[Please note this is a two part question. Please read both parts before responding to either. Thanks!]
But enough about that. I want to address the idea that some teachers and/or administrators should be armed. Really? Let’s say we give five people the authority to bring a gun into the school. No matter how “secret” the plan is, it would not take long before just about every kid in the school knew not only who had the gun but where it was kept. So… for a student with bad intentions, he now knows where there is an available gun. If a teacher is one of the 14% of teachers in the country who is going to be physically assaulted....... now he/she has to deal with the very real possibility that he/she may be overpowered and lose possession of his/her gun. If a student comes to school knowing he can’t get into the building with a gun, and if he has the intention to commit violence against a teacher, an administrator, a security guard, or a fellow student or group of students who have been bullying him, then he knows where he can arm himself. Go to the where the gun is and get it. Then use it on the teacher or on the kid’s perceived enemies, or both. Don’t think, “Oh, that wouldn’t happen.” Ask just about any teacher. You’ll find they think it could and would happen.
Oh… Right. Lock up the gun so the kid(s) can’t get to it. Now an active shooter enters the room with his AR-15, ready to fire. The first person he looks at is the teacher. If the teacher is reaching for the gun he/she has in the ankle holster, in a purse, or locked in a desk drawer, do you really think there is enough time for the teacher to react, get the weapon, load it, aim it, and fire before the shooter does? The shooter was already preparing for this moment. The teacher wasn’t. That teacher is dead. And the shooter has another gun.
These school shootings are over in a matter of minutes. Sometimes seconds. It is unrealistic to think that a teacher, whose daily job is… uh.. TEACHING… would be so well-prepared and so well-trained for this moment that he/she would be effective in the situation, regardless of previous training, military or otherwise.
For example… this week’s shooting occurred AFTER armed authorities confronted him outside the school. They opened fire on him. Despite this, the shooter, protected by body armor, was able to enter the building through a rear entrance after being confronted by the school’s armed security guard, who “engaged” the suspect (we don’t know at this time if they exchanged gunfire.) This time, the shooter entered a classroom, locked the door, and began to shoot. Official reports say he was in the school for 40 or more minutes before a tactical team was able to break in and fatally wound Ramos. But we should arm the teachers… Really? I mean, REALLY???
So what will be done? A week ago on my Facebook page, I wrote about the Buffalo shooting and said NOTHING will be done. And so far, nothing HAS been done. What do I think now? Hint: right after the Parkwood shooting when the students themselves organized and held a march in Washington, D.C, I was hopeful that something would finally – FINALLY – get done. But I was wrong. Nothing was done. So what will be done? I HOPE something reasonable will be done. But I have had my hopes dashed too many times in the past to be optimistic. My reluctant bet is that nothing will be done... again. Where do I get this pessimism?
Counting ONLY school shootings where total dead/wounded = 5 or more:
1999 Columbine, CO (13 dead, 21 wounded)
2001 Santee, CA (2 dead, 13 wounded)
2002 Grundy, VA (3 dead, 3 wounded at law school shooting)
2005 Red Lake, MN (7 dead, 7 wounded)
2006 Nickel Mines, PA (5 dead, 5 wounded)
2007 Blacksburg, VA (32 dead, 17 wounded at Virginia Tech)
2008 DeKalb, IL (5 dead, 28 wounded)
2012 Chardon, OH (3 dead, 3 wounded)
2012 Oakland, CA (7 dead, 3 wounded)
2014 Newtown, CT (26 dead, 2 wounded)
2015 Rosebud, OR (10 dead, 9 wounded)
2017 Rancho Tehama, CA (6 dead, 18 wounded)
2018 Marshall County, KY (2 dead, 14 wounded)
2018 Parkland, FL (17 dead, 17 wounded)
2018 Santa Fe, TX (10 dead, 13 wounded)
2019 Charlotte, NC (2 dead, 4 wounded)
2019 Highlands Ranch, CO (1 dead, 8 wounded)
2019 Santa Clarita, CA (2 dead, 3 wounded)
2021 Grambling, LA (1 dead, 7 wounded)
2021 Oxford Township, MI (4 dead, 7 wounded)
2022 Uvalde, TX (21 dead, 15+ wounded) [Count ongoing at this posting]
Note: no incidents are being reported where there were no fatalities even if the number of wounded was 5 or more.