Why not arm teachers?
Over the past several weeks the United States has been treated to an outbreak of school shootings. The hoplophobes cry for more gun control, but amidst those cries a voice of reason speaks out: Wisconsin State Rep. Frank Lasee, who says “To make our schools safe for our students to learn, all options should be on the table, Israel and Thailand have well-trained teachers carrying weapons and keeping their children safe from harm. It can work in Wisconsin.”
Mr. Lasee’s proposal would require that armed staff members get strict training on the use of the weapons and he acknowledges that he would have to find a way around the Federal “safe” school zones act. This might mean sending those who desire to be armed to the Police Academy and deputizing them as reserve police officers.
Unfortunately for Mr. Lasee, his proposal is met with hoplophobic opposition by none other than the director of school safety for Milwaukee Public Schools, Pete Pochowski who says; “Statistically, the safest place for a child to be is in school, we have problems in our schools, but not to the point where we need to arm our teachers and principals. In the country we live in, we have a lot of freedom, and we have to expose ourselves to some danger to keep that.”
Mr Pochowski, what freedoms would we be giving up by allowing trained volunteer school staff to be on campus armed? In the rare case a school shooting does occur what is one of the first things to occur? The police (who tend to carry guns) are called! Why not have trained individuals on site already who can respond more immediately and possibly prevent more deaths?
During the infamous Columbine Massacre Police took 47 minutes from when the shooting began to enter the school. Even then they were hampered by an unfamiliarity with the buildings and a lack of knowledge as to the location and number of the shooters. While armed staff would not know the number or location of the shooters (unless confronted) they would be familiar with the buildings since they are there every day. Being armed, they would be able to escort students to safety and defend themselves and their charges against the predators. This would become increasingly easier as more armed individuals joined the group. Especially if they have trained together and drilled for such an event.
While many seem to question the common sense of Mr. Lasee’s proposal it is not one that should be ignored. In fact it is one that should be researched, studied and maybe even tried. While Mr. Pochowski feels that schools are the safest place for children it is also the place where they are most vulnerable to violent lethal attack. There are few if any sheepdogs to protect the children from the wolves. As we have seen too many times; waiting for protection to arrive takes precious time, during which precious lives are lost.