Target: David Keene, President of the National Rifle Association
Goal: The retraction of the National Rifle Association’s proposal to arm all school security guards in the United States.
Arming more citizens is not an effective way to resolve America’s gun-violence epidemic. Preventing violence with the same threat of violence only doubles the likelihood that someone will be harmed. It seems like common sense, yet the National Rifle Association announced a dangerous prevention policy for school shootings in response to the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary. The association’s solution: more guns in schools.
The N.R.A. proposes that all school security guards across the country be given guns to counterattack armed students. Members argue that the presence of armed security guards on campuses may reduce the time it takes to stop an assailant, but this flawed solution addresses the effects of gun violence and not the cause. The goal should not be to just respond to an attack, but to stop the violence from occurring in the first place. The reality is that armed individuals who intend to kill students will most likely succeed with an unpredictable first shot, and these shooters are able to take more lives at a disturbingly quick rate.
According to an article by the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, school shooters open fire for about 3 to 4 minutes before they are subdued. This statistic was published in 2008 using data collected over a 5-year period. The data also reveal that on average a person is shot every 15 seconds during this response time. Given these statistics, it is unrealistic to say that the presence of armed security guards will protect the students from a shooter. Also, unpredictable variables such as the shooter’s location on campus and the type of firearm he or she uses can render campus security guards completely useless even if they have guns. If every child is not fully protected under this proposed solution then it is not a solution at all.
Members of the N.R.A. such as President David Keene are condemning video games and the media for exposing troubled individuals to gun violence, yet they want to place more guns in schools with the intent of protecting children. These arguments are contradictory. If exposing kids to guns results in violent behavior, then increasing the presence of guns on school campuses would also negatively influence these children. A better solution does exist, one that treats the cause of this disease and not just the symptoms.
By increasing access to mental health services on school campuses, troubled students will have the resources to cope with their aggression in a non-violent manner. By signing this petition you are demanding that David Keene and other members of the N.R.A. retract their proposal to arm all school security guards nationwide. You are also voicing your support for fighting gun violence with education and treatment for the mentally ill, not with an increased number of armed citizens.
Mr. David Keene,
Your proposal to arm all school security guards nationwide is a reckless solution to this country’s gun-violence epidemic. If you believe your own argument that video games and the media negatively expose children to gun violence, then you must understand that increasing the presence of guns around these children will also negatively affect them.
Your solution does not address the cause of school shootings; it focuses on reducing the number of deaths instead of preventing them all together. There is not enough evidence to support your claim that fighting gun violence with the same threat would deter murders on school campuses. This only further perpetuates the idea that violence is the answer, which is the dangerous mindset behind all school massacres.
I am urging you to retract your proposal to arm all security guards on campuses across the United States. Please consider treating the cause of gun violence by encouraging troubled individuals to seek help from proper mental health officials rather than leading them to believe that a gun can solve all their problems.
[Your Name Here]
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