What has Americans so frightened? Why are they stocking up on guns and ammo?
Fears of crime, a potential crackdown on firearms, social collapse and even zombies have millions loading up as never before.
BY: Rob Kerby, Senior Editor
say they feel more fearful today then they did twenty years ago. But are we living in exceptionally dangerous times?
Glassner says it is our perception of danger that has increased, not the actual level of risk. He blames people and organizations that manipulate our perceptions and profit from our fears, including advocacy groups that raise money by exaggerating the prevalence of particular diseases and politicians who win elections by heightening concerns about crime, drug use, and terrorism.
But hardly a month goes by without reports of another school shooting. So, it’s hardly surprising that in Ohio, more than 650 teachers and school administrators have signed up for a free program to train teachers and school administrators on how to use firearms, reports WHIO News.
The Buckeye Firearms Foundation offered the Armed Teacher Training Program following the Connecticut shooting. Ohio law allows school staff members to carry firearms as long as the school board approves it.
So does California.
“The Golden State allows schools to employ armed guards if they choose,” writes Larry Sand in City Journal. He is a retired teacher and president of the California Teachers Empowerment Network. “When I was a middle school teacher in Los Angeles from 1994 until 2009, we had an armed cop on campus just about every day. My school was hardly unique. State law has long allowed for an armed presence on any school campus ‘as needed.’”
And school guards are effective, he writes: “Though ignored by most of the media, some mass school shootings have been stopped because an authority figure with access to a firearm intervened. In 1997, at Pearl High School in Mississippi, 16-year-old Luke Woodham shot nine students and staff, killing two, before Joel Myrick, the school’s assistant principal, confronted and subdued him with a pistol he retrieved from his truck.
"In 2001, senior Jason Hoffman opened fire on the attendance office of Granite Hills High School in El Cajon, California. Hoffman wounded five people before being shot and incapacitated by an armed school cop.
"Even the shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado, horrible as they were, could have been even worse but for the intervention of Neil Gardner, an armed Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy having lunch on campus at the time. Gardner exchanged fire with one of the shooters and summoned help, giving several students a chance to escape.”
New York City dad of two boys and attorney Edward Paltzik believes the threat to his young family is real – and that disarming the public isn’t the solution in an increasingly violent world.
“The failure of the United Kingdom’s gun control program was recently displayed during the 2011 London riots when unarmed shopkeepers and homeowners were forced to watch marauding gangs of powerful young men loot and destroy while overwhelmed police failed to contain the raging throng,” he writes. “Closer to home, our broken neighbor Mexico is a failed state in which drug cartels kill government officials with impunity, where beheaded and bullet-ridden corpses litter highways and respectable citizens cower in fear. Mexico has among the strictest gun control laws in the world.”
“Back in the United States, Chicago, subject to some of the most stringent gun control in the nation, observed a timely milestone this week” – its 500th murder of the year, noted Paltzik. “As Chicago demonstrates, gun control is an abject failure precisely because it only affects the good guys who need guns to defend against attacks by criminals who have access to guns regardless of gun control laws.”
In the spirit of the bumper sticker “When guns are outlawed, only the outlaws will have any guns” he notes it was armed good guys who put a stop to a number of would-be massacres.
Just the week after the Connecticut school shootings, a lone San Antonio, Texas, gunman opened fire at a police car and bystanders from a nearby Chinese restaurant. But as he entered the Mayan Palace Movie Theater with both guns blazing, an armed off-duty cop shot Garcia four times, stopping the attack. As a result – no victims’ deaths.
“By contrast, the shootings in gun-free zones invariably result in far higher casualty figures,” notes columnist Ann Coulter. She says gun bans just don’t work – and didn’t stop the bloodshed in attacks on “gun free” sites such as the “Sikh temple, Oak Creek, Wisconsin (six dead); Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia (32 dead); Columbine High School, Columbine, Colorado (12 dead); Amish school, Lancaster County,