In the wake of Newtown and the failure of Congress to “Do Something Do Anything” about gun laws, various people have suggested bulletproof backpacks or even uniforms for school children, saying “It’s no different to having a seatbelt in a car.”
No, it’s very different from a seatbelt in a car.
First off, car crashes happen much more often than school shootings. If you live in a major metropolitan area, there was a car crash in your city today. I can almost promise that. I can also almost promise that there was not a school shooting in your city today. School shootings are rare; car crashes are not. It’s reasonable to take a routine precaution against injury for something that is unfortunately an everyday occurrence.
Further, I’d like to point out that we call them automobile accidents. Almost nobody intends to get into a car crash! While accidental shootings happen, nobody accidentally takes a loaded gun to a school. That’s premeditated. Always.
I might have bought “It’s no different from having a fire extinguisher.” After all, school fires are rare, but we’re awfully glad fire extinguishers are there if they happen. Oh, but we aren’t talking about equipping every student with a $269 fire extinguisher, now are we?
Don’t dare get on the “don’t you care about the safety of the children” high horse. If we really gave a darn about the children’s safety, we wouldn’t let schoolboys play football.
Speaking of schools and gun safety, I hope this disabuses anyone of the notion that armed teachers are an answer. I fully support your right to own a gun. I just don’t support your right to have it on campus.