Public School Gun-Free Zones — Magnets for Psycho Killers

Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren, like all radical-left Democrats, are fanatic gun-grabbers, and do not seem to understand the words in the 2nd Amendment which state that “the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Of course, they also oppose letting public schools arm teachers or private guards to protect their students. Bad idea.

Adam Lanza’s murder of 20 innocent children at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a horror. Yet, since 1996, there have been at least fifty similar public-school massacres, including Columbine High School. These massacres had two common threads — they took place in public schools, and many of these schools had been declared “gun-free” zones.

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It is sheer lunacy to make schools gun-free zones. A gun-free zone literally invites monsters like Adam Lanza to attack unarmed and defenseless children and school staff. Those who argue for gun-free zones in public schools are utterly naive to think gun-control laws can stop bad guys from getting guns. Gun-free zones are also inhuman because they forbid school staff from carrying concealed weapons that could stop or cut short a massacre that kills innocent children.

As important, why did most of these massacres occur in public schools, and not private schools? Is there something about these schools that makes them magnets for these killers? The answer is yes.

First, in spite of past massacres, compulsory-attendance laws force parents to send their children to public schools or face legal prosecution for child neglect. Parents who cannot afford expensive private schools are literally compelled to send their children to dangerous government-run schools. So local and state-government laws unintentionally gather the victims together as easy targets for deranged killers like Adam Lanza.

Also, because public schools are government-run monopolies, their safety policies are determined by left-leaning, politically-correct bureaucrats who think stringent gun-control laws are the answer to massacres. These radical-liberal bureaucrats pass gun-free-zone laws that then apply to all the public schools in their county and therefore endanger millions of school children in one fell swoop.

Contrast this policy with the flexibility of private or charter schools have in ensuring the safety of their students. Each private or charter school is owned or controlled by a separate company or parent group. Each school only controls the safety of the few hundred children enrolled in that school, not all the children in the county. Each school can make an independent decision about having a ‘gun-free’ zone, allowing teachers and staff to be armed, or hiring armed guards. No one private or charter school can control the safety policy of any other school. So one school’s bad decisions cannot affect the security procedures or children’s safety in any other school.

Also, you can be sure that if a private or charter school ever had a massacre, most parents would immediately demand armed guards or teachers in the school, or threaten to withdraw their children from that school. If the private-school owner or charter school refused, the school would quickly be out of business when parents enrolled their kids in another school that did have armed guards or teachers. Since no private-school owner or charter school would risk bankruptcy, they would quickly hire the armed guards or arm the teachers. End of problem.

Moreover, every other private or charter school would now have to compete with the school who had armed guards or teachers. Fierce competition would then literally force most other private or charter schools to also offer armed guards or teachers.

This scenario does not happen with government-run schools. Because compulsory-attendance laws force parents to give their children to these schools, the schools do not have to care about parents’ fears. The schools (education prisons) literally have a captive audience and can, therefore, thumb their noses at parents and their safety concerns. Moreover, even if a public-school principal wanted to hire guards, he would have to go through a bureaucratic regulatory nightmare of requesting funds and approval from his state or county education department. That could take years. So typical government bureaucracy and radical-left gun-control laws strangle the principal’s attempt to provide armed guards for the school.

Finally, the use of mind-altering drugs like Ritalin has now become an epidemic among public school students. One of the reasons for this epidemic is that millions of bright, restless children, bored to death in their classrooms, are now labeled as ADHD by lazy, badly trained, or frustrated teachers. Many teachers or school ‘health-care’ counselors then ‘suggest’ to parents that they take their child to a psychiatrist for a ‘consult.’

The naive, concerned parent then takes her child to a child psychiatrist, who too often recommends Ritalin or other mind-altering drugs to ‘solve’ the alleged ‘ADHD.’ Multiply this scenario millions of times over, and we have an epidemic of school children taking these potentially dangerous drugs.

Some of these drugs may be dangerous because they can cause suicidal or aggressive behavior. Also, anti-depressants used to counter the side-effects of these drugs can sometimes cause the same aggressive behavior. The mass-murderers at Columbine High School and many of the other public-school massacres were in fact taking a cocktail of these mind-altering drugs. So thanks to public schools’ aggressive policy of labeling normal children as ADHD, we now have millions of children taking mind-altering drugs that could cause murderous behavior. It is therefore inevitable that we get these periodic massacres.

Here’s one solution to end these massacres, or at least sharply reduce them. Turn every public school in this country into a charter school or private school, as Governor Bobby Jindahl is doing right now in Louisiana. End the insane and incompetent 150-year government monopoly of education in this country. Doing so will allow each private or charter school to determine its own safety measures for their children, unaffected by monopoly, gun-control government policies. Also, because charter and private schools typically give much better education than government-run schools, they have less need to label their students as ADHD and push parents to seek psychiatric ‘help’ for their child’s alleged ADHD.

As usual, radical-left government controls are the villain here, not guns. Get rid of public schools, and we can sharply reduce these horrible massacres of innocent children.


Joel Turtel is the author of “Public Schools, Public Menace.” He is also a columnist and education consultant.


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