No more talk of arming teachers, please [Letter]

I was saddened by the news of another senseless mass shooting at Fort Hood on Wednesday that left three soldiers dead and 16 people wounded ("Shooter called talented, quiet," April 4). My thoughts and prayers certainly go out to the victims' families and friends.

Once again, a lone perpetrator with psychological issues was able to take the lives of innocent people and wound several more — in this case, many of those who have made great sacrifices to defend our country. Unfortunately, this horrific circumstance brought to mind a quote by Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association. After the Newtown school massacre, Mr. LaPierre, in an effort to promote himself and the NRA, made outlandish, foolish and potentially dangerous statements. He said that "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." He went on to say that the NRA was planning to roll out its own program that would train retired police, military and others as voluntary school security officers.

The logical extension of the NRA thinking — which they discussed — would be to train and arm all teachers and school personnel. Let's skip for the moment the idea of how dangerous it would be for schools all over the country from kindergarten grades through high school to have deadly weapons in schools. These weapons would inevitably be sometimes left in situations where students could appropriate them and cause untold harm to other innocent students. The facts speak for themselves. Military bases, such as Fort Hood in Texas and the Washington Navy Yard down the road in our nation's capital, cannot prevent lone gunmen from going on a shooting rampage, despite the presence of armed military police. It is therefore highly unlikely that retired policemen and school teachers with little firearms training will be able to prevent similar tragedies. I hope that we have heard the last of this ridiculous and dangerous idea from Mr. LaPierre and the NRA.

Len Friedheim, Columbia

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