It is a truism to say that there are many anti-gun ideologues among our educational elites. But few are as honest as Doug Van Gorder – a math teacher at Brockton High School. He admits that he would rather lose a child than exercise his right to defend himself with a gun. In the wake of a recent school shooting, he wrote this in a Letter to the Editor of the Boston Globe:I had seen Mr. Van Gorder's letter to the editor earlier, and wondered if he was temperamentally suited to teaching at a high school. I would not like to know that my grand kids were in his hands. I would always be wondering whether they would be safe, or whether they would be sacrificed on the alter of his evidently pacifist beliefs should a situation arise. But Mr. Adams makes the larger point that these people want to impose their ideology on everyone else too.Some propose overturning laws that made schools gun-free zones even for teachers who may be licensed to securely carry concealed firearms elsewhere. They argue that barring licensed-carry only ensures a defenseless, target-rich environment.Morally speaking, I have no problem with anti-gun ideologues who wish to place themselves in peril by waiving their rights of self-defense. You almost have to respect someone who is willing to die for his beliefs. But when he decides that others should also die for his beliefs the real trouble begins.
But as a progressive, I would sooner lay my child to rest than succumb to the belief that the use of a gun for self-defense is somehow not in itself a gun crime.
Under our Constitution, you have certain rights guaranteed. You have, for example, the freedom to keep and bear arms. Unstated, but corollary to that right is the right NOT to keep and bear arms, or not to use them even if you do bear them. All of our rights work in the same way. You have freedom of speech, which includes the right not to speak. You have freedom of religion, which includes the right to not practice a religion. Do you begin to see the genius of our Founders in framing our Constitution. My neighbor and I can have totally different beliefs, and can live according to those differences in peace. Under Mr. Van Gorder's ideology, only one side can live according to their beliefs, the other side can not.
Update 2/25/2010: According to Kurt Hoffman, this letter to the editor was a satire. Sorry to get everyone riled up over it.