Stop Disarming Willing Teachers

Opinion

 Faculty Administrator Safety Training & Emergency Response FASTER
Faculty Administrator Safety Training & Emergency Response (FASTER) training.

Buckeye, AZ –-(Ammoland.com)- Disarming willing and qualified teachers and other school staff is stupid.

There has been a lot of talk about “arming teachers” recently, but that's really never been the issue. The real issue is about disarming teachers who would like to be carrying.

Like any other controversial subject, any discussion of school safety must begin with some agreement on basic facts and mutual understanding of terms and definitions.

We can't come to a consensus on solutions if we can't agree on what the words we are saying actually mean.

When gun owners and politicians talk about “arming teachers,” we are not talking about giving guns to people who would not be comfortable with them. Nor are we talking about teachers or other school staff racing to the sound of gunfire to stop an attack. What we're talking about is ending policies that disarm teachers who would prefer to be armed, and empowering them to take appropriate action if the need to do so were to arise. That means providing free – possibly paid – training, and some liability protections for school personnel who are qualified and volunteer for the program.

The Firearms Coalition opposes any proposal that would provide extra pay to school staff who choose to carry. We believe that it is a mistake to offer any incentive other than the desire to be able to protect innocent life if needed.

We believe that an armed staff member's first responsibility is to the children in their immediate care. If an armed teacher is in a classroom full of kids when an attack occurs in the building, the first responsibility would be to make sure the kids in that room are safe and secure. Once that is accomplished, the armed teacher can consider trying to move toward the threat, but that would be a personal decision based on the totality of the circumstances, and the confidence of the individual. Barricading the door, and being prepared to shoot if the attacker manages to break in, would be a normal expectation.

Racing to the sound of gunfire and engaging the attacker would be well beyond the expected response.

Teachers in particular, face numerous challenges to safe and responsible daily carry, because they are in extremely close physical proximity to students, sometimes including contact like hugs or pressing together in groups working on a project. Students should not know which teachers are armed, and they should not have the opportunity to inadvertently bump into or otherwise be made aware of the teacher's firearm. That seriously limits the practical methods of carry, especially for elementary school teachers and teachers in physical programs like gym and auto shop.

We would expect administrators and other staff who do not have groups of students under their immediate responsibility to be better prepared to move toward an attacker, clearing hallways, evacuating areas, and attempting to confront the attacker. The main objective is to prevent harm to students, so any distraction, including the distraction of shooting toward a staff member rather than executing unarmed students, is preferred.

Still, these school staff members would not be expected to perform like SWAT team members, but rather as defenders.

It must be remembered that rampage attacks against students, at any level of the education system, are extremely rare.

They generate significant amounts of media attention – unfortunately increasing the probability of future, copy-cat attacks – but with some 300,000 various school campuses around the country, all active with millions of students every day, a handful of serious attacks in a decade represent a very low probability that any particular school will be targeted in any given year.

Spending billions of dollars to fortify all of those schools, provide armed security, install fences, locks, gates, bullet-resistant glass, etc., is impractical and unreasonable. Utilizing the resources, skills, and abilities of existing staff members makes much more sense. No one who does not wish to carry a gun should ever be asked or required to do so, but those who wish to carry a gun should never be disarmed based on the irrational fears of others. If members of school staff wish to be armed, and are able to demonstrate competence through training, it is foolish to arbitrarily forbid them to do so.

Faculty/Administrator Safety Training & Emergency Response

Several years ago the Buckeye Firearms Foundation in Ohio, in consultation with some of the top firearms and crisis management trainers in the country, put together a training program specifically geared or school staff. The program combines advanced firearms training with advanced first aid, and communication and coordination with local law enforcement and emergency medical personnel. Known by the acronym FASTER, which stands for Faculty/Administrator Safety Training & Emergency Response, the program covers a wide variety of important knowledge and skills that school staff can use to save lives in any crisis. To date, the FASTER program has trained some 1300 school staff members, representing over 200 schools in 12 states. with classes ongoing.

Having armed school personnel is not THE answer, but it is a rational response to the threat because it has the potential to get someone capable of stopping the attack closer to the start of the attack. Hardening the schools as much as is reasonably possible, makes sense. Improving identification of potential threats, mental health services, and law enforcement interdiction, are all important factors. But the bottom line is that crazy, evil people are always going to be among us, and they will occasionally do really crazy, evil things. We can't ever make any school completely safe, but we can stop disarming the good guys, and provide those who want to be able to respond effectively the tools and training they need to do so.

It's time to stop arguing over “solutions” that have been proven not to work, and have a serious conversation about steps that can be taken to deter attacks and end those that do happen more quickly.

Jeff Knox
Jeff Knox

About Jeff Knox:

Jeff Knox is a second-generation political activist and director of The Firearms Coalition. His father Neal Knox led many of the early gun rights battles for your right to keep and bear arms. Read Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War.

The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education, analysis of current issues, and with a historical perspective of the gun rights movement. The Firearms Coalition has offices in Buckeye, Arizona and Manassas, VA. Visit: www.FirearmsCoalition.org.

  • 15 thoughts on “Stop Disarming Willing Teachers

    1. @oldvet too bad we can’t figure out a way to send this to Parkland, Fla. and good sheriff Israel. Would be a good training video for hmi and his band of cowards.

    2. TODAY…Baltimore MD. You see what happens when a good guy with a gun intercepts a bad guy with a gun !!
      Some injuries yes, BUT who is the only Dead person ???

