A week after the Newtown, Connecticut school shootings, National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre told us the only way to stop a bad man with a gun is with a “good man with a gun.”
Don’t count on it.
Almost 30 years ago, my friend Lieutenant Commander Albert A. Schaufelberger, Jr. was a good man with a gun. In fact, he was an around good man. He was assassinated at the wheel of his car on May 25, 1983. He was deliberately distracted so someone could shoot him in the back of his head.
Al had a .45 Caliber Colt Combat Commander tucked under his right thigh and a Heckler and Koch MP-5 machine pistol on the floor in front of the passenger seat. As a serving U.S. Navy SEAL, he was well trained in the use of these weapons and several others. He had the cocked-and-locked .45 by his gun hand because he was in El Salvador. Al knew that everyone assigned to the U.S. embassy, especially military personnel, were targets of the leftist insurgents— and perhaps rightist terrorists as well.
A good man with a gun, superbly trained and heavily armed, did not survive a carefully planned ambush carried out by a bad man less well armed and less well trained.
What does this tell us about the chances of a “good man with a gun” being able to protect a school full of teachers and children? It tells me that any one man can be ambushed. And if the “bad man with a gun” is willing to murder school children, he is certainly willing to ambush a “good man with a gun.” And if someone as savvy as Al Schaufelberger can be caught unawares in a dangerous place, how is Officer Friendly going to do after three boring years on duty at Happy Valley Elementary?
Sorry, Mr. LaPierre, your “solution” is as valueless as it was predictable. Of course, the National Rifle Association was going to recommend more guns. Just as surely as Democrats want to spend more and Republicans want to spend less, the NRA wants more guns. Just as predictably, costal bien-pensants want a ban on assault rifles. Their assault weapon ban will do not more to protect students than your “good man with a gun.”
Banning assault rifles will not save many lives in the U.S. because assault rifles are used in few murders in the U.S. According to FBI crime statistics for 2011, rifles were used to kill 323 people (out of over 8,583 killed by firearms). The same statistical set tells us that more than twice as may people (769) were killed by “personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.) than were killed by rifles of all types.
Those of you wanting to ban assault weapons are welcome to try. I will not support you because a ban on assault weapons is a solution in search of a problemI will not oppose you because there is no real need for people to have assault rifles if they are not planning assaults.
If you want to join Wayne LaPierre’s good-man-with-a-gun-in-every-school program, I will oppose you. Armed guards will not protect our children. They will cost a lot of money (some of it mine). Worse yet, if the guards are not continually trained to law enforcement standards, they are highly likely to kill more innocents than they save.
Do I have any positive ideas? Sadly, I do not.
 6,220 were killed by handguns
 I know there was a police officer at Columbine High School in 1995. He exchanged fire with one or maybe both of the murders. That he kept even more people from being killed is possibly, even probably true. The main point is the same: There was no deterrent in having an armed officer at the school.