Simple Questions and Answers about Arming Teachers

Faster School Training Safety Students Guns Teachers
Faster School Training Safety Students Guns Teachers

U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)-  Defending our students is a serious issue. It deserves more thought than a sound bite or a tweet. Unfortunately, politics is driven by emotion rather than reason, by appearances rather than by facts. I’ve heard bad arguments about arming teachers and about disarming them. Let's look at the issue piece at a time. Let’s separate fact from fiction.

Perhaps you’ve heard this.

Should teachers be armed at school?

Each of us has something different in mind when we think about “allowing guns in schools.” Even the definition of school is different from state to state. Regulations may extend from daycare facilities to postgraduate research sites and hospitals. These “schools” may be privately owned, operated by a church, or publicly funded. Do the regulations cover the classroom during school hours, or the parents’ van when students are on a field trip after school? Describing what we mean eliminates a lot of soundbite confusion.

The issue is complicated. Who is responsible for authorizing armed staff? Is it the school principal, the school board, or the local sheriff? Usually, they are all involved in approving a program and selecting volunteers.

“I’ll quit teaching if they make me carry a gun in class.”

I’ve studied this subject for years and I have not found a single example of school staff being ordered to carry on campus. ‘The programs allow trained and authorized staff to be armed rather than forcing anyone to carry a gun at school.

Should selected school staff be allowed to go armed to protect themselves and others?

A school board usually makes the decision to arm staff. The board then looks for volunteers who already have a concealed carry permit. If selected, then the volunteers are often screened by the sheriff. Training may be local or at the state level.

Teachers don’t want to carry guns.

The answer you get depends on who you ask. Recent training classes for school staff have been full to overflowing. I know of training programs which trained over a thousand educators yet they had to turn qualified teachers away because they didn’t have enough money to train everyone who wanted to attend. Fortunately, enough teachers want to be trained to protect our students.

Guns don’t belong at school. That isn’t a place for violence.

This statement confuses reality with fantasy. In fact, violence is in our schools every day and has been for awhile. Our children are more likely to be the victims of violence in our schools than when they are at home. Students are more likely to be killed by violence in schools than by accidents like fire or earthquake. We conduct fire and earthquake drills at school, but we ignored the greater threat of deliberate violence..until now.

I’m here to love and nurture these kids. How does a gun help me do that? Guns aren’t the answer. How can violence ever stop violence?

A firearm is a tool. That tool can help stop people from perpetrating violence against others. That is the very reason a million law enforcement officers carry a gun. That is why about 20 million civilians legally carry a concealed firearm in public. Armed defense only is part of a safety solution that also includes door locks, first aid kits, and training.

Leave the guns for the police, not for school staff.

We have not seen a gun-free school. Time is the enemy when an attacker comes on campus. Police need minutes to respond to the attacker. It may take EMTs hours to treat the injured. That means too many students will die while we wait. Volunteers at school want to stop the threat and treat the injured until help arrives. What tools should we give them?

Policemen have training that teachers don’t, so teachers are not qualified to defend students.

Armed school staff are defenders. They don’t have to do the many jobs that we ask of the police. Teachers don’t need to make high-speed chases or write tickets. Teachers don't make arrests, preserve evidence, or testify in court. The program to train school staff varies from state to state, but in the programs I've seen, trained teachers did very well. They were required to perform above the level set for police officers in their shooting qualification.

Teachers also have hidden advantages over law enforcement. Teachers know their school and their students. Armed civilians are less likely to shoot innocent bystanders than the police.

We can’t arm staff because it is illegal to bring guns in school.

In some states it is legal and in some states it is illegal. School districts arm school staff in Idaho, Montana, Colorado, Utah, Texas, Arkansas, Indiana, and Ohio. Hundreds of school districts have programs in place. Thousands of teachers are armed in schools today. Unfortunately, I’ve heard school and law enforcement officials lie about what can be done inside the law. If necessary, we can and should change laws to protect our students. 

Our insurance company won't let us bring guns on campus.

That may be true, but it isn’t the whole truth. Some insurance companies ensure schools and churches with armed staff. The insurance rates are comparable with unprotected schools. Insurance companies look at risks. Leaving our children unprotected presents a risk of loss and of lawsuits. Arming teachers presents some risk depending on the level of training that school staff receives.

We shouldn’t have to arm teachers.

We already protect our students today. We design our schools to withstand fire and natural disasters. We protect our students from people as well as from nature. We don’t release the children to strangers, and we report abuse when we see it. We want to protect our students from every threat they face.

Some school staff want to protect students from bad people who come on campus. I want to encourage them and thank them. They are there to protect my children when I can’t be there.

~_~

What do you think about arming trained school staff? RM


About Rob MorseSlow Facts

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.

