Gun-Control Advocates Are Now Arguing Against Safety Measures For Children

Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute,

An odd thing has happened. Advocates for gun control have actually begun arguing against practical measures addressing school security. Rather than take strategies that can be implemented virtually immediately, and which address the dangers in a specific place in a common-sense way, gun control advocates would rather focus on a political victory at some point in the future and continue to leave schools without proper security measures. 

The general argument is that any effort at meaningful security is unacceptable because it turns schools into "fortresses."

Numerous examples of this line of reasoning can be found on Twitter. They are often remarkably similar in message which is "forget school security, just ban guns!"

Ah yes, the "ban guns" solution. It certainly worked in Latin America. And, of course, as soon as they're banned, everyone will immediately turn theirs in to the authorities and no one will have them anymore. Security of any sort will immediately and forever be rendered unnecessary. At least, this is how the thinking goes. 



Others are filled with reasons why security is useless. They point out that Columbine High School had security cameras, and this therefore proves that all security measures have no effect. 

Gun control advocates in social media have also begun passing around this article (by Bryan Warnick, Benjamin Johnson, and Sam Rocha) titled "Why security measures won't stop school shootings." The article, however, only briefly asserts (without argumentation) that that security won't work and barely touches on the tactics of so-called "target hardening." Most of the article is actually devoted to a sociological discussion of how a kinder, gentler, school environment will make school shootings less likely. It looks more at the effects of security on student attitudes. Not even the article's sources much support the theory that greater security makes a school more "scary." A prominently cited-study within the article, called "Predicting Perceptions of Fear at School and Going to and From School for African American and White Students" does not support the idea. Indeed, the study found that when security is applied "aggressively," within the school, students report feeling less fearful.

But, the overall strategy here is startling. Gun control advocates are in a way holding school children hostage to their message by shooting down calls for better school security. Their essential position is "no security for children until we get the gun control legislation we want!"

Security at Theme Parks

Most of the talk about schools being turned into dreary "fortresses" is pure sentimentalism, of course. But, it's the sort of thing we should expect from panic-prone Americans, many of whom routinely overestimate the threats to their safety

Meanwhile, many responsible owners of private facilities — i.e., not public schools — have already implemented just the sort of security measures that anti-security advocates now denounce as measures that turn schools into "prisons." 

Disney theme parks in California, for example, implemented metal detectors in 2015. Orlando theme parks, including Sea World, and the Universal Parks have implemented metal detectors and other security measures as well. 

The theme parks have implemented just the sort of security that we're told turns the place into a "fortress" and will make everyone feel as if he is in inside "a prison." But, the park owners want greater security lest they are subject to lawsuits that might result from a mass-shooter situation. Theme parks — especially Disney — are famous for keeping security unobtrusive, but it is most certainly present. At the same time, theme park owners are motivated to make security as pleasant an experience as possible. This is why security personnel is trained to be friendly and professional. 

Meanwhile, Disney reported a 13% increase in theme park revenue in 2017. It seems that the "fortress" isn't keeping all that many visitors away.

Security at a State Legislature

Theme parks aren't the only places where security is done better than at public schools.

Early in my career, I was a lobbyist at the Colorado state capitol in Denver. Prior to 2007 — except for a short period following the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington — the building had unrestricted access, with on-site, armed security. 

In 2007, a man armed with a handgun entered the building and threatened personnel in and around the governor's office. He was shot dead by on-site security. Building access was heavily restricted after that. 

Nowadays, all visitors must go through a basic security screening unless they are members of the legislature, or are pre-approved personnel subjected to background checks. Hundreds of people pass through the building each day. 

But, even those of us who had go through the screening would enter and exit the building multiple times per day. This meant going back through the screening. It was marginally inconvenient, and we questioned the need given the presence of on-site security personnel. But in general, it wasn't a big deal. 

Moreover, school kids regularly visited the building for field trips. They moved freely and exuberantly through the building. They sat in the gallery. They noisily ate their lunches in the rotunda. 

And yet, the "experts" would have us believe that by merely being in a building with armed security the children were in fact being tormented psychologically, having been given the message that the building was, to use the words of Warnick, et al, a "scary, dangerous and violent place." In reality, none of us who worked in the building daily cared anything at all about the presence of the guards. I certainly never hesitated to invite family members there.

