The uselessness of armed guards at schools

Amid the aftermath of the Florida high school shooting, the usual suspects, anxious to safeguard the huge gun income, are pushing the idea of posting armed guards at schools.

This idea is naive and extremely dangerous, reflecting badly on the country as a whole. It would result in even more deaths. Let me tell you why.

Anyone with bad intent would know that he had to get past the armed guard if he were to murder innocent children within the school buildings. He would therefore use the ancient route to success: total surprise. However alert the guard he still doesn’t know from which direction an attack would come. Unless you had multiple guards, surprising one man would not be difficult. I know whereof I speak, because this happened to me while in the army. Innocently entering a room, supposedly full of people on my side, I was fired upon, the bullet passing through my hair and lodging itself in the doorframe. (This was an accident, not an assassination attempt!). I stood there shaking with shock and fright – and so would anyone else. (A similar thing happened to the terrified guard at the Florida school, I imagine. He is labeled a coward, but I at least understand, but not condone, his inaction).

If,like many Americans, I had been brought up on sherriffs, the wild West, stage coaches, robberies, ridiculously accurate gunfire, and Hollywood mythologies, I too would believe in sharpshooters gunning down a school attackers with a single shot. The messy truth is that gunfire around a school is very likely to injure or kill anyone in reach. Moreover, the whole point of total surprise is to kill or injure the guard, leaving the whole school open to mass murder. If you are suddenly attacked from an unexpected direction you simply do not wheel round and put a bullet through the forehead of an attacker. Most people would be shaking with utter fright and horror, unable to aim anything like accurately. The exponents of this whole idea are either naive, dishonest or lack the beginnings of an imagination.

And you cannot give arms to the teachers either. Their job is to look after the children, not to be sharp-shooters, or to endanger the children with a loaded gun in the classroom. Guns should be nowhere near schoolchildren. Mass murder weapons should be banned and restricted to their principle users – the military. I maintain that this is the Epicurean stance.

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