Let’s suppose that Adam Lanza had not taken his own life after murdering 26 children and six staff at Sandy Hook Elementary and was captured instead.

Suppose he then was transferred from jail to court to appear before the judge for his initial hearing. He likely would be shackled, hand and foot, between two burly well-armed police officers for his walk into the courthouse.

Why would a scrawny juvenile in an orange jumpsuit in shackles need to be escorted on either side by well-armed officers? In case this kid tries some further act of violence? No.

Our justice system, however, deems that even an accused violent offender should be safe from harm so that he can be given a fair trial in a court of law.

Who might harm him? Possibly a grief-stricken parent who, in their pain and rage could think only of hurting the very one who took their precious child’s life.

Did not those innocent children deserve the same kind of protection from Lanza’s outpouring of pain and rage?

In our imaginary scenario, what if the school had an armed security officer? What if several teachers had been well-trained to shoot and had concealed carry permits?

We know a security officer cannot be all places at all times, and having the police even just five minutes away will not necessarily save lives in a gun-free zone.

We know this from Sandy Hook. Don’t our children and our grandchildren deserve, at the very least, as much protection as an accused killer would receive?

David Clinard

Oakland