Arming our Teachers – Good or Bad?
January 15, 2013
Since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in December a million different proposals have been floated and touted by millions of people. Some were just mud on the wall (see what sticks) and others have some merit.
One of the options being touted by the NRA, (National Rifle Association (is to place armed volunteers in every single school in the country. The debate has now become is that a good idea or not? I happen to believe that it is. And my opinion has changed since it was first floated in Arizona several years ago (maybe I’m just getting old, crusty, and set in my ways).
If we had an armed individual in every single school in this country, undoubtedly it would prevent some of those from attempting a shooting. It wouldn’t stop it all of course, but more on that later. Those who oppose have several valid viewpoints on why they do as well. Let me address those.
Their first argument is the cost of having armed offices at every school in the country. Yes, it would cost us more than a few pennies to operate this system. If you figure one officer, police or security, would cost an average of $30,000 per year. Now add the cost of taxes, benefits, & other such things the cost could easily balloon to well over $50,000 per year per year. Not many school districts in the country could afford that.
But why not allow volunteers to patrol the schools. If they are properly trained, at their expense, then the school would be safer. It is a known fact that many crimes are not committed because there is such a chance of being caught or discovered. Having an armed volunteer on campus would cut down on the cost, basically only workers compensation insurance for example.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona’s Maricopa County has started a volunteer program for all schools in the country that are his responsibility. There are many people who don’t like this idea. But let me ask them and you this question. What happens if an incident occurs and no one is there to prevent it? Who gets blamed then? The Sheriff’s Posse, as it is known, has already stopped one massive fight amongst students.
The second reason is that what happens if the school volunteer mistakes someone for an intruder and shoots them by mistake? Is there any doubt that it would be a tragedy about this? Absolutely not. And this was my reaction and opinion several years ago. But the question then becomes if a police/security officer makes the same mistake what is the difference? There is none. Both are sworn to protect the school and they made a mistake, tragic yes, but a mistake,
This is yet another reason for training of the volunteers and carriers of the weapons. Situational awareness, firearms training, warnings (no warning shots), looking for concealed weapons and suspicious behavior. Those are what the teachers/volunteers need to be trained in.
Another point I may make here is that the states with the safest schools in the country allow teachers to carry their firearms on-campus with the, Utah and Kansas. I might also note that whenever the sale and registration of firearms goes up – doesn’t matter the state – the rate of firearm violence goes down! Hmmm, m that should be a signal to those in the liberal side of thinking and the media.
Lastly, I believe that all teachers should be allowed to carry IF they want to. As long as they go thru the training, again at their expense, they should be allowed to carry. Over and above that members who are ex-military should be allowed to carry their firearms on-campus without all of that training, as long as they were in a combat unit.
When the Arizona legislature begins its new session soon, the bill will be proposed that will allow teachers to carry. I don’t necessarily agree with the wording that will be put forth, but it is better than nothing. Sheriff Paul Babeau of Pennell County Arizona has the best option I’ve heard. Arm all teachers if they want to be – much like my proposal above.
We need no more kids growing to school and being murdered by someone with an ax to grind against the students, teacher, school, district, or their parent (as in the case of Adam Lansa). And we also need to think about the bigger issue of having a comprehensive approach to preventing these incidents. Let’s look at responsibility, registration, criminals, mental health, & other things as well as legally purchase firearms.
And to the one point I forgot to mention above. If someone wants to die committing their atrocity, then the will do it no matter how many police/security officers are on site (suicide by cop is one the ways these perpetrators get out of paying for their crimes). And being realistic, if someone wants to commit a crime like this, they will and no one will stop them completely.