Monday, February 19, 2018

Train Teachers To Shoot Intruders

Five years ago I wrote a column titled: “Time to Arm Teachers.” That wasn’t a popular notion in 2013 but perhaps its time has come after the Florida shootings last week.

The idea was pitched to me by men uniquely qualified to train those teachers willing to carry concealed weapons and confront armed intruders in schools. One was father to a former student who’d done several tours in the Middle East as a Green Beret. He was still doing three-month hitches in Afghanistan with his team of other highly-trained, contracted soldiers who would deploy for ninety days over there, then serve another ninety here in New England protecting courthouses, then back to Afghanistan, and so on.

When asked my opinion of their proposed enterprise I said it was a great concept, but public schools would never allow it, being almost completely staffed by anti-gun leftists who believe only stricter gun laws will prevent school shootings. Maybe school officials have since taken a lesson observing Chicago over the interim five years where even with the strictest gun laws, almost as many young people are shot every weekend as were shot last week in Florida.

Our schools have been “gun-free zones” for twenty-eight years now since Senator Joe Biden introduced the bill that became federal law in 1990, and how has that worked out? We could argue that “Gun-Free Zone” signs posted at schools attract whackos like Nikolas Cruz who can be assured that nobody in the school will be able to shoot back.

Gun-free zones parody

People like guns where I live in rural Maine because when seconds count, the police are minutes away — and my town doesn’t have a police department. We rely on the Oxford County Sheriff’s Department and the Maine State Police. They do as good a job as they can, but it’s not enough. Armed criminals tried to break my neighbor’s house across the street and were repelled after discovering the old man who lived there with his elderly wife had a gun of his own. Police arrested the men later based on my neighbors’s descriptions.

“When you see something, say something” we’re told by the FBI, but people have said something several times lately to no effect. The FBI was warned about the Tsarnaev brothers who blew up the Boston Marathon. They were warned about Omar Mateen before he shot over a hundred people in the Orlando night club massacre. And, they were also warned about Nikolas Cruz before he killed students and teachers last week.

When I started teaching here in rural Maine forty years ago, young men came to school with high-powered, semi-automatic rifles on racks across the back windows of their pickup trucks during hunting season. Those guns could have been used to shoot up the school but they weren’t. Guns haven’t changed since then but people have — and that’s clearly the problem.

Mainstream media don’t report stories like that, or incidents like my elderly neighbors scaring off intruders with their gun. They don’t fit the progressive, Democrat, gun-control narrative. Media did print warnings about what would happen if Maine and New Hampshire allowed citizens to carry concealed weapons without permits, but those states went ahead anyway.

Concealed carry permits were never required in Vermont and sensible people knew it wouldn’t be a problem in Maine or NH either. It’ll be three years this summer here in Maine and there’s been no increase in gun violence. It’s been a year in New Hampshire. Vermont never had a problem.

There’s a squad car parked outside Whole Foods in Portland every day. Inside stands an armed cop who I asked one day why he was always there. There’s usually a cop in Portland supermarkets he said, often in plain clothes. We see them in airports and court houses. The student council at my last school had to pay a cop to guard school dances. During my last few years I could only use the main entrance because other doors were locked on the outside. Why not post an armed guard there and arm teachers in every wing of the school? That’s what Israel does — a country in a constant state of war. They’ve had only two school shootings in over forty years.

Ever since Columbine twenty years ago, brave teachers have died shielding students with their bodies at nearly every school in which shootings have occurred. Imagine if those teachers had been armed. How many students could they have protected if they shot back at the intruder instead of just absorbing his bullets? Had they been armed, we would likely be seeing stories of how Nikolas Cruz was killed attempting to enter the school instead of the national keening we’re undergoing now.


Brian said...

Hmmm, yeah we could treat schools like a combat zone and have teachers shooting at students and vice versa....OR, we could wake up, deal with the root of the problem, and join the rest of the world that does not have this epidemic.

Anonymous said...

I can just picture the scene of a bunch of first grade teachers running down the hallways, blasting away, hitting 5 bystanders before maybe hitting the shooter, who started the whole thing off by stealing the gun from another teacher.

