Dear Mr LaPierre and Mr Asa, with all due respect.
I spent 2 years in the South African army, where I was subjected to the following situations: we got ambushed 2 or 3 times in Angola. We got shot at with small arms fire and RPGs. When the apartheid government become desperate in 1984 and 1985, and quite literally tried to kill any opposition, we in the army, along with the Police Force, were sent into the Townships to quell riots, raid houses and the like. We had Molotov cocktails thrown at us, stones, knives you name it. The townships was door-to-door stuff, in very close, cramped streets.
Here’s the thing. For two full years I was trained and re-trained (and even trained with Israeli troops) in a division of the Special Services precisely to deal with these situations. Arguably, I was more prepared than any teacher or any armed security guard being trained by the NRA in this country could hope to be. I was a well trained and a decent marksman.
And yet, whenever I was in these firefights, or riots, it was chaos. It was confusing, disorienting and terrifying, and it was over in a matter of seconds. It was never ever clear in those moments who the shooter was, or where the fire was coming from. When ambushed while on patrol by “insurgents”, the firing invariably came from innocent civilian’s shantys where the attackers took cover and used the civilians as human shields.
With all due respect sirs, if one has never been in one of these incredible stressful and completely CHAOTIC situations one cannot possibly know just how dangerous adding MORE guns to the situation is. Even battle hardened veterans, police officers get it wrong in most of these situations (13 police officers in Cleveland just shot 2 innocent people by pumping 135 rounds into them for a car that backfired, yes backfired).
Teachers, and I would argue, most security guards, are not trained for this, and very few people can handle these situations. Our best trained are coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan in record numbers with PSD. You two gentlemen, and most of the teachers in this country, given a gun in that situation would kill the wrong people. These are not static paper targets 20 feet away. These madmen are not deer that you can hide from and shoot a mile away with a high-powered rifle from a platform camouflaged 20 feet above the ground.
My ask of you and your followers is to not be immediately dismissive about a discussion about tighter gun laws. My ask of you is to consider what might actually happen when either a teacher or an armed security guard pulls a gun out to protect your children from some madman.
Let me make myself clear. I think people should be allowed to own guns if they are stupid enough to think they will be able protect themselves from someone hell-bent on killing them. I think people should be allowed to own guns if they feel good about going out to kill innocent animals. Arm yourselves at home if you wish, but when doing so make sure you don’t kill the wrong people especially your own children who you think you can protect in these fast moving, frightening situations. Gentlemen I do not want my 3 sons getting killed by you when you, a teacher or a security guard pulls out a gun and misses. This is the most likely outcome.
Access to guns should be far more difficult. How about putting more responsibility on the gun owners for example? Perhaps simple things, like requiring any person buying a gun to have to buy a gun safe at the same time? Why not make guns far more expensive so fewer people would have the means to buy them? How about limiting how much ammunition you can buy at one time, and when you want to buy more, you have to turn in your spent casings so you cannot stock-pile it? Smaller clips/magazines? I am sure there are a million good ideas out there, if you just listen for a change.
Giving teachers guns and putting armed guards in schools is not feasible, financially or in any other way. And stop blaming TV shows and video games for all the gun violence in this country. We export these things in vast quantities, and we do not see the same gun violence in any other society as a result. Your proposals this morning sound like you have spent too much time in front of Black Ops 2.
So, lets have a REAL discussion about what can ACTUALLY be done to protect ourselves and our children.