Saturday, December 22, 2012

A NRA Dumb Idea

NRA prez Wayne LaPierre had a pretty good and on the money rant going until he demanded that America put armed guards in every school to prevent massacres like Newtown.

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.

13 Comments:

Blogger emilg7831 said...

And the gun control rant is not? why are we pointing fingers at our own faults as parents. Here we have a woman with unsecure guns (proper control would be to have these weapons at a gun range lockup) were she had a disturbed individual.we love to put blame on inanimate items so we don't feel we are the problem.

December 22, 2012 at 9:55 AM 
Blogger Bob Marino said...

Why is having trained armed guards a dumb idea? Having untrained teachers with weapons is a dumb idea. Also, instead of stopping the threat before they enter the building by having armed guards, the murders would be in starting their rampage until stopped by the untrained teacher. Everyone needs to keep an open mind and listen to ideas instead of bashing the NRA and the law abiding gun community.

Proud and responsible gun owner

December 22, 2012 at 10:03 AM 
Blogger Kevin Comerford said...

Pretty sad that an idea to protect children is described as "dumb" out of the gate. I guess titling a post with the inflammatory "dumb" is a good way to get readers to click and since Spencer acknowledges that school boards can make the decision to hire armed security guards if they wish pays respect to the fact that some schools may actually need such a level of security and employ such at present. Personally I would describe the NRA idea as maybe a little reactive, reaching, too absolute and maybe even hysterical But I think, and am glad to know that they are human, that they do in fact support security and the preservation of safety in our schools and have a proposed solution, even if it does need to be tempered with a qualifier such as "where necessary" or "as decided by administrators and or school boards". And thank you Spencer for your input, it would need some work as well but it is a start and now we need progress.

December 22, 2012 at 10:38 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, training teachers in firearm safety and shooting is an excellent idea. Bob, I don't know why you think the teachers would be untrained. I actually know of two teachers that are NRA certified firearms instructors.

Emilg, I am unaware of any lockups for firearms at any of the ranges that I go to. There is also a law to prevent this. If you leave your firearm at the range, they range owner must "book" the firearm. When you want to use it again, you must go through the entire transfer process and background check all over again.

December 22, 2012 at 10:40 AM 
Blogger Bob Marino said...

@Anonymous, I don't think all teachers would be untrained but I bet most if not all would be untrained on how to deal with an attack and likewise high stress situations. There's a huge difference in training with your firearm and training with your firearm in high stress self defense situations. Also, this isn't a teacher's job. I don't think it's a bad idea to have teachers carry if they have training but they shouldn't be the first choice in protecting our children.

December 22, 2012 at 10:59 AM 
Blogger Dannytheman said...

I think the NRA had a tough decision to make, and they made the right ones. They want law enforcement on their side through this gun rights issue, so they moved to be the best providers of training, something they are internationally known for. Had they chose to go and support the armed teacher methodology, they would have been accused of attempting to get more guns purchased and look like demons.

Removing the Gun Free zone designation from the schools and allowing licensed people to carry firearms would stop most of this, as some teachers would start to carry as they do when not on school grounds. (I also know some teachers that carry anyway and risk losing their job if ever caught.) They figure, lose a job, but be alive is better than have a job and be dead.

As to the mother locking up her guns? The facts on that are not in yet. The boy could have threatened her life to open the gun safe, and then shot and killed her. They may have been locked. And how is removing this womans ability to defend herself from others her fault?

To Bob, I get that it's not their job, but it should be their right to defend themselves, right? Protect the kids getting in front of protect themselves. Why should we not allow them to save themselves, I am sure they didn't sign up to hide in closets either. But when the closet door opens, I want them to have every opportunity to stop the assailant legally allowed. (If gun free zone is removed that would be their choice.)

More from me later.

December 22, 2012 at 12:36 PM 
Blogger Bob Marino said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 22, 2012 at 1:13 PM 
Blogger Bob Marino said...

