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The response of the NRA to the tragedy at Sandy Hook school was to call for placing armed guards is all schools. To many of us that seemed like an utterly preposterous proposal for many reasons. However, it really doesn't come as a great surprise that there are already local school boards voting to implement this recommendation. A quick Google news search reveals several current reports on the matter.

Montpelier school board approves carrying of handguns by custodial staff

Union schools approve armed guards

Ellwood adding armed security guards in schools

Hillsborough superintendent wants armed guards in elementary schools

Emporia approves armed guards in schools

This is not a complete list of such current reports. Beyond the local level the lieutenant governors on both Texas and Mississippi are making proposals for statewide laws implementing such a policy. This is obviously a matter that has already moved past the stage of rhetorical debate.

I am of the opinion that increasing the number of people carrying armed guns does not increase the level of public safety. Among other things it increases the possibility of injury and death resulting from accidents. Efforts to train people in the proper management of guns does not eliminate this risk.

It is clear that we now have an active battle on yet another front in the great American culture war. The NRA and its supporters want to place gun rights above all other considerations. Any proposals to limit the presence of guns in our society are going to be met with the claim that they are a violation of their civil rights. They don't want to talk about a countervailing right of the public to be protected from the risk of preventable harm.

This is not a situation where the nation is going to find a reasonable compromise with which most people will be content. The NRA has been able to attain its unbalanced level of political power because so many of us have been reluctant to stand up to the controversy and conflict that comes from opposing their positions. Personally I have reached the point of taking a stand and saying enough. It is time to strike a new political balance. We need well funded and organized efforts to actively oppose the NRA. Several promising efforts are underway. One which I am supporting is Americans for Responsible Solutions. It was organized by Gabrielle Giffords.    

Originally posted to Richard Lyon on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 10:10 AM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA.

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