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    Pete FarrisLarry MilliganWild BillGary L GriffithsJoeUSooner Recent comment authors
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    Larry Milligan
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    Larry Milligan

    My daughter (age 50) is a middleschool teacher in a very conservative district. She has become familiar with a pistol and has a weapon at home but I have doubts as to her ability to act in a crisis. She could be if willing and properly trained. My son also a schoolteacher at junior/senior high school is very familiar with weapons and has a conseal carry permit. One of his hobbies is skeet and trap shooting. His district is completely different with children coming from less than desirable home environments. He is of the opinion (liberal influenced by union) that… Read more »

    Wild Bill
    Guest
    Wild Bill

    Not all teachers have the intelligence, morality or judgement to carry a firearm. In Preston, Idaho, about 300 miles east of Boise, a teacher fed a live puppy to a snapping turtle. The school would not discuss the animals involved, other than to say it happened during an after-school feeding. A school spokes person is unsure how many students were present at the time the incident occurred.
    Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/nation-world/national/article204767389.html#storylink=cpy

    What kind of asshole feeds a live puppy to another animal?

    JoeUSooner
    Guest
    JoeUSooner

    The kind of subhuman asshole who definitely would NOT in any way qualify to be trained with any weapon, and who would not be allowed to carry a firearm in school – in fact, he would be specifically prohibited from doing so.

    Wild Bill
    Guest
    Wild Bill

    @Joe, You always make me feel better.

    Boz
    Guest
    Boz

    “Guns don’t belong at school. That isn’t a place for violence.” – Fire extinguishers don’t belong at school. That isn’t a place for fires. “Leave the guns for the police, not for school staff.” – When seconds count, police are only minutes away. “Policemen have training that teachers don’t, so teachers are not qualified to defend students.” – When the killer is standing three feet away from you, pointing his gun at you and about to kill you, the only “training” you need is to point your gun at him and pull the trigger until he is lying on the… Read more »

    MBH
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    MBH

    This is a real story! My wifes cousin over at Thanksgiving and the conversation of guns cane up. She did not want a gun in her house. Her husband travels a lot so I ask what she would do if at 2am someone broke into their house. Her reply was to hide in a closet with their daughter and call 911. I told her to call local police and get the average response time to her location, she did, it was 9 minutes. Here husband bought a gun, and showed her how to use it and told her it would… Read more »

    Pete Farris
    Guest
    Pete Farris

    A happy convert! I’m sorry she had to be converted by being scared to death. But the 8 minute response time underlines the reason our “betters” have armed security with them at all times. A true story like this is what anti-gun people call an “anecdote”, by which they mean the “exception that proves the rule.” They ignore the simple fact that a collection of anecdotes is called “history.”

    Bud
    Guest
    Bud

    Stay alert. Stay armed. Practice. The police will only show up after your dead.

    Gary L Griffiths
    Guest
    Gary L Griffiths

    Like it or not, the only sure way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Unfortunately, there are three drawbacks in allowing teachers and school staff members to carry concealed weapons: (1) Human nature being what it is, it is inevitable that some armed teacher will leave a gun in a desk drawer, briefcase, or purse, to be found by a student. (2) Armed school staff will be at a terrible disadvantage using small concealable handguns against a heavily armed active shooter who may be wearing body armor. (3) Armed teachers will… Read more »

    Pete
    Guest
    Pete

    Sounds like a police response. Remember that when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. When a maniac bursts through a classroom door a teacher inside is more likely to be able to protect students if armed with anything. Time to deal with a locked vault, body armor, etc. would be non-existent.

    Dave K.
    Guest
    Dave K.

    To address your concerns: 1. A “ responsible” teacher or staff member would not be leaving a weapon in a desk drawer, briefcase, or purse. To be permitted to be armed on school property, they would be “required” to always have their weapon on their person, concealed. 2. Although small, easily concealed handguns are ineffective with penetrating body armor, an active shooter isn’t expecting immediate armed resistance inside of a school and would tend to keep moving if any resistance was met. Additionally, body armor does not protect ones head and though one is usually taught to aim “ center… Read more »

    Gary L Griffiths
    Guest
    Gary L Griffiths

    Dave, I must respectfully disagree with you based on my 40+ years of law enforcement and law enforcement training experience. I agree that a “responsible” teacher or staff member wouldn’t leave a gun laying around for a kid to find, but that has already happened. Back in the day, I had trouble keeping my Special Agents from leaving their service weapons in their desk drawers, on occasion. As I said, it’s just human nature! Expecting well-trained officers to make head shots in a gunfight is unrealistic. Sure, a marginally trained teacher might do it, but chances are much greater that… Read more »

    Priest
    Guest
    Priest

    “In loco parentis”. In my time as a public educator, I was legally liable for the safety and well being of the children in my care. There were times I ended a fight between students by myself. That is a mindset all educators should have.
    That mindset came form love for the children ( as a parent ) more than love of self. I had children actually ask me ;”what would you do if a shooter came into our school?” My reply “I would do whatever I could to end the event. “

    realspark21
    Guest
    realspark21

    It is the height of conceit to say that going to school or working in a school skills be a death sentence. A closer look will show that government is the root cause of most of the deaths in school shootings: the decision to make arbitrary lines where adults cannot defend themselves and their students/children; lack of family values since trying to break families through’entitlement’ welfare programs; continually countering the family in public schools while decrying that they know best because they are academics with all the ‘best’ diplomas and guessed from ‘research’; discouraging the use of weapons and similar… Read more »