You all know where I stand on gun control. It’s definition is out of control on so many levels. People control is the bigger issue.
After we experience a catastrophe like the Florida school shooting everybody’s got a “solution.” Most are knee-jerks from reactionaries that live in fantasy worlds and don’t think about consequences.
One of the dumbest ideas, not thought through, is arming teachers. In my opinion I think that’s about as hair-brained as concealed carry permits for everybody. This ain’t John Wayne, John Wick or the Lone Ranger meting out justice. Get a grip. Come back and talk to me after you’ve faced a determined adult with a deadly weapon in their hand.
Let’s say you were going to allow teachers to “carry.”
First, do you realise that most police departments issue ballistic vests [often called ‘bullet-proof’ in error] that will stop bullets fired from issued firearms? The reasoning is a large portion of officers shot are shot with their own weapons. Not to go too far afield, ballistic vests don’t stop bullets, they slow bullets down in a quick dramatic way. Even with the highest rating for civilian use they will not stop rifle rounds or knives. Some police depts. add “steel or ceramic shock plates to stop higher velocity bullets. Even if officers are shot and bullet’s penetration is stopped they receive traumatic bruises, broken ribs and need medical attention. This ain’t the movies.
How are you going to secure these guns and ammunition on campus? How will you train your teachers to retain the gun if someone tries to take it? How will you train the kiddos to deal with teachers packing heat? Will the pistols be carried? Open or concealed carry? What kind of pistol and ammunition will be allowed? Having their pistols in the principal’s office or in a gun safe would defeat the whole idea. Seconds matter.. There’s no waiting, “Oh, be back in a second, I’ve got to get my gun out of the safe and get some ammo.”
Second, police officers, at optimum, train with firearms every month, sometimes quarterly and unfortunately many only twice a year plus qualification shoots. Are teachers prepared to train every three months and qualify twice a year? Whose gun is it? Will the school issue the weapon? Who pays for ammunition, cleaning equipment and training? It’s hard to even imagine how much the liability insurance would cost.
Third, cops wear the firearm every day like a pair of boots. The firearm is part of the uniform. I hope they carry the same way and place on their body that they train. Most departments inspect issued firearms on a regular basis. Are school administrators ready or qualified to inspect teacher’s pistols at least once a month? Having guns is no good if the shooting machine needs cleaning to operate.
Fourth, when a cop puts on the pistol they must realise they are carrying it to stop actions, not ‘wing’ or wound, but to bring a deadly incident to a halt. Police officers should be trained to shoot at the biggest target (center of mass – the chest or torso). Cops aren’t Roy Rogers who rehearse shooting bad guys just to wound them. Cops don’t have that luxury. A combat situation where you face an armed assailant shooting back doesn’t lend itself to taking careful aim to ‘wound.’ [Constant raining – ‘muscle memory’ must kick in.]
No doubts allowed.
In an indoors or school combat situation, are teachers prepared to take a life to save others? No doubts allowed here. Shooting ‘bad guys’ is the ultimate end of a continuum of events that may unfold in seconds. Are teachers prepared to make a life or death decision in the blink of an eye? Carrying a firearm entails great responsibility which includes taking a person’s life. In order to go the next step you have to be willing to end a life and take away everything they are or will be. If not, stop the madness right here.
One of the stupidest things I heard taking firearms inquiries for our agency, was “I only want the gun so I can scare somebody if they enter my house. I don’t want to kill anyone.” Wow! In response I’d recommend they get a dog and pepper spray. Hey, there’s an idea.
All that being said, if we really want teachers carrying or having firearms available these
... things need to happen.
- Full background check for criminal history and history of domestic abuse. If passed go to next.
- Psychological assessment. Are they mentally fit for combat decisions. If passed, go to next.
-. Hunter Safety course. If passed then go to next.
- 40 hours of classroom and range training on firearms law, justifiable homicide, firearms safety, firearms nomenclature, firearms maintenance, first aid. Shoot-Don’t-Shoot law. retention drills, reloading drills. carry laws for your state. If available, includes 3.0 – hours in live interactive / video, shoot-don’t-shoot scenarios. (a must)
- the 40 hours to include 24 hours of range time including manipulation drills, reloading drills, clearing and misfire drills, low light shooting, shooting house (if available). Range time culminates in a 50 round qualification course from 3, 5, 7, 10, 15 (including kneeling & airport drills) and 25-yards. Passing at 85% or better, written & range.
That’s just to get started. The training should be followed by regular updates, including firearms law and Supreme Court decisions, regular range training, practice and semi-annual 50-round qualification course
Think of this, when the police respond to your school how will they be able to tell the shooter from a gun-toting P. E. teacher in a ‘hoodie.’?
If the “minimum standards” are high for police officers, then the standards should be even higher, at zenith for teachers. Let’s get real.
Doesn’t sound so simple now does it?