CATO Institute: The Second Amendment in 2013 (David B. Kopel)

A few points…

I do not think placing armed guards in school is a good idea – I believe each and every teacher has the responsibility to protect the children we entrust to them.  Therefore, each and every teacher MUST be fully trained and qualified in the use of guns and be armed at all times while on school property.  Loose your gun certification, loose your teaching job, just like a cop.

My reasons for this is threefold.

First, the teachers are already supervising the children.  There is no need to have a second person in each classroom to protect them from potential gun violence:  this is wasteful and unnecessarily raises the anxiety level of the students.  Simply put, it would be costly, inefficient and fear-mongering.

Second, people tend to fear that which they do not understand.  Currently, the vast majority of the teachers I have encountered have never handled a gun in their lives…especially urban teachers.  And, these are the same people who tend to be unreasonably afraid of guns.  (I do not mean that all fear of guns is unreasonable – simply that some peoples’ fear of guns goes beyond what it should reasonably be.)  Urban teachers tend to come from social circles where anti-gun hysteria is at its shrillest:  and this prevents them from reacting reasonably should they find themselves facing a gun.  Forcing teachers to become familiar with guns would go a long way towards minimizing their unreasonable fear, educate them how to behave under threat, and thus would lead to a more constructive reaction  should they ever be in the unfortunate position of having to face an armed assailant.

Third, and perhaps most important, is the lesson of self-reliance this would teach the students.  Yes, the police is there to help solve crimes and catch criminals, but once you become an adult, you are not a ward of the state but a sovereign human being responsible for your well being and for the well being of your dependents.  While it is good to accept help when you need it, it is YOU – and you alone – who bears responsibility for yourself.

This third reason would be completely reversed if the people who carried arms in school were special armed guards and/or extra police officers.  Rather than teaching students – from a young age and by example rather than through flowery speeches – independence and self reliance, putting armed guards into schools will only further deepen the chasm between ‘armed people’ and ‘the rest of us’.

Putting armed guards in schools will teach children that only those who represent ‘the authorities’ are permitted to be armed and the rest of us must cower in fear.  It will normalize the dangerous notion that carrying gun is a job in and of itself and that it is wrong for ‘normal people’ to be self reliant.

And that, in my never-humble-opinion, is a lesson each and every tyrant would like its populace to be taught from a very young age!

It is not a coincidence that prior to every major government-purpotrated massacre or genocide or pogrom, gun control laws were enacted and private arms were widely confiscated.  Learn from the mistakes of others or perish, like they did…

I’ll go even further than that:  I have very grave reservations about licensing and registering guns at all.  If the government and/or ‘authorities (or even unscrupulous civil servants – remember, weakest link, human failings and all that) know who owns guns and where they are kept, they have the ability to overpower and disarm these citizens – one at a time.  Having lived under a totalitarian system where this very thing happened, I deeply believe this is not a risk worth taking.

5 Responses to “CATO Institute: The Second Amendment in 2013 (David B. Kopel)”

  1. CodeSlinger Says:


    You are so right.

    It’s nobody’s business how far your ability to defend yourself extends.

    Especially not the government’s!

    And most especially not when we are witnessing the accelerating Nazification of North America!

    In Canada, we have recently seen the abolition of the infamous long gun registry. This is a step in the right direction, albeit a very small one. And things have gotten awfully quiet on that front since then, though much work remains to undo the damage done by Pierre Trudeau and his stealth-totalitarians.

    We still have laws on the books that so grievously infringe the inalienable individual right to bear arms as to effectively transform it into a mere privilege, which is grudgingly and stingily granted at the whim of bureaucrats.

    The law still classifies many kinds of firearms as restricted or prohibited.

    The law still requires us to have a license to acquire and possess the few firearms which are not (yet) prohibited, and even to obtain ammunition.

    The law still requires us to store firearms in ways that make them useless for home defence.

    The law are still requires us to submit to invasions of privacy for verification of compliance with those draconian storage restrictions.

    The law still requires us to have a permit to transport firearms from once place to another.

    The law still requires us to have a permit to carry a concealed firearm.

    And, most despicable of all, the Chief Firearms Officers of all Provinces still refuse to grant such permits, even though the law clearly provides for them. Of course, with typically egregious hypocrisy, they readily grant concealed carry permits to enable cops to remain armed even when off duty, if they so desire.

    Even without the long gun registry, Canada still suffers under some of the most restrictive (and duplicitous!) firearms legislation in the world.

    But sadly, most of Canada’s population is urban, and urban Canadians just don’t get it. When I suggest to them that our children would be much safer if potential spree killers had no idea which teachers might be carrying concealed weapons, most people stare at me with unmitigated horror.

