Top of the evening everyone.
I have been giving a great deal of thought to what happened at Parkland High School in Florida. During this process, I have been in contact with two friends. They are both lawyers. One of them has politics to the right of mine. The other is a mother of three. Her politics are a probably where mine are, or maybe to the left. She may also be reading this entry. BR - if you are reading this, please feel free to comment.
One of the things suggested is the possible arming of school teachers. At first blush, this seems like a good idea. There is a level of protection at the level where the danger is the most imminent.
You will now see that I spend way too much time with Marines.
The arming of teachers in our schools is fraught with challenges.
1. Is the job of the teacher offensive or defensive? That is, should a teacher seek out a shooter or simply defend a section of school?
2. Whose weapon does a teacher use? The United States Government does not arm civilians. Marines never take a weapon home. A weapon stays in the armory until it is needed for training or for a mission. It is turned in at the end of that training or mission. At this point, someone must be in a school to issue the weapon to the teacher. That person must be a trained shooter, must be able to look and determine whether or not someone is emotionally prepared for the task, and must have the authority to take away a weapon.
3. Who will certify that the teacher is competent with the weapon?
4. Will the teachers be given paid time away from school to practice at the range? Who will certify to the school district that this has happened?
5. Will the salary of those armed teachers be increased to reflect increased responsibility? If so, will there be teachers who seek this position merely for the increased salary?
6. Will there be training in the school for a potential incident? With teachers armed, the risk is present that one of the teachers might accidentally shoot another teacher, or worse, a student. The only way to avoid that is to train, and then to train again.
7. What is the status of the weapon? Will there be a magazine in the weapon or on the weapon belt? If there is a magazine in the weapon, will there be a round in the chamber? These are three different weapons conditions based on force protection and level of threat - magazine available, magazine in weapon, and round in chamber.
I do not like the concept of having our schools become armed camps. That, combined with the real challenges presented above, will tell me that this is a bad idea.
Have a good evening everyone.