To the Editor:
Harden hearts against children by hardening soft target of schools? In his speech at CPAC, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre warned his audience to be “frightened” of any Democratic election victory: “What they want is more restrictions on the law-abiding. If they seize power ... our American freedoms could be lost and our country will be changed forever.” LaPierre demanded more armed security in schools, including arming teachers. “God help us if we don’t harden our schools.”
Let’s follow the reasoning to its conclusion. The NRA and Republicans want more guns in schools, in the hands of teachers, administrators, custodians, additional security guards, even though the school resource officer assigned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, never went inside the school when the gunman began shooting at students. These pro-gun people say that these people with guns, concealed or stored in classrooms, would be trained, even though numerous instances involving police officers have shown that innocent bystanders often get hit in the crossfire. Unless an intruder or angry student with a weapon began shooting inside a classroom where a “good guy with a gun” might have a chance to defend the students, how long would it take for someone to locate the shooter? In most instances, most of the shooting takes place in just minutes.
In a chaotic situation with everyone panicking, would the “good guy” be able to distinguish innocent students from the gunman? Nikolas Cruz put away his AR-15 in his backpack after killing 17 students before exiting the building along with hundreds of other students; authorities didn’t find him for another hour.
But assuming schools are hardened into compounds of security, is the problem solved? We’ve already seen churches as soft targets. Encourage people to carry their bibles and guns into houses of worship? What about concerts, theaters, shopping malls, grocery and department stores – anywhere people congregate? Soon, America will look like third-world countries where on every street corner someone in uniform stands with a weapon ready. If this happens ... “our American freedoms could be lost and our country will be changed forever.”