This commentary is by Chris Bradley, president of the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs.
When a horrific mass shooting occurs, the focus seems to always be on the tools employed, not on the obviously sick and deranged person who perpetrated the heinous act.
No one in their right mind would plan to go to a public place and kill people, let alone kill children. It is unconscionable for “normal” people to even contemplate such a horrendous act, and from this we should and must understand that these people do not think like we do. As “normal” citizens we look to follow the law when others do not. How then will more laws control the uncontrollable?
Despite the fact these events continue to occur, with there being ample evidence that each mass shooter wants to out do the last in terms of carnage, how will any new law stop an individual who sets out to kill as many people as they can, while planning to end their life as they do so?
Without even knowing what firearms were used, how they were obtained, or really any other details whatsoever, the clarion call goes out: ‘We must do more about controlling firearms,’ while sadly completely missing the very plain fact that the true cause is out-of-control, mentally ill people.
In 1994, Congress passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which included a prohibition on the manufacture and sale of certain types of semi-automatic firearms to civilians, in addition to banning certain large capacity magazines. When passed, it included a sunset provision that would make the bill expire on Sept. 13, 2004. Despite numerous attempts to renew, the ban was never renewed or extended.
Subsequent to its sunset, numerous studies were conducted as to the impact of the ban, with these studies indicating that the ban had little effect on crime, homicides or the lethality of firearms used in crime. Since its sunset, proponents of the ban argue that the recent rise in mass shootings is due to the expired ban; however, detailed studies place the blame on the increased use of social media, a shooter’s desire for fame, inspiration from previous shooters, and the major underlying cause: mental Illness.
The fact that the ban had little impact on overall crime is not surprising, given that modern sporting rifles account for only about 2% of crime involving guns.
As to what the ban accomplished, in the leading study on the effectiveness of the 1994 ban, Christopher Kopel stated: “In general we found, really, very, very little evidence, almost none, that gun violence was becoming less lethal and less injurious during this time frame. So on the balance, we concluded that the ban had not had a discernible impact on gun crime during the years it was in effect.”
In the spirit of never letting any serious crisis go to waste, politicians immediately started calling for a renewal and expansion of the 1994 ban; they call for “safe storage,” “waiting periods,” or a ban on “ghost guns,” without having the slightest shred of knowledge or evidence that any of these initiatives would have provided any safeguards, or even a small impediment, to what occurred.
Given the plethora of firearms in this world — along with the known existence of terrorists, criminals and criminal enterprises such as smuggling — people with evil intent will always be able to obtain tools with which to kill others, unless we choose to become a police state. Despite state and federal laws that make it illegal to bring a gun onto school grounds, it happens, and it appears to be happening with more frequency.
Early on, Israel suffered from armed attacks on their schools. In response, they armed and trained their teachers — and lo and behold, school attacks in Israel virtually ceased. God forbid we protect our children from threats like we protect our politicians by providing guards/resource officers. That concept is enough to make some folks head explode, when it otherwise seems so prudent.
We forced our kids to wear masks to protect them from virus — can we not see our way clear to protect our kids with guards? How many more senseless mass shootings will occur while we try to blame or regulate tools, when we have not — and apparently will not — take the simple precaution of providing real protection?
When a criminal is caught doing something with a firearm, the response must be automatic and serious jail time, with no ability for those charges to be pled away at the whim of a progressive prosecutor.
Only the law abiding obeys laws; and the law abiding have the right to self-defense. When completely innocent people are shot on the subway, or thrown in front of a train, or killed by simply going to a grocery store or church, it is foolish to think more laws will protect them.
7 thoughts on “Chris Bradley: Can we not see our way clear to protect our kids with guards?”
Thank you Mr. Bradley for sharing your perspective. As a past Vermont elementary school facility manager who served on a team “hardenting” our school and instituting policies like lockdown drills, I am only too aware of despite whatever we do there will be shortcomings.
There are those in my family who love to hunt. They do not need assault rifles, whose purpose and design is to kill as many people as fast as possible, to do so. We set ourselves up for failure and more mass shootings with our lax laws in regards to these incredibly lethal weapons. Addressing this part of a complex issue should be a part of an overall preventive strategy to make our schools and communities safer.
If the Left cared about children, they would not advocate for abortions.
Gun free zones are the biggest killer of kids in school. More restrictions on
competent gun owners will not do squat. Every school should have a 2 door
entry way with a armed person controlling who gets to go thru the last door
and also have authority to shoot to kill any armed person trying to break thru
that second door. It’s not rocket science..
We had “resource officers” in Vermont until the whole Minneapolis thing when we decided that the police just frighten the little snowflakes…and then we pulled them.
Three or four decades ago, we as a society decided that institutionalizing the seriously mentally disturbed was a violation of their civil rights. Right or wrong, that doctrine makes these kinds of acts of evil inevitable. We must not allow emotion and overreaction to again compromise the doctrine of the Second Amendment that has been around since this nation’s inception. Leftists like to bring up the need to address “root causes” of society’s problems. The problem of school shootings has two root causes:
-deinstitutionalization of the dangerously mentally disturbed
-the “great society” programs destroying the nuclear family and attempting to replace a father with a welfare check
So…protecting the kids…that’s the prime objective…guards?…laws /restrictions about guns? REALLY????? …do we think that will improve safety from folks like Salvador Ramos???? No, lets ask how many school staff were carrying?
“There hasn’t been a single mass public shooting in any school that allows teachers and staff to carry guns legally. Since at least as far back as January 2000, not a single shooting-related death or injury has occurred during or anywhere near class hours on the property of a school that allows teachers to carry.”
In this day and age how in the hell can someone just walk into a school, those in charge
should all be fired for dereliction of duty, from not protecting our children.
No one should not be able to just walk in without an ID, or a locked access that has a person
tending the door that is ” fully trained ” in law enforcement, if we can send $50 billion to
Ukraine to protect them, what the hell is wrong with protecting our children.
Don’t blame the weapon, blame the perpetrator and you can pass all the foolish gun control
laws you want, crazies don’t care, contraband be it drugs or guns crazies & crooks will always
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