It is usually the National Rifle Association trotting out the slippery slope argument. For instance, they say, if we ban 30-round clips for assault weapons now they will eventually ban your bird-hunting shotgun.
But here’s the real slippery-slope danger in this gun-crazy nation.
A Maine state legislator has now proposed a bill allowing teachers and other school employees to carry concealed firearms in Maine schools.
The Associated Press reports that State Sen. David Burns, R-Whiting, wants to allow certain school employees to carry guns.
To people who grew up in the 1950’s, ’60s or ’70s this must seem surreal. Sure, the Russians might drop a bomb on your school back then, but the thought of a community member showing up to kill the kids was simply unthinkable.
Most dads had served in the military during World War II, they knew all about guns and many had seen the result of gun violence close up.
They were more interested in buying homes than investing their life savings in personal arsenals.
We feared Communists, but the thought of collecting guns to possibly fight our own military and government only occurred to the lunatic fringe. That idea, by the way, has gone rather mainstream these days.
Times change, of course, and the biggest documented change is that we now have tens of millions more guns in circulation. Meanwhile, teenagers are regularly killing each other in inner cities, mass shootings occur with some regularity and we are all more frightened of gun violence than we have been in our nation’s history.
But the arm-the-teacher bills sweeping the country seem to show that we have reached a dangerous tipping point or, as the NRA likes to say, a slippery slope.
There are now so many guns, and so much gun violence, that ordinary Americans (like teachers) feel they may need to be armed to protect themselves from all the nuts with guns.
So, we arm the teachers.
What next? College professors? Gun idiots are often attracted to college campuses.
How about arming certain employees in their workplaces in case a disgruntled worker goes off his rocker? That happens, too.
Perhaps some postal workers should be armed because, you know, somebody might just go “postal.”
And theater ushers. Perhaps they should be armed to return fire when some heavily armed nut job wearing body armor opens fire on the audience.
How about clerks and store managers at malls? A number of angry lunatics have chosen malls and shopping centers to carry out their mayhem.
Perhaps, as the NRA hopes, each of us will one day carry a gun in case some demented driver with road rage starts waving a handgun in our face.
You see, this is where we are headed, into a world as NRA President Wayne LaPierre famously described, of many more “good guys with guns” ever vigilant for more and more “bad guys with guns.”
The U.S. has the most heavily armed civilian population in the world and we have, by several magnitudes, the highest gun-death rate outside of countries at war or facing drug wars.
More guns, more violence. More guns, more violence.
Does anyone really think that’s a coincidence?
The opinions expressed in this column reflect the views of the ownership and the editorial board.