Safer Schools and the NRA

In the face of tragedy, some people get their claws out. I’ve been involved in law enforcement for more than 30 years, and I’ve followed the politics and statements of the NRA for closer to 40 years. No one wants to see another school shooting, another active assailant attack, or another innocent person hurt in any way. No one, including the NRA.

For as long as I can remember, the NRA has supported law enforcement training, civilian firearms training and safety, safety education for children, mandatory prison sentences for people who use firearms in the commission of crimes, and victim advocacy to allow victims to speak up to keep violent offenders behind bars. The NRA even offers online training on these and other topics. The NRA supports LEOSA and firearms instructors who train civilians and LEOs nationwide. So how has the NRA become the whipping post for criminal acts? It makes no sense.

Despite the hype and lies, LEOs overwhelmingly do not support more gun control. Don’t believe me? Ask them on your social media channels. They do not support it because it doesn’t work. Study after study concluded that the ten-year Assault Weapons Ban had no effect on crime. According to the FBI, more people are killed with “personal weapons” aka hands and feet than by rifles. Knives are used to kill three times more people than rifles. LEOs know this. They see violence first-hand. They know that the weapon is the not the reason for the violence. They know that domestic violence victims who cannot arm themselves are helpless.

Why would any person want to commit a mass killing? People who refuse to acknowledge the desensitization to killing from video games and other cultural influences cite to a lack of empirical evidence. Now just how would one test that in a laboratory? Do you think it is a positive thing for children to get points for stealing cars, killing people, and extra points for head shots? Do you think a culture of music that glorifies violence, lawlessness, gang affiliation, and abuse of women leads to more responsible adults? Should Hollywood, the makers of movies that glorify drug dealing, gang violence, and random killing should even have a say in public policy? Would those same actors sign a pledge not to appear in any movie holding a firearm?

As to the prohibition of anyone to own a firearm if they are “mentally ill” we need to look to the Due Process Clauses of the United States Constitution and your own state constitutions. Should a person who takes anti-depressants to quit smoking or to recover from post-partum depression be banned forever from owning a firearm? What about the person who defends our country and seeks help to recover from the horrors they witnessed? Or even closer to home, what about the LEO who sees death and cruelty every day and seeks assistance – do we take their firearms?

Policies have gone awry. My clients have been ordered to leave schools and day care centers when they arrived IN UNIFORM to drop off their kids or have lunch with them. LEOs are being ordered to leave restaurants because customers are uncomfortable looking at their duty weapons. People are being targeted because of “gun free zone” signs not in spite of them. The focus on the gun as the evil has misdirected resources and increased the carnage. We have allowed people with an agenda to disarm segments of our society and put groups, including children, at risk. It is time for this to stop.

If you are looking for a whipping post, look at the Governor of California who signed a bill banning enhanced penalties for people who use firearms in the commission of a felony. Every gang member in California is rejoicing. The cacophony of ignorance surrounding firearms that has been demonstrated by politicians and other activists is deafening. The lies are counterproductive. For example, we are not seeing one active shooter event every day. Stop lying.

Active shooters and active assailants, like the student who stabbed 14 people in 2014, usually rampage for 4-6 minutes. If they are not kept from the building through physical security, they must be stopped by an armed person. That is the reality. Whether that armed person is a civilian or a LEO makes no difference to me or any LEO I know. Unless we start aggressive enforcement and investigation of internet and social media threats, intervention into the lives of children who are at-risk and other people who have manifested their intent to harm others, we will not see a change.

By the way, if you think it is unreasonable for selected teachers and administrators to be armed because their job is to be role models for children, handle social problems, and provide safe environments all while making very low annual salaries, the average LEO is called upon to do all of that and carry a gun – for the same or less money. The reality is that the Gun Free School Zones law is a public policy failure. Stay safe.

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