No-guns-allowed signs

They don’t work. Moreover, some people find pictures of guns disturbing, even with a red slashed circle over them. So we’re scaring school officials to no purpose.

Now, neither do laws against murder work; not entirely. But laws against murder, and the prospect of punishment, discourage some would-be murderers. No-guns-allowed signs disproportionately discourage not would-be murderers, but the law-abiding. Those law-abiding people are the ones who should have guns. If a significant number of the adults at the school find a picture of a gun scary, I’m not sure they’re entirely prepared to respond to an actual threat to the children’s safety. We should be paying a stipend to people who carry, to help defray their costs.

When I say “we,” I don’t mean the government should give us a tax credit. Leave the government out of it. The United Methodist Church, and the YMCA, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, should pay stipends to people to carry concealed weapons. Harvard should pay their alumni to carry. Pope Francis should grant indulgences to people who legally carry a concealed weapon. Maybe there could be a religious order of armed knights.

But that’s crazy talk, and none of that will happen. We’ll just go with the no-guns-allowed signs, non-functional and disturbing though they be.

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