@Dannytheman, I agree with you 1000000% anyone being a law abiding citizen (21 and over) with or without a LTCF permit (open carry is legal here in PA without LTCF, Philly you need one) should have the right to defend themselves. The points I was making were more geared towards the article stating that having armed armed guards was a dumb idea.

More good men and women with guns mean better chance of stopping cowards quicker or before they carry out their plans.

December 22, 2012 at 1:14 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, honestly I do not own a gun, nor do I have membership in the NRA. I watched the NRA press confrence and basically they are willing to train VOLUNTEERS (for now) that have EXPERIENCE (e.g. retired service people, law enforcement offices..you know qualified individuals)with guns and KNOW how and WHEN to use the guns. As he said why wouldn't we protect our children, you go in any bank, event, etc there are ARMED guards there, why wouldn't we take this suggestion seriously. The idea stated here to have gun toting teachers is RIDICULOUS. I would not want a teacher that is in contact with my 6 year old to be packing a gun...NO WAY it is not their job, nor would they be able to be on constat guard to look for persons not belonging to the school community. The NRA is offering to train people to do this job, free of charge, as well as offer consultation and planning for every school in this country to assist with planning and implementing these plans, again, free of charge. Look, if we are talking about the 2nd ammendment this is what it says: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" So OK, NRA members, it's time to step us and form militia's to protect our kids...just saying if you want to bear arms, then it's time for you to take your rightful place and protect my children at school.

December 22, 2012 at 2:05 PM 
Blogger Franny Ward said...

I believe that it is an good idea for teachers to carry sidearms to protect themselves and their students. As long as they are properly trained.

But there are a few things to consider.

What if:
A. A teacher gets attacked from a student weilding nothing more than his fists? does the teacher draw His/Her weapon?

B. A student gets his/her hands on the gun that the teacher has left on the desk (Don't say it can't happen, anything is possible)

C. A teacher loses His/Her cool,and shoots up the class.

The only REAL solution I can see is to have the State Police patrolling the halls, like they do at the Delaware County Alternative School, a school of last resort for the incouragables. A police presence would put a damper on any nutcases idea to attack.

Maybe I'm wrong, but when I was in school I had RESPECT for teachers and school personnel. Things change, so change with it.

December 22, 2012 at 4:26 PM 
Anonymous 1uofpitt1 said...

I'm fine with teachers trained having gun on a volunteer basis. Like I said to Danny, they will be no match for the school shooter with his assault semi-automatic, but a guard standing in front of the building will be useless as he will be the first to get shot and killed. Teachers with guns offer some small protection. Better than nothing, however, good luck convincing parents around here to allow guns in the schools. They would in Texas, not here, I'm thinking.

Even though we think these shootings won't happen in schools around here - school shootings do happen on a regular basis. We just can never predict where in the country they will happen next so we are never prepared.

December 22, 2012 at 4:31 PM 
Blogger Dannytheman said...

OK, I am back. Sorry had to do some shopping. OK, all the scenarios listed would not be reasons to draw your weapon.
Dropping the gun free zone and publicizing it. The criminal would not know who or if anyone is armed. They might be and would be allowed to be, no one would know. Cowards would not head here.
To the person who doesn't want their teacher armed? They might be anyway, right? You just don't know.
But it's that kind of uneducated fear that gets crap started.

What if this, what if that?? It tends to never happen.

Fran, all this could happen currently. You assume they are all are following the laws. Some may not be.

December 22, 2012 at 6:23 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right here in Delaware County,PA, we have an elementary school that is adjoined to a Police Substation.

Do you think the parents of the Aldan Elementary School are scared to bring their children there ?

With a few modifications, police substations can be set up in every elementary school at least until we
have the problems of mental health,gun control, drugs and other societal ills solved.

In the big cities, more police substations would be needed.

The Police at Aldan are trained professionals who have already been screened. They know how to spot suspicious behavior, a comunication network is already in place for backup,response time would be minimized, their presence is a deterrent.

Many times they know who is a stranger in their neighborhood.

The Delco Times can run a story using the Aldan Elementary School as an example, with pictures.

December 22, 2012 at 6:32 PM 

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