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Arming Teachers in School - Good Idea? Bad Idea?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Werewolf, Sep 20, 2004.

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  1. Werewolf

    Werewolf Member

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    This thread:

    Wordy and Confusing got my attention.

    My first thoughts were darn skippy - teachers should be armed. BUT after a bit I transferred control of my thought processes from my heart to my brain and asked myself, "Do we really want to arm teachers in our schools? What are the advantages? What are the disadvantages?"

    Tough questions that I think warrant some discussion.

    First off think about who we are talking about arming. Teachers. It would seem to me that anyone who would choose to be a teacher of young children would not likely have the mind set necessary to take on armed invaders of a school. This proposition IMO would be less valid at the university level.

    Arming folks not temperamentally suited to taking a life or even fighting back would cause many more problems than it would solve.

    Armed teachers might be effective against the crazed teenager phenomenon or single madman invader though I have my doubts.

    However, armed teachers against a group of terrorists is a losing proposition guaranteed to assure the deaths of the teachers and lots of students IMO for previously stated reasons.

    Of course if terrorist response teams (made up of school personnel) were formed, armed and adequately trained that would be a different matter entirely. Training would have to be ongoing and drills would have to be held which involved not only the team but students as well - i.e. the students would have to be taught how to respond as well.

    The odds of that happening are about as likely as the sun not coming up tomorrow.

    So IMO arming teachers in our secondary and primary schools is not a good idea at all.
     
  2. Telperion

    Telperion Member

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    Your argument hinges on 2 points I don't really follow:

    I'm not sure where you got this idea. How does it necessarily follow that a person engaged in teaching children is incapable of handling the use of deadly force?

    Yes, just because you have a pistol does not mean you can win against a team armed with AKs or whatever. The fallacy here is that you think every situation must be responded to with blazing guns. Sometimes, the situation may be that you are truly outgunned and need to wait for an opportunity, or wait for the pros. Teachers, as with all CCW holders, will be expected to use individual discretion and consider the consequences of their actions.
     
  3. MatthewVanitas

    MatthewVanitas Member

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    Possibly the solution is passive, rather than active, legislatively speaking.

    Rather than order teachers to arm up, or get involved in the question at all, how about just lifting currently regulations preventing teachers from arming themselves?

    That way, the people who are comfortable with firearms, and put out the effort to acquire firearms and CCW (where required) will have guns, and those disinclined will carry on with their happy little lives.

    This would seem to require somewhat of a change of mindset for many areas of America. Perhaps if there were a mass killing in some American school, then that would change perceptions and... oh, wait, already happened and everybody called for _more_ gun control.

    So, I'd sumbit that the ideal would be permitting CCW-holding teachers/employees to carry, without turning this into a TSA-esque bureaucratic boondoggling debacle. -MV
     
  4. fletcher

    fletcher Member

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    I believe anyone with concealed carry should be allowed to carry in a school. Simple as that.
     
  5. WT

    WT Member

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    Never happen. Its not in the teacher's union contract.

    How much are you will to pay every teacher to carry?
     
  6. treeprof

    treeprof Member

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    Why would such a person be armed unless it was mandated somehow? I assume that any armed teacher would be so of their own volition.

    I really don't see this as "tough" at all. Anyone who wants to be armed should be allowed to be so based on their fundamental right of self defense. The question is not one of arming teachers per se, but rather of the govt' recognizing an individual's said right of self defense and lifting current restrictions, per MV's comments.
     
  7. carpettbaggerr

    carpettbaggerr Member

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    And unarmed teachers against a group of terrorists is not a losing proposition?
     
  8. stevelyn

    stevelyn Member

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    Those who aren't inclinded to arm themselves won't be. To me it's about a personal choice rather than a mandate.

    Well, unarmed means they don't have a chance at all.:banghead: Most schrool systems have emergency lockdown procedures where students and teachers are locked in their classrooms until the all clear is sounded.
    I don't think that anyone is advocating armed teachers form a skirmish line and take on terrorists head on. Rather what (we ?) I advocate, is giving teachers the option of being capable of defending the classroom and students should the locked door be breached by hostiles buying time for the cavalry to respond.
     
