these areas. In case after case after case where mass murders could have happened but didn’t, it’s always an armed civilian and not a LEO who puts a stop to the perpetrator before it becomes a mass casualty incident.

            You’re a poor fake Republican. Go back home to the Democrat Party where people think like you do, that the government is there to do everything for them, and that they personally are responsible to do nothing at all.

          • http://twitter.com/BrianSchoeneman Brian W. Schoeneman

            Here we go again. Alexis, you don’t live on planet Earth. You live in a world where you can just wave a magic wand and everyone thinks your way. Where did I say any of the crap you’re accusing me of? I am not advocating statism. I’m advocating we look for solutions to problems that are actually capable of being implemented. I’m a second amendment supporter, always have been and always will be. But I recognize that not everyone is, and no amount of cajoling is going to change that.

            You are never going to get a repeal of gunfree school zones. Period. It will not happen nationally. You are never going to get a law requiring every person to carry a gun at all times. You are never going to get a law requiring teachers to carry. And even if we’re not looking at law-based solutions, you are never going to be able to convince the millions of Americans who hate guns, don’t know anything about them and don’t care to learn to suddenly up and start carrying concealed because you say so. But we can increase the number of SROs, we can make changes to mental health programs and laws and we can look at other ways of solving this problem using the tools we have available.

            I’m a gunowner. I can defend myself and my family and I’ve had plenty of practice at it. I have never had to draw my weapon in defense of anyone or anything, which is true of 99% of the population likely including you. That doesn’t mean I’m not prepared to. But I also recognize that the rest of the country isn’t like me, and they have the right to make that choice.

            I want solutions. You want to argue on the internet. I don’t see the point in arguing with you anymore. You’re simply not rational.

          • http://twitter.com/icanhasbailout Santa Claws

            “Where did I say any of the crap you’re accusing me of? I am not advocating statism.”

            ” Again, we spend a lot of money training teachers to teach, and a lot
            of money training cops to be cops. Your suggestion would blur the lines
            between the two. I don’t think the lines need to be blurred. The more
            logical solution is to increase the number of trained professionals in
            the schools, not turn the entire teacher force into a militia against
            their will.”

            I love how you can be self-contradictory within the span of two posts then have the gall to accuse other people of being irrational.

            You’re no 2nd Amendment supporter – you are making argument after argument that I’ve never heard out of the mouth of anyone who wasn’t a gun control advocate.

          • http://twitter.com/BrianSchoeneman Brian W. Schoeneman

            What are you talking about? How is suggesting we increase the number of cops in schools anti-second amendment? There’s nothing statist about suggesting an increase in the number of cops in schools. There is no way to change the status quo without some kind of government interaction – either to repeal laws or to create new ones. Forcing people to do something they don’t want to do is fundamentally statist, and it’s odd you’d accuse me of that when your solution is exactly that. It’s the government forcing people to do something they don’t want to do.

            And even if you do repeal every gun control law and every bar against carrying everyone in the country, you are never going to get every teacher carrying concealed. You won’t even get a majority of them. Teachers want to teach. They don’t want to carry guns. If they did, these laws would already be gone or on the books. They aren’t.

            I didn’t get an AQ rating from the NRA and the endorsement of the VCDL when I ran for office by being a second-amendment opponent. That you don’t hear these arguments from anyone else means you don’t talk to anybody who actually has to solve these problems and not just complain about them.

          • http://twitter.com/icanhasbailout Santa Claws

            “There’s nothing statist about suggesting an increase in the number of cops in schools.”

            Only a lawyer could say something like that and believe it. It is obvious to me now that you are simply a common sociopath. I look forward to the end of any influence your type has in the GOP. It’s coming – soon.

            For everybody else’s reference, here’s what a fact-based, intellectually rigorous analysis of the situation looks like:

            http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-12-16/guest-post-gun-control-no-drone-control

          • Aaron

            Nothing he has said is “statist”. If he had said that the U.S. Army should post troops at every school in the nation, maybe. But police are local, they are community members. They are not members of the National State. In reality, it can even be done without much of an increase of staff. Imagine if that were a police station next to the school, instead of a fire department.

            Some people have said that anyone armed at school should be armed and in plain clothes to keep from alerting the children. I see it exactly opposite. It should be uniformed officers. There are many communities in this country where uniformed officers visit schools on a regular basis, as part of a community outreach program. Police on school grounds not only helps protect from mass murders, but it decreases school violence in general, allows the children to learn to value police (and thereby the rule of law) at an early age, and creates a positive bond between children and police. The police are no longer strangers, but people the children actually know.

          • http://twitter.com/icanhasbailout Santa Claws

            Look, this is not hard. If your solution involves a government employee doing something, it is by definition statist. Government = the state. Plain clear English language. If you disagree you are speaking a different language.

          • http://twitter.com/icanhasbailout Santa Claws

            UPDATE: Check this out, LOL – Governor McDonnell apparently thinks my “simply not rational” solution is a better one than you got.

            http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/state-regional/mcdonnell-ponders-armed-school-officials/article_8caab5ea-864c-5902-95cf-ff0e54d80f81.html

            You fail, lawyer-lobbyist big government loving fake Republican.

          • http://twitter.com/BrianSchoeneman Brian W. Schoeneman

            1) The “state” is more than the government.

            2) McDonnell suggested that teachers be allowed to carry. Your solution was to “arm those responsible.” His suggestion was specific in the point that the arming would be voluntary. My response was to your categorical statement that teachers should be armed, period. If you meant allowing teachers to carry and not forcing them to, you had ample time to explain yourself when I made arguments about how teachers didn’t want that responsibility. You didn’t. You went back to your name calling, which is where you generally go when you get schooled.

            3) I don’t have a problem with voluntary carry for teachers. I have supported those measures in the past. I just simply don’t think it’s a true solution because not enough of them will do it. That’s why I want armed SROs and more of them in not just high schools.

            4) I still don’t understand how your solution of requiring teachers to carry in schools is not statist and my solution of increasing the number of SROs is somehow statist. Your solution involves a government employee doing something. That’s what teachers are. And forcing them to carry would require a law. You’re a hypocrite. You’re advocating far more government intrusion into people’s lives than I am.

          • http://twitter.com/icanhasbailout Santa Claws

            I of course said nothing about requiring anything, as anyone who can read can verify for themselves. No surprise you need to create strawmen to attempt to defend your indefensible, unprincipled position, because that’s what pathological lawyers do.

  • pinecone321

    Actually no, Brian. Right about now everyone’s emotions are running very high. The last time anyone needs to discuss national policy on mass murder is from an emotional standpoint. When time has passed, and the emotions have settled, would be a much better time to discuss the issue of mass murder, and in particular the Sandy Hook tragedy. Feel good measures are never the right measures if you are really looking for any possible solutions. We’ve had far too many bills taken up because of the bleeding heart liberals who get you while you are down.

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