By now, most are aware of the stabbing that took place in a Pennsylvania school that sent 20 people to the hospital. Wasting no time, anti-gun activists took the rest of the day off of work and quickly hopped onto web sites to express their joy that the 16-year old perpetrator of this crime didn’t have a gun. After all – they argue – a gun would have turned 20 injuries into 20 or 30 deaths.
Putting the mindless insanity of relying on clumsy assumptions aside, what most people are missing in this discussion is a far more important question. The weapon used in the attack is not the issue. The issue is that of prevention. How do we, as a society, prevent people from unleashing violence and havoc amongst a group of completely helpless people?
First, the issue of gun-free zones reemerges once again. Of course, nobody in that school – for the exception of a school police officer – was allowed to carry a knife or gun, so the knife-wielding child has free reign over other helpless students until the officer arrived on the scene and took the 16-year old down. Sadly, this school was lucky to have an armed police officer in the school. Most schools are not as fortunate.
Second, what if this school – and all schools – had well-trained administrators who carry firearms inside the school? 20 people were knifed, some with life-threatening injuries. How many fewer victims would there be if this school had trained marksmen working in the school?
People seem relieved that a gun was not used, completely ignoring the larger question of what makes schools safe. Do written policies prevent knives and guns from being brought into school zones? No. Do signs posted outside of schools (and office buildings) prevent mass tragedies? Again, of course not.
Do jewelry stores get robbed when armed guards are stationed by the door? Not too often, and there is a reason for that. Jewelry stores take visible precautions against the would-be criminal.
Schools and businesses tape signs up on windows and create written policies.
Which method do you trust more?