I Went to A Fortified High School
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I Went to A Fortified High School

I grew up in Paris in the 1980s.   Not Paris, Texas but Paris, France.

At the time, Americans were under attack in the City of Light and American institutions were heavily fortified.  That included the American School of Paris, my school.

Now that our country has reached a point where simplistic folk like Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, who are blindly opposed to reasonable gun control measures, are now actually prepared to take concrete steps to fortify schools, let me explain two important things that make his proposal way off base.

First, going to school in a fortified school does not make for an ordinary childhood.  While it may make sense in extraordinary circumstances (e.g., at the American School of Paris, France in the 1980s), it doesn’t make sense long-term and in a country where children ought not live under fire and in fear.  An elementary school student or a high school student can adjust to extraordinary circumstances.   But when we reach the point where you are asking every child in the US to make such an extraordinary adjustment, we have reached a point of no return and a society that is very, very broken.

Second, there is fortification and then there is fortification.   A school, its buses, its bus stops can only be so heavily fortified at a reasonable cost.  You can limit ingress and egress, arm teachers, use metal detectors, and stagger school starting times, as the Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has proposed, but not one of these efforts is likely to prevent an attack like Columbine, Sandy Hook, Marjory Stoneman Douglas or Santa Fe.  Indeed, simple fortifications such as these might keep terrorists away for a period of time, until they identify a work-around, but are not likely to deter a sick child with a semi-automatic weapon.

Embassy-style fortifications are of course much more extensive, but these are not what the elected folk in Texas are imagining nor are they even remotely realistic.   

It’s way past time to end the perversion and misinterpretation of the Second Amendment.  Until we are prepared to take concrete steps to remove at least assault rifles from the hands of ordinary citizens, fortifications will do nothing.

Ari Socolow
Ari Socolow: Ari Socolow is the Chief Economist and Editor-in-Chief at BestCashCow. He is particularly interested in issues relating to financial literacy and bank transparency. Since co-founding this website in 2005, Ari has been frequently cited in the media as an expert on local and national savings accounts, CD products, mortgage and loan products and credit card rewards products.
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