Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What *Is* The Answer? Part II

Part I

I don't have the answer, but I do have some thoughts.

Most pro-gunners are preaching to arm the teachers.

I have a slight problem with this.

Our public school teachers are already expected by society to raise our children in addition to teaching them.  Yes, when we send our kids off to school, we have a reasonable expectation that our children are safe while in the care of the school.  Yes, I can absolutely understand why parents, especially pro-gunners, want to arm our teachers.  WE, gunnies, are comfortable with guns, gun handling, and the thought of using our guns defensively.  Teachers are teachers because that's who they are.  If they wanted to grow up to be gun-toting cops, they would have.

Not only do I not think it's fair to put teachers in that position, I worry about the safety of my children if their teacher is *required* to be armed, but not comfortable with it.  We've all been out on the range with someone who isn't very good with their gun.  Not only are they a danger to themselves, they're a danger to everyone on the range.  I don't want to put my children in that kind of situation.

Are there teachers out there who are gunnies and who *want* to be armed?  You bet.  I'm one of them.  In my real life, I'm a college instructor.  If I wasn't forbidden from carrying while at work (we're privately owned and our corporation forbids it), I would carry.  But shooting is something I take very seriously and train for.  I have a lot of time and money in my training.  I didn't just take some four-hour concealed carry class and call it good.  I know in my heart that I could kill someone if the situation called for it.  Is it fair to ask our teachers to make that decision - a decision that will change someone's life forever?

In law enforcement and the military, everyone on the team has their job and they are expected to do it.  There is a clear chain of command, this ensures that every job gets done and nothing is missed.  Our teachers' job is to teach. 

In our society, we've tasked to police with helping to protect us.  If their job is protection, why don't we allow them to protect our children?

Rather than arming teachers, let's actually utilize the police.  A lot of school districts already have School Resource Officers, let's use them.  One (or two) armed, POST-certified SROs per school.  All day, every day.  Not one assigned for five or six schools.  One for every school.  On site, every day.

Not some minimum-wage doofus that we slap a uniform and a badge on.  And not the old, about-to-retire, broken down police officers who are put out to pasture at the schools.  Specially trained, top-of-their-game LEOs.  Personally, I'd like to see SWAT-trained LEOs inside the schools.  That way, if the school goes into lock-down, there is someone on the inside who can coordinate with the LEOs on the outside (and hunt down the bastard if they need to).  Hell, make all SWAT (or SERT, depending on what your department calls them) members rotate through the schools.

Or, as I saw on Facebook last night, let's put some of our out-of-work vets to work protecting our kids.  We have an abundance of already trained vets who need the work and who would be thrilled to be tasked with protecting our children.

I want to be clear: I'm not saying to not arm teachers, but they should have the choice and fully understand the responsibility choosing to be armed brings.  I fully support teachers who choose to carry; who choose to obtain and maintain the proper training.

They should also not be the first line of defense.  Their job during an active shooting should be to make sure the children in their classroom are secure, not to go hunting down the shooter.  I don't want them to hesitate if they're called to protect our children.

Should a teacher choose to accept the challenge, ideally, they should be trained in conjuction with the SROs, just like SWAT Medics are trained - as part of the team.  However, I don't see that happening, so it is absolutely essential that the teachers who choose to go armed: 1) develop a good defensive mindset; 2) get good, quality on-going training, and; 3) practice, practice, practice to increase their skill set.

Like I said, I don't have the answer, but these are my thoughts.


agirlandhergun said...

I agree. I do not think forcing teachers to carry is the answer, but as you say if a teacher is already a legal gun owner and either has a CHP or wants to get one, should be able to carry.

The idea of having armed police and or vets in the schools is excellent, but trained!! We have one in the high school and I don't trust that he has the knowledge or skills to effectively stop a threat.

I also think having training of what the kids can do like carry backpacks etc should be included in drills.

Coffeypot said...

I don't have the words or answers to this either. But if teachers are going to be armed they must be REQUIRED to go through many hours of gun safety and control. But more so, I can see the need for more mental evaluations in school, too. Students are required to go through hearing and eye test. Why not a psych eval, too...for all kids. That way there would be no stigma to those who you suspect might need it. My heart breaks for the families and the angles we lost. How about adding onsite, well trained and armed officers patrolling the halls.

Double Tap said...

I do think allowing teachers to volunteer to carry is a good option. One or two of the teachers at my kids schools are vets, I'm sure some custodial staff around schools are also vets. Admin staff that have the view of the newly installed locking doors are also good candidates if they want to pick up this challenge. I think if any staff member of a school were to arm, it needs to be done discreetly and the training requirement and psych eval and back ground need to be thoroughly. School resource officers might be the answer, but many districts don't have the money to afford these services, nor do departments have the budgets to dedicate an officer or deputy to some 57 schools in our district. We started allowing pilots to carry after 9-11 after they meet restrictions and training requirements. If we look at most school shootings, teachers, admins, counselors, or principals are getting killed. It seems to me that they need to be given the opportunity to have some say in their fate/destiny. It might not be the answer, but damn it I'm tired of people getting killed in gun free zones.