Time To Arm Teachers

Posted on Sun 10/06/2013 by


20130613_TomMcLaughlin_at_CPAC_2010By Tom McLaughlin ~20131004_gun_large_arm

School has been back in session for a month and there hasn’t been a mass shooting – yet.

Will there be one this year? Most likely. Where? When? By whom? We can’t answer the first two, but we can place a fairly safe bet on the third. If the past is any guide, it will most likely be a mentally and emotionally-disturbed, teenaged, white boy. He’ll enter the school’s formerly gun-free zone with at least one gun, and possibly several. He’ll know that he’ll be the only armed person in the school for at least several minutes until police arrive – plenty of time to kill many, many children as well as any adults who try to stop him because they’ll all be defenseless.

When did our schools become gun-free zones? After the “Gun Free School Zones Act” passed in 1990. It was modeled after the “Drug Free Zones” established around schools – and both were intended to increase penalties against students who brought drugs or guns into schools, and against gang members who might shoot at each other. It was designed to prevent teachers or other responsible adults from carrying concealed firearms. That, however, was an unintended side-effect of the act, and it’s leaving our schools vulnerable to the mentally-unhinged and/or evil individuals who like to kill.

Can anything be done to prevent school killings? If some adults in a school were armed and trained to confront intruders with guns, killings could be dramatically reduced. Take the Newtown murders for example. If the people in the office had been armed, twenty children would likely have been saved. The principal, a psychologist, and a teacher rushed out to meet the shooter, Adam Lanza, when they heard him shoot the door open. Defenseless, all three were shot. The rest of the people in the school school could only cower and hope police would come before he could get to them. What would Lanza have done if someone were shooting back at him? He wouldn’t have been free to shoot so many children if here were busy defending himself, would he?

It’s bad enough that our schools became gun-free zones, but it’s absurd that now our military bases are as well. Remember when we used to call the military the “Armed Services”? Well, now they’re the unarmed services thanks to President Clinton. One of the first things he did after being inaugurated in 1993 was to disarm our military personnel while they’re on base. That’s why Radical Muslim Major Nidal Hasan was able to shoot forty-two soldiers at Fort Hood before being shot himself by a civilian police officer who came onto the base. The wife of one of the wounded was asked after the shooting how she felt about her husband’s pending deployment to Afghanistan. “At least he’s safe there and he can fire back, right?” she responded.

Aaron Alexis was able to kill twelve people at the Navy Yard in Washington DC a couple of weeks ago. There were Marines stationed on base with guns who could have stopped him, but they had no bullets thanks to President Clinton.

Evil jihadists like Major Hasan as well as the mentally ill like Adam Lanza and Aaron Alexis seek out soft targets to play out their malicious schemes. That’s why a group of jihadists targeted a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya a couple of weeks ago. However, two armed men – an army ranger from Ireland and a British soldier – were able to rescue two hundred terrified shoppers by shooting back at the jihadists. Otherwise, the death toll there would have been much higher.

As the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre put it: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Haven’t we learned by now that “Gun Free Zone” signs don’t work?

Shortly before I retired, our school went into lockdown because of a gun threat. I followed protocol and cowered in my classroom until the all-clear and I wrote about how helpless I felt without a gun. It would make so much sense to train volunteer teachers at each school in how to deal with an armed intruder. Give them an extra stipend for their extra duty as if they were coaching a sport. I would gladly have taken the training. It would be cheaper than paying a policeman at each school. Children at daycare centers in our federal buildings have armed guards to protect them ever since the Oklahoma Federal Building was attacked. Those guards are trained for only a few weeks. Why not give public school personnel the same training? Are children in our public schools any less valuable than children in federal daycare centers?

Contributing Editor   is a (now retired) history teacher and a regular weekly columnist for newspapers in Maine and New Hampshire. He writes about political and social issues, history, family, education and Radical Islam.

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