Since Nothing Else Works, Arm the Principals

By Lloyd the Idiot

For three days now, I’ve done my best to avoid coverage of the tragedy in Newtown.  Stories like this, as horrific as they are, sadly are becoming all too familiar.  In fact, the coverage is almost formulaic:

Photos of survivors running from the school

Interviews with concerned parents

Press conferences with the police identifying victims and the murderer

School pictures of the murdered kids

Pictures of the murderer, along with stories about how he was a loner in need of psychological help

Then the eulogies

Then, finally, the tiny coffins and grieving parents behind them

Also formulaic is the response from politicians and pundits.  Clamor for more gun control, clamor for better treatment of mentally ill.  In the end, it doesn’t ease anyone’s suffering.  It doesn’t prevent future suffering.

Indeed, the cold, hard reality, as painful as it may be to admit in times like these, is this

  • Guns are not going to go away no matter how tough the laws are
  • Crazy people are not going away no matter how great the treatment programs are
  • Mass killings are not going away no matter how stringent the gun control laws are and no matter how great our mental health programs are.  If some crazy wants to get into a school and kill people, he’s going to succeed.
  • Worst of all, and most difficult:  this wasn’t the first, it won’t be the last, and, someday somewhere, there will be a worse one.

What we have learned, however, is that programs at the school worked – to a certain extent.  Split second decisions to lock down the school and hide the kids were effective, assuming the reports we’ve heard are true.  In other words, the only things that really have been proven to work in terms of meaningful protection (or prevention) is found at the school itself.  With that simple fact, I offer this simple, yet admittedly incomplete, recommendation: allow principals to have loaded shotguns at the schools, train them in their use, and prepare them for the worst.  When seconds count, it is, sadly, about the only thing that could make any meaningful difference.   Yes, explore our mental health programs and explore ways to ensure the imbalanced don’t get access to weapons, but, in the end, there’s really only one way to end (not prevent) these murderous rampages.

Just like 9/11 made air marshals out of all of us, so, too, should this tragedy make every teacher a sheriff and every principal a marksman.


  • BlackOut says:

    Cato where have you been we’re 200 comments into this thing about Bill Fox trying to give shot guns to teachers. We’re not talking about training police officers with guns.

    You can call it what ever you want but I think people have as much right not be shot by a gun as people have a right to own a gun.

    There is a reasonable middle ground.

  • G.Stone says:

    “Good ones at that. I am aware the NRA programs are top notice, not so sure about the freelance versions promoted by the local gun slinger Stoner.”

    I assume you meant NRA programs are top notch. If so, we are in rare agreement.

    My teaching credentials 7 each seperate certifications are ALL from the the NRA. These include 5 Firearms Instructor Certs, Range Safety Officer and Chief Range Safety Officer.

    Further, my other credentials are issued from the Commonwealth of Virginia Dept of Criminal Justice and require yearly recertification.

    S0, I am not sure what the hell you are refering to as “freelance” versions.

    Again, your ignorance abounds when it comes to the subject of guns, gun control and the 2A.

    I will stack my credentials against yours on this subject matter any day of the week.

    BTW, to Catos point. There are currently somewhere in the area of 23,000 schools in the U.S. with armed Security. In some cases it is local LE, others utilize private security companies. Those companies like any other service can offer protective security at various or multiple levels.

    In the case of Sidwell Friends, they employ private security utilizing personell with varied but very experienced backgrounds.

    One might want to check out the level of private security at some of the private educational establishments to view what is currently being done in the way of protecting children while at school. There is no one model, they vary greatly.

    I have to laugh at the level of commentary on this subject in which those who are supposed to be seeking solutions are blissfully ignorant of what is already being done all across the country. Nothing like denoucing something that is already working, or stating it does not exist because you don’t want to acknowledge your oppositions successes. Given the subject matter it is actually kinda sick that some would use the mass murder of children as a means to score political points or advance a cause they know will have little or no value beyond the ability to kick political foes in the groin in the short term.

  • BlackOut says:

    Stoner, did you ever not pass a concealed weapons carry student? Doubt it. Did you ever think someone shouldn’t pass, I guarantee it or you’re embellishing your experience? No real lasting proficiency is required to get and keep the permit. That’s what I hear from my cousin who is a former Army sniper, now is a gun collector and is now an instructor.

    A couple of hours of training can get you flying a plane too. Doesn’t mean you’re an expert.

