Our local paper last Sunday printed a letter to the editor from a local citizen demanding armed security guards in our schools. He wrote:
Sometimes I see a police presence at school events but they don’t carry guns. What are they going to do against a shooter? Nothing. ... We need a viable defense of our children and that includes armed security. ... I want armed security in the halls and at the entrances before someone simply walks in with a gun and starts shooting. Don’t even get started on cost or image arguments. ... I want my taxes used for this first, then whatever else.
I, for one, am proud to live in a community that so highly prizes its children that it is willing to go to these lengths to protect them. But personally, I would go one better. A single police officer can only be in one place at one time. I would suggest we mandate that the entire teaching staff carry loaded side-arms.
I don't mean any wimpy pea-shooters, either. I want my English 9 teacher to have the same fire power that Dirty Harry might have - "a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world." The principal ought to at least have a RPG or two somewhere handy.
I can envision genuine educational advantages too;
- When giving a quiz, the social studies teacher could point his gun at a cheater and say, "You've got to ask yourself a question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?"
- The kindergarten teacher could always fire a few round in the air just to get the class's attention.
- The PE teacher really could get reluctant students to "dance."
I suppose the left-wing, pinko sissies will come up with a bunch of lame excuses why loaded teachers are "wrong" or "bad." But if you ask me, nothing says caring about kids like packing heat.
Or we could read the research that tells us that violent acts in American schools declined between 1991 and 1999 despite all headlines to the contrary. Schools are statistically one of the safest places in the community.
Schools are safer than individual homes and neighborhoods. Children are more likely to encounter serious violent crime away from school than at school. Multiple sources suggest that students are approximately three times safer in school than away from school (Elliott, Hamburg, and Williams, 1998; Kaufman et al., 1999; Snyder & Sickmund, 1999). There is less than a one in a million chance of a student experiencing a school-related violent death. Furthermore, the vast majority of school-related injuries are not violence-related and the majority of school crime is nonviolent theft (U.S. Department of Education, 1999a).
Or at least get data that paint an accurate picture of the scope of school violence before going off half-cocked.