    3. SCHOOLS ARE GUN ZONES against 4 legged wolves and 2 legged lone wolves
      In 1800: “
      “Children of the present day would be somewhat startled to go to school attended by large dogs, to keep off the bears and other wild animals, to study all day by the crackle of the great fire and back logs, to hear the howling of wolves at rollcall, and see the teacher take from its resting place over the door, a trusty rifle to guard the way home. Such were the first schools in 1800.”
      ‘Periwinkle’, “The Sentinel”, Feb 21, 1874 [”Ticonderoga Sentinel”, Ticonderoga, NY]

      Cannons and artillery were legal until 1922 infringements:
      CANNONS and ARTILLERY WERE LEGAL IN PHILADELPHIA IN 1790
      ORDINANCES Ordinance of January 18 1790 An ordinance for the suppression of nuisances and enforcing of useful regulations within the city of Philadelphia For the other sections of this ordinance see Nuisances and Carriages 1 And whereas the firing of cannon or other great pieces of artillery or ordnance and the illuminating of houses within the city on occasions of public rejoicing have been attended with many great mischiefs and inconveniences It is therefore ordained and enacted That no person or persons whatsoever shall fire or discharge any cannon or other piece of artillery or ordnance or illuminate or cause or permit to be illuminated any house within the built parts of this city without the permission of the mayor of the city for the time being first had and obtained in writing under his hand under the penalty of forfeiting and paying for every piece of cannon or other artillery or ordnance so fired or house so illuminated the sum of five dollars all and every the fine and fines imposed by this ordinance shall be recoverable with costs of suit by any person who shall sue for the same before the mayor recorder or any alderman of the said and shall go one mon**ety to the person or persons who shall sue for the same and the other mo**iety for the
      use of the city Ordinance of July 9 1821 p.78

      “A Digest of the Ordinances of the Corporation of the City of Philadelphia: And of the Acts of Assembly Relating Thereto Corporation” (PHILADELPHIA), John C. LOWBER (and MILLER (C. S.))

      Robert Desilver, 1822 – “Municipal Charters and Ordinances” – 301 pages

      ++++++++++++++++==

      “Cannons for sale Six very excellent double fortified sizes, with ammunition…”
      “New-York Commercial Advertiser”., August 02, 1804, Page 1

      for sale 4 cannons
      “New-York Evening Post”., July 16, 1811, Page 1

      for sale 200 cannons and 100 tons of shot’
      “New-York Evening Post”., September 23, 1828, Page 3

      for sale 200 cannons and howitzers and tons of shot and ammunition
      “The Evening Post”., November 02, 1844, Page 1 [NY City]

      for sale 50 cannons and 100 tons of shot
      “New-York Evening Post”., September 09, 1829, Page 1 [NY City]

      https://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn83030385/1829-09-
      09/ed-1/seq-1/#date1=01%2F01%2F1790&sort=relevance&date2=12%2F31%2F1845&searchType=advanced&SearchType=phrase&sequence=0&lccn=&index=7&words=Cannons&proxdistance=&to_year=1845&rows=20&ortext=&from_year=1790&proxtext=&phrasetext=cannons+&andtext=&dateFilterType=range&page=12
      +++++++++++==
      U.S. Govt sells 400 cannons, 36 mortars, muskets and cartridges to the general public.'”
      “Evening Courier & Republic”, February 07, 1866, Page 3 [Buffalo, NY]

    4. 10 or so years ago there was a group of “policemen” pushing a video about how arming someone in a classroom was a futile plan. They had several iterations of the same video using different groups of high school students. The video starts with 6-10 students in a small room seated at desks, having had some [undocumented] time in gun education by the cops. Then they hand one student a plastic gun and tell him to go ahead and react when they burst into the room. Most of the kids have never held a gun before; in one video clip one of the kids is seen whispering to his neighbor how very nervous he was, never held a gun before, etc. . The cops burst in and of course target the exact student they just handed the plastic gun to, and “shoot” him first. Then they demonstrated how vulnerable the rest of the class was by “shooting” them one by one. Ipso facto, guns in the classroom are not the answer.

      This is the kind of twisted logic that these anti-gun folks use to persuade others who don’t know anything about guns and self-defense just how bad guns are – not the bad guy handling the gun, it is the gun!!!

      1. Of course. I saw the same video and have encountered the same attitude in other venues. Can’t “force teachers to carry.” No one wants unwilling or under trained teachers with guns. No do we expect them to leave students unprotected while they run to the sound of gunfire. Well trained volunteers could make a difference and give kids a chance. “If it saves one life . . .”

    5. Who would you rather see defended from a crazy person – a school child or politician? Not doing anything except talking about a problem seems to be the hallmark of a good politician. Useless legislation, passed or not, seems to be another hallmark of politicians. If they solve the big problem today or this month or this year, what are they going to promise when they run for re-election? Most are BSers and blowhards who don’t deserve to be paid. If guns are so bad and dangerous, why haven’t the politicians volunteered to set the example by going unguarded like most of the population?

      1. @Herb T. the life of one child is more valuable than at least ten politicians. At least the kids have not learned to lie and cheat while collecting a big salary and doing nothing for it. Arm the schools and remove the arming of politicians and Hollywierd idiots.

    6. Arm the teachers or hire professional security personnel but definitely remove the scum coward cops from the schools.

      1. you mean, “professional security personnel” like the clowns we had in Florida last month? Worthless hirelings. No thanks.
        They are easy to identify, and, as this punk did, wait until they are in another part of the campus before “going to work” on the killing. I believe that clown SRO in Parkland is a typical hireling… willing to take the money and perks, but unwilling to put HIS life on the line.
        On the other hand, Mr. Aaron Feis, the coach who was disarmed by Florida law, did not hve the option to return fire, because he HAD NONE by law. Those that did were whimpering in the corner waiting for the shooting to stop. Mr. Feis put his own body between the bullets and as many of his students as he could. It wasn’t enough, though it does appear he saved a few. WHAT IF he had not been disarmed by law? He could have returned fire and ended the shooting.

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