One of the big questions we've been asking ourselves in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting is what group of warm bodies are going to be flung into the path of the armed-to-the-teeth gunmen of tomorrow. Will it have to be the children themselves? It's been suggested! (The huskier, the better, apparently.)
At this point, the most popular proposal seems to be to have armed guards in the schools. If this notion has a problem, it's just a teensy, little practical matter of ... you know -- the fact that it doesn't work. But as always, "stuff that doesn't work" becomes "the best idea" once it becomes clear that all sides want to do it. And "armed guards in schools" fits the bill. The NRA wants more armed guards in schools because their primary focus is helping gun manufacturers sell the guns they manufacture to people, and a whole new workforce that requires firearms would be terrific from their perspective. The White House seems amenable to the idea because it means they get to create jobs and stimulate the economy and also have an extra layer of "CYA-lacquer" on their rear-ends the next time there is a tragedy like this.
Of course, there are a number of reasons why this idea could fall apart despite the fact that both sides of the debate are seemingly open to it. Just off the top of the dome, here are the fault lines that will probably crack under the White House's support for this idea:
1. It represents tax money going to public schools.
2. It creates more public sector jobs.
3. The people who take those jobs might want to be a part of a labor union.
4. That means union members with guns, so that will be a non-starter.
5. So these armed guards will probably look like the Transportation Security Administration agents you see at the airport.
6. Everybody hates the TSA.
7. In general, the GOP manages to discover how much they've already secretly loathed something within ten minutes of President Barack Obama coming out for it. (See also: Chuck Hagel.)
Fortunately, the people of the Montpelier Exempted Village Schools Board of Education of Montpelier, Ohio, may have hit on the idea that squares this circle:
The Montpelier Exempted Village Schools Board of Education has approved the carrying of handguns by its custodial staff.
The 5-0 vote of the board Wednesday night to allow handgun training for four custodians to be able to tote weapons at the K-12 campus at the Williams County school came after last month's deadly shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
School officials say that having armed personnel -- believed to be the first for any school system in Ohio -- is designed to thwart incidents of violence and prevent what happened in Newtown, Conn., from occurring here.
This solution is almost too perfect. Arming the custodial staff and giving them some minimal training will create almost the same false sense of security as federally-funded rent-a-cops, but without any worry that you are "growing the government" by creating new public sector jobs or showering too much money on public schools. And then, if a deranged gunman attacks the school, it will be up to the school's janitors to bravely throw their bodies in harm's way.
It almost pains me to point out that studies have been conducted that prove that this plan just fails to stop these kinds of assailants. But since sending forgotten-about working-class Americans overseas to die for us is working out so great, we may as well give forgotten-about working-class Americans the chance to die for us at home, too.
This will catch on, you just watch.
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