It's a Matter of Priorities

For places like amusement parks, concert venues, city halls, county courthouses, state legislatures — and of course — the US capitol, security measures have already been implemented. Is there evidence that everyone working in these building regards them as "prisons"? After all, the private owners — people who are potentially liable for violence on their premises — want security, and you hear few of them resort to a knee-jerk declaration of "it won't work!"  when their lawyers and stockholders advise them to implement security solutions. 

Indeed, what we often hear as a objections to "security" are really just objections to the incompetence and unpleasantness of public schools. We're told that greater security at schools will encourage more abuse of student rights via random searches, drug tests, and aggressively unpleasant encounters with security personnel. 

In other words, we're being warned that public-school security reflects the quality of public schools in general. If greater security automatically leads to abusive behavior by security, then why do we not see this behavior at the Magic Kingdom or at baseball stadium? The answer lies in how public schools function. 

Those places that actually value the safety and quality-of-experience for the people present have a much different attitude about security than public schools do. And, no doubt, part of the reason that public schools and their supporters can continue to get away with their dismissive attitude toward real security is because no matter how many shooting take place on school property, the schools are never held legally accountable. It's much easier for the counties and the school boards to shrug and say "there's not enough money." 

But why is the security experience at some non-school government facilities so much better than at public schools? The answer lies in the fact that schools simply aren't a public-policy priority. The grown-up lobbyists and politicians and other visitors who must visit a legislature will complain bitterly, and possibly even sue, if treated the way public-school children are treated. They also demand real security that they can see for themselves. Thus, meaningful yet unobtrusive measure are implemented — even if they are costly. The attitude for public schools is quite different. For them, the plan is to slap up a few security cameras or hire a tiny handful of ill-tempered, unprofessional security personnel poorly trained in dealing with students. 

Those who oppose security will continue to claim it can't work. Outside the tiny echo-chamber of public-school thinking, though, practical security measures are already common and the results have been nothing like we associate with school security. Perhaps there's a reason why the public schools, and not theme parks, continue to be primary targets for homicidal maniacs. 


BlackChicken MagicHandPuppet Tue, 02/20/2018 - 11:59 Permalink

Felt the need to get this message up to the front:

Normalcy Bias  aliens is here Tue, 02/20/2018 - 10:59 Permalink

They're exposing the FACT that this debate has absolutely nothing to do with keeping children safe. These are the very same people who will protest in support of Late Term Abortion, aka the MURDER of children.

They WANT these shootings to occur so they can exploit the emotional reaction to forward the true agenda of firearm confiscation.

Don't be so naive to think that it was just coincidence that this most recent, FBI warned shooter wasn't stopped, either.

U.S. Attorney Eric Fast and Furious Holder announcing a public campaign to "really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way."

In reply to by MagicHandPuppet

WorkingPoor Liberal Tue, 02/20/2018 - 17:55 Permalink

I don't know if that's crushingly naive, fundamentally stupid, a demonstration of being hypnotised by a low-information doctrine, or just mouthing the usual party platitudes like a good little drone.



The worst part is that it steals from Christianity for its own ends (early Isaiah,  I think, and 4th chapter of Micah?) 


Ill creature, for exhaling this tripe.






In reply to by Liberal

swmnguy cheka Tue, 02/20/2018 - 13:55 Permalink

It's all part of the plan to destroy America's civil society, to impose a dictatorship.  We're seeing it on all fronts.  Find a problem, take steps to make it worse, eliminate means of addressing the problem and then claim those attempted solutions are the actual cause of the problem; all that sort of circular logic and social/civic sabotage.

It's like dumping all sorts of social programs onto the public schools while not fully funding the programs or the schools, and then complaining that the schools cost too much and don't do a good enough job and have taken on all sorts of unrelated social tasks.

I really don't believe my fellow Americans are so stupid, so it must be intentional.  I don't believe my fellow Americans are really mostly nihilists and sadists, either, but those taking power most certainly are.

