Good grief! When will this silliness end?
Mr. Wise needs to get out of the world of “what if?” and learn about what is.
- Armed teachers have been a reality since 2007, following the Virginia Tech killings. Hundreds of school districts in the U.S. have armed teachers and staff members. To date, none of the hysterical predictions have come to pass. The most frequent source of accidental discharges of weapons legally carried on public K-12 school campuses is school resource officers.
- Armed teachers aren’t supposed to be a deterrent. The gun-free zone signs are supposed to be a deterrent. Armed teachers are there for one thing: to prevent shooters from reaching their victims. They are the last line of defense and they will hopefully buy enough time for law enforcement to arrive. It’s fairly easy to figure out that armed teachers aren’t a deterrent: states don’t release information about which school districts have armed teacher/staff programs in place. Here in Texas, where we’ve had armed teachers for 11 years, it’s a crime to release any information about the identity of an armed teacher.
- Teachers and school staff members in Florida who choose to be armed on school property are required to undergo a psychological test and at least 144 hours of training, which must be approved by law enforcement. Aside from other skills, they receive more training in the use of firearms and specialized tactics than is required for a law enforcement officer. In Colorado, teachers learn not only firearms and tactics, they also learn field medicine. They are taught by law enforcement agency SWAT team members and when they graduate from the course, they receive a small field medical kit with things like tourniquets. The Texas School Guardian program requires 80 hours of training at a state-certified police academy. Instead of moaning about the coming of something that is already here, Mr. Wise and others should spend their time more productively, calling for universal training standards and funding to pay for the training. I think firearms manufacturers also should chip in an authorize armed teachers to receive the same discount expended to police.
- Those who don’t want armed teachers need to start calling for higher taxes. A sworn law enforcement officer serving as a school resource officers costs about $140,000 per year. Larger schools, such as high schools, will need more than one to provide quick responses anywhere on campus. In a lot of non-metropolitan school districts, the money just isn’t there.
- Time is the enemy in school shootings. Newtown, Connecticut doesn’t cover a lot of area. When Adam Lanza opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School, police were called immediately. The call went out quickly and officers responded as fast as they could. The first officers arriving heard a single gunshot: the one Lanza used to kill himself.
- Never, ever, not even once, use the shooting at Majorie Stoneman Douglas High School to argue against arming teachers. Nikolas Cruz committed the shooting but the Broward County school district, the staff and administration at the school, and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office enabled the incident. I suggest reading the initial report of the Floria state commission created to investigate the Parkland shooting.
- Quit listening to the Bloomborgs. The Colt AR-15 Sporter was introduced in November 1963 and went on sale in 1964. The Kalashnikov-style (AK-47) rifle first became available int he U.S. in 1976. Industry sources estimate there are about 16 million of these rifles and rifles of similar pattern in American civilian hands. How many of these rifles have been present, even if not used, in mass shootings since 1964? 36. How about school shootings? Seven, including the one used in the recent shooting at the school in the Denver area. There have been a few more incidents involving students who were either stopped before they could start shooting, as happened in Richmond, Indiana; decided against it and used the gun to kill themselves; or incidents like the shooter at Umqua Community College, who brought a rifle with him but didn’t use it.
- For heaven’s sake, if you’re going to pontificate about guns you need to know something about guns. I got a hearty chuckle from reading the list of “banned” weapons in Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s latest attempt at an assault weapons ban. Long story short, the AR-15 has a lot of advantages for hunters and for home defense. It’s also popular in shooting competition. The whole idea of a ban is stupid and the result of persistent avoidance of facts. According to FBI data, which is somewhat more reliable than Bloomborg data, the average annual use of rifles in homicides since the original assault weapons ban expired is about 21% lower than it was during the ban.
- If we want to actually do something productive, two strategies come to mind: the first, quit making heroes out of school shooters; second, promote “see something; say something.” If a woman can give up her son to prevent a school shooting, a lesser sacrifice should be a piece of cake.
- Making an informed decision requires one to be informed. Stop soaking up the pap that has become accepted truth and learn for yourself. Tripe like this article has become so cookie-cutter I am amazed that some people don’t just cut and paste. Mr. Wise refers to himself as an educator; that requires being educated and the only way that happens is through learning and independent study.