  9. Firethorn

    Firethorn Member

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    And this is different from what happened in Russia with unarmed faculty how?

    From my time in school, we tended to have two types of teachers. The liberal type and the retired military type. I know I'm simplifying, but I believe that allowing teachers (and qualified kids!) to be armed only gives more options. I knew teachers that would sacrifice their own life to protect their students against any threat, armed or not. I knew others that would be the first out the window/door.

    Imagine the terrorist/colombine kid (same difference), coming through the door, bringing up the gun. Shots have already been fired. The teacher has already had the kids move desk to provide what shelter can be had, and the teacher is aiming at the door. Blaam, end of problem. Terrorists would be more difficult of course, as any multiple person scenario is. But four terrorists can do less than five. Combat is more difficult than a chicken shoot against unarmed, scared, civilians and kids.

    Sure, it's not a panacea, but could it be any worse than the alternative? These spree killers and terrorists are able to hit schools unopposed. The only other solution is to post cops/guards. Alot of the time they aren't even armed! And cops can be ambushed.
     
  10. Tom Servo

    Tom Servo Member

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    You're missing one important point. Whether or not individual teachers are inclined to use deadly force, and whether or not the ordinance in question is sufficient to stop a group of attackers, teachers would be able to put up resistance with potentially lethal force.

    Those who would attack a school in an act of terrorism want a "soft" target. If teachers were armed, the terrorists would look for victims elsewhere. If I were a street thug with a handgun-rated kevlar vest, I'd still go after unarmed victims first. There's simply far less of a chance that something would go wrong. Bear in mind that terrorism is essentially an act of cowardice, and the victim-selection procedure for these types involves the least possible risk of harm or apprehension.

    And I've taught in the classroom. I can tell you that most teachers wouldn't hesitate for a second to protect "their kids" if it came to that.
     
  11. BevrFevr

    BevrFevr Member

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    different situation but same pespective

    I was in an airport and was talking to a Vietnam Vet who was also an airline pilot. I brought up the whole arming the pilot thing and he while being very pro gun and CCW had this interesting perspective.

    He said that he was not really for arming pilots. He said that I should meet some of the wackos that fly planes. He said it's the weirdos that worry him more than any terrorist. He said that The guys that really wanted it were some of the last guys that should have it.

    Teachers are probably the same. I'm for giving people the option but the wackos make me nervous. I don't think any psycological screening can work.

    Best case a teacher uses a gun to save lives and the antis still won't trust us.

    Worst case teacher uses gun and the wrong lives are lost and all gun owners get screwed.

    tough call.

    -bevr
     
  12. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Member

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    What did he do in SEA? How old did he seem to be?

    Pilgrim
     
  13. Andrew Rothman

    Andrew Rothman Member

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    What MatthewVanitas said. Allow teachers (and principals and secretaries and lunch ladies and social workers and nurses and parents) the option of carrying legally.

    Experience has shown that in the US, legal CCW saves lives. Why should it be any different in the schools?
     
  14. Werewolf

    Werewolf Member

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    Matt Payne asked:
    Because schools aren't the streets. CCW works because it is an unknown and it involves one on one confrontations in many cases.

    Remember Oleg's poster which prompted this thread implies that armed teachers could have thwarted the terrorist takeover of the school in Russia.

    I say BS. At best an armed teacher could hunker down in a classroom behind a closed door and shoot any terrorist dumb enough to come thru the door or maybe two (they don't care if they die - at least the current crop doesn't anyway). What then - the terrorists take out the teacher and everyone else in the class room. But what makes anyone think a group of terrorists would pile thru a class room door when all they'd have to do is shoot out the window or blow open the door and toss in a couple of grenades.

    Allowing CCW at schools might very well - probably would be IMO - be effective against whacked out students or the lone enraged madman.

    Allowing CCW at schools as a counter to terrorists would be total folly against an armed group of terrorists. The only reason IMO that the death toll in Russia was so high is because of the cowboy attitude of the local cops, army and the recruited volunteers. They jumped the gun and caused the carnage. They did the same thing at that theatre a few years back. Russians don't give a crap about hostages. They don't negotiate unless they think it'll work. Otherwise they just go in and kill the suckers.

