Thursday, August 21, 2008

Teachers in Texas to carry guns

The Harrold Independent School District, a small district in Texas, has recently decided to allow teachers to conceal carry guns in the class room. The school board voted to unanimously allow this to happen with the support of Superintendent David Thweatt, and with no objection from parents. The teachers would have to be able to receive a concealed carry permit and go through all of the training required to receive a concealed carry permit. After that teachers will be reviewed by the school board and it will decided on a case by case basis if the board will allow them to carry in the school. If they are allowed to carry they will go through more intensive training with the guns which include crisis management and intervention and hostage intervention.

The school has come under a lot of heat for this decision, however it has also gained a lot of support. The Superintendent says
"We have a lock-down situation, we have cameras, but the question we had to answer is, 'What if somebody gets in? What are we going to do? It's just common sense."

This is true. The school has cameras, and in order to enter the building you must swipe a card that will then allow you access to the building. The building can be locked down and monitored through a system in the main office, and they have evacuation plans in place in case of a disaster or if something were to happen with the trains that run near the school. But with a major highway only minutes away, and the school visible from said highway, it only makes sense the take further steps to protect the children. Some may ask, "what about the police"? The nearest police station is roughly 30 miles away from the school, thus the only protection is what the school can offer.

I believe this makes a lot of sense. Look at all of the recent school shootings, someone went on a shooting rampage intent on killing innocent people. The schools plan? Barricade yourself inside of classrooms until help arrives. Many, many people die and when help arrives they can do nothing more than count the dead and carry out the wounded.

Columbine, two shooters, no one armed, dozens die, police arrive to prevent nothing from happening.

Virginia Tech, one shooter, no one armed, a police force on campus, teachers and students barricade themselves inside, dozens die, police can do nothing

Northern Illinois University, one shooter in a classroom, no one armed, campus police can hear shoots from outside of the door, dozens die, police can do nothing.

The common thread between all of these is that the only person armed was the criminal, and that because of this dozens died. Some had police on campus, others had to wait for police to arrive, but no matter what the proximity of the police the result was the same. Statistically speaking, an armed faculty could have prevented a large majority of these deaths.

Some people will undoubtedly complain about this, they will say this is not safe and that they want their kids to be safe. How safe is a school that is a gun free zone? Hunks of metal with writing on them do not deter criminals. Speed limit signs do not stop people from speeding, trespassing signs do not stop people from trespassing, and gun free signs do not stop criminals. Have we forgotten what it means for someone to be a criminal? A criminal does not follow the laws, nor do they follow signs. The only people who follow the laws and the signs are law abiding citizens who then become victims because of those signs. And the only time a hunk of metal stops a criminal is when it flies at 800 mph, is a covering for gun powder, and is trailed by a muzzle flare.

"What about a security guard"? you say. Remember, Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University had police forces on campus. Police and security can not protect every person at every time, only you can protect yourself all the time.

Let me make something very clear to everyone who is griping about this. As a parent it is your job to protect your children, and because your children spend a lot of time in school it is then the schools responsibility to protect your children. If you want them to be safe let the schools keep them safe, and when they are with you than you keep them safe as well. If you do not want to make sure your kids are safe than you should re-evaluate your role as a parent.

Complain now but watch your kid grow up and see them graduate, or roll the dice and see if your kid becomes another statistic. It is easy to complain when you have not lost someone to gun violence, but for those of us who know that tragedy, I would rather keep my guns and protect myself, and entrust my loved ones to others who are willing to do the same.

You can be a sheep and get slaughtered by the wolf, or you can be a sheepdog and battle the wolf.


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