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Mental Health is the Issue, Not