Opinion

Guns: First stop the killing power | Editorial

Mere days after Adam Lanza gunned down 20 little kids and six adults in Newtown, Conn., the National Rifle Association stepped before the public – and managed to make things worse.

The cure for deranged gunmen shooting our kids, according to Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s chief executive officer, is to have armed police officers in every school.

According to one figure we saw, there are more than 100,000 public schools in this country. Another source says the average cost of putting an armed police officer at every school doorway is about $110,000 per officer a year. LaPierre says the NRA is ready and willing to train volunteers to stand guard at the schoolhouse door. But being trained doesn’t equate to professional. If we want both – and, of course, we would – that means police.

Even if the country were to follow LaPierre’s suggestion, how do we protect gatherings of people at other locations? Do we station armed police officers throughout our shopping malls? How about at public libraries?

While there are many things we can do to help prevent such tragedies as in Newtown, the first step to deal with guns, particularly those that possess  magazines with large numbers of bullets that make it easy for someone to go on a killing spree.

As we said last week, we’re not calling for an end to the Second Amendment. But there does have to be a reasonable discussion of how to make this country safer. That has to start with the root of the problem – guns and the obscene killing power that some of them possess.

– Craig Groshart, Bellevue Reporter

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