Moral Disarmament in Our Schools
It is impossible to make any logical sense of the recent events at Sandy Hook. The bitter loss of those children cut into our national psyche, and as a consequence, we now see proposals to defend our children in school from random violence.
Last week, State Senators Tommy Williams and John Whitmire, and Representative Dan Huberty announced their intention to file the "Texas School District Security Act.” The plan would rely on professional police officers to defend our children and schools and would give school districts the option to create new taxing districts to pay for these officers.
While the intent of this legislation is most honorable, this legislation would simply create another layer of government to solve a cultural problem. And as Williams acknowledges, state and local budgets are extremely tight, and they may remain so for years.
But the real problem with this legislation is that it trains our youngest citizens, their families, and our communities to think that only the state can protect them.
How refreshing it would be to hear these legislators affirm our Second Amendment rights by calling for citizen volunteers to provide additional security for our kids. Wouldn’t a much better message be conveyed to our kids for them to see a well-trained parent or other volunteer, rather than a police officer, taking responsibility for ensuring their safety?
In his 1999 article about the gun control movement, “The Armed Defense of Liberty,” Alan Keyes wrote, “Perhaps more important than the physical disarmament the government is attempting is the moral disarmament that accompanies it. If we accept the view that the American people cannot be trusted with the material objects necessary to defend their liberty, we will surely accept as well the view that the American people cannot be trusted with liberty itself…. By disarming, we will confess to our government that we no longer aspire to sovereignty, and wish our rulers to take up this burden in our stead. We will be signaling with great clarity that we wish to be comfortable slaves — and slaves, at least, we will soon become.”
While the authors of this legislation may have no intention to morally disarm society, the process defined in it implies and models this disarmament to our kids and our communities.
It has become routine in our culture to continually transfer our individual responsibilities over to the state, and government has a way of expanding its influence once given authority in an area. Having a safe and secure environment for our children and school personnel is a goal uniting all of us. But creating new opportunities for government intervention in our school, with new taxing districts to pay for it is not the best way. Instead, let’s take this tragedy and respond to it by affirming and underscoring our rights and our responsibility to protect ourselves and those we cherish.