Freedom To Live In FearJanuary 7th, 2013 12:00 am Leonard Pitts Jr.
“Everybody got a pistol. This must really please the NRA” — from “Gun” by Gil Scott-Heron
So maybe the NRA is about to get its wish.
Here we are, a little over three weeks after the massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, CT, a little over two weeks after the National Rifle Association said there should henceforth be armed guards at every school, and at least one school system, Marlboro Township in New Jersey, is taking its advice. Under a 90-day pilot program in partnership with local police, students who returned to school last week found their campuses patrolled by armed officers.
But here’s the thing. If this is truly a good idea — “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” said NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre in a news conference — then why stop there? After all, it is not just our schools that are being shot up. So let us follow this advice to its logical end.
Four firefighters in upstate New York were shot, two of them killed, on Christmas Eve when they responded to a call and were ambushed by a man with a semiautomatic rifle. So we should have armed guards on all our fire trucks.
Two customers were killed two days before Christmas when armed men opened fire with semiautomatic handguns inside a grocery store in Delray Beach, FL. So we should have armed guards at all our grocery stores.
Two people were killed and one injured on Dec. 11 by a gunman who started shooting at a shopping mall near Portland, OR. So we should have armed guards at all our shopping malls.
Two people were killed and two others injured Nov. 6 when an employee started shooting inside a chicken-processing plant in Fresno, CA. So we should have armed guards at all our chicken-processing plants.
One man was killed and five others wounded in a shooting at a New Year’s Eve party in a private residence in Lakewood, CA. So we should have armed guards at all our private residences.