The Thinking 

Arming Teachers

January 7, 2013


FIVE  years ago, at VFR, I proposed a plan for preventing school massacres. I called it “Three Teachers, Three Guns,” and suggested arming a minimum of three teachers in every school building (more in sprawling buildings). A sign could be placed on a school identifying its participation.

Today, despite all the talk of draconian gun control, something like this plan is actually being envisioned in some states. A Tennessee lawmaker is the latest to propose a bill for arming and training a small number of teachers. Legislators in a few other states– Oklahoma, Missouri, Minnesota, South Dakota and Oregon —  have discussed laws permitting teachers to carry concealed weapons in recent weeks. This recent New York Daily News story describes a Texas school where select teachers, based on their reliability, are authorized to carry concealed weapons.

It’s a sad day to have to consider such measures, but the alternative is more traumatic and devastating attacks. Armed guards are not a sensible way to protect school buildings because guards can be disarmed or shot. I realize the possibility of arming teachers in many parts of the country is virtually nil, but I am convinced it is the only practical and workable response to mass murder in schools.

— Comments —

Terry Morris writes:

I have a better idea: Take YOUR children out of the public school environment, and educate them at home. It is no small secret that the safest times in the public school system is when schools are NOT IN SESSION. Otherwise they’re constantly faced with the real possibility that some lunatic will barge into the school and start shooting the place up, as they’re being mentally indoctrinated to fit well into the collectivist-statist system in the meantime. Fattened up for the slaughter in any event.

Laura writes:

I entirely agree.

These  incidents are the inevitable product of the industrialization of education. The best solution is to get your children out.

James P. writes:

You will be fascinated to read that a school district in Washington State already has armed guards, but the superintendant thinks the proper response to Sandy Hook and the Colorado shooting is to disarm them:

“Superintendent Sue Enfield announced last month that guns are not the answer, even for campus police and security guards.”

The suicidal stupidity of liberals never ceases to amaze.

Laura writes:

Here are comments from a school board member in Tennessee, who is worried about teachers shooting each other:

“It scares me to think that anyone in a school building would have a gun in their possession, with or without a license,” said Hamilton County school board member Donna Horn. “It terrifies me.”

Horn, a retired Hamilton County kindergarten teacher, said emotions sometimes run high in school buildings, and teachers shouldn’t be put in a position to make life-ending decisions.

“I just think that anybody who has a gun in the heat of the moment could make a snap decision that could cost more lives in the long run,” she said.

James P. writes:

You wrote,

“Armed guards are not a sensible way to protect school buildings because guards can be disarmed or shot.”

One could dream that armed guards would be physically fit and imposing males, who would be difficult to disarm, but we all know that such sane “discrimination” would be forbidden.

I would not argue that police officers should not be armed because they can be disarmed or shot, even though they can be. (For that matter, armed teachers could also be disarmed or shot.) I would argue that many fewer police officers are physically assaulted or shot because they are armed. Attacking them or shooting at them raises the obvious prospect that they will shoot back. It is not unknown for people who lack the courage to kill themselves to commit suicide by attacking police officers. On the other hand, psychopaths simply looking for victims try to avoid police officers. I think the same logic would generally apply to armed guards in schools. The people who shoot up schools are looking for unarmed victims, and the mere presence of armed guards would more likely deter them than cause them to take the more challenging step of attacking an armed guard. They will look for victims elsewhere, but reducing the supply of easy victims can only be good.

Laura writes:

Armed guards would be some deterrent, yes.

I find the idea objectionable for another reason. The presence of an armed guard raises the possibility of serious danger in the minds of young children.

Mrs. P. writes:

I am not opposed to equipping a few teachers in a school with firearms that are kept in a location not accessible to the children. I think there still would exist a need for a security guard with a holstered weapon who is ready immediately to deal with a dangerous individual. Actually the presence of a security guard might put the minds of young children at ease. In our community of about 30,000 both the middle school and the high school have security guards.

Laura writes:

The presence of armed guards in elementary schools, except in war situations, strikes me as something that would alarm very young children. Also, given the low-level of danger in most schools, it would be difficult for a guard to remain alert — and would also be very expensive.

Not that I am looking for some solution to this problem, but of all the possible deterrents, the presence of armed teachers and administrators seems the best to me.

Natassia writes:

Regarding Donna Horn, the Tennessee school board member, If teachers are so mentally fragile that they would pull a gun and shoot a fellow teacher or a student because they get angry, WHY ARE PEOPLE TRUSTING THEM WITH THEIR CHILDREN IN THE FIRST PLACE?!

Laura writes:

Also, it is fairly easy for a teacher to murder another teacher without a gun. A metal trash can could serve as a nice weapon. Why don’t we see such incidents? Horn is saying that so many teachers would be killed by other teachers that it would exceed the numbers killed in these massacres. If that’s true, our schools are run by dangerously unstable people.

James P. writes:

You wrote,

“The presence of an armed guard raises the possibility of serious danger in the minds of young children.”

If they don’t have armed guards, they will probably acquire (if they do not already have) metal detectors and unarmed guards searching the children, as well as security drills, all of which raise that possibility without providing much real security.

Laura writes:

I’ve never seen metal detectors in elementary schools, or searches of children. I’m sure there are some in cities, but overall it is uncommon. As for security drills, at least the kind that involve children cowering in a corner of a classroom, I think those are traumatizing and wrong too.

Jane writes:

Arming schools. Do we mean men in uniform standing guard, a police officer with a holster, or someone somewhere in the building with a firearmI think the solution is conceal carry in general. I wouldn’t mind if my school district paid for firearm training for anyone in the districwho wanted it. It could even be worked into the credential units teachers must earn. It’s an expense that benefits society in general everywhere.

James P writes, “The suicidal stupidity of liberals never cease to amaze.” Then I think you’ll be amazed with this story: Restaurant asks police to remove weapons or leave

Share:Email this to someoneShare on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest0Share on Google+0