Armed and Dangerous

Because of the school shootings there has been an idea promoted by the NRA of having teachers or school administrators carry firearms. This is why its a dumb idea. The senator was participating in an exercise with rubber bullets and shot a police officer acting as one of the good guys because he was shooting at another police officer acting as one of the bad guys. He couldn’t tell the difference, saw a guy with a gun in a school and shot him. This is why anyone who handles a firearm with the express purpose of shooting at the bad guys has extensive training to make sure they identify the bad guys before they actually start shooting.

Handling a firearm safely on a daily basis takes practice and extensive training. No one is suggestion that the teachers and administrators would not be trained before being allowed to carry a gun to school. But I doubt the training would be extensive considering our currently constrained education budgets. Even if the training was extensive they would not live with the constant need to evaluate targets in the line of duty like police officers and soldiers must do. They’re experience with a school shooter is likely to be a once in a lifetime experience.  Here is what they would be up against in that instance:

  • An obviously tense and high pressure environment.  The normally quiet school they are used to would be filled with the sounds of screams and gunfire.  The stress would be incredible and they would be running toward the sound of the gunfire and screams which takes immense bravery and training in and of itself.
  • A school shooter would likely be heavily armed and armored.  A formidable opponent with a death wish that is not likely to be taken down by anyone not extensively trained for that situation.
  • Accuracy would be absolutely necessary.  A heavily armored school shooter might only be stoppable with a head shot and that’s assuming they’re not wearing a ballistic helmet. Any stray shots would have a high probability of adding another victim to the school shooter’s count.

Remember that as our response to school shooters evolve to be more effective, the school shooters will evolve to be more effective.  It only gets harder from here.  Of course the NRA is suggesting more guns would make our kids safer, that will be their solution to everything because they are an organization that revolves around firearms.  We do need additional protection in our schools but anyone wielding a firearm needs to be not just extensively trained but also practice the profession that comes with wielding firearms for the public good.  I am against gun control.  It would never work in this country anyway much less in Texas where I live.  But I am absolutely for gun safety and responsibility, and arming teachers is neither safe nor responsible.

As the NRA likes to point out, guns don’t kill people, people kill people.  Our teachers should not be saddled with the responsibility for defending our children and killing people.  If we can’t afford to put trained firearm experts in our schools, then we need more money so we can afford it.  I would start with a tax on firearms and ammunition.  I would gladly pay it.  I would even pay it retroactively on my rifles and ammunition if it were possible.

It absolutely terrifies me to think that there could be a shooting at my kids school.  If I’m volunteering at the school in my role as a SAHD that day I like to think that I would run toward the sounds of screams and gunfire, do the heroic thing and try to draw the shooter’s fire to me and away from the teachers and kids.  The risk of being shot in the process by a teacher or administrator because I’m an adult they don’t recognize becomes a real possibility for me personally.  I think that’s why it’s obvious to me why it’s a bad idea and in that situation I don’t want to have to watch my back.  I want someone trained to have my back.  I will have my hands full with the school shooter as it is and I will certainly be unarmed because I have no business using a firearm to protect and serve.