U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- We can learn a lot from simple models of school safety. We know what to do to improve. We know many things that will protect our students. We’re already doing some of them, but sometimes these precautions fail. Armed teachers are a last resort, and they are essential. Follow me step by step.
Yes, we hope that social workers repair broken families. That makes our communities safer. We know that children from intact families are less violent. We cans start there.
We know that people with mental illness are less violent when they are treated. Sometimes that isn't enough. We hope that psychologists help heal broken minds. We hope that psychiatrists can prescribe a cure for mental illness. We hope that school administrators, the police and the courts do their jobs to identify troubled individuals and keep us safe. Of course we want those things.
We don’t always get everything we want. People and institutions will fail. The only question is how much and how often.
What will we do when people fail and a killer targets our school?
When someone attacks a school, it can take almost an hour for EMTs to arrive and treat the injured. That is why the first thing we did is ask school staff to learn first aid. Trained adults can stop the bleeding and save lives until EMTs arrive. There are usually lots of volunteers.
Sooner or later one of the first-aid volunteers asks the obvious question.
“We’re learning how to treat different wounds. Isn’t there a way to prevent the injury in the first place?”
Of course there is. Trainers who study violence know the right tool for the job. The enemy they are fighting is time.
SWAT teams would be a great defense against an armed attacker, but those teams need an hour to get into the school. It isn't a fair contest because the police don't head towards trouble until the killer has already started. We don’t have that hour. Police officers who are already on duty need about 7 minutes to get to the murderer. Even that is too long. 7 minutes means the murderer will kill two dozen kids before the police can stop him. That isn’t an acceptable solution.
Law enforcement trainers know that whatever the solution looks like, it has to be on campus when trouble arrives. There isn’t time for anything else.
It would be great to have a uniformed school resource officer on every campus. We’ve seen these brave men and women move towards the sound gunfire and save lives. Unfortunately, they don’t save everyone. It takes minutes to get from one end of the campus to the other. Most schools don’t have a full-time school resource officer in the first place. What else can we do?
We have other options. We saw school teachers put themselves between murderers and their students. Time and again, we saw teachers stop bullets with their bodies. What can we do to keep these teachers and their students alive when each second, each heartbeat, is prescious?
Do anything that buys us a few more seconds. Safety glass buys us time. Reinforced doors buy us time, and both are money well spent. They buy us a few more seconds so help can arrive to stop the murderer.
We have school staff who have already chosen to legally carry a firearm to protect themselves and and their family. They carry their gun with them everywhere else..except when they are at school. This might surprise you that some school staff carry guns, and that surprise is understandable. You never knew they were armed because they carry concealed. Pro-active school districts asked their sheriffs if there were any concealed carriers working at school. Could these licensed gun owners be trained and authorized to carry on school grounds?
I won’t go into details, but the training is very different from what a police officer receives. The teachers don’t need to know about high-speed car chases. They can ignore preserving a chain of evidence or making an arrest. The training is stripped to essentials. These school staff learn how to respond to a lethal threat and how to protect innocent lives. They learn how to treat the injured until help arrives. That is enough.
I’ve made it sound simple, but that doesn’t mean it is easy. From what I’ve seen, teachers take it very seriously.
Some people don’t like the idea of armed teachers. They wish it wasn’t necessary, and so do I. I don’t always get what I want. I want to protect our children. Until we discover something better, I want to allow some school staff to be armed.
These trained and dedicated volunteers are the last barrier between a madman and our kids. They are there when everything else has failed. We use armed men and women to protect our social elites and their families. Our children are equally important.
Maybe I have not convinced you, so let me try one more time. Most people don’t have a problem with a person who works at school using any available tool to save themselves and their family when they are at home. Now ask yourself this question. Why is it better to disarm these defenders when they are protecting “their kids” at school?
Think about it. How many more kids should we sacrifice to the fantasy of a “gun free” society?
Not one more.
About Rob Morse
The original article is here. Rob Morse writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily, and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob is an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.