If the nation follows the advice of the N.R.A., our children will learn lessons in civics and democracy, having first passed an armed guard, or, "a good guy with a gun." Oh wait, we don't teach civics and democracy. I wonder what box teaching the 2nd Amendment fits, in school curriculums meeting the requirements of state standardized testing.
Some are even saying the children won't be safe until every teacher is carrying a weapon. Don't believe it.
The ideas dispersed by the N.R.A. once animated the 1960's John Birch Society. Today, the fringe dominates; at least in the red states. God, guns, and gays have all been rolled into one big cultural stink bomb that sent common sense fleeing to the coasts.
When Wayne LaPierre finally broke the N.R.A. silence -- after the nation settled down from the Newtown massacre of innocents -- recommending an armed guard stand watch at every school, it made as much sense as enlisting corporate advertisers to fill in school budget gaps.
Yes you can do it, but should you?
Who is going to police the armed guards at your child's school? Will taxpayers pay time and a half for guards at after-school programs or double-time black booted policing of "back to school nights"?
There is an illness at the heart of American society, and it has to do with a need for certainty at a time when most believe the American experiment has gone of off-track. The N.R.A. is certain that the way to protect American exceptionalism is for everyone to carry whatever weapon they want.
The lack of assurance that America is exceptional creates its own demand for certainty, but in its absence there is a popular rushing to one side of the ship to look downward, inward, outward for certainty in the Constitution or the Bible.
It is not about violence in video games. Serial asset bubbles and crashes for which no accountability is ever assigned, fiscal cliffs, the hollowing out of the middle class, have all been accompanied by a concomitant rise in uncertainty.
Two years ago, the Florida legislature -- eager to accommodate the N.R.A. -- passed a measure allowing guns to be carried in government buildings in Tallahassee. Great. Once the bill was passed, elected representatives decided to install of red alarm buttons in their desk drawers.
But there is no certainty that a red-state legislator can reach for the alarm button faster than a madman can throw a grenade or fire off a hundred rounds, any more than there is certainty an armed guard in your child's school will not be taking a restroom break when a mentally ill student comes calling, armed to the teeth.
It is time for society to "stand our ground" for common sense. Ban assault weapons. Get them off the streets.We cannot legislate certainty any more than we can legislate madness, but we can ban assault weapons and should. If Congress can't shake the N.R.A., voters must elect members of Congress who can.