    Stoner, I am certain you have as much enthusiasm for guns as the NRA President LaPierre. He certain is unwavering and intransigence in his views as you are. He makes money at it, just like you do. So I can certainly see the economic motive to squash any attempt for reasonable control on guns and their owners. Advocating for your turf is understandable, but at least be honest about it.

  • G.stone says:

    Typical BO.

    When bitch slapped in public change the subject.

    I have 10 bucks that says your cousin thinks you are as big a dip shit as I do.

    Merry Christmas

  • Stone, they never want to do anything about banning the criminals, only the guns, so as long as you have criminals they will always be able to get guns no matter how much you punish the law-abiding citizens. Anybody who thinks we can keep guns from walking across the border into criminal hands any more than we can stop illegal invaders or drugs is a fool. “Gee, I’d really like to go rob a bank or wipe out a classroom today, but I can’t buy a gun legally so I guess I won’t do it.”

  • BlackOut says:

    Typical Stoner, never able to consider the other side of an issue. AND always assume after he speaks everyone should agree, or they are “some creative name” like dip shit, prick, bitch or some other lively word.

  • BlackOut says:

    Suicidal gunman lures in firefighters to house fire and kills two.

    Quick Stoner and Doom, let’s hear about how we should now be providing armed escorts for all fireman. Do you think they will need up-armored humvees?

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    By the end of today more than 2000 people will die in the United States from alcohol related causes.

    Quick BO…. Tell us how we should regulate the size of glasses and lower the amount of alcohol in drinks.

    Quick. Let’s try to fix everything that causes bad people to do bad things to other bad people. And not worry about unintended consequences.

    There is no need for guards (or police) in schools and no need to regulate anything. As hard as it is to accept, there is no need to do ANYTHING. Bad things will happen no matter what you do. Sometimes doing nothing is OK.

    In fact, it is all this DOING SOMETHING that is causing all these messes. Stop doing stuff. Stop making things worse doing things to solve corner cases.

  • BlackOut says:

    Red herring LA, lets talk about guns.

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    It is not a red herring. You want to save lives? You will save more lives by controlling alcohol. I guess saving lives is not really your goal.

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    I took the time to look it up. Around 100K deaths per year are attributed to excessive alcohol in the US. More than 200 children per year are killed each year by drunk drivers.

    If you are being intellectually honest and you want to save the lives of 10x as many children as were killed in CT EACH YEAR, then let’s have an honest conversation about alcohol control and installing breathalyzers in every car in America.

    Or else you are just being hypocritical.

  • Eric the half a troll says:

    LA, you are correct, we should treat guns exactly as we treat automobiles.

  • Scout says:

    I might be more impressed with the alcohol analogy if I could recall even one instance in which someone walked into an elementary school and forced twenty little kids to drink alcohol until they died from liver poisoning. But I can’t. Alcohol as a murder weapon isn’t a big issue in the United States. I think discerning minds might be able to distinguish the public policy issues associated with alcohol from those that attend the widespread availability and distribution of multiple round weapons.

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    “LA, you are correct, we should treat guns exactly as we treat automobiles”

    I said alcohol and automobiles. Let’s reduce glass sizes by law. Let’s require breathalyzers. I am glad you agree that is the only consistent approach.

    “. Alcohol as a murder weapon isn’t a big issue in the United States. ”

    The stats I found say otherwise. 10x more kids are killed every year by alcohol. Whether they die in murder or accidents, you are hypocritical if your goal is to reduce suffering and death.

    You are just picking and choosing. Attack the biggest cause first. Ban alcohol from the US. It kills more than 30 times more Americans every year than 9/11.

    Now, just to be clear, I don’t want alcohol controlled like that. I want alcohol misused as a safety issue for others controlled. But I am not going to call for people not to own and posses what they like as long as THEY don’t hurt someone. I blame the killer. Not the tool. I punish the killer, not the tool. And when the killer is beyond punishment, then I accept that crazy people exist and there is little that can or should be done. That doing things to fix these occasional (and getting rarer) problems is only going to make thing worse.

    So before any of you want to create more regulations, let’s have a serious and adult conversational on controlling alcohol and regulating it better so it doesn’t kill so many people each year. Is adjusting serving size in order? Breathalyzers? Random checks of bars to check alcohol content? Required yearly checks by doctors for damage due to alcohol? Possession limits?

    If you believe that gun control will work to keep 20 kids from getting killed again, then you must believe that massive control of alcohol will save even more kids.

    Murder or accident, the kid is still dead.

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    ” I think discerning minds might be able to distinguish the public policy issues associated with alcohol from those that attend the widespread availability and distribution of multiple round weapons.”

