Monday, March 12, 2018

Trump On Guns

What the Trump administration plans to do about school killings:

The White House on Sunday vowed to help provide “rigorous firearms training” to some schoolteachers and formally endorsed a bill to tighten the federal background checks system, but it backed off President Trump’s earlier call to raise the minimum age to purchase some guns to 21 years old from 18 years old.
Responding directly to last month’s gun massacre at a Florida high school, the administration rolled out several policy proposals that focus largely on mental health and school safety initiatives. The idea of arming some teachers has been controversial and has drawn sharp opposition from the National Education Association, the country’s largest teachers lobby, among other groups. Many of the student survivors have urged Washington to toughen restrictions on gun purchases, but such measures are fiercely opposed by the National Rifle Association, and the Trump plan does not include substantial changes to gun laws.
The first bout in this debate goes to the gun manufacturers*.  Indeed, arming teachers will make the scene of any mass shooting more chaotic, making it impossible for the police to know which of the several people with guns is the killer. 

Then there's the possibility that armed teachers might themselves start shooting, and the enormously underestimated difficulty of teachers actually hitting only the correct target(s) when responding to someone opening fire on the premises. 

Finally, I very much doubt that armed teachers would be any kind of deterrent.  Most school killers are planning to go out in glory, and an armed guard at the latest school shooting did not interfere at all.

But none of this matters, because arming teachers is not expected to achieve anything.  What is important is that gun sales are not restricted, and that seems to have been accomplished.  Indeed, those teachers are an extra market! 

Mission accomplished.

*  I fervently hope that this is not the end, because it would resemble the aftermaths of all earlier massacres where nothing was achieved, except the guaranteed availability of weapons to those who plan similar butchery in the future.