It's certainly working.  Over the past 40 years or so, every social structure in America has been weakened to the point of impending collapse, while all the benefits of progress and hard work have been skimmed off to the Oligarchic Elite class. 

Meanwhile, the disappearing middle class and the burgeoning lower class have been trained to expect to be cheated by the ownership class at every turn, with no recourse.  They've been taught that there is no rule of law; just wealth.  They're being set up to have their retirement investments taken from them in the largest retroactive pay cut in history, once Paul Ryan gets done seizing Social Security and Medicare. 

And they've learned that the wealthiest nation in human history can't handle the most basic civic needs like healthcare, infrastructure, education and meaningful employment because Finance and the need to spend more on a War Machine than every other nation combined makes it impossible to actually maintain and run the nation.

The gun campaign is just one example.  We've always had guns in America.  We didn't used to all be able to buy military-grade high-capacity, high-velocity weapons though.  Nobody particularly wanted them either, because nobody needs them.  And we used to rehabilitate criminals in our prisons, and treat the mentally ill.  Now we openly let gangs run the prisons and brag that sentences involve violence and rape; we dispense dangerous drugs to the mentally ill and tell them to get better on their own; and we claim that military weapons we never used to have are a bedrock right.  The problem is perfectly defined so it can't be solved.  

The only reason to set the argument up in that way is to maximize the damage to American society, to set up the next argument, which is that civil society and representative democracy have failed and we need a Dictator to impose order via brutal State Violence and the appropriation of everything of value upward to the Oligarchic Elites.

It's going very well, judging by the overall tone I see in America today.  We're getting close to the inflection point where the Oligarchs yell, "Pull It!"

In reply to by cheka

sonoftx swmnguy Tue, 02/20/2018 - 21:23 Permalink

Read or listen to Nasim Talib. Skin in the game. Very few have skin in the game anymore. Or, maybe I should say they do not realize how much skin they have in the game. 

Anyways, started to write out responses to many of your points but it all boils down to the fact that you think that government is the answer to your problems. Government will give you good healthcare, good schools, meaningful employment(what the hell is MEANINGFUL employment). The answer is not the government. 

Also, you should believe that your fellow American are that stupid and nihilistic. What sort of person with more than two brain cells to rub together believes that having $100,000 to $140,000 sitting in the driveway where the two cars are parked is anything but stupid. Not ignorant but stupid. How is it not stupid to spend so much on a house, cars, entertainment, pleasing the chillun' that month after month you max out credit card after credit card.

Your ideas would be great if we lived in a Utopian society where we were all saints and had the good of mankind in our hearts. It will NEVER be this. We are humans. We will always be humans. The battle is within and the American people fight very few battles these days. Hence, the need for semi-automatic MSR. 

Did not red arrow you.

In reply to by swmnguy

TuPhat cheka Tue, 02/20/2018 - 13:00 Permalink

I was a member of GOA for years.  I'm on a fixed income now so I am not currently a member but I always felt it was worth the money.  Joined NRA for one year 10 years ago and they have hassled me to no end for more money ever since.  Get annoying calls all the time.  NRA stay away.

In reply to by cheka

Freddie Shitonya Serfs Tue, 02/20/2018 - 14:48 Permalink

Broward Sheriff Office (BSO) chief Scott Israel is as guilty as the FBI.  BSO along with the NAACP created a program to not arrest or harass students who were troublemakers. 

11-5-2013 Called Ending School to Prison Pipeline.  Also done in conjunction with the county school board.  The NAACP press release was on 11-5-2013.…

This is all about gun control.  Broward also had another false flag at the airport about a year ago.  Sheriff Scott Israel was in charge then too.



In reply to by Shitonya Serfs

pods BlackChicken Tue, 02/20/2018 - 11:35 Permalink

Yep, and if you think about it, more shootings brings them closer to their goal. So they actually support school shootings.

They don't want anything that works. They want guns to be banned. They want to be able to be mugged, raped, beaten and murdered with ZERO ability to stop it.

How's that for a fucked up society?

This even certainly could have been prevented. If the damn people who were charged with enforcing laws that were put in place to protect society actually did their jobs. 

