After reading The Californian's Feb. 2 editorial, "Train janitors to defend our campuses?," a rational person would have to conclude that your editors are somewhat elitist. Why elitist? How about the very strong implication that janitors are not to be trusted with guns? What part of "trained" did you not understand?

You stated that even if they were armed, they would be unlikely to be effective because the shooter would have the advantage of surprise, among other things, and yet an on-campus police officer would somehow not be at a similar disadvantage? Why not?

And, horror of horrors, what if an innocent were to be shot by the armed guard? Yeah, how would that balance out against dozens of children being shot by the intruder? Oh yeah, the legal vulnerability issue-- are you serious? That equates to people being killed?

Of course, if rationality doesn't sway anyone, go for the emotional approach, which you employ very well indeed. Guns kept in desk drawers? Do you really think that would ever be allowed? And be sure to mention that the bill's sponsor was stopped for inadvertently having a legally carried gun on his person at an airport. What does this little bit of personal attack have to do with the merits of the proposal?

Maybe this is not a good idea, but debate it on its merits, not on some knee-jerk ideologue stance. Do you have a better approach? The country would really love to hear about it, I'm sure.

Bob Hughes