Anonymous said...


Thoroughly read your article and I am in complete agreement. I have standing on this issue because I was a high school classroom teacher in Massachusetts. The community was somewhat rural with a population of over 27,000. The high school serviced over 1000 students and the police department was not a great distance from the school. However, it takes time to activate services and the elapsed time is precious. If someone enters the school with felonious intent, then every second counts; lives depend upon immediate action.

Properly and thoroughly trained teachers equipped with pistols could make a substantial difference. Furthermore, the deterrence factor would be substantial.

Anonymous said...

Are we sure the teachers are enough to stop it? We should probably give them AR-15s to be safe. Better yet, how about we arm all the students as well!

CJ Johnson said...

Hey Brian,
All of us law-abiding gun owners will hand over our guns as soon as you can guaranty the evil in the world have handed over theirs. Meanwhile, if Nicole Brown had had a gun, she would be a wealthy widow, instead of dead.
Hey Anonymous (3:37),
You have an excellent imagination. The rest of us all live in the real world.
Arming teachers, that choose to be armed, is an excellent deterrent to the evil parasites that prey on the unprotected (and simultaneously most deserving of our protection). By the way, do you have your "Gun Free Zone" sign set up outside your home? Care to publish your address?

A chicken in every pot, a car in every garage, an AR-15 in every home.
Big smiles.

Brian said...

I, nor nobody I know, wants you to hand over your guns or ban guns. Unless you own some sort of assault rifle (to try and compensate for your actual wimpiness.) And it takes a real lack of imagination not to predict scenarios like anon mentioned.

And by the way, I own a rifle.

So keep up your "big smiles" while so many mourn the lives of their children who have been shot.

Anonymous said...

Arming teachers is a "solution"? So best case scenario is now what? A sharp shooting teacher kills a student before they kill even more people. So the "solution" still entails students getting shot to death while at school? Surely you are not arguing that these crazy lunatics with guns are not going to continue shooting up schools because some teachers might stop them. Most of them plan on dying there anyway, and logic is not their strong point. Imagining a dream scenario where some Bruce Willis like teacher gets a clean shot and saves the day is what you are counting on? Who has the excellent imagination? Where are these guns kept? In a safe? (worthless). Strapped on to the teachers? Great, now every wacko student knows where to get a gun on the spur of the moment. Think things through people.

P. C. Poppycock said...

So, Anon, tell us your solution that would have prevented last week's massacre.


Anonymous said...

OK, glad you asked! First off, the teacher shouldn't just be armed, but they should always have the gun out and pointed at the students at all times. Good luck grabbing for that assault better reach for that back
pack reeeal slow! Oh, and have all the students listen to their lessons while huddled under their desks. With AR-15s, just shooting out from under their chairs blindly. You telling me that won't keep the evil away?

Another solution would be for very severe sentences for anybody having or dealing in assault rifles, machine guns, cannons, chemical weapons or any such military mass killing crap. You telling me that a lifetime prison sentence wouldn't drastically reduce dealers? You telling me that this may not have stopped some mentality unstable youth from getting his hands on an AR-15? He might have made himself a bomb instead? OK, maybe some would go on to doing that, but surely not all. Which means a mass murdering of children prevented for every one that can't pull off the bomb thing.

Seems like it may come down to one of the two choices.

Jared Bristol said...