Nobody will be fired or brought up on charges for their abysmal failure at doing their jobs. Nope. We need more laws for them not to enforce, with the only conclusion being guns will be banned. (then they will certainly do their jobs as that is the only real goal)


In reply to by BlackChicken

HardAssets BlackChicken Tue, 02/20/2018 - 12:04 Permalink

You’re more likely to be struck by lightning than be a victim in a mass shooting. Insignificant as a substantial threat.

The agenda is to disarm We the American People. The 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution isn’t about hunting, recreational target shooting, or even personal defense against common criminals. It is about defending against tyranny.

The American founders understood this. Today the people are fed lies and shamed against understanding this truth.  IMO even 2A supporters get bogged down in the irrelevant. There is no ‘rash’ of mass shootings; don’t be played.


BTW - tptb know they cannot disarm the American people now. They are brainwashing & planting the seeds for acceptance of this by the youth who make up the next generation. Fewer of them have positive experiences as hunters and as firearms enthusiasts. Opportunities for participation are being slowly diminished.

In reply to by BlackChicken

All Risk No Reward NoDebt Tue, 02/20/2018 - 12:38 Permalink

>>Airports underwent permanent change after 9-11.<<

Setting up the police and surveillance state and siphoning off trillions to create trillions in debt is a Money Power agenda.

>>But schools can't be changed to improve security.  Ever, apparently.<<

Gun confiscation, at one level or another, is an agenda of the Money Power.  Given that the gun and freedom culture is so strong in America, the Money Power has determined they have to hold our children hostage.

Eventually, they will orchestrate some some kind of attack on a school bus and show video of the blood dripping out off of the steps.

'You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple: to force ... the public to turn to the state to ask for greater security."
~Vincenzo Vinciguerra in sworn testimony about Operation Gladio

Sword Play and Operation Gladio

Note how Money Power assets are almost never targeted...  the benefit of infiltrating, provocateuring, financing, and controlling the terrorists and the violent people.

In reply to by NoDebt

Drachma NoDebt Tue, 02/20/2018 - 17:41 Permalink

Are you implying that the changes undergone at airports have improved security and therefore the same tactics will improve security at schools? I don't accept the false dichotomy that this author is peddling, which is, either we must make schools into prisons or we must take your guns away. How about neither. Neither of those solutions bring security. The point of having metal detectors, millimeter wave body scanners, x-ray machines, cameras, microphones, face-recognition algorithms, police background checks to attend school events, lock-downs at the drop of a hat, etc., is not safety and security. You can see that right? How more secure are we because of the permanent changes undergone at airports after 911? IMO, not one iota. Cheers.

In reply to by NoDebt

All Risk No Reward Drachma Tue, 02/20/2018 - 23:18 Permalink

>>Are you implying that the changes undergone at airports have improved security and therefore the same tactics will improve security at schools?<<

BTW, thanks for asking a question instead of projecting something onto me that I didn't intend.  It is refreshing.

Heck no.  The establishment isn't trying to protect anyone.  They finance and protect the drug cartels, the gun runners, the major terrorists, etc...

Down The Rabbit Hole w/ Popeye (12-19-2012) Julia Davis: Top Priority The Terror Within

>>I don't accept the false dichotomy that this author is peddling, which is, either we must make schools into prisons or we must take your guns away. How about neither. Neither of those solutions bring security. The point of having metal detectors, millimeter wave body scanners, x-ray machines, cameras, microphones, face-recognition algorithms, police background checks to attend school events, lock-downs at the drop of a hat, etc., is not safety and security. You can see that right? How more secure are we because of the permanent changes undergone at airports after 911? IMO, not one iota. Cheers.<<

Yes, I'm right with you. 

My guess is that more than 70-80% of the shootings are drug related - both illegal and legal.

1. Decriminalize drugs, take away the profit motive, and the territorial murders will stop.

2. Prevent those under 30 years old from taking the psychotropics that lead to almost all of the school shootings and 10's of thousands of suicides.

They don't want that.  The Money Power wants violence, they want fear, they want their prey's guns, they want the drug money profits, they want the gun running profits, etc...

Thanks for the mature dialogue.  Unfortunately, it is a rarity.

In reply to by Drachma