Maybe we should arm our schools

Parents and school officials from Staten Island voted on Monday night to put armed guards in the schools of New York’s most right-leaning borough.

The advisory vote by the the Island’s Community Education Council answers the call of the National Rifle Association, which also thinks the best way to keep kids safe from guns is to make sure they are “protected” with guns.

My question, as a Park Slope dad, is “Are we going far enough?”

Isn’t the real solution to put a gun in the hand of every teacher and student in every school. I know tuition and taxes would go up, but really, what other choice is there?

I relish the idea of my girls showing their IDs, going into school through an entryway much like those in prisons, with camera-equipped Plexiglas chambers sporting scanners and sentries. Once inside, every kid will be issued a handgun and holster — ensuring no one messes with them. The gym will be transformed into a shooting range. Instead of art or music, self-defense, hand-to-hand combat, and weapons training will be offered.

What chance would a crazed madman have against 15 or 20 armed 10-year-olds whose homework is to take target practice on their video games as a supplement to their live ammo training, which will be part of their first grade curriculum.

And why stop at school? My children are vulnerable in every venue they go to for any activity. I’m sure they could dance just as well with a .22 tucked into their tutu. For soccer they’d wear a holster on their back. At pottery class, music, karate, and especially religious school, guns would make my girls safer.

I can hear the doubters saying guns in the hands of children would be foolish. In cafeterias they would yell “gunfight” instead of “food fight;” disputes over a seat on the bus could end in bloodshed. To them I reply: “I think you missed the point. These kids would be trained, and they would be given the guns that only shoot bad guys.”

If only there were such a thing.

I cried when I saw the pictures of those children who were mercilessly struck down at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I know the death of my daughter would shatter my world in a way that cannot be repaired.

The events in Newtown, and Aurora, and Columbine, and Austin, and Iowa City, are frightening. I talk to my girls about these violent, tragic, and random events, and I think “How do I want them to see the world?” Do I want them to be frightened of every possible risk and to feel confined and restricted at every turn?

What made each of those beautiful, young children in Newtown special was, in part, that they were free in the world, to dream, to imagine, to play, and to love. That is the world I want for my children.

That world that cannot exist with armed guards at every door.

Read The Dad every other Thursday on BrooklynPaper.com.

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