Rather than try to control, ‘Teach, Train, Protect’
By JAMES LLOYD
Through all forms of media, the American people are being assaulted by an excessive flow of stories discussing gun control. In regards to this idea of “gun control,” and the arguments supporting it, I have a few major disagreements and a few suggestions.
First off is accountability. How can we blame guns for crimes like school shootings? We do not blame cars for drunk drivers, airplanes for 9/11, mountains for people who get pushed off them or spoons for making people fat. Millions of people in this country own and use guns and have never and will never commit a crime with them. So how can we blame guns?
My second issue is reality. If we ban guns or implement stricter gun laws, will that truly stop mass violence? Personally, I think not. Lunatics will still be lunatics, and if they cannot shoot, they will find another way to inflict pain.
Thirdly are the facts and reasons behind why we were guaranteed the right to bear arms in the first place. The government cannot protect us all the time or from every threat. We have all heard the arguments about how the right to bear arms is to protect us from rogue citizens and tyrannical governments, but it is also there in case the government fails or falls.
In his inauguration speech, President John F. Kennedy said, “My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.” While it is not as popular as another line from the same speech, it is the quote I prefer to think of at times like these. We cannot rely on our government or dreams of peace to protect us from violence and oppression; we must work and fight together to protect our safety and freedom.
What will help prevent these tragedies are not stricter laws, but intelligent usage of the tools available to us specifically for these situations.
If new provisions are implemented require there be at least one faculty member at a school with a gun and proper training, we could potentially stop future tragedies from occurring.
If we encourage mental health treatment and common sense, we could stop these tragedies from occurring. The events at Sandy Hook elementary did not occur because the shooter had a gun, because he was autistic, because he was depressed or because he was playing violent video games. They occurred because someone left a depressed, autistic child in front of violent games with firearms accessible.
So, what I recommend, in addition to an increased focus on mental health, is what I refer to as “Teach, Train, Protect,” or T.T.P.
Teach: we start at the school level. We teach children what to do if exposed to firearms, how to deal with one if they find it and, if they have to hold it, how to do so safely.
Train: we get schools to select a few staff members that, they trust and send them to urban firearms training, we could even train them to the extent we train police officers.
Protect: we put these people in our schools, armed, and have faith that should the dreadful day arise that some madman decides to try to harm our children, they will be there to stop them.
Is it a fool proof plan, probably not, but having someone there to deal with a problem like this is much more efficient than burying our heads in the sand and hoping a problem won’t arise.
The point is that getting rid of guns, which are nothing more than tools, will not stop anything bad from happening. The only reasonable thing we can do to stand against these tragedies is to have plans and people in place to face down the people committing them and limit the damage done.