WI Columnist: Let teachers have guns

by Nancy :)

WI Columnist: Let teachers have guns
Date: Oct 19, 2006 9:31 PM
Simplest way to accomplish this to have willing teachers
become trained and certified as "reserve" police officers
or deputy sheriffs, firearm qualified.


Let teachers have guns

By James Simakas / Columnist

At long last, a politician has realized the obvious; the most effective way to stop an armed killer is to shoot them. Nobody gets up after a bullet to the ol' noggin. This politician, Wisconsin state representative Frank Lasee, has drawn the logical conclusion that the best way to protect students from another Columbine-like disaster is with guns. However, despite their oft-proclaimed dedication to student safety, public schools across the nation are shrieking with horror at the one measure that would make students safer: arming teachers.

Allowing teachers to carry concealed firearms in the classroom will at last ensure an effective means of response against armed attackers. Ordinary citizens are perfectly capable of defending against attackers with guns as the success of concealed carry laws across the nation have shown. To qualify for a concealed carry permit, applicants must pass an FBI background check, take shooting training and pass a qualification exam. A teacher with a carry permit will likely have more training and experience with their firearm than any potential attacker.

This means that armed, trained faculty members would be able to respond with effective force against dangerous intruders much faster than the police could. By the time the police arrive, its usually too late. In both of the recent school shootings the killer was able to line his victims up execution-style and murder at least a few before the police could respond.

At Columbine, the SWAT team, who supposedly are trained to take on terrorists, waited four hours before entering the school to take on two teenage punks. They had long since finished their killing spree uninterrupted and, in the meantime, a wounded teacher had bled to death. The evidence is clear: the police cannot be relied upon to protect students.

There is no potential danger to having firearms in the classroom that cannot be solved with a practical solution. The danger of a student wresting the firearm away from the teacher can be absolved by employing a lockbox with a quick-access keypad; keeping the weapon secure but still rapidly accessible.

There are many people, and unfortunately, lawmakers, who regard guns with an almost superstitious dread. These are the people who pose paranoia-laced "what-if" scenarios about armed faculty, convinced that teachers' firearms will inevitably be seized by a student and used for murder. This reflects their underlying conviction that guns can only be used for evil, and their presence can only bring misfortune. Administrators and lawmakers who hold guns in such a supernatural light are responsible for the current atmosphere of passive, preventive policies that try to compensate for their inherent ineffectiveness with the zeal of their execution.

Introducing guns to school grounds isn't the issue here. Students can bring weapons onto the premises themselves, which is far easier than trying to wrestle one away from a teacher or somehow stealing the lockbox's key code. Short of turning the school into a veritable prison compound, it's impossible to stop students from smuggling weapons onto campus.

Allowing teachers to carry firearms in the classroom will not introduce any capacity for harm not already in the students' grasps. Adult attackers have even less trouble, as the nation has recently learned. No number of metal detectors, door searches or "troubled student" removal programs are going to stop a man with a death wish and a gun.

We can either acknowledge that it is impossible to control the environment of the school and implement responsive policies, or we can continue to do as we have done: try to prevent the unpreventable. School shootings are things you can rarely see coming, so it's impossible to prevent them. It is possible, however, to be prepared to respond to them in an effective fashion. As we have so painfully learned this past month, guns are finding their way into schools whether we like it or not. We can't stop it, but we can choose whose hands they will be in.

The Second Amendment IS Homeland Security !

Posted on Oct 19, 2006, 10:12 PM

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