U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Set aside what you imagine about guns and protecting students at school. Keeping our kids safe is hard work. It is ugly and almost always unappreciated. We don’t want appreciation for what we’ve been forced to do if a murderer comes to school. It is far better to be known for what we prevented. Defending our students from media-fueled narcissistic psychopaths is a dull job. Being present every day so you can stop a murderer is easily ignored because it is out of sight. Contrast that grinding job with the one-click solution of “gun control”. Gun-control politicians say they can put a few more words on paper, hold a few press conferences, and it will be as if evil simply went away.. or did it? We’re conducting several large-scale social experiments at the same time. Our children’s lives depend on what we do.
Each day brings us something new. Our children live in a world where they are exposed to millions of online “friends” they’ve never met. Many of these friends might not even be real people. These online identities influence how our children think and feel. I’m not sure about the benefits, but the downside has been a surge in both narcissism and anorexia. Today, our children constantly compare themselves to an image on a small screen.
We also have millions of children growing up in broken homes. Many of these children are raised by the entertainment media and by electronic games. That isn’t good for healthy children, let alone the children who lack a healthy mom and dad. We also know that we are not all the same and that electronic games are catastrophic for some people. These gamers already feel alienated to an unusual degree. They think they deserve more recognition. Immerse these fragile youngsters into hundreds of hours of violent first-person roll-playing games, and something happens. The psychopaths eventually think to themselves, ‘I’d kill to get this much attention.’ Our voracious news media is ready to oblige. That is new.
In contrast, firearms have been a part of society for a relatively long time. We have lived with guns for at least the last four centuries. We’ve lived with semi-automatic rifles for over a hundred years. The so-called “assault rifle” is over 80 years old. What changed is that we’ve never grown up with mass media in our pocket 24-7 starting when children are 6 years of age. We don’t know what that does to people, and we’re conducting the real-time experiment on our children and on our society. We learn new things every day.
We’ve seen the mass media turn the last murderer into an instant celebrity by giving him a multi-million-dollar publicity campaign. The next murderer notices the attention poured on the last murderer. That creates a new generation of “celebrity-murderers”, a term that didn’t exist as little as two decades ago. We’ve seen over 80 copycat murderers after the attack on Columbine High School, but that data is now several years out of date.
Not only are our children ill-prepared to deal with the media, but adults and politicians do only a little better. The public is influenced by the most outrageous claim that can be taken from a situation or statement. The media and unscrupulous politicians feed us a series of false choices. Please consider each of these claims for more than a minute and you can easily see a context in which each statement is clearly right. You can also see a context in which the claim is clearly wrong.
- You don’t care if our children die since you won’t disarm everyone,
- but we’ve seen mass murders where firearms are banned.
- It doesn’t help to put mental health counselors in school because we have to insure patient privacy and confidentiality,
- but we’ve seen mental health counselors help, and we’ve also seen counselors be completely ineffective at identifying and treating violent patients.
- Violence isn’t the answer,
- but we have to use violence as necessary to stop the attacker or else we’ll perpetuate the next cycle of media-fueled murderers.
- Don’t turn the murderer into a media celebrity,
- but we have the right of free speech and freedom of the press.
Let me say it again that we are not all the same. Psychopaths are part of our population and always have been. We’ve seen the behavior of psychopaths change in our modern media environment. Today we see psychopaths target innocent victims in gun-free zones because that behavior rewarded by the mass media. Examined in hindsight, the murderers spent years happily planning their attacks. The threat of celebrity-violence is increasing as a greater number of fragile children are immersed in electronic media, and news outlets reward the latest murderer with greater and more sensational coverage.
We should be hungry for facts about protecting our children. Of course, we worry about what would happen if we allowed volunteer staff to be trained and then to go armed at school. But we already know what happens. We already have millions of man-hours with trained and armed-school staff on campus. Despite what we imagine, these staff have not had firearms accidents at school. More importantly, we have not seen a successful attack at a school when trained and armed school staff were present. We need to set our fantasies aside.
We imagine that a teacher will shoot the wrong person. We’ve seen the police shoot the wrong person in mass murder, but armed civilians have not. We imagine that our friendly elementary school teacher doesn’t have what it takes to stop a mass murderer. That isn’t our experience. When armed civilians get involved, they almost always stop or significantly disrupt the mass murderer.
All this sounds like great news, but there is a flaw. These facts are grim. Protecting our children requires us to admit that some of us are broken and want to kill innocent people. Protecting our children from celebrity murderers is a dull and daily grind. In contrast, the latest political solution is more gun control. If we were honest, we’d say that we don’t really expect murderers to obey our gun-control laws but we have to do something to feel better. We want to do something so we can turn our back on the ugly problem of evil.
It feels better to pass another of the 23 thousand gun-control regulations, if only for a minute. The problem of evil did not go away, and it will be back to kill our children when the next celebrity murderer wants his face in the news. If we speak the truth out loud, we ignore our children’s safety because we don’t want to put in the hard work of protecting them. We can, and we should make hard choices and be willing to do the hard and dreary work to save our children and our neighbor’s children.
If volunteer staff can put their life on the line to protect our children, then we can do our part as well. I know that looking at evil is hard to do, but we can look evil in the face and defend innocent victims. If that is too hard for our school board, then it is time to change the school board. It is better to look evil in the eye than to see more dead children we should have saved.
About Rob Morse
The original article is posted here. Rob Morse writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily, at Second Call Defense, and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob was an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.