Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- Several North Carolina legislators have introduced a common-sense solution to increase protection for schools in North Carolina. The bill, HB 1039, also known as the School Self-Defense Act, has been introduced, but has not been voted out of committee. It is in the Committee on Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House.
The premise of the bill is simple. Take responsible members of the school staff who already are permitted to carry concealed weapons in the rest of the community. Require them to obtain training in responding to an active shooter. Allow them to carry concealed in the school, to provide a discreet, immediate armed response to a deadly force situation in the school. From abc11.com:
“HB 1039, School Self-Defense Act, would have allowed this common sense, practical solution to be implemented in North Carolina,” said Representative Larry Pittman (R) 82nd District, one of the bill’s sponsors. “However, seeking to avoid controversy in an election year, our leadership has chosen not to allow this bill even to be heard in committee. This is a failure to act that I fear may one day cost lives that could have been saved.”
House Bill 1039 authorizes some faculty or staff members to carry a handgun onto school grounds “to respond to acts of violence or an imminent threat of violence.”
“I believe that there are many teachers who would want to be armed and want to be in a position to protect their children from any kind of a school shooter,” said Jean Fitzsimmons, a retired teacher.
Under the bill, the person would need a valid concealed handgun permit and 16 hours of active shooter training. Plus, the school or governing body could opt out.
Polls have revealed about 20% of teachers favor having armed teachers capable of protecting the children in their schools. Many teachers have military and law enforcement experience.
People with concealed carry permits have already shown themselves to be extremely safe and responsible. Statistics on people who have concealed carry permits show that they are far less likely to commit crimes than police officers.
The bill simply removes many obstacles that have been put in place to make it difficult for teachers to provide protection for their students. It does not force any teachers to be armed but provides a mechanism for those who wish to volunteer, to do so. As the teachers are volunteers, additional expenses to the school are minimal.
Advantages of this approach are many. Students do not know who, or how many, teachers may be armed at any one time. Thus, it becomes difficult to plan a successful rampage shooting. Rampage shooters typically plan their event for months, sometimes over a year, in advance. Introducing the variable of one or more unknown armed individuals in the school makes the planning far more difficult. Knowing that the individuals are trained to deal with active shooters increases the difficulty.
There is evidence that increasing the difficulty can cause potential shooters to abandon the project or to seek other targets. The more time used, the more possibility the shooter will be discovered, discouraged, or simply mature out of a dangerous fixation on rampage shootings.
The standard response to increasing the numbers of armed defenders in schools is a simplistic slogan – “no guns in schools”. The slogan makes no sense. The slogan might as well be “no guns in schools until too late!”
Requiring law enforcement to respond to an active shooter, from outside a school, has been shown to take too much time. Most active shooting incidents are over in five minutes.
Having a few volunteers who know how to use weapons, carry them concealed routinely, and who have had specialized training in reacting to active shooters, is simple, inexpensive, and effective on several levels.
The majority of teachers who do not wish to be armed would not be required to be armed. Those who have experience, the desire to protect, and the willingness to undergo some training, could do so.
Many teachers have already shown their willingness to engage active shooters when unarmed, often paying with their lives. Those teachers would have been much more effective if they had been allowed to be armed.
Having armed and known school police officers, who are unwilling to actually protect the students, was counterproductive in the Parkland shooting.
©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.