“How do we protect our children?” NRA President Wayne LaPierre asked Friday morning, the one week anniversary of the horrific mass murders of 20 6- and 7-year-old students and 6 unarmed adults who died trying to protect them from the murderous rage of a coward.
Parents work to protect their kids almost every waking minute. We feed them healthy food to prevent obesity and illness, we brush their teeth to prevent cavities, we give them mittens and hats to protect them from the cold, we use child seats and seatbelts make them safer in car rides.
Politicians have touted gun-free zones as another way to protect children and other vulnerable members of society. Gun-free zones actually tell every insane killer in America the schools are the safer place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk, making children easy targets.
Law abiding citizens respect these laws, but psychopaths know that they are unlikely to face armed resistance if they attack a school.
When guns are wielded by the good guys, guns become the great equalizer for the vulnerable in our society. “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun,” LaPierre said, “is a good guy with a gun,” adding, “Would you rather have your 911 call bring a good guy with a gun from a mile away — or a minute away?”
Already, gun-rights opponents have begun scoffing at the notion of armed guards in our children’s schools. That doesn’t prevent the gun-rights opponent-in-chief from relying on a government-provided security detail to protect his own children.
On any given school day, no fewer than 6 marked Secret Service police cars surround the Sidwell Friends School, where the Obama girls attend. In these cars, good guys are ready to respond with deadly force to any threat of harm to the first daughters.
The Secret Service’s mere presence deters anyone who would attempt violence at the school founded by Quakers, who adhere to pacifism and nonviolent principles. In this haven of Northwest Washington, D.C., the pacifists depend on guns for protection.
In the same way, citizens of states with concealed-carry laws benefit from lower rates of violent crime. In jurisdictions where law-abiding citizens carry guns, everyone is safer because violent criminals do not know who may or may not be armed. Even those without firearms are less likely to be raped, shot or murdered.
Those who carry a concealed firearm add a layer of protection for all of us, especially the weakest and most vulnerable of us.
Parents should demand that communities use the tools we already have available to protect our kids. Armed and trained security guards in every school would assure that all of our kids enjoy a measure of protection similar to what the president rightly provides for his daughters.
Already, the 20,000 different gun laws on the books are not enforced enough, and they certainly did not stop last week’s tragedy.
We have armed guards at banks, airports, office buildings, power plants, courthouses, and sports stadiums — but not schools. “How have our nation’s priorities gotten so far out of order?” LaPierre asked.
He’s right. No one objects to protecting bank lobbies or celebrities. We should all the more protect our most valuable gifts, our children.
We did, after all, form our government to “insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”
If the federal government cannot keep our kids safe, it’s simply not doing its job.
And what about other contributing factors to our violent society? Children are not safer from wall-to-wall media coverage of mass murderers. Children are not safer from increasingly gruesome and realistic video games.
Children are not safer from violent movies and television programming. Children are not safer from the lax enforcement of 20,000 gun laws already on the books.
“We must speak for the safety of our nation’s children,” La Pierre said as he opened his remarks. As a concerned mother, I ask why we need the NRA to speak for our children?
We ask ourselves each day how to protect our children. Banks, airports and rock concerts already know how to do this.
Let’s put guns into the hands of trained school guards who can protect our children. No more easy targets.
First published as an Opinion piece on Fox News in December 2012