Making Politics on the Backs of One's Children
By Charles Curley
Special to The Libertarian Enterprise
The vultures are circling.
In 1974, Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) guerrillas made
war on Israel by attacking schools and kindergartens. The series of
attacks culminated with that on Maalot on May 15th. Three PLO goons
shot up a vanload of (Arab) workers. They then entered the school at
Maalot, killed the housekeeper, his wife and their child. They then
took about 100 children hostage. When rescue forces assaulted the
hostage takers, the terrorists blew up explosives and sprayed the
children with machinegun fire. Twenty-five people died, 66 more were
Golda Meir said, during the Maalot incident, that one does not
make politics on the backs of one's children.
That is exactly what the gun control freaks are doing now.
Children are dying in what appear to be random attacks on government
schools throughout the country. And the victim disarmers are using
the tragedy to push their discredited, blood-soaked agenda. Their
policies are discredited and blood-soaked because it is precisely the
policies that they have advocated that make possible such attacks.
We know from the studies of Prof. Gary Kleck that Americans use
firearms more than two million times a year to stop criminal attacks.
We know from the works of Professor John Lott and graduate student
David Mustard that prohibitions on concealed carry of guns are
responsible for approximately 1,570 murders, 4,177 rapes, 60,000
aggravated assaults and 12,000 robberies every year.
Why should schools be any different than the rest of the world?
It is well known that gun control utopias like Washington, D.C.
and New York City have much higher crime rates than the benighted
redneck "gun nut" states like Wyoming, Nevada and Vermont. Of course,
the crime rates are so high because those who obey the law cannot
defend themselves from those who break the laws, including the gun
control laws. What are government schools but miniature Washingtons?
They are just as bureausclerotic, just as mind-numbing as D.C., except
in miniature. And guns are prohibited -- to the law- abiding -- on
school grounds. Why not go all the way, and put up signs that say,
"Child-Murdering Scum Welcome Here" around our schools?
It should be clear by now that the current spate of school
massacres are premeditated by the perpetrators. For example, in the
Springfield, Oregon, massacre of Thursday, 21 May, Kipland Kinkel went
armed with three firearms, and, according to police, a "backpack
loaded with ammunition clips (sic) and loose ammunition".
It should also be clear that the police cannot be on duty at the
schools at all times to stop these attacks. Nor have they any legal
duty to do so. In the Springfield incident, it was students who
stopped Kinkel. Jacob and Josh Ryker (17 and 14, respectively) rushed
Kinkel with bare hands while he changed magazines on his rifle. Jacob
took two 9mm bullets for his trouble. How many more students would
have died had not the Ryker brothers taken up responsibility for their
It was the "gun culture" that the blood-stained victim disarmament
lobby so disdains which made possible the Ryker brothers' brave
counter-attack. Their father, Robert Ryker, is a U.S. Navy diver who
taught his boys firearms and firearms safety. Linda Ryker, their
mother, said, "They know how to respect a gun, and I think all of that
did lead to the fact that my boys did not panic when they saw them,
and they tried to assist and help." And it was a deliberate, brave
act for Robert Ryker to wear an NRA cap at the press conference.
All four of the Rykers are heroes: the brothers, for doing what
they did; their parents, for preparing them to do it. Nor will you
ever see any of the Rykers indiscriminately slaughtering children like
unarmed fish in a barrel. It is cowards, not brave men, who attack
And from this, Charles Schumer, Teddy Kennedy, Bill Clinton, and
similar sniveling, "right-thinking" people -- and their sycophants in
the press -- will conclude that we have to take guns away from
After the Maalot incident, the Israelis changed their policies.
Strict gun control laws left over from the British Mandate were ended.
People in the settlements were issue personal arms. Anyone with a
clean record could get a concealed carry permit, and many did. Army
reservists continued to keep their small arms at home, as the Swiss
Teachers and kindergarten nurses now started to carry guns.
Schools were protected by parents (and often grandparents) guarding
them in voluntary shifts. No school group went on a hike or trip
without armed guards. The police involved citizens in a voluntary
civil guard project "Mishmar Esrachi", which even had its own sniper
teams. The Army taught firearms safety and shooting techniques.
These efforts had an effect: PLO attacks became less effective
and more costly to the PLO. By the early 1980s, the attacks ceased.
As Dr. David Schiller, a former Israeli expert on the attacks put it,
"Terrorists and other evildoers don't like risks." Or, as John Lott
put it, "Criminals, we found, respond rationally to deterrence
The Israelis also saw a connection between the press and the PLO
attacks. The press gave the PLO the media attention they wanted to
"promote their cause". Mind you, you have to be at least as deranged
as Prozac patient Kip Kinkel to think that sort of publicity will help
your cause, but that's what they believed. And the press gave it to
them. According to Schiller, "Now that is the underlying 'reason'
behind each and every incident that involved killing sprees in
schools ... from Maalot to Dunblane to Jonesboro."
The time has come to stop risking our children in the name of
discredited and bloodstained policies. The time has come to stop
whimpering and sniveling in cowardice, and take responsibility once
again. It is time to take responsibility for our own self-defense,
and the defense of our neighbors and community.
Attacks on our children will continue as along as they are
defenseless. Those who pursue policies of victim disarmament are
accessories before the fact to such attacks because they prevent the
victims from responding with full measure. A .25 ACP in the purse of
a teacher is a far more effective deterrent to murderers than all the
Handgun Control, Inc., pamphlets in the world.
Jacob Ryker is alive in a hospital, not dead in a morgue, because
he took full responsibility for protecting himself. Are you willing
to do less?
Addendum, June 16, 1998
When I wrote that the vultures were circling, I was inadvertently
prescient. Shortly after this article was published in the Casper
Star Tribune, the Vulture-in-Chief inflicted himself on Springfield,
Oregon, to push his victim disarmament agenda on the backs of dead
children. His beak and claws drip with blood for many reasons, not
least that he signed into law the Federal Gun-Free Schools Act.
Charles Curley, a producer of fine software and/or web pages, was a
pivotal figure in the massive effort to re-legalize gold during the
Nixon Administration, and was a central figure in the passage of a
pioneer concealed-carry law in Wyoming. He may also be reached at