My colleague on the paper has written a very well written and thought out article on the lesson of the Newton shooting incident. I would like to make a few points not in outright rebuttal but to point out a different perspective.
To start I will include my initial response to his article: “A few points: No one is advocating “arming every teacher” they are advocating allowing properly trained teachers to voluntarily carry concealed weapons (note properly trained). Some states have already been doing this prior to this attack. Why have people not heard of this before now? Because there have been no incidents involving the teachers carrying them or in those schools. It is not stupid to let those teachers who are proficient in weaponry carry weapons. In fact it may be the best and most cost effective solution available. Military assault rifles are banned from the general public. No such weapons were used in this attack. Semi-automatic weapons were used that had the appearance of assault rifles but not the internal mechanisms of an assault rifle. It was a tragedy let us not compound that tragedy by not protecting our children from here on out.”
Israel had a similar problem with terrorist attacks on their school children. Their response was to arm their teachers to protect their children. It cut the attacks significantly (almost to nothing). I am fully aware that our situation is not the same as Israel’s. Nor am I advocating issuing teacher’s weapons with their pencils and textbooks. What I am advocating is allowing teachers who are proficient in firearms to carry those firearms for their and their student’s protection. We have had numerous attacks at our schools and each time people have cried for more gun control as a solution. What is it they say about insanity? Repeat something that does not work and expect different results.
So what do we do? We make schools gun free zones so those pesky law breakers will know not to bring their weapons here….really? What part of law breakers do we not understand? Making any area a gun free zone is telling those who wish to commit these heinous acts that here is safe place to do it. Here no law abiding citizen will interfere with your plans. Here are helpless victims a plenty. Is this what we want for our children? Place them in shooting galleries available at the discretion of the next mass killer to come down the road? I don’t think so.
How about we make areas we want to keep safe “Law Abiding Citizen Carry Zones”? One man did a survey of over 100 mass killings/attempted mass killings, his results? When a citizen with a legal right to carry intervened the average deaths were 2.3. When no such citizen intervened and the police arrival was relied on the average was 14.9 deaths. I love the police but they are crime responders not crime preventers. Our children deserve all the protection we can give them. If that is a teacher being allowed to carry so be it. If that is metal detectors at every entrance so be it. If that is armed security so be it.
The real lesson of Newton? Our kids are still not safe despite all the well-meaning efforts of the gun control advocates. We need to make our children safer at the source (the school). Implementing those safeguards rapidly and without delay should be our priority. Teach our educators proper response to those attacks as often as well and as often as we teach them how to respond to fires and other disasters. Let them have the means to protect themselves in the event of an attack. Provide them when possible with a first line defense system (either passive like metal detectors or active like armed officers). Do not disarm the law abiding citizen in an effort to protect him from the armed miscreant. That is indeed insane.