    By the way…. Yes. People who are actually discerning recognize that alcohol kills thousands more children per decade than multiple round weapons and is far more widely distributed.

  • Eric the half a troll says:

    No, LA, you misunderstand. I agree with you in concept. The number one cause of non-illness related death is accident related deaths. Traditionally, the number one cause in this category was automobiles. But through proper regulations, this has dropped dramatically to the point that suicide is number one now. So it is proven that through regulation of the instrument, one can have a dramatic impact on death rates. Frankly, we HAVE done the same thing with alcohol. Look at drinking age regulations and the drunk driving regulations and their impact on alcohol related deaths. frankly, I have no problem with mandating the universal use of technology in cars to improve these stats. You certainly do not have a right to drink and drive.

    So I DO agree with you. You are correct. Regulations continue to be applied to the use of alcohol AND automobiles AND guns. It works! Thanks for pointing this out. And Merry Christmas!!

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    One thing I like about you is that you are intellectually consistent in your wrongheadedness.

    So, what do you say anti-gun guys? Can we all work together on limiting glass sizes , alcohol content in liquor (say half), require breathalyzers use in every car in America? We can put in the same bill clip size limits, stronger background checks at gun shows, and ban “assault” weapons.

    But only if you agree to massive alcohol control. C’mon guys. You care about the kiddies right and not your favorite fashionable political cause. Let’s do this together. Let’s start this serious talk about alcohol control.

    While we have some controls on alcohol and vehicles, we clearly do not have enough with a Sandy Hook nearly every month.

    So be intellectually consistent and tackle the cause more likely to kill these little kids than guns. Or is your wine and brie too important?

    If massively reducing the alcohol content of your wine would save even one child’s life, isn’t it worth it?

  • BlackOut says:

    Red Herring! Look it up.

  • Eric the half a troll says:

    LA, regulations have helped the accidental death rate. Why would you think it would not help the high gun death rate as well. But you are making a false comparison because you are comparing a very regulated product (which actually might warrant some additional or better regulation) to a completely unregulated product.

  • G.Stone says:

    “never able to consider the other side of an issue”

    Considered and rejected for obvious reasons. When you find yourself on the wrong side, or that side void of factual information, you might want to reconsider your postion, or continue your life being the achitect of rejected positions.

  • Scout says:

    Can we just stipulate that LA is probably the only person in the United States who thinks the gun issue and the alcohol issue are the same species of public policy concern? Each merits attention in its own way, but LA seems to be of the view that the gun issue cannot be addressed pending resolution of the alcohol issue. I find that a peculiar thought process, but because it is so narrowly held, I think it can be safely and reasonably ignored. Perhaps LA could favour us with a post on his national plan for dealing with alcohol abuse. I hope it is more sophisticated than what was tried in the early 20th Century.

    I suppose we can acknowledge that alcohol -impaired people carrying guns provides a point of intersection, but the news of the day focusses on gun-related mass homicides of children and other innocents. As noted above, alcohol homicides, particularly of large numbers of little ones, are exceedingly rare.

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    “Red Herring!”

    BO, Repeating it doesn’t make it any more true.

    “LA, regulations have helped the accidental death rate. Why would you think it would not help the high gun death rate as well.”

    This is false. I have shown many time the OSHA chart – for example – that shows the rate of improvement in accidental death and injury has remained consistent regardless of how many regulations are made. This is true of almost all regulations. Examinations of data do not show a measurable impact from regulation on safety. Even the famous seat belt laws did not change the growing safety rate in cars that extends back well before heavy regulation set in.

    Simply put – government regulations have a minor impact on behaviour. Even full blown laws – like the drug laws – have little impact.

    ” But you are making a false comparison because you are comparing a very regulated product (which actually might warrant some additional or better regulation) to a completely unregulated product.”

    Both are regulated. You cannot claim their are no gun regulations. And alcohol is clearly more dangerous for children than guns at the moment. If you believe regulation will help (it won’t), then focus on further regulating the more dangerous item. Reduce glass sizes (just like ammo clips), raise the price through high taxation, drive alcohol consumption down.

    “Can we just stipulate that LA is probably the only person in the United States who thinks the gun issue and the alcohol issue are the same species of public policy concern? ”

    You could stipulate it as you can stipulate anything. But that doesn’t make the thing stipulated even accurate. I am not the only one (see google) and I am dealing with what tool kills the most kids. It is alcohol – not guns.

    ” LA seems to be of the view that the gun issue cannot be addressed pending resolution of the alcohol issue.”

