ROSE NOLEN: Americans should trust one another more

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

Americans can’t decide whether to have guns in their schools. I often wonder how they come to that question. I ask myself in what way do guns serve education?

I realize that I’m not a typical American. I don’t think that a gathering of Americans in any situation is a set-up for violence. Children coming together for the purpose of learning I don’t think of as an opportunity for violence. I think of it as an opportunity for learning.

Obviously, some people think that any time Americans come together in an unguarded moment, they are setting the stage for violence. I often wonder why that is so, and I don’t imagine that most people’s minds run in that direction.

For some reason, we don’t trust each other. Why do we always imagine that someone is plotting to harm somebody? Why do we believe at every public event there is an opportunity to do harm?

I can’t imagine what lessons could be learned by children sitting in a classroom guarded by armed people. Are they to learn that most people are their enemies? Are they to learn to fear every stranger?

I suppose it was to be expected that some people who live in foreign countries should began to be fearful of Americans because of our homicide rates. After all, we Americans believe that other countries are warlike and may erupt in violence at anytime, so why shouldn’t they read about our murder rate and fear us?

Some people believe that their children are in danger in school. They understand that people can be plotting to harm them without their knowledge. The number of guns available to individuals in this country is remarkable. There are the ones that can be purchased legally from legitimate gun dealers and the ones that can be purchased at gun shows and otherwise illegally. Still, some people want more guns available.

I really don’t expect that will change. I believe the murder rate will continue to rise. I think Americans believe in the power of violence and its ability to govern circumstance. A lot of money is made by gun traffic, and so guns will continue to be bought and sold.

I don’t think we will become a stronger people through the use of guns. I can only hope we will become a wiser people through knowledge and understanding.

Look at it this way: If, as Americans, we can’t trust each other to be around our own children, why would others trust us? And who can we trust?

Rose M. Nolen writes a weekly column for the Missourian. You can join the conversation by calling her at 882-5734 or emailing her at

Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Mark Foecking August 27, 2013 | 10:03 a.m.

"I believe the murder rate will continue to rise."

Actually, the nationwide murder rate is as low as it was in the early '60s:

I don't have a strong opinion on allowing teachers and other school personnel to carry. The effect of concealed carry on violent crime in general has been fairly neutral, and while I could see that an armed teacher might have stopped the Sandy Hook shooter sooner, I could also see him not being effective or even making a target out of himself. I'm not sure it matters that much either way.

Kids are at far more risk simply going to and from school than from any violence that might happen there. Especially if it was not generally known which school personnel were carrying, I doubt having teachers carrying would send any particular message at all. I also don't think that the statistics of mass school shooting necessitate any action at all.


(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield August 27, 2013 | 10:40 a.m.

"I can’t imagine what lessons could be learned by children sitting in a classroom guarded by armed people."

Many already are, including CPS students.

(Report Comment)
Charles leverett August 27, 2013 | 3:29 p.m.

You are right, we should trust each more, but that is a two way street. Just because I own a gun doesn't make me a dangerous person nor violent prone. But lets face it, with one sided articles like this we will never have trust.

(Report Comment)

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.