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Monday, December 17, 2012

Arming America’s Teachers

Any time a person dies needlessly, it’s tragic; it’s even more tragic when it’s a young person, whose whole life is ahead of them. School shootings are unfortunately nothing new, yet we have done little to prevent them in the wake of such tragedies such as Columbine and Virginia Tech, and now at a peaceful, innocent elementary school. America’s schools are no longer safe, and instead of passing laws that seek to control guns, we need to be pro-active and be ready to defeat tragedy before it shows up again.

America’s teachers and school staff need to bear arms. We can pass all of the gun control laws we want, but remember this, guns don’t kill people, people kill people. You do not need a gun to kill someone. If someone wants to cause pain and suffering, they will find a way. Instead of passing legislation that leaves a school vulnerable and open to attack by banning guns, we need to pass legislation that makes schools strong and safe. In case you haven’t noticed, criminals tend not to follow the law and even though the sign says no guns allowed, they bring them in anyway.

We need to allow teachers and staff, who feel comfortable and our trained, to be able to conceal and carry on the job. Gym teachers, principals, custodians, art teachers, resource officers, shop teachers, it doesn't matter, but people need to be armed at school. Would it stop all school shootings or deaths? No. But would it limited the amount of harm inflicted, one could argue yes. The principal who died lunging at the shooter at the Connecticut school shooting died a hero, and I am not going to second guess her actions. She gave her life to try to save the lives of others. It was a selfless act of courage. However, what if she was armed? What if she was able to fire a single bullet that wounded or killed the attacker? What if the janitor who was running through the halls warning people was armed? What if he was able to run to the office area and finish the job? What if any of the teachers who were killed were armed? What if they were able to fire bullets through the door as he tried to force his way in? Crazy Gunman are just that, crazy, but they are not stupid. You don’t see them taking out their anger at police banquets or at NRA meetings. No, they go to places where guns are not allowed, places we feel are safe. Places like movie theaters or shopping malls, places of worship, or schools.

No matter how much we try, no matter how much we wish, violence and evil will exist on this earth. It always has, always will. Removing guns from the general public will do nothing more then leave each and every one of us more vulnerable to attack. Putting signs on the door that ban guns on the premise does nothing but disarm law abiding citizens, citizens who may be able to react to a criminals actions if they were allowed to be armed in public.

America needs to mourn, America needs to remember, and America needs s to have a conversation on preventing these tragedies. What America doesn't need to do is be politically correct. Just because gun control sounds good on paper, doesn't make it effective in reality. We need to take the opposite approach. We need more law-abiding citizens armed; we need to allow guns to be carried in our schools, and in our malls, and churches. The act of owning a gun doesn't kill people and the act of disarming people won’t stop violence. We need common sense deterrents to violence. If we want to stop school shootings, we need to be able to shoot the would be murderer dead at the school steps. We need to arm America’s teachers. In 2008, in Israel, a school teacher shot dead a terrorist who infiltrated the school and started stabbing students. If the teacher was unarmed, more people could have been stabbed, and more people could have died. Arming teachers works.  A few days ago, I would have argued that arming at the High School and college level would have been enough. Sadly, it seems like we need to arm our preschools, our elementary schools, and middle schools to.

 Arming teachers should not be mandatory, but should not be prevented either. If there are teachers who want to conceal and carry, and are willing to accept the responsibility of doing so, then let them. Have them take gun safety, conceal and carry, and aiming training course with a certified instructor or police office. Once they pass, only the district superintendent and school Principal need to know what teachers are armed. Adding more resource officers and random police checks of the school would also help, but police can't be everywhere. School safety needs to be a priority, and gun control does nothing to make our schools safer, if anything, it makes them more vulnerable.

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