But that will require really loving our children. Plus: He called me “Benjy.”
I am just back from an agonizingly long airplane trip from IAD to LAX. We had powerful headwinds and the flight, normally about 5 and a half hours, was more like 7. Plus, we had a long wait at IAD to board. Luckily, I was able to have a hot dog from Five Guys. It was great, as is everything they sell.
Anyway, I had a long time to think on the plane and this is a little bit of what I thought about:
Of course, like every other human being, I am horrified by the murders of innocent children and adults at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. The tragedy is overwhelming.
I have read a lot of nonsense about the subject since the murders. The most startling was an article by a medical doctor that said that only a small percentage of premeditated mass murders were done by mentally ill people — and a really tiny percentage of all murders were done by mentally ill people.
How can that possibly be? Doesn’t the act of murdering a fellow human being by itself define the killer as mentally ill? It reminds me of a conversation I once had with a man who had, as a young man, interviewed Adolf Hitler. I asked the interviewer if it were obvious right away that the Führer was mentally ill.
The man said that Hitler was not at all mentally ill. He was just a clever politician.
“But, sir,” I asked him, calling him “sir” since this man was a very, very high ranking official in government, and a longtime pal and classmate of my Pop, “doesn’t the historical truth that Hitler ordered the murder of six million innocent Jews by itself show that he was insane?”
The man looked at his salad and said nothing. He was famous for keeping his own counsel, one might say.
Anyway, let’s assume that all murderers are insane and there are a great many of them out there. Let’s assume that we will not knowingly sell any kind of gun to a mentally ill person. And let’s for certain sure swear we will never allow another mass murder at a school. How do we do it? How do we keep the kids safe at school?
In my mind, a clear answer comes out: hire guards, and lots of them, at schools, assign them bulletproof jackets and guns, and there you are. If there are armed guards all over a school, there cannot be any more Sandy Hooks or Virginia Techs. Why don’t we do this? Guards are not expensive and even if they were, they are worth the money. They may be intrusive to look at, but we’ll get used to them. We have accustomed ourselves to armies of TSA agents at airports.
Whatever it costs, let’s get on the job. We cannot track down all mentally ill men. There are too many of them. There are already 200 million firearms floating around the nation. Very hard to control. That ship has sailed. Plus, it really is true: guns don’t kill people. People kill people.
But guards at the doors and in the halls — guards like the TSA at the airports only armed — that’s simple and direct. We just have to do something and this seems like the most direct route to safer children and schools.
What do we have to lose? Newtown cannot ever happen again. Gun control is not the answer, unless they can make a weapon that cannot be fired by someone who has failed the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory — and is not in uniform. So, guards are the simple answer and I like simple answers.
But there is a lot more to be said. We talk a lot about how much we love our children and how much we want them to be safe and loved. At least some of us talk a lot about that.
But, do we really love our children?
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?