I normally stay clear of debates over guns, in part because I think that the whole issue is a loser for Democrats, in part because my own views are mixed. Personally, I've never owned a gun. (I do
carry a spring-assist pocket knife, and would very much prefer for all 50 states to have the same laws regarding their usage.)
In general, the idea of the government intruding on the rights of hunters seems very wrong. The idea of people taking guns into rural areas for target practice doesn't bother me at all. All told, gun ownership in rural areas seems less of a problem than gun ownership in big cities.
On the other hand, I have warmed to the idea of instituting a few modest
regulations -- similar to (but less intrusive than) those governing the right to drive. We lived with an assault rifle ban for a while, and the country did not sink in the predicted morass of Godless Bolshevism. At the very least, it seems like a good idea to raise the age of AR-15 ownership to 21, and for the government to keep a record of legal owners.
Like most others, I can't understand why we don't institute background checks to keep guns -- or at least assault rifles -- away from those with demonstrably troubled minds and/or criminal records. Obviously, any system of background checks will be porous and problematic. But something is better than nothing. We'd have fewer stalkers if every jilted lover understood that the issuance of a restraining order could result in the surrender of his or her weapon for a certain period of time.
My question concerns the Trumpian notion of armed teachers.
Let us suppose that, when the next high school shooting incident breaks out, a teacher somehow manages to retrieve a handgun from the desk drawer in which he or she keeps it. Suppose further that he stalks the halls holding the weapon high, as cops do in the movies, as he searches for the miscreant.
Now let us suppose that a real
cop enters the school property. How does the cop know that the armed teacher is not, in fact, the mad gunman?
It's easy to see the potential for disaster.
Another point: In the Parkland case as in Sandy Hook, the shooter was a young man who lived in a household headed by parents who were enthusiastic gun owners. No matter what your feelings about the Second Amendment, it seems to me that, if you are the parent or guardian of a young male showing clear signs of emotional turmoil, you would do well to disallow guns in your house. When the kid moves out, the guns can come back in. That's just common sense, isn't it?