<I>"Everybody's got a pistol. This must really please the NRA"
— from "Gun"
by Gil Scott-Heron</I>
So maybe the NRA is about to get its wish.
Here we are, a little over three weeks after the massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., a little over two weeks after the National Rifle Association said there should henceforth be armed guards at every school, and at least one school system, Marlboro Township in New Jersey, is taking its advice. Under a pilot program in partnership with local police, students who returned to school last week found their campuses patrolled by armed officers.
But here's the thing. If this is truly a good idea — "The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," said NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre in a news conference — then why stop there? After all, it is not just our schools that are being shot up. So let us follow this advice to its logical end.
Four firefighters in upstate New York were shot, two of them killed, on Christmas Eve when they responded to a call and were ambushed by a man with a semiautomatic rifle. So we should have armed guards on all our firetrucks.
Two customers were killed two days before Christmas when armed men opened fire with semiautomatic handguns inside a grocery store in Delray Beach, Fla. So we should have armed guards at all our grocery stores.