I was cruising one of the firearms forums on the internet today, when I came across an appeal from a guy who alleges he’s from Alaska, a gun owner, but who feels armed police or security guards in schools are a bad idea. Apparently a shool cop in Poughkeepsie, NY, accidentally discharged his firearm. No details were given in the news article other than saying neither the officer nor any students were injured in this incident.
Nonetheless, our friend from Alaska posted this news story as "evidence" that armed security in schools is a very bad idea, and all armed police/security need to be removed from America’s schools immediately. He finished his argument thusly:
"…I support gun ownership and your rights but there needs to be some common sense to this argument…"
I love it when anti-gun people spout the "common sense" buzzword. They keep saying things like "commonsense gun controls", as if this is something that everyone with any brain at all believes, and if YOU don’t agree with it, you must be a retard, a bigot, or a terrorist. I love it when they use this buzzword, because it’s so easy to shred their entire argument by simply looking it up in the dictionary. And nobody can argue with Daniel Webster, dontcha know? Even the Devil lost his argument with ol’ Daniel!
So let’s take a look at that "common sense" buzzword, shall we?
First, let’s look at the meaning of "common". Merriam-Webster lists 7 definitions, the first of which is this:
"of or relating to a community at large"
This means that for an idea or concept to be held "in common", the community at large has to agree on it. "At large" means the general community, the vast majority of the community. It doesn’t apply to an idea or position on which the community is evenly split, and it certainly does not apply to a viewpoint held by a minority, even a vocal minority.
So does our Alaskan friend’s position meet Daniel Webster’s definition of "common"? Nope. Not even close. Poll after poll published in the last few months, and certainly over the past few years, clearly states that the proportion of Americans who want more gun laws are in the decided minority. And the question of whether we should have armed security guards in our schools is pretty much an even split. So the "common" part of his "common sense" buzzword is kaput.
Okay, now let’s move on to the second part of that idiotic buzzword: "sense". Again, Webster-Merriam offers this as its first definition:
"conscious awareness or rationality"
We must have a conscious awareness of the term or position in question, not just a vague feeling, and it has to be a rational awareness. Rationality is the operative term here. In other words, there needs to be a demonstrably rational basis for the viewpoint or idea in question in order for one to hold it sensibly.
Let’s look at that in the context of our Alaskan friend’s post: he says that removing all guns from our schools, even guns held in the hands of trained professional security guards/police, is a rational position. If that were the case, he should be able to point to data that unequivocally support his position in order for it to meet the rationality criterion.
Hmmm. That might be tough. If we look for nations where armed security guards are in all the schools, such as Israel, or Switzerland, we see there have been ZERO schoolchildren shot by madmen since security was initiated. In America, where guns are banned from schools and armed security is frowned upon, the death toll due to madmen with guns in the past 15 years is three hundred and twenty-three (323) according to ABC News. (http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2007/09/us-school-shoot/) So nwa’s idiot position makes no sense.
So our gun-grabbing Alaskan friend appeals to us to use our "common sense" in supporting his idea that armed security guards should be removed from our nation’s schools. Yet his idea is neither "common", nor does it meet the simple dictionary definition of "sense".
Time to find a new buzzword, gun grabbers!