    No. Anything can be done independently. But only if you are intellectually dishonest about your goals. IF you believe regulation helps. And IF you believe that saving children’s lives is important, then focus on the thing most likely to dave the most lives – alcohol. Or do both. But you ignore alcohol in your quest to save children’s lives.

    Why? Is it because you use alcohol responsibly? And you don’t think you should be further regulated? Sounds like the gun owners. They use their guns responsibly.

    But… you say…. “They don’t need certain types of weapons to enjoy shooting or certain clip types or whatever.”….

    Well…. I say you don’t need certain types of alcohol to enjoy drinking. Or certain amounts. Let’s ban all but beer and wine. The rest are unnecessary to enjoy drinking. And let’s cut the alcohol content in half. And regulate glass sizes.

    You can still enjoy your alcohol. But you don’t need to enjoy all types of alcohol or unlimited strengths and quantities.

    The analogy is sound. You have just picked a sub-issue out of a complex melange of factors and decided it is THE issue that will stop the madness. When…. in fact…. no amount of regulation will change the average stats (which are getting better). And will only create problems.

    Stop having “Wars on X”. At least through government. The solution to these things is to reduce the involvement of government and let 100’s of millions of individuals make individual choices. This will further reduce the negative side effects. The myth that we must “DO SOMETHING” must stop. And especially when the something is add more government to the huge and complex government we have now.

    “but the news of the day focusses on gun-related mass homicides of children and other innocents. ”

    And that is the point. You are the dupe of the media. If it bleeds it leads. What happened is horrible. And it may be more mundane and spread out that little kids are killed by drunk drivers at 10x the number of Sandy Hook every year.

    But those kids are no less dead. And each one was just as much a tragedy. And yet… you have allowed yourself to be swayed by media coverage.

    The media has the power to set the conversation. If they decide on all networks to display the faces of the children killed every day by drunk drivers and tell moving stories about them, then you will want to DO SOMETHING about that.

    Just stop doing stuff through government. Go help some mentally ill yourself. Or whatever. But don’t make more useless laws to add to the useless laws we already have. I know they make you feel better.

    Thank god Sarbanes Oxley stopped all that terrible financial fraud… Oh wait…..

  • BlackOut says:

    “Red herring is an English-language idiom that commonly refers to a type of logical fallacy in which a clue is intentionally or unintentionally misleading or distracting from the actual issue. It is also a literary device employed by writers that leads readers or characters towards a false conclusion, often used in mystery or detective fiction.”

    I will give you this LA, you have successfully stopped any discussion on guns. If that is what you planned it worked. If not then start a new separate thread about alcohol abuse and leave the guns out of it.

    I think Scout pretty much wrapped this one up.

  • Scout says:

    When I see a comment as prolix as the last one, I fear for the emotional health of the commenter. LA, clearly the alcohol issue vexes you greatly and is causing you great anguish. Have a go at it, man. This how great deeds sometimes get started. If you can make a significant dent in national or international alcohol related deaths and injuries, there might even be a Nobel in it.

    There are others of us, however, who have other priorities and were putting our thoughts into this thread because of the murders in Newtowne and elsewhere.

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    ” LA, clearly the alcohol issue vexes you greatly and is causing you great anguish.”

    Something is clearly lost in the connection of my writing to your thinking.

    My point is regulation vexes me. Not alcohol. Drink yourself into a stupor. Do not endanger others and I don’t care. Guns and alcohol both don’t vex me.

    My point is focused on trying to get you to understand your intellectual inconsistencies and the possibility of doing nothing. Doing nothing is a choice. And sometimes can be the best one.

  • Eric the half a troll says:

    “Both are regulated. You cannot claim their are no gun regulations.”

    In relative terms guns are essentially unregulated.

    “And let’s cut the alcohol content in half. And regulate glass sizes.”

    They already DO regulate alcohol content and glass size. I went to Dog Fish the other night and they brought my beer to me in a smaller – about 8 oz. I asked why I could not get a pint and they said anything over (I think it was) 8% alcohol had to be served in te smaller glass. See this IS a regulated product and you don’t even realize it nor does it inhibit your ability to exercise your right to imbibe.

    Your argument has no validity, LA. Regulations work. They have saved innumerable innocent lives in every facet of life. They need to be applied to guns. To argue otherwise is to argue that there should be no auto safety laws, no speed limit, no drunk driving laws, no worker safety laws, no public health or food safety laws, no car registration or insurance requirements or auto safety inspections. A typical libertarian argument but one that would be devastating to society and public safety.

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    I will let this thread return to the gun issue exclusively and bow out. I would caution the pro-gun people though to ALSO consider that doing nothing is best.

