Letter: Arms for All

Following the Newton shooting, there has been much debate about how to best prevent the next troubled person from taking out frustrations on the innocent public with a gun. Suggestions for achieving this end have ranged from improving mental health services, to a ban on assault weapons and large-capacity magazine clips, to arming teachers. No one effort seems to provide certainty, and it may take all suggestions in combination to reduce to the lowest possible chance another slaughter of students, or massacre of moviegoers and mall shoppers.

In fact, the idea of arming teachers, as some state legislators are considering, realistically promotes a ban on assault weapons and large-capacity magazine clips. Anyone with experience handling firearms knows that a concealable handgun able to fire an average of less than 10 bullets before reloading would be a poor match against an assault rifle able to shoot 30 or more bullets. So, if we are to allow teachers to carry weapons, we must also level the combat field by ensuring that the intruding shooter or shooters do not have access to weapons superior in firepower to what the teacher will likely be concealing. And, since a rifle is often more accurate for the inexperienced shooter, it might be wiser to issue teachers assault rifles with high-capacity clips.

Come to think of it, to make sure that a shooter outguns no one or catches us off guard, we should all be allowed and encouraged to carry assault rifles wherever and whenever violence may be visited on us: at home, at the park, at church, at eating places, and at work.

Let freedom ring. Or was that a ricochet?

Budgie Blevins

Knoxville