OMG: here they go again


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Monkeyleg
October 19, 2006, 12:56 AM
In my 56 years on this earth, I don't recall any legislator of any repute advocating allowing teachers and school administrators to carry concealed weapons.

The debate on THR has been endless, which leads me to believe that such legislation will never be instituted, at least not in a state like Wisconsin.

But, of all of the throw-the-ideas-against-the-wall-and-see-if-they-stick proposals, Lassee's has drawn the most ridicule, both here in WI as well as nationwide.

And that, more than the debate itself, has me concerned. Why? Because, if we just jetison the idea that teachers cannot be entrusted to carry firearms, then we have negated the idea that any citizen can be trusted.

At any rate, here's another letter to the editor from someone who would like to keep guns out of schools:
On principle, principals shouldn't pack

By Thomas Biel

Posted: Oct. 18, 2006

State Rep. Frank Lasee's proposal to arm teachers with guns is a reckless solution and irrational reaction to the gun violence in schools that has again shocked our society.

To his credit, Lasee (R-Bellevue) has amended his proposal to have weapons kept in a secure location and available in an emergency to those who have been specially trained in firearms. Although not nearly as preposterous, keeping firearms in a school still violates something fundamental in education.

An armed school would betray its own goals. As a colleague of mine noted, it would make the schools seem a little closer to being the prison that many students already equate a school with.

Though it may not appear this way to students, education tries to liberate, not incarcerate. And keeping weapons locked up in a school admits to the compromise of that freedom. We're always compromising freedom, but why do it if it is unnecessary?

Lasee imagines the weapons could be used to stop an intruder or student who has for whatever reasons gone over the deep end and comes into a school with the intent to kill and do extreme harm. In a Hollywood movie, I could see the scenario: The mild-mannered principal unlocks the firearm cabinet, takes out the firearm and walks out to meet the killer head-on - high noon in the halls. But in reality?

What if the principal misses? The scenario that the gun could prevent a tragedy has to acknowledge that it is probably just as likely that it could cause tragedy. Should the day come when a teacher shoots a student, or the gun used to protect somehow becomes a murder weapon, education would take a giant step backward. That gunshot would crack a whole lot more than just a body.

Earning trust between teachers, students and the community is a constant challenge and a fragile thing that even a locked-up gun would shatter. Education in the democratic tradition teaches that human reason can overcome evil; we tend to believe that people at their core are good, and we have the capacity to work toward our society's ideals.

We are hopeful. We retain hope that we can do it through brain power, not gunpowder.

The proposed legislation reflects a deep problem in the way we react to violence in our society. We are saturated with guns and violence, and even if you're pro-gun, you can look around and see violence and weapons galore.

We have identified the gun with both national and personal protection. If you want to go looking for weapons of mass destruction, look in your own backyard. If you want a semiautomatic rifle, go online. We spew violence into our everyday casual conscience, whether on TV, video games, movies or an afternoon at Fun World in which our children can blow away a few hundred virtual terrorists.

I respect the legislator's concern for safety. I can respect the ends that he and like-minded gun advocates envision. But their means make no sense.

If anything, it is time for schools not to put guns in a closet but to come out of the closet for disarming our society.

Out of honor for our principals, one of whom lies dead in our own state, schools need to stay a step ahead of knee-jerk reaction and keep the nerves steady toward a less violent society. And gun proponents need to lower their guns and raise their sights a little higher.

Thomas Biel of Milwaukee is a high school English teacher for the Milwaukee Public Schools. His e-mail address is tbiel@sbcglobal.net
From the Oct. 19, 2006 editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Strings
October 19, 2006, 01:04 AM
Dick... the guy's in the Milwaukee School District. Of COURSE he's against the idea!

Geronimo45
October 19, 2006, 01:08 AM
"Education in the democratic tradition teaches that human reason can overcome evil; we tend to believe that people at their core are good, and we have the capacity to work toward our society's ideals."
Doesn't matter what your view of man is - basically good or no - in a Columbine-like situation, or one like the Amish.
Reason usually doesn't work against school killers. Why? Ask a shrink, I don't know.

"Should the day come when a teacher shoots a student, or the gun used to protect somehow becomes a murder weapon, education would take a giant step backward. That gunshot would crack a whole lot more than just a body."
A teacher shoots somebody who's on a murdering rampage, and the whole fabric of society collapses! Cops have shot an awful lot of people, and they still have a heck of a lot of respect.

I think the idea to allow concealed carry at school to those with permits is the best idea... nobody's required, nobody knows who may/may not have a gun on them. The gun isn't left at the school for somebody to break into and steal. It's not given to somebody who doesn't know a thing about guns... it's for whoever's got a license.

DirtyBrad
October 19, 2006, 01:34 AM
I used to also have this idea that the presence of guns somehow denegrated an environment or experience. Even as a gun owner and shooter, there were times I didn't want mine with me because it "wasn't about that".

