- The Washington Times - Friday, March 2, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Winston Churchill was right. Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others.

President Trump, who could go down as one of our best presidents ever but has to work a bit harder at it, picked a 2020 campaign manager on Tuesday. In virtually the next breath he holds a White House gun-violence session with lawmakers and manages to make eyes cross and eyebrows arch among tens of millions of staunch supporters.

The dizzying effect of electoral politics?

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican running for the U.S. Senate, opposes Mr. Trump’s smartest recommendation on school-gun killings.

Mr. Trump rightly wants every teacher, administrator, principal and janitor who has the needed firearm-safety training to be able to carry a concealed pistol. Where? Strapped to an ankle or tucked under a blouse, shirt or jacket. Why? To kill a school shooter before he kills students, teachers, administrators, principals and janitors.

A homicidal maniac with a gun in a school won’t stand a chance if he doesn’t know who’s armed in the school and who isn’t.

But no. Mr Scott the candidate wants one paid armed guard at every school. He wants metal doors and special windows and all kinds of things that will do zero to stop a nonexistent school-shooting epidemic. He wants things that will cost billions of dollars that already strapped school districts can’t afford. And don’t need.

Consider this: There are 50 million primary and secondary school students in 90,000 in elementary and 37,000 secondary schools in the U.S.

If you paid “armed resource officers” $40,000 a year, the bill would be over $5 billion every year, a cost that would double once health care, retirement and other benefits get folded in. Labor, materials and the inevitable scams for hardening schools would run many times that.

For what?

Since 1996, until the Douglas High shooting, there had been just 14 school shootings that have killed at last two people besides the gunman, according to a Northeastern University study.

Allowing firearm-trained school employees to volunteer to carry concealed handguns to protect their schools is the only way to protect schools.

Any homicidal shooter smart enough to load his gun will walk up to the school resource officer, say “hi,” blow the guy’s head off and then freely start mowing down unarmed, utterly defenseless students, teachers, administrators, principals and janitors.

Yet Mr. Trump stepped on his school-safety brilliance by handing gun-controllers the keys to the gun-confiscation kingdom. Confiscate suspicious guns first then worry about due process afterward, he said.

Not in my America, Mr. President, though I hugely respect what you’ve accomplished in office and want to see all your agenda realized.

I also want an armed citizenry to protect the Constitution and its freedoms, not to burn down the village in order to save it.

Appealing to the left in America will not get you re-elected. And if it does, it’s not worth violating the commitments on which you ran. Not for me. Not for you. Not for America.

In what appears to be an uncharacteristic lapse into re-election-itis, Mr. Trump spoke about adding to a broader gun bill another measure to ensure that if you have a permit to carry a concealed weapon in your own state, you can do so in other states too.

He said he’d oppose that, explaining that such interstate reciprocity would make the broader bill unpassable.

What?

I am sure the president understands how important it is for good citizens to be able to carry their weapons from states that favor conceal-edcarry permits into states that, despite a Supreme Court ruling, make it virtually impossible for a citizen to get a permit.

A black female cop and white male cop came to my house years ago after an attempted break-in. They asked whether I had a gun. “No,” I said. They separately said this: The next time this happens, Mr. Hallow, we’re not going to be here.

I thanked them, got a license, bought a gun and have kept it at home ever since.

I can’t carry my .38 revolver outside my home to protect me at gas-station stops in shady neighborhoods because my state’s lawmakers insist only cops should carry weapons.

Like my nation, my state is a representative democracy that nonetheless keeps me from defending myself and others.

Mr. Churchill, your face-squinching observation about democracy lives on.


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