    Imagining that a group of armed teachers acting in concert or alone could successfully resolve a terrorist hostage situation is pure unadulterated pink sky and blue bunny thinking IMO.
     
  15. Andrew Rothman

    Andrew Rothman Member

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    Nope. The reason was that the terrorists wanted the death toll to be high.

    CCW in the school, just like anywhere else, is not a panacea. But it's a damn sight better than doing nothing.

    Ask the Israelis.

    Oh, and one other idea: Teachers get paid extra to supervise after-school activities, to coach athletic teams and for having advanced degrees. It would be perfectly reasonable to pay teachers a bit extra for being on the school's armed defense squad. :D
     
  16. sendec

    sendec member

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    School violence is not a new problem and frankly, I believe that a little analysis will show that is actually decreasing, while coverage increases.

    I believe that "arming" anyone is a mistake. People should carry because they want to, not because they are forced to. Furthermore, IMHO, giving someone a gun is not "arming" them, it is making them carry a weapon and responsiblity, which they may or may not be capable of nor desirous of the duty it entails.

    I also dislike the diea on the grounds of expertise. Engaging in a gunfight in a school will require a level of knowlede and skill that many will not have, nor want, and yes, that may include a number of law officers.
     
  17. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    I agree with Sendec. I too oppose the concept of "arming" teachers. Lifting the ban on CCW for faculty and staff might be workable ... but requiring additional training for school staff who want to carry on campus should be required. Perhaps one armed teacher could prevent or minimize a Columbine-style attacks involving only one or two attackers ... But schools will always be soft targets ... without a hardened perimeter, restricted points of entry, 100% hands-on ID checks, X-ray machines, metal detectors, parking lots sufficient distance from the building, a large number of guards with longarms standing posts with no other responsibilities other than to be prepared for an attack, regular drilling of all students, faculty and staff ... the idea that armed teachers could prevent even a small group of determined terrorists from mass killings or taking over a school is ludicrous. Our well-trained military personnel presenting hard targets in Iraq have difficulty preventing even untrained insurgents from inflicting significant damage on our personnel, vehicles and buildings -- and they are proactively trying to prevent attacks and are prepared.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2004
  18. Series 70

    Series 70 Member

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    I think it's common knowledge at this point that the enemy's end-game in such a situation would be to wait for a lot of media coverage, then kill everyone. They may negotiate for a short while to get everyone's hopes up, but I don't believe they really expect to survive a school takeover. Given that, they have no incentive to leave anyone alive.

    So what could an armed teacher/staff member do? Take out a couple bad guys? Make a few more keep their heads down long enough for some kids to make it out the nearest window or door?

    You're concerned kids could be hurt by return fire? I suppose so. They could also be hurt when the enemy commander gives the word to kill all the hostages, since the last satellite truck has just gone live.

    I'd prefer a few armed teachers, even if they hadn't completed LFI IV, or Urban Rifle III at Thunder Ranch. They rules of engagement need to match the tactical realities of our current war.

    We're not there yet.
     
  19. iiibdsiil

    iiibdsiil Member

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    If the teachers will actually go through real training, then I could see this working. A real, hands on, shoot the gun, have to have a certain accuracy.

    I also think they should know how to not get the gun taken away from them. Also, maybe they could have a lock box that sent a signal to the office or P.D. when it was opened for the gun.

    I noticed that a lot of the kids are bigger than teachers these days. At least where I went to school. And, that might be an issue, because that would make it too easy for a student to get a hold of a gun.

    What about the fact that kids aren't going to try pull anything in school, because they know assorted teachers have guns. Right now, if you go to school, and you have a gun in your back pack, you know you are probably the only person with one, which makes you the most powerful person in there if you want to be.
     
  20. confinedbythecurtain

    confinedbythecurtain Member

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    I dont think they should arm teachers, but from the looks of the schools I live near (Los Angeles County), there needs to be an armed patrol from classroom to classroom. I know that the high schools have armed police officers, but there are only 2 or 3 officers and 3000+ students. I think we need to level the playing field.
     
