No easy path on guns

To the Journal editor:

Is it possible to pinpoint when the country’s culture changed? Founded on the principles of limited government and individual liberty, today when asked what the role of government is, many people are apt to answer, “To take care of us.”

Government works best when closest to the people. Local governments are more responsive to the citizens than state legislatures, and the federal government is most remote and least responsive of all.

No doubt most elected representatives are well intentioned people believing they can make a difference, but once contact with the bureaucracy is made, they become denizens of the “swamp” simply because government is the least efficient way to conduct business.

Take bump stocks for example. Prior to the Las Vegas shooting, most people had never heard of them. While not a factor in any other shooting, and likely to cause fire to be more rapid but less accurate, they’ve become an issue in the gun control debate. Not protected by the Second Amendment, they could be banned by local or state governments. Yet agreement cannot be reached to ban these devices.

Now we are teaching our children the only way to solve problems is to petition the bureaucracy. We’ve become a society of hashtags and candlelight vigils and our enemies know it.

The saddest fact in these shootings is knowing that an armed teacher with tactical training could’ve made a difference. The Sandy Hook shooter was a frail child who killed his mother and stole her weapons. No proposed gun law would have prevented that. An armed teacher with training could’ve ended his attack.

Not all school officials will want that responsibility, but what better choice than a football coach? The hero Aaron Feis used his last moments to shield students from the Florida attack. Had he the training and the means to return fire against an untrained child shooter, it’s not far-fetched to imagine he could have stopped the attack.

By all means let’s continue the legislative pathway to sensible gun legislation however futile that may be. Let’s even enlist the aid of mind readers who can predict the future behavior of unstable individuals. But let’s also consider returning to the founding ideals of the nation.

Allow responsible individuals to arm themselves and train themselves so they can be the last lethal line of defense in order to defend themselves and those whom they are charged to protect.