Resource officers are armed guards | Letters

The City of Roanoke, along with Roanoke County and Montgomery County, recently decided to hire more Resource Officers for their schools.

For Montgomery County, the total number of officers would be eight. Officers are supposed to protect our students from shooters. How sad that Montgomery County alone now has to support eight more police officers in its schools than there are in all the schools in Germany, or France, or any number of other industrialized countries .

The sad truth is that school shootings are a largely American phenomenon. It is an “exceptionalism” of which we can hardly be proud. In fact, we invented an Orwellian language to disguise our own embarrassment. We call the people we hire “Resource Officers”. What resource, exactly, do they represent? Let’s be honest: they are armed guards. We see the need for it and we are prepared to spend taxpayers’ money on it. Countries without shooters don’t need guards either. Even when we have these guards, they often prove to be of marginal use. The massacre of school children in Uvalde, Texas, unfortunately had so many police, but so little protection.

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Mass shootings make headlines, but overall they result in fewer casualties than “normal” incidences of gun violence. Almost every day we learn about them. They happen with such frequency that we hardly notice them anymore. They don’t even make the front page of our newspapers.

All shootings have one thing in common, and one thing only: they involve firearms. Unlike the rain that splashes on our windows, guns are not a natural phenomenon beyond our control. A British journalist recently asked Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a paragon of modern American politics, to explain why, unlike other industrialized countries, the United States has so many shootings. “We in America love our guns,” was his response.

We produce the weapons, we buy them, and we use and abuse them. Our laws, promulgated by our representatives, allow their wide distribution in the country. We are all morally responsible for allowing gun violence to continue. The “resource agents” are just a simple aspirin on our cancer. It’s time we tackled cancer.

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