Using NRA logic, let's arm kindergarteners
The Kansas City Star
The National Rifle Association sensibly suggests that all schools should be protected by armed guards. This is just common sense. But if the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is to have a good guy with a gun, wouldn’t it be better to have dozens of good guys with guns. The NRA proposals don’t go nearly far enough. We need more than one or two armed guards per school! Most schools have multiple points of entry. Students move around. At any time, some are in the gym, some in the cafeteria, and some on the playground. One guard cannot possibly protect them all.
Some state legislators have proposed that all teachers be armed. This is a step in the right direction. But teachers cannot be everywhere. In many schools, there is only one teacher for every thirty or forty children. I don’t like those odds.
The only sensible way to protect our children is to require every student to carry a semi-automatic handgun at all times. Starting in kindergarten.
There is evidence that this would be effective. In Kennesaw, Georgia, every head of household is required to own a weapon. Since the law was passed, the crime rate dropped. (True, it dropped from way above the national average to about average, but it would surely have dropped further if every citizen, not just every head of household, had been required to carry a weapon at all times.)
Some might object that kindergarteners are too young to use weapons safely and responsibly. The evidence suggests the opposite. Fewer the 1% of murders are committed by 5 year olds.
Schools should be required to teach five year olds to use Glocks and Berettas responsibly. After all, they’re going to need them when they grow up. Responsible handgun use is more useful than learning about myths like evolution or global warming.
But the most powerful argument for arming our five year olds is this: they are armed anyway. Every year, more than 500 children in the United States fatally shoot themselves with guns that they obtain in their own homes every year. Current policies don’t prevent five year olds from getting guns. They just insure that only the criminal five year olds get them. What sense does that make? Five year olds are citizens, too. They have a constitutional right to protect themselves. The dream of a gun-free kindergarten, like the dream of gun-free zones anywhere, is a dangerous liberal fantasy.
If we want to protect our children, we need to face facts. Misguided gun control laws put our precious children at risk. We can do something about this. Write to Congress today. A well-armed kindergarten is the only safe kindergarten.
John Lantos is a pediatrician and professor of pediatrics at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. The opinions in this essay are his own.