Arming Teachers

The school shooting in Connecticut recently has produced a wide variety of possible “solutions” for the problem of school shootings. The loudest “solutions” seem to be offered by ideologically driven liberals whose only intent seems to be the disarming of law-abiding citizens. I have covered this aspect of the debate in a previous column, Here We Go Again.

One solution, offered by some is to allow teachers to be armed. It may come as a surprise to many but there are several countries, Israel for one, that allow teachers to be armed in the classroom. The typical liberal response to an idea that deserves serious consideration came from Carol Lear. “It’s a terrible idea,” said Carol Lear, a chief lawyer for the Utah Office of Education. “It’s a horrible, terrible, no-good, rotten idea.” Lear it seems would prefer students be assassinated in an orderly fashion rather than have a teacher trained to use a firearm protect them.

I agree it is not the perfect solution, but I have to wonder about someone who seems to think it is better to have students sitting around defenseless waiting to be shot or turning their backs to a loaded gun and hoping not to be killed. Despite Ms. Lears best intentions, these are not real options and anyone who thinks they are is, in my mind anyway clinically insane.

If it is decided to allow teachers to “carry” in school there should be some guidelines. For starters the teacher must at least have their concealed carry permit. Being former military and a licensed armed security officer I completely understand and would insist on substantial training requirements for any teacher wanting to “carry” in school. I have been in “shots fired” situations and only solid training prevented the situation from deteriorating more than it already had.

Secondly, the weapon must be easily concealed. There are many small, easily concealed handguns in a variety of caliber’s. Armed teachers do not need .44 Magnum revolvers. A 9mm, .380 or even .22 is an effective deterrent when seen from the business end. The goal of the teacher should be to protect their students until law enforcement arrives. A warning shot may be all that’s needed to send a shooter away from a classroom full of children. It is an old cliché but it is sadly true, when seconds count, the police are minutes away.

Third, the weapon should be carried on the teachers person at all times. This means no stashing it in a purse, briefcase, locker or staff lounge. While it may be possible for someone to run out to their car and retrieve a weapon I can think of two reasons not carrying is dangerous. First, by leaving the scene those you should be protecting are left to fend for themselves. Second, when you return to the scene you have no idea what has changed. Where is the bad guy etc. To be of any value the weapon must be readily available.

Fourth, the weapon should only be loaded with hollow point ammo. This helps to limit over penetration, ie going through walls. It would be of little consolation to stop a shooter but have someone injured or killed by a shot that missed its target and hit someone through a wall.

Finally, the weapon should be unadvertised. By that I mean no one knows you have it. Ask any teacher and you will find that there are no secrets in a school. I know this because I was a PTA president for three years. If the teachers who want to carry have to be on a list kept by the administration it wont be long before they are all revealed. Lets be honest, all school shooters are cowards. That means the first person they are going to shoot is the one they think will shoot back. Not knowing who or how many that may be could be all the deterrent needed. As long as you are trained I have no problem with you “carrying” and my not knowing.

As for Carol Lear, I wonder if she is just waiting for something to happen here in Utah. Then she can resign her state job and make millions suing the state of Utah for “failing to protect their students from armed assailants.” It would be the liberal, lawyerly thing to do.

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