A NRA Dumb Idea
He is playing to and ramping up the hysteria after a lone gunman went on a rampage and killed 27 people.
To the extent that any school district is concerned that such an event is likely in one of their schools, school boards are empowered to hire all the guards they want. Generally speaking though, they don't because they just don't see the need. The risk of such a thing happening is so tiny that it is judged not worth the cost.
Those who think the risk is great enough to justify such a measure would be better off allowing gun-owning teachers and administrators to volunteer to carry firearms to protect their students. Putting a uniform on a guard and giving him a gun is not the answer. It would just make them the first target of a determined madman.
Having a few secretly armed teachers instead of self-pronounced "gun-free zones," it seems to me would be slightly more of a deterrent than not having them. And if the worst case happens, a number of people would be inside the school with the means (i.e. a gun) to actually stop the shooter.
Delco Intermediate Unit head Larry O'Shea thinks this is a crazy idea. He says teachers aren't and shouldn't have to be law enforcement officers. But no ones asking them to be "law enforcement" officers. We're asking them to be able to protect the children we entrust to them daily.
It would be interesting to know what percentage of teachers own guns in Delaware County and would be willing to take on the responsibility of bringing one to school on a daily basis. With the proper training and routine precautions this could be done. In fact, it is already being done in a number of school districts nationwide.
The only thing that would prevent it from being done here is either perceived lack of need or the fearful reaction of other teachers and administrators who are frightened by the idea of any of their colleagues being armed.
O'Shea was completely dismissive of the idea when I raised it with him the other night. He asked me if I would feel comfortable sending my daughter to a school where the teachers were required to have guns.
I said sure. Because, first of all, they all would be required to have guns, only those few who volunteered to take on the responsibility. And I mentioned Dan Dudrick, who teaches elementary school in my school district. I wrote about him a few years ago when he joined the Marine Reserves and was sent Iraq for a tour. Would I feel comfortable having a guy like Dudrick armed at his school? Sure. I think a lot of parents would. And you don't have to be a Marine to learn how to safely handle and carry a gun. Probably beats having a rent-a-cop on school property. Teachers or other staff could be paid a little more to accept this responsibility, take all the necessary training courses, etc.
Is any of this really necessary? I don't think so. But if other people really think the risk of another one of these massacres is high enough that seems to me to be the reasonable way to go. Certainly, it would do more to protect school children than outlawing a particular firearm because some people find it so scary.