The only ones trying to “exploit tragedy for political gain,” as National Rifle Association Vice President Wayne LaPierre put it, are the National Rifle Association and anyone else pushing to put armed guards in our schools [front page, Dec. 22]. The NRA might profit from more people carrying more weapons, but what will be the effects on our children and nation? Our schools will look like prisons. Our children will grow up believing a gun is the answer to every problem. The ideas of community, mediation, compromise, deliberation and problem-solving will be shoved aside. Children will learn that the only way to be safe is to carry a gun.
Do we want to be a nation of people who hide behind locked doors, afraid to talk to neighbors, afraid of the person standing next to us at the grocery store or the pizza parlor? While fear-mongering supports the goals of the NRA, it does not promote democratic citizenship. It does not encourage people to live as a community and to come together to discuss differences without anger and violence. NRA leaders preach a life of fear and alienation that is an assault on democracy.