  21. Series 70

    Series 70 Member

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    Teachers should be held to the same standards of skill with arms as the rest of the CCW holders. In some states, that's not much. In others, there are real standards. Retention techniques are an excellent idea, but why them and not everyone? If the students are so out of control that they will attempt to disarm the teacher, they should be in juvie, not school. If a kid is a bad egg, he has options for arming himself outside of school. If he tries to disarm a teacher, I expect he'd be piled-on by the kids not wanting him to have a gun.

    Lock boxes? Right. So a teacher on hall monitor duty - likely among the first to know something was wrong - would have to race back to her classroom before being able to defend herself. Makes about as much sense to me as a hole in the head, which is what that teacher would likely get before getting the lock box open.

    Again, the rules of engagement need to match the tactics of our enemy.

    I have one kid in high school and one in middle school. I see no problem with any CCW holder being able to carry in school - teachers, staff, parents, whomever. In fact, our MN law being what it is at the moment, that's just the case. I don't expect that to last, but we should be able to point back at this period and say that nothing bad happened.
     
  22. Tharg

    Tharg Member

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    There was an incident i read a while back about a teacher<?> getting in trouble because an armed student had entered the school and was doing something - can't remember if he was shooting people or threatening to.

    Either way, the teacher<?> had gone back to his car to retrieve his firearm and returned to the school and took care of the situation. I don't think he had to fire a shot - just had to show determination to act.

    As i recall he got fired or suspended or something - maybe someone knows where the article could be located.

    I think that should a teacher/staff member of the school wish to obtain a CCW, and is grated one. They they should be able to carry just about anywhere. Not "open carry" not "we armed our teachers" AP reports... just the knowlege that ANY one in that school that could obtain a CCW could be carrying. (and i think thats more of a deterrent than we armed a bunch of people that really didn't want to be armed and prolly can't effectively use thier weapon anyway)

    I will never ever understand not allowing a card carrying(ccw) lawful citizen to carry wherever he goes. Any time one declares someplace "gun free" what they are really saying is people who obey the law won't (normally) be carrying. This just tells me that people who don't desire to observe the law - will automatically think - cool - i'm prolly not gonna get shot at.

    btw - the airplane thing. I call BS. The day i say a certain "wacko" can't or shouldn't be armed - i run the risk of being told i'm a wacko - and shouldn't be allowed to have one either. If the person can obtain a ccw, i don't care if his/her fellows don't care much for the guys/gals views/attitude. We entrust them to fly the plane (where its supposed to go) and to take off and land it... i certainly don't see how letting him obtain license and ablility to carry a gun makes him/her "more" dangerous than flying a jumbo jet. Still say seal the cockpit and sleep gas the cabin if "something goes down" would be the most effective means to retain control of the airplane. =) (we'd have to look REAL close to see if someone was trying to get on the airplane w/ gas masks... rofl)

    J/Tharg
     
  23. mec

    mec Member

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    Armed teachers are not unusual in Israel. The issue of basic constitutional competence is real. In this city, a substantial number of public school teachers lack the capacity to teach much less operate machinery. This may not be the case in the outlying suburbs that have grown up because of the need for quality school districts or the many private schools that promote basic education and a community of values.
     
  24. BevrFevr

    BevrFevr Member

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    Pilgrim

    I don't know what he flew but he flew during the war. He was in good shape but looked to be late 50's early 60's. I got the impression he flew during the 70's not the 60's. I think he mentioned that.

    I was more interested in talking about flying now as I find it difficult to ask people about their war experiences as I have not served. The poor guy had to keep changing employers as different airlines went under.

    He said he was still flying just because he loved to fly.

    -bevr
     
  25. bogie

    bogie Member

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    What would worry me would be giving guns to the ones who say things like "Well, if _I_ was carrying a concealed assault weapon, and someone cut me off in traffic, I just know that I'd unleash the bullet hose." I mean, I admire the fact that they admit that they've got anger control issues, but sheesh....
     
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