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The Price of Freedom in America

Updated on February 25, 2014

Guarding Every School

Guards outside a school.
Guards outside a school. | Source

Police in Every School

Put armed police in every school, to prevent massacres.

Imagine the scale of the program needed to recruit, train and deploy a squad of trained police to each of America’s 98, 817 public schools. That’s four or five police per school, more for larger schools. That’s more than a million new police, fielded in a very short time.

It takes a special sort of person to become a professional police officer. I’m not so sure America has another one million qualified applicants. Military veterans have already taken on the task of serving as TSA workers at airports, as well as federal civilian police protecting military bases. Homeland Security has also taken up its share of qualified military veterans. The bottom of the barrel is about to get scraped. The quality of law enforcement officers might be severely diluted by such a rapid expansion of the force.

Regardless, this is a monumental task that could only be handled by the federal government. Even though the individual police squads might be part of a local police force, there would be a federal standard for the training and certification, and federal block grants to pay for getting the program started, at least. To pay for it over time, it would be hard to prevent public support for a tax on guns and ammo. A federal tax, perhaps, followed by a federal gun registration program, and a tax on the ownership as well as the sale of firearms. Kind of like the way we get taxed on cars. It all seems so innocuous at first.

And that’s how it happens. Some A-hole, some several A-holes, take it upon themselves to abuse the freedoms they enjoy. There is public outcry, “People ought not do that!”

Of course. We have a system. Someone breaks the law, and then generally gets caught eventually, if they continue to commit crimes. The police do a pretty good job. Then there is the court system, and the prison system. Criminals tend to end up in prison. America does have the largest prison system in the world, so that means there are far more more criminals getting caught than getting away.

But to ban guns, to put cops in every school, that’s a bit extreme. To prevent crime, that’s ambitious. It is necessary, in a free society, to wait until someone actually breaks the law before they can be arrested, as flawed and cruel as it seems. When a whacko murders children and then commits suicide, it’s too easy to err on the side of prevention. Perhaps perform DNA or brain wave tests on everybody, identify the criminals ahead of time and march them off to internment camps? What?

Freedom is not free. It involves sacrifice, and that sacrifice extends well beyond soldiers sent off to war. From every person killed by a maniac, to every convicted murderer who is executed, those lives are lost as part of the price for freedom. The alternative is a society where getting groped by strangers extends well beyond airline security gates, where privacy is tossed in the trash and forgotten, where civil liberties are just too dangerous for everyday people.

How free is free?

It's a choice we make as a society.


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    • bulldogrocks profile image

      bulldogrocks 4 years ago from Colorado

      Good hub with excellent points. I dont think we would need 5 or police per school but I do think having them classified as gun free zones makes them an easy target. Unfortunately there isn't an easy way to fix this problem but having at least one armed officer per school whether it is a security guard or a police officer would make things safer in my opinion.

    • NotPC profile image

      NotPC 4 years ago

      Couldn't have said it better myself. Voted Up and interesting.

    • zenpropix profile image

      zenpropix 4 years ago

      The other solution is to 'secure the perimeter' at a school. This concept has been employed at no less than the Green Zone in Baghdad, and even at the White House. My hub on the topic discusses the idea in detail. Schools as armed camps and defenseless children falling prey to the mentally ill are both unacceptable extremes in my view.

    • Jed Fisher profile image

      Jed Fisher 4 years ago from Oklahoma

      I went to visit my old high school. It's closed now. I drove by the new high school, drove past it about three times before I realized it was the new building. It looked like a prison! Chain-link fence with razor wire on top, high narrow windows all around...


      The bigger issue might be the problem of high school girls drooling over the uniformed armed guards, and a few of guards taking advantage of the situation.

    • lilyfly profile image

      Lillian K. Staats 4 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska

      Hell and Fornication-time to home school children, and teach them the value of, and the danger of, weapons. You know our Government isn't capable of doing anything coherent, and so, as in most cases, it's time to think for ourselves, before that is illegal too. Nice work. lily

    • OldWitchcraft profile image

      OldWitchcraft 4 years ago from The Atmosphere

      Excellent article!

      The Piers Morgans of the world keep calling for more gun laws. Well, we've already got a gun law and it's a really good one. It's called the 2nd Amendment and when it is followed in this country it works really well.

      For instance, in states and especially in rural counties where its easy to own a gun (you just go buy it) we have very little in the way of law enforcement officers and restrictive laws (because we don't need them) and we have very little crime.