    Their unreasoning fear of guns is so mind-numbing that they would rather risk their children’s lives than see teachers take reasonable precautions to protect them.

    This irrational fear must be overcome if we hope to restore the right to bear arms in defence of person and property in this country.

    Xanthippa says:


    And teachers (in general) are, in my never-humble-opinion, some of the most hysterical anti-gun voices. Requiring them to all carry arms would force them to familiarize themselves with guns, which would go a long way to overcoming this anti-gun hysteria, which might lead them not to instill this irrational fear in our next generations….

    • Derek Says:

      While I’m not familiar with some of the social customs in Canada, I agree with Xan’s overall point that increased exposure to guns will make people less afraid of them.

      Cars are TEN TIMES more dangerous than guns, but yet they kill plenty of people. We own cars and think nothing of them, yet they are potentially MUCH more dangerous than guns. 90% of people who read this will roll their eyes because of how desensitized to it. But the right to bear arms is just as essential as the right to transportation.

      People only fear what they don’t understand.

      That said, while I think we are on the same page ideologically, I don’t agree with the philosophy of requiring all teachers to own guns. I respect anyone’s right to privately own a gun, but when you are an authority figure such as a policeman or a teacher, and the burden of responsibility is on you to help care for the community, you NEED to be competent.

      We can’t just give out guns to authority figures like halloween candy. We need to make sure there are rigorous and regular tests for accuracy. In many cases, police officers have some of the worst accuracy imaginable (and they often injure civilians before they shoot the criminal). The fantasy of a teacher shooting a child by accident becomes a reality when we force people who aren’t apt with guns to take on the role of using them.

      The main thing that matters is that the teacher can teach well. Their ability to use a pistol matters as much as their ability to coach a football team.

  2. CodeSlinger Says:


    Yes, I agree that forcing anyone not competent with a weapon to carry one would be a bad idea. But requiring them to attain a certain level of proficiency, and then leaving it up to them whether they want to carry on a daily basis, would be more than sufficient.

    This is the real beauty of concealed carry: the potential bad guy has no idea what level of resistance to expect from whom, and this uncertainty is the greatest deterrent of all.

    You and Xanthippa are quite right, too, about how familiarity with weapons would soothe the hysterical fear of them and normalize an attitude of calm, resolute self-reliance.

    But a calm, resolute, self-reliant populace is the very last thing wanted by the mealy-mouthed global-totalitarian pencil-pushers who run this place. Thus they will resist any common-sense solution with all their might.

    The only “solution” they will countenance is one which takes us another step closer to global serfdom.

    Xanthippa says:

    Global serfdom indeed…

    • Derek Says:

      I think teachers should be encouraged to carry concealed fire weapons (assuming are qualified to). I think there should also be tangible incentive (such as a 4-figure salary increase due to higher skills). But it should not be an expectation. Look at coaching. It’s an expectation now, and schools hire coaches who can coach really well regardless of their teaching ability.

      I believe security guards are necessary though. Teachers need to focus on teaching. Security guards (if trained right) are much more apt to handle security. So again, both armed teachers and security guards are good,but not every teacher in every classroom needs a firearm. If half the teachers are equipped with guns, that’s fine (as the deterrent of uncertainty is still there).

      If the argument against having security in schools is due to cost-cutting, then that’s just nickle-and-diming safety of children. having an ideology of human safety and freedom, and then subsequently putting a price on a human life is hypocritical.

      Xanthippa says:

      The difference between having armed teachers and armed guards in addition to teachers is not about nickle-and-diming: it’s about having gun-trained (and therefore not anti-gun-hysteria-motivated) and fully self-reliant teachers as opposed to teaching children that carrying guns is a job in and of itself, which would play into the totalitarian-state agenda.

  3. CodeSlinger Says:


    Encouraging, but not formally requiring, teachers to carry concealed is the right way to go, yes.

    And I agree with Xanthippa: the reason for avoiding armed guards is not to save money, but to teach self-reliance. Self-defence is not something we should teach children to entrust to others. Certainly not as a first choice. And the idea that people should look to the state to protect them is the very last thing we want to inculcate, if we have the best interests of the children at heart.

    People should stand together and look out for each other, sure. But someone who can’t fight their own battles and bury their own dead is not someone I would trust to watch my back. And that is the lesson we should teach.

    Sadly, we are dealing with school administrators who actually applaud the actions of their colleagues in cases like the following:

    5-year-old girl ‘terrorist’ suspended for bubble gun ‘threat’

    6-year-old boy suspended for making a pretend gun gesture and saying ‘pow’

    The fact that these people still have jobs makes if perfectly clear what the school system intends to teach our children about self-reliance.

    And with loss of self-reliance comes loss of self-respect.

    You can’t have one without the other.

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