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So much for my thoughtful Christmas story. While I was excused from that duty this year, I still had something sickly sweet in mind until Sunday. Not on the day of the shootings in Connecticut, mind you; not even with the addition of the death of Martoiya Lang, a 32-year-old Memphis police officer and mother of four killed in the line of duty that same morning. Even after these events I fought to keep my cheerful theme. But the day that our elected officials stated (again) they would legislate us out of such tragedies by attempting (again) to ban assault weapons, I stopped ignoring the signs.
Proponents of the gun ban are dusting off old ideas, and to my honest enjoyment, coming up with new ones. For example, in addition to “making them go away by law,” some are proposing:
• Legal gun-owner insurance, requiring gun owners to insure their weapons, much like auto insurance, to mitigate the expense of hiring more cops to stand in every school, if not every classroom. And mall. And theater. This ignores the millions of illegal gun owners, but why bother the criminals? And this insurance runs along the same lines as the Affordable Care Act: If you’re alive, you pay it as a tax labeled as insurance, and if you have a gun, you pay it as a tax … labeled as insurance. Taxing our way out of a problem is a go-to idea in this country, and if you can do it without ever having to deal with the actual problem (criminals) it’s a win-win for politicians.
• Drastically inflating the price of firearms and ammunition from 200 to 400 percent. Make the legal purchase of a firearm prohibitive and the thought of drive-by shootings an act of bankruptcy … for legal purchases. This is actually a favorite of mine because it indicates that every proponent has apparently had the Volstead Act ripped out of the history books they never studied in the first place.
If you restrict, ban or make financially inaccessible something people want, they will simply find another way of getting it. Crazy, right? And in extreme cases, it becomes an underground industry which creates more problems than it initially hoped to solve. Would boats, trains or planes bring them in, chasing new profit margins? Cocaine, heroin and marijuana are all illegal, but still manage to get into this country by the megaton despite “laws to fix this” that have made them such a profitable industry.
Instead of creating a new tax to fund the hiring of thousands of new police and security guards, why don’t we train the people who are actually on the scene to carry and shoot a gun. “Armed teachers?!” you may cry. “But something could go wrong!!”
No shit. Something did go wrong—two things, in fact: One, a random, crazy sumbitch broke into a school and executed children. Second, not one teacher, even the ones charging the gunman, were armed to protect those children despite dozens of school shootings and dozens of lives lost over the last decade. The short wait for a “professional” seems smarter than risking kids getting hurt, even while they’re being massacred.
When I ride four-wheelers into the woods, I don’t carry “taxes” in case of snakes—I carry a pistol. A few teachers should carry them too, for the same damn reason.
Taxes? Insurance? Please. You don’t need to create committee to put a nail through a board. You just need to show someone how to use a damn hammer. Safely.
As a cop, I see what assault weapons can do, but armed pilots on 9/11 would have had a serious statistical impact on the events that transpired on that day, and I think an armed teacher—even just one—would have had a similar impact at Sandy Hook. They’re pilots and teachers. They can handle responsibility.
When someone comes up with a realistic, sensible and sustainable idea, I’ll be on the stage with them. This is where the president could make a difference, but not with more bullshit legislation. Instead of legislating when, how and if I am able to defend my own life, how about addressing the actual problem?
Alex Teach is a police officer of nearly 20 years experience. The opinions expressed are his own. Follow him on Facebook at facebook.com/alex.teach.