I'm an avid long-distance hiker. When a Marine friend used to suggest I go armed, I frowned on the idea. I felt that being out in the woods was sort of "too pure" an experience and didn't want to sully it with a firearm.

What got me off of this was thinking about how every night when I turned in, I would make sure my knife was handy. I wasn't paranoid or really worried about being attacked in the night, but wanted to be prepared. Just about everybody I know does the same.

I realized that carrying a pocket knife didn't spoil the experience any more than my first aid kit or bear spray if I was in that part of the country. While hiking, I'm not thinking about any of them. They're only tools, there if I need them.

I feel very strongly that one of the first steps to educating the antis is to get past this idea that a gun being around ruins the environment. If a teacher had a pocket knife clipped to their pocket, I doubt anyone would say that's ruining the education experienece.

carpediem
October 19, 2006, 01:46 AM
There are many good, responsible, and capable teachers out there.

Having said that, I'm ambivalent about arming teachers, if by that you mean all/most teachers CCWing. What makes you think people who have trouble doing their job well in the first place are going to be any more proficient at armed defense? A jumpy, poorly-trained teacher in a stressful and volatile situation is likely to exacerbate things. If you're going to do it; do it well - don't skimp on screening/training. Any large-scale program will inevitably do both to degree.

Weapon retention would be an immediate concern - why smuggle a gun into school when you can grab it from your chemistry teacher? This is much less of a problem to CCWers, because (a) they're not typically the center of daily attention to the degree teachers are (makes it easier to avoid being 'made'), and (b) they're a largely invisible and unpredictable/identifiable minority (which helps guard against weapon retention issues). Both these advantages would be lost if every teacher were CCWing.

I think it would be a better idea to have optional CCW for teachers w/ stringent training/equipment/concealment requirements and/or training a few volunteer personnel who have access to a SECURE area (i.e. safe) that contains several firearms.

Aquaholic
October 19, 2006, 02:18 AM
I posted this a while back on another forum, but I still believe it's point on:

I think any person who can legally obtain a carry permit should have the option to carry in a school, or anywhere for that matter. Limiting school defense to pre-selected "special" employees is ridiculous IMHO. As far as I'm concerned, the more armed good guys in the school the better, especially from a deterent standpoint. If she wants to be, I want Emma the lunch lady able to defend herself and possibly even the kids whenever needed. To hell with "special defense squads" etc. An armed guard? Gee- that person wouldn't be the first one shot, would they? Who's next?

I just saw Lassee on Fox News with Shepard Smith. He now seems to be advocating having special gun lockboxes throughout the school that teachers, etc. could open when an alert is given. TOO [darn] late in my opinion. By that time, the bad guys are already IN a classroom, and they found that out when shots first started getting fired. What's a teacher in another room going to do then? A "tactical" SWAT style entry to the room the BG's already shooting up? By the choir teacher?

Teachers, Principals, Secretaries, Janitors, Food Service, Parents, you name it. I want everybody who is ready, willing and able to be armed the next time some [social deviant] even THINKS about walking into my kids school.

/Rant Off/

[edited to remain high road]

glummer
October 19, 2006, 07:49 AM
carpediem
why smuggle a gun into school when you can grab it from your chemistry teacher? Because your chemistry teacher might shoot you?

Most teachers carry concealed car keys.
Have you ever heard of a kid who wants to steal a car, robbing his teacher for the keys?
Are you seriously claiming you believe a kid who wants a gun is likely to attack an armed adult to get one?

Paranoid fantasies don't help solve real world problems.

gcerbone
October 19, 2006, 08:56 AM
The idea of "lockboxes" is just silly. Let teachers carry if they so choose. If not, that's fine too. The whole point of CCW as a deterrant is that you never know who is carrying.

Something is wrong if you are so paranoid about a school shooting that you prepare special "lockboxes" for just that occurance, but are also not worried enough to carry a firearm on your person.

Old Fuff
October 19, 2006, 09:30 AM
Monkeyleg:

As you are well aware, a school Principal took on and disarmed a student-shooter even though he was unarmed himself, in compliance with “the rules.” His courageous act probably saved some lives, but cost him his own. Had he been armed the story might have ended differently.

I would make a point of this in any debate with those in the education community that object so strongly to having selected members of the staff have access to arms. While they are long on objections they fall far short when it comes to practical solutions. The seem to believe that schoolhouse shooters can be stopped by a sign at the door that says, “No Firearms Allowed – This is a Gun-Free Zone” and that students can be protected once an incident starts by locking them and the teacher in a room and hope that law enforcement officers arrive before the door gets kicked in. Obviously such educators don’t live in the real world. Put bluntly, their attitude toward firearms is actually endangering both students and staff, and this is something that should be clearly pointed out.

El Tejon
October 19, 2006, 09:36 AM
Where did this inane idea of having guns in some sort of Social Security "lockbox" come from?:confused:

The weapons should be on the teachers. You should not have to "go get" your emergency life saving equipment, it should be with you always.