    We don’t HAVE to do something. We don’t have to put arm guards in schools. We don’t have to put weapons in schools. We don’t have to regulate clip sizes or anything else.

    In Loudoun County you can pull all the cops out of schools and allow the administrators and teachers to control kids out of control as they see fit (without fear of lawsuit) until the cops come.


    Don’t fall into the DO SOMETHING trap. Nothing you do will stop bad things from happening sometimes. Even a well trained cop can be shot to death before entering the school by a determined assailant. Or they just go to the church. Or the library. Or wherever.

    Bad things will happen will happen at approximately the same declining rate no matter what we do. However doing something always takes money. Deploying cops at schools takes money out of the tax base that could otherwise be spent more wisely by the citizen. And for no real benefit. Bad things happen in school at approximately the same rate.

    The problems are social and cultural ones. Not logistical. And the core of the social issues is growing government involvement in everything as well as growing power of lawyers with that growing government. Remove government and make families more responsible for things and you will see greater societal pressure come to bear in a more effective way than any regulation.

    Anyway, please go back to arguing one angle of a highly complex subject.

    Whether you make new laws or not, nothing will change. So please proceed with wasting more money with more rules.

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:


    We’ll continue this in some thread I will start in the new year on the impact of regulations and whether they do or don’t work. You go figure out why Sarbox didn’t work and OSHA had no impact and we will meet for battle on it in the new year.

  • Cato the Elder says:

    The logic I see here goes something like this:

    1.) Newtown was terrible, we must do something.
    2.) An assault weapons ban and magazine restrictions are something.
    3.) Therefore, we must do it.

    Actually, I like Eric’s automobile analogy. Nobody ever suggested taking cars off the road, hell, we don’t even limit the horsepower.

    If you progs stopped talking about gun grabbing and outright bans you might find that some reasonable 2A people would have a serious discussion about licensing and regulation.

    I don’t need you to tell me what I can and can’t have. I am, however, open to a discussion about additional licensing/training/insurance requirements. Or some sort of law which makes firearms owners criminally liable for acts committed with their weapons (if the Lanza weapons had been secured in a safe to which only the mother had the combination, this situation might have turned out very differently). Dollars to doughnuts if you put criminal or civil liability we’ll see a boon in secure firearms storage.

  • BlackOut says:

    Cato, few rational ideas are coming with a goal of doing a gun grab or an outright ban. It’s a convenient canard to use which then avoids consideration of a middle ground. Banging the “ban” bongos leads to frothing at the mouth by the zealots.

    I think discussing your idea of licensing and insurance is a good one. I think registration of firearms is reasonable and does not infringe on 2A rights. I also think a reduction in commercially available firepower is also worth consideration.

    Hard to get to that discussion by those who use the “ban gun” cry. (not directed at you) That goes for both sides of the issue.

  • Eric the half a troll says:

    To extend the auto analogy, I can not drive a semi. It would be too dangerous. Apply the same approach to military grade weapons, I say.

    Banning is not necessary.

  • Ed Myers says:

    Guns don’t kill, bullets do.

    Serialize bullets and shell casings. Murders can then be traced back to the ammunition’s owner. When people are held responsible for their ammo, good people will be more careful. Add a tax on bullets to pay for the cost of gun violence which today is born by victims and taxpayers through medical costs.

    (Note serialization is not just engraving numbers, but embedding micro-encoded material in the bullet itself.)

    I too support the idea that licensing and insurance requirements will promote the safe ownership of guns.

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    A recent Gallup poll relating to guns. It seems the opinions in general are as mixed as the ones expressed here.

  • NateDogg614 says:

    “A young woman pushed a man to his death under an oncoming train at the 40th Street-Lowery Street subway station in Sunnyside, Queens, on Thursday evening, law enforcement authorities said.

    The woman got up from her seat, walked behind the man along the platform, mumbling to herself, witnesses told the police, before shoving him into the path of a Flushing-bound No. 7 train just after 8 p.m. Witnesses said the victim did not appear to notice her.”

    Now, folks, its painfully obvious why this tragedy occured (and it is a tragedy that it took place and I don’t seek to make light of the fact that someone is dead).

    That having been said, its obvious that this happened because the SUBWAY was there. Don’t you see? Subways kill people! We should call on Mayor Bloomberg to ban subways in New York City. The risk to the general population is far too great! This is, what, the 2nd time this has happened in the past few months? Sarcasm aside, if liberals were at all consistent (which they aren’t) they would be calling for a ban on subway trains.

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