      Where the law is disrespected - in gun free school zones and in cities and states like NYC and Connecticut where gun ownership and self-defense rights are greatly restricted - it has no chance to work and they have lots of cops, lots of restrictive laws and lots of violent crime.

      Accolades and vote up!

    • profile image

      Jean Valerie Kotzur nee Stoneman 4 years ago from Germany

      Are we Europeans missing the point here by asking the simple question, why do US Americans need guns in their homes? I know that this all originated from the pioneer days and the need for personal protection, but there are no wild Indian tribes living on the prairies any longer or wild animals roaming the boulevards. By saying this I am not mocking US Americans, on the contrary, during my long life I have known quite a few North Americans and have also visited the USA a few times. It would never occur to me to keep a gun in my Munich home or even in London, come to that, where I was born and reared. Yes, we do occasionally have gun crime in Europe, but because owning guns is illegal, these crimes are few and far between. Whenever I read about ways of reducing gun crime in the USA, there are always hundreds of suggestions of how to achieve this, except, of course, banning the dangerous things. Could you explain this phenomenen to a European please? There are thousands of suggestions, but their is only one way to save innocent American lives and that is, BAN THE THINGS! If others don't have guns then you (not meant personally) don't need one! It works reasonally well in Europe, why couldn't it work in America?

    • OldWitchcraft profile image

      OldWitchcraft 4 years ago from The Atmosphere


      There are vast stretches of the U.S. where there's not much - my county seat is an hour away over mountainous ridge and dale of winding roads. Our deputies are dispatched from their homes.

      Women living alone in rural and semi-rural areas are especially favorite targets for criminals. Then, there's the fact that a lot of the cops aren't particularly trustworthy and you don't want to call them anyway unless you absolutely have to - they might actually show up. And, this is why.

    • OldWitchcraft profile image

      OldWitchcraft 4 years ago from The Atmosphere


      Also, here there really are still wild animals and deadly rattlesnakes to worry about. Whenever navigating the woods around here it's good to have a big stick and a pistol for that reason. We, also, have a lot of large, wild cats in the woods around here to go with all the coyotes. It's nearly impossible to keep small livestock because of all the night-time predators.

      When I was in Germany, I spent a lot of time debunking German impressions of the U.S., which seem to come from American movies and T.V.

      Furthermore, gun bans don't save lives... People use guns to save lives and deter crime. We have lots of guns and very little crime where I live... it's Chicago and NYC you have to fear for your life from guns, rapists and everything else.

    • Jed Fisher profile image

      Jed Fisher 4 years ago from Oklahoma

      I have the right to defend myself and my property with deadly force. It's a right, in America, not a privilege. And that is the cornerstone of all the other rights. Take the right to own deadly weapons away from the people and the people become sheep, easily manipulated and controlled.

    • profile image

      Jean Valerie Kotzur nee Stoneman 4 years ago from Germany

      I can understand owning and using (if necessary) deadly weapons in unpopulated areas of the U.S., but not in urban areas. In Europe we do not have very large unpopulated areas (at least not comparable to the U.S) where a deadly weapon would be absolutely necessary. It is difficult for Europeans to get their heads around this. The very thought of living in a house with a deadly weapon in the cupboard, would drive me crazy. It would never occur to me that a person, knocking on my door late at night, would want to shoot me, and the actual chance of this, where I live, is very slim. This is the first time I have been able to discuss this issue properly with an American citizen. I, personally, could never live with this situation, but at least I am beginning to understand what is behind the gun mentality and survival is a very good reason. Thanks.

    • Jed Fisher profile image

      Jed Fisher 4 years ago from Oklahoma


      A well-armed populous is a deterrent to government oppression. The coincidence of gun ownership being brought up for debate at the same time as egregious expansions of government power in other areas seems like too much of a coincidence.

      Ghost32 touches on the other issues quite well:

    • profile image

      Jean Valerie Kotzur nee Stoneman 4 years ago from Germany


      Germans don't spend their time looking at old US movies any longer, they travel abroad and collect their own impressions. You also say that gun bans don't save lives. Have you tried telling that to the parents of the school children who died in the school massacre just before Christmas? There will always be crimes involving guns. These crimes occur occasionally in countries where possessing guns is illegal. However, if you have a gun in the house, the more likely it will be used at sometime whether necessary or not. I understand that there are certain parts of the American continent where possessing a weapon is sensible to protect oneself against dangerous animals. Human Beings can be dangerous too, but they become deadly when they have easy access to a weapon. I don't think a European will ever be convinced about the Americans' idea of the necessity to possess a gun. But, there again, we are all different!

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