I have been an educator for most of my adult life- middle school, high school, university experience. Nearly 40 years in the classroom. I am also a gun owner (handgun, shotgun and rifle) and have been so since I was 18. I was trained in gun care and use by the NRA in five courses taken from 12 to 18. For most of my adult life (until state law eliminated them) I carried licenses permitting me to use those weapons and my guns were registered with the police.
ARMING TEACHERS IN SCHOOLS....ABSURD AND DANGEROUS.
Absurd/Dangerous because the costs of training, teacher bonuses, and liability insurance would be extraordinary (and this suggested by a President who has deeply cut federal support to schools).
Absurd/Dangerous because trained, prepared, practiced, skilled police professional with their minds on the task of protecting their charges in live fire circumstances hit their targets 18 percent of the time.
Absurd/Dangerous because the school environment, the relationship between teachers, students and parents, will, according to the experienced and the experts, be affected with teachers taking on roles for which they are not prepared and for which they often do not have the temperament. Studies have also shown that not knowing who is armed creates increased tension and hostile interaction particularly with troubled students not less.
Absurd/Dangerous because in the chaos of a lockdown or an evacuation the chances of wild fire where the innocent are mistaken as a danger by other teachers, security personnel or the police, accidental shootings, and increased panic as those carrying guns are mistakenly identified as shooters.
Absurd/Dangerous because securing and tracking the weapons will be a serious challenge to ensure that a weapon does not fall into a student's hands either through careless storage, misplacement, or even seizure by students in an altercation with a teacher. And properly secured weapons will not be instantly available in a crisis.
Absurd/Dangerous because there are teachers who have "lost it" falling under the pressure of a very difficult job and their ready access to a gun is the last thing one would want.
SO WHAT SHOULD BE DONE?
1) Secure school buildings in the same way municipal buildings are now secured with single entry, scanners and detectors, and electronic surveillance/alarms. Further, classroom should be securable as well with strong doors, strong locks, two way communication systems, and identified safe spots in each room.
2) Increased security personnel with quick access to guns.
3) Regular, well developed emergency drills for fire, tornado, shooters shaped around the shelter in place or evacuate models with clear roles for students, faculty, staff, and administration.
4) Comprehensive national and State Based background checks for ALL purchases of weapons, accessories, ammo etc
5) A mental health based red flagging system that seeks to identify the potentially violent before they act.
6) Limit the weapon options. And yes, that means the identification of those guns, accessories and ammunition that are particularly dangerous in mass shooting settings and then taking them off the market, disallowing trading or gifting, and having buy back programs.
ALL OF THIS IS THE COST OF HAVING A NATION AWASH IN GUNS.
Worth Reading: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-texas-school-a...