Two beliefs:

  • We must do something to prevent mass killings; and
  • The government, that is, politicians, cannot be completely trusted.

Taken together, the problem cannot be solved. But what if they are taken separately?

Most people, in rational moments when not worked into a frenzy by the media, would acknowledge some truth to these two beliefs.

I’m a gun owner and I freely admit shock and horror at the killings and want to figure out something to stop them, and at the same time and after many years of life and seeing just what politicians do in the name of “good government”, I don’t trust a single one of them to not look for profit and an increase of power at my expense.

Expecting “the government” to solve the mass killing problem makes it intractable. I just do not trust the politicians to find an answer that doesn’t infringe my freedom.

As is abundantly clear each time this debate flares up to new heights with some new spark, putting “government” and “gun control” together is going to be strongly resisted. Very strongly. Violently so, if you are to believe some of the opponents.

If the problem of mass killings is to be solved without provoking the very thing it intends to prevent, then a different solution, one that does not raise the specter of government control, must be found.

And that’s when the term “grass roots” comes to mind.

In Maricopa County which includes all of Phoenix Arizona and its adjacent cities, towns and villages, the Sheriff - yes, he’s a government politician but give me a second to explain - is organizing a volunteer effort to put trained, armed personnel at each school. The volunteers do so for no pay and in their own spare time. The “government”, in this case, provides the organizing tools by which the volunteers then operate.

It’s an interesting proposal but not without some problems.

Those who know Sheriff Joe Arpaio also know he’s a publicity hound. He loves being in the news and, to some degree, this effort certainly must appeal to his ego.

And the Sheriff’s reputation in the Hispanic community is far from positive. His raids to round up illegals are well known as are his tent city prison and chain gangs.

But the proposal itself, if separated from Joe’s polarizing reputation, just might also hold the key to the solution.

A significant fact is that in almost every mass killing, the shooter has committed suicide as soon as he was opposed. Indeed, Police are now instructed not to wait for backup but rather to immediately attempt to confront, oppose and stop any such act because, again, in most cases, the killing stops.

Immediate intervention.

And that’s what the pro-gun community is advocating, that immediate intervention.

Immediate opposition to such attacks, whether by armed teachers, administrators, off-duty LEOs or others - all of whom should be adequately trained which is another area where the “government” can help - can implement that solution.

And while it won’t stop all such attacks, it would have shortened and minimized the killings in all recent instances.

This is a good, solid, practical answer that solves a large portion of the problem. And it uses the government in the manner in which it is intended to be used, as an instrument.

The government is, after all, the tool of the people. It is there to serve and facilitate, not to control.

Do these issues of gun ownership and mass killings become intractable when addressed together? If so, then to find a solution, don’t put them together.

The government can facilitate the solution, and the people can implement it.

This is a really good idea!

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