Minority of One blog

Put National Guard in schools?

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Senator Barbara Boxer introduces two new bills she said would make schools safer following the mass school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut Friday. (Dec. 19)

Of all the bad ideas I've heard in the aftermath of the Newtown murders, the worst comes from Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., who wants to provide federal funds for states to send the National Guard into schools. She quotes the Guard as saying it is "particularly well suited for domestic law enforcement support missions" since it is "located in over 3,000 local communities."

Says Boxer: "Is it not part of national defense to make sure that your children are safe?" By that logic, the troops should be serving as crossing guards and lifeguards.

Why is her proposal a bad idea? First, because school shootings are freakishly rare. If you're looking for cost-effective ways to keep kids from harm, this would rank about 79th on the list. 

Putting Guard troops in each (or many) of them is about as sensible as putting them in every movie theater and shopping mall. It will cost money and divert the Guard from its customary purposes, requiring either an increase in its size or the sacrifice of other needs.

Not to mention that school, statistically, is a very safe place for a child to be. Wendy Regoeczi, director of criminology research at Cleveland State University, has said, "Childen are far less likely to be killed or injured at school than they are almost anywhere else."

Atrocities like this one are reason to consider new ideas. But let's not get hysterical.

 

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