Saturday, April 4, 2009

People Kill People

The massacre in Binghamton yesterday pushed the usual gun haters out in front of the cameras to pontificate about the urgent need to ban weapons for ordinary citizens. They ignore the fact that if the perpetrator(s) had any hint that one or two people in the building might have a gun, they would have never hatched the plan.

It reminds me of the signs I used to see on nearly every public building in North Carolina piously proclaiming “No Guns Allowed.” I always giggled imagining someone who had planned an armed robbery stopping at the sight of the sign and reluctantly turning back from crime.

But, the mindless mantra has been repeated so often for the last 30 years that it is increasingly accepted as truth, despite the lack of logic. When university students and I discussed Columbine, I always explained my belief that at least one teacher on every hall ought to have a pistol in their desk, but no one should know which teacher was armed. My students were as appalled and frightened as if I had said I approved of mindless killing sprees by crazed people. They had grown up hearing that guns were evil and accepted it uncritically as truth.

It’s a good thing that there were no television journalists in the late eighteenth century. Otherwise, we would still be paying allegiance to the crown and curtsying to the Queen. By the way, does anyone remember episodes of senseless shooting back in the day when practically everyone was armed?

No comments: