A reader explains why armed guards will not end the violence:

As my own experience with troubled children, and as pointed out in the PBS ‘After Newtown’ program of 12/21/2012 pointed out:

(1) the shooters tend to be young males who largely fantasize about the shooting long before they act,

(2) they strongly tend to do active research of their act before doing so,

(3) they see this as a way to end their misery and gain a huge place in the theater of the public mind, and

(4) they know they die knowing the media will have to cover their shocking crimes.

So here are the consequences of putting armed guards in schools:

(1) the young assisins will only see the armed guard as the first thing to take out,

(2) this crime will only add to their search for infamous glory, and

(3) the school is no more safe from the shooter progressing into greater carnage.

The number of youth actively and progressively fantasizing about such things is relatively small, and can be identified. We would be remiss in just thinking that all we have to do is make sure all can get some mental health counseling. We actually have to treat our whole society’s basic mental disease of accepting high levels of alienation, mental narratives that exuse and allow alienation to grow, and not doing the work of community building that naturally curbs alienation. That would-be school guard with the equivalent firepower of our recent shooter would be better serving the memory of Newton by joining Big Brothers, Big Sisters, starting community centers, getting scout units that willing accept anyone, getting the lonely and alienated in on lots and lots of social activities, and other such ideas. Trying to end a gun culture will not happen, but it is possible to work with our gun culture to start selling the wisdom of the gun safe, and the need for a bigger vision of community than those that like shooting ranges.