Oh, btw, if guns in schools are sooo eeevil and represent a crime against education, then why are cops in our schools?:confused:

buzz_knox
October 19, 2006, 09:40 AM
"Education in the democratic tradition teaches that human reason can overcome evil; we tend to believe that people at their core are good, and we have the capacity to work toward our society's ideals."

Oh, bull crap. The very concept of the democratic tradition is that people will get what the majority asks for. It makes no value judgements beyond the fundamental principle that every person should have a say in what happens.

And if this chump were a real teacher, he would have read the works he's supposed to be teaching (or perhaps just a bit of history) and gotten rid of the notion that people are fundamentally good at their core. Some people are, others aren't. The people who want to walk into a school and murder as many people as possible aren't. Reason will overcome them, but only if the reason occurs before hand and leads to the decision to have a weapon available.

Every "solution" that concerns school violence and doesn't include arming teachers is missing a critical point: there is no fail safe or redundant mechanism for preventing a shooter who gets through the detectors, the "tell a teacher" policy, or hugs and kisses from slaughtering students. Instead, students are to duck and cover under desks and wait to be executed.

The funny thing is that the first thing a lot of school districts did after these shootings was to ask for security officers. They are implicitly saying that armed guards are a good idea, but completely reject the idea that the people with the greatest knowledge of what is going on should have the means of stopping an attack.

Fortunately, I'm sure some teachers are willing to risk termination of their jobs and possibly jail time in order to prevent termination of their students' lives. Those teachers are surely going armed. In fact, I know some who are armed at school for that very reason.

Sawdust
October 19, 2006, 11:02 AM
An armed school would betray its own goals. As a colleague of mine noted, it would make the schools seem a little closer to being the prison that many students already equate a school with.

This guy is an English teacher!? :rolleyes:

Sawdust

TallPine
October 19, 2006, 11:25 AM
even if you're pro-gun, you can look around and see violence and weapons galore.
Well, I can look around (or feel around ;) ) and see weapons gu leor - but no violence. Are my weapons defective...? :confused:

BTW, the English word "galore" comes from the Gaelic phrase gu leor - and I bet this high school English teacher doesn't know that :p

longeyes
October 19, 2006, 11:44 AM
Always good to see an academic "mind" in operation. You see what we are up against: terminal naivete'.

AJ Dual
October 19, 2006, 01:09 PM
And that, more than the debate itself, has me concerned. Why? Because, if we just jetison the idea that teachers cannot be entrusted to carry firearms, then we have negated the idea that any citizen can be trusted.


I understand your concerns Dick, and I do wonder what impact, if any, Lasse's proposal would have on the PPA. However, the fact that anti's feel no citizen can be trusted with arms is hardly new.

I think the bigger point is that the anti-gun MSM has miscalculated by giving Lasse a podium for his idea. In the media's never ending greed for "sensationalism", airing something they believe goes against "common sense", they've given the idea standing. Instead of a juicy tidbit of ridicule for their consumers which does nothing to sway committed anti's anyway, what they've done is tell the millions of people who already realize that logically, the only sure way to stop a spree shooter is if a responsible, and armed, adult is on hand to put a stop to it, is: "You are not alone."

Despite the expected ridicule from all corners, the idea of armed teachers is at least now on the table. It is no longer such a fringe issue that it has no standing at all in the national debate. Mere recognition is the first step.

I see this as a part of a larger pattern that includes the armed pilot program (abortive and road-blocked as it may be), the spread of shall-issue CCW and the new wave of states considering or passing "Stand Your Ground" laws.

That armed teachers is suddenly an idea that's discussed openly is a huge step forward. Despite the opposition, I think that the idea even gets dignified with a response means we are shifting the debate in the RKBA direction.

StopTheGrays
October 19, 2006, 01:44 PM
schools need to stay a step ahead of knee-jerk reaction and keep the nerves steady toward a less violent society.
Um...like the creation of Gun Free School Zones were? If I remember correctly those laws were ramrodded thru pretty quick. It was "for the children" after all.

If we were to arm teachers, let them carry concealed. Having the firearms in a lockbox does no one any good if the person/people who have the keys/combination for it are shot first.:mad:

longeyes
October 19, 2006, 01:47 PM
I wouldn't call public schools prisons, just incubators for strong, woolly sheep.

Car Knocker
October 19, 2006, 02:41 PM
Dick,

Numerous legislators of repute debated and allowed concealed carry in Utah schools. The Utah AG sued the University of Utah, with the Legislature's blessing, to force the U to obey that law.

romma
October 19, 2006, 03:10 PM
I ask; What kind of society is it that doesn't allow for safety and security of it's children? Where does this twisted logic come from that says children will be safer in disarmed victim zones instead of being protected in an environment of able-bodied staff already on hand prepared to defend them? What a sick, fantasy drive, fairytale society we live in today... I guess after a few more slaughters maybe some of them will wake up. Maybe! :barf:

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