Taking All The Guns? Submitted letter to editor: Lewiston Sun Journal

School shooting: take all the guns. It will never happen again? You'll never get them all. The insane will not give them up, but neither will the criminals or terrorists. Schools? Not safer. Some law abiding people will be criminalized and you might just unleash a civil war.
On October 29, 2009 a group including myself met with David Farmer, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Baldacci, to convince him that our schools are in grave danger, not just from lone gunmen as in Florida this week or others, but also from organized terrorists like those in Beslan, Russia where they lost 344 kids and teachers to guns, bombs, rape and horrendous mayhem. David Farmer rolled his eyes.
Let's ban guns? What happens then?
1. Some law abiding gun owners will revolt or resist. People will die.
2. Costs of search and confiscation: staggering.
3. We will be a country of slaves (think: Nazi, Germany, Pol Pot in Cambodia, Stalin in Russia, North Korea for sure).
4. Evil criminals and terrorists and a defenseless population for prey (think: Chicago and D.C. statistics with guns illegal).
5. Schools will be attacked at an escalating rate. What's to stop them?
Solution? Harden the targets, our precious children. 100% safe? Never within freedom but so much better. We proposed armed guards and real tactics to Mr. Farmer in 2009. He laughed. Guns will immediately counter guns. Will we do it?...not with current leadership from the left and their unthinking electorate.

Anonymous said...

Jared, nobody is going to take your guns or ban all guns. That will never happen. Did Obama try and take your guns? Has anybody ever tried? Relax, we are not to be a nation of slaves.

Anonymous said...

It seems this website should be entitled "Where Conservative Arguments Come to Die"

Anonymous said...

"...high-powered, semi-automatic rifles on racks across the back windows of their pickup trucks during hunting season."
Only if they weren't good shots. Otherwise, bolt or lever.
Today, the fear of theft for some drug money prohibits such open display.
Today,that drawing, picture, T-shirt graphic, improperly played with stick, or improperly nibbled breakfast pastry, will go on your permanent record....your PERMANENT. RECORD. young man.
PHARMACEUTICALS are the answer!!!!!(and the end of any military career)
Of course, back then, it was legal to inspire problem boys and girls
to behave.
"Child" psychology hadn't evolved into a "sport" yet.
The Death Penalty meant you died.(Hanging in NH)
"Democrat" didn't generally mean flaming Progressive Socialist Dupe.
"Girls were girls, and men were men".
And men of Barry Goldwater's character were considered WAY before men of Joe Biden's.

Brian said...

Not to kick a dead-ass argument, but it is funny to hear how owning an AR-15 is every American's right, but using one for its only explicit purpose is a mental health issue!

Anonymous said...

Let me help....
1. Owning an AR-15 is NOT every American's right.
2. Shooting innocents is NOT it's explicit purpose.

Anonymous said...

Hey Brain, you the dog on Family Guy

So you think that if this guy didn't have an AR there would not have been a shooting?

As I'm sure this quite adept interactive gamer and single-shooter, he would have chosen another weapon, maybe a pump shotgun, or a couple of 45's, maybe a couple of six shooters, a double barrel and a couple of six shooters. The list goes on in those interactive games.

One thing he didn't have at his disposal was grabbing the 4 cops weapons out in the parking lot, maybe if they came inside he could have gotten them with his knife, and then had a glock and several 17 round clips.

You need to think like an interactive shooter Brian and its particularly good for the final score if the marks are just cowering targets under desks to shoot at and score some points. He might have picked a good weapon but other weapons would have done just as nicely.

Haven't you played any of these unrealistic games Brain or Brian, always best when there is no one shooting back. Like in a school with 4 deputies cowering out in the parking lot.

Brian said...

Who knows, maybe there would not have been a shooting without the confidence and power that an AR-15 gave this sicko, but surely there would have been less deaths had he been forced to shoot at a slower pace...that seems to be common sense.

Anonymous said...

Maybe, but it might have been worse if he used a pump shotgun with buckshot, an Ar makes a single 223 hole per trigger pull while buckshot can spread 9 or more .323 round ball to 36 inches wide at 25 yards and could wound kill more than a single shot.

They assume that a AR is the most deadly, for in some part because it's an assault rifle as they call it, but if soldiers for instance wanted to clean a trench in ww1, they chose a pump shotgun.

They give great worth to a ar or m4 true assault rifle but in same vein when LEOs go into hostile environment they appreciate the single bullet kill vs the blast of a 12 gauge to limit collateral damage.

The AR has the ability to be an anti-tyranny weapon and that is what government fears.

Anonymous said...

Get a grip, the government does not fear your AR. Good luck with your cache of rifles when a missile strikes your house.