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Seriously. After this week, and these reminders of the evil of a few and the vulnerability of many, we should arm teachers.
We should allow those teachers who choose to to carry legally concealed firearms in school. It may even be a good idea to give them law-enforcement-type firearms training and annual certification.
The average teacher is as mentally, emotionally and physically capable of wielding a firearm as is the average cop. Most teachers have master's degrees and are very good at learning things. There's no reason they couldn't learn to handle a gun, and become proficient at doing so. In fact, if there were concerns about ability, teachers who choose to carry in the classroom could be put through the same training and recertification programs as police officers.
The problem, of course, is politics and political correctness. There are plenty of people who argue that allowing guns in schools would make the schools unsafe and that it is simply "wrong" to let teachers have guns. In most states, in fact, guns near or in schools are forbidden. The federal government also frowns on the idea.
But the prejudice is unjustified and, ultimately, dangerous.
Because the presence of armed teachers -- carrying concealed handguns that are not visible -- would be a great protection to American schools.
At the very least it would be a psychological protection. Parents would feel more comfortable about their children's safety knowing that scattered through the school there were armed teachers and administrators able to protect them. Also, anybody evil and crazy enough to consider committing a violent crime in a school would have to think twice about the "softness" of the target. Whereas schools now are full of sitting ducks -- unless the bad guy is unlucky enough to stumble across the random DARE officer -- the possibility that teachers could return fire and defend themselves and the students would make attacking a school a lot less palatable.
How would it work?
Teachers who wanted to take part could do what was required by the state to get a license and by the district to qualify. Then they would go about their regular duties at the school as they would under any other circumstance. Many, many people carry concealed handguns every day. Properly worn they are neither obvious nor uncomfortable. Students would never know.
But if something happened, if a murderer came into the school, those armed teachers could courageously defend their students and one another. And they would. In school attack after school attack there are stories of teachers sometimes giving their own lives to protect students. It is human nature, particularly for those who have chosen to dedicate their working lives to bettering students.
Arming teachers would simply give them a fighting chance.
Ditto for administrators.
A few years ago, when these school attacks first began, one Southern principal ran out of his school, across a parking lot to his truck, and got his legal .45 auto and brought it back to put an end to the rampage killing his students. Teachers and principals shouldn't have to run across the lot, they should be able to reach into their waistbands.
And their schools should allow and facilitate the purchase of and practice with handguns.
Schools should realize that the armed citizen is the best and least-expensive defense. And while teachers aren't cops, in the long minutes before cops get there, something is better than nothing. Even if a teacher is not able to finally stop an assailant, important work can be done by merely slowing or diverting the bad guy. Each second a teacher can occupy an assailant's attention is a second more students and others have to escape with their lives.
I believe in preparedness. I believe in being prepared for the worst.
And, as we've seen, sometimes the worst can happen in our own schools. So teachers -- those teachers who want to -- should be cross-trained to be something more than teachers. Some should take EMT training to help students in the case of an acute emergency. Likewise, some shoud take firearms training to help in the event of a nightmarish attack.
It probably won't be necessary.
But it might be a lifesaver.
And we've seen too many cases of unchallenged and successful school shooters.
It's time to protect children.
It's time to arm teachers.