Our hearts go out to the families of the victims of the Robb Elementary shooting in Texas yesterday. Words cannot express how heart-wrenching it is to see innocent lives cut short without warning. Unfortunately, this is indicative of a much larger issue, and we can and should do better. For example, according to the FBI, legally armed civilians can and do stop active shooters.
Despite Gun Control Claims, Legally Armed Civilians Stop Active Shooters
They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I can’t help but feel that this is where we are right now.
Maybe it is time to try something different regarding school shooting prevention. First of all, let’s get our country back on track, we are on an unsustainable trajectory and people feel it. What parents feel, kids feel.
Second, let’s finally admit that gun-free zones don’t work.
We reached out to Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb regarding gun-free zones, and he had this to say, “Gun-free school zones have never worked. They just create a target-rich environment for crazed killers to exploit. Our children deserve the same kind of protection that government officials and high-end jewelry stores get.”
According to a recent story on the SAF website regarding the FBI report, armed citizens are stopping active shooters.
The story states, “According to the FBI, in addition to the four perpetrators killed by armed citizens, 30 of these violent thugs were apprehended by law enforcement, and 14 were killed by police officers. One was killed in a vehicle accident during a law enforcement pursuit, 11 others committed suicide, and one remains at large, the report notes. In 2020, the FBI report noted, citizen first responders killed two criminals in the act.”
The only thing that gun-free zones accomplish is ensuring that violent criminals and active shooters are the only ones armed.
We Need a Better Plan
Maybe the answer is increasing the number of counselors in schools as children deal with the aftermath of the pandemic. Or maybe we need to harden schools and classrooms better with barricades and bulletproof doors and glass. But at the very least, there should be an active armed presence for immediate response.
According to Gottlieb, “I would suggest that armed volunteer retired veterans on school grounds would be a cost-effective way to help protect our schools.”
It is tragic that we find ourselves in this position. However, there is something very wrong when politicians receive armed security, but our children do not.
We have to be willing to ask the question: if the teacher had been armed and trained, could this have ended faster? It is a legitimate question. Not to mention, why did the shooter pick an elementary school and not his high school? Was it because he knew he would be met with less resistance?
Guns are not new to the United States. We have enjoyed the Second Amendment since our founding. In fact, I remember going to school and seeing rifles on gun racks in the back window of other students’ trucks. But what I don’t remember are regular active shooter events.
Enough of the Political Theater
Believe me, I take no pleasure in writing this story. And the fact that I have to address the political aspects of it puts a bad taste in my mouth. This should be a time for the families to mourn. But, as if on cue, our elected representatives aren’t letting a good crisis go to waste and are already using yesterday’s tragedy to push more gun control.
President Biden said in a speech following the event last night, “As a nation, we have to ask: When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God’s name will we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?”
Likewise, Senator Schumer is using the incident to force a vote on stricter gun control.
According to the New York Times, “Within hours of the shooting in Uvalde, Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, moved to clear the way to force votes in coming days on legislation that would strengthen background checks for gun purchasers, pushing to revive measures with broad appeal that Republicans have blocked in the past.”
But this just shows, once again, that Democrats are eager to use this tragedy to push their own anti-gun agenda. Likewise, this completely ignores the fact that active shooter incidents have increased by over 50% from 2020 to 2021.
It is clear that there is something else going on here. If we don’t address the real problems, no amount of gun control is going to help. In fact, it only emboldens active shooters.
A Sympathetic Plea for Common Sense
Those of us in the firearm industry mourn yesterday’s terrible tragedy right along with every American. But attacking the Second Amendment for political gain is not going to solve anything. If anything, it will only deepen the divide we are all feeling. The Second Amendment has been around since our founding, but over 60 active shooter events in a year have not.
There is a deeper issue here and until we get past the political claptrap and sound bites, our children remain at risk.
Make no mistake, we gun advocates want these kinds of killings to end too. It kills us a little inside to see these tragedies unfold, knowing that they could have been prevented, if not for restrictive gun control laws.
People are hurting, scared, and feeling hopeless, we can’t just throw a blanket over it and blame guns. We have to do better than that and take an honest look at the root causes.