As the father of a boy who is a year or two older than those children murdered at Sandy Hook, I can’t understand how the National Rifle Association and various legislators could claim that having an armed guard in every school — or even arming the teachers — would ensure our kids’ safety. After all, the high school in Columbine had an armed guard who was on duty that day, and he wasn’t able to stop Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold from killing 12 students and one teacher.
And outfitted as Adam Lanza was with a semi-automatic rifle, he could have killed any armed guard who was at Sandy Hook. What’s more, an armed guard faced with a suspicious person entering the school grounds would have only a split second to decide whether to shoot first or not, and that situation is a recipe for killing innocent people.
I am an Episcopalian and try to lead my life in a Christian ethos of love and commitment to my fellow humans regardless of tradition or philosophy. Would prayer and Bible study have changed the minds of those with murderous rage from killing people in schools and theaters? Of course not. However, as I was brought to tears reading how teachers shielded children with their bodies, I saw a living reminder of what is means to truly love and be committed to the least of us. The acts by these teachers bespeak the best assets that dwell in all of us.
Neither more guns nor more God in the classroom is an answer to Sandy Hook and other rampages. Instead, we need sensible gun-control laws. Conservatives will continue to lose ground if they insist on peddling solutions that won’t get the job done and that seem so self-serving.
Fred McKissack Jr., of Fort Wayne, Ind., is a writer for Progressive Media Project, a source of liberal commentary on domestic and international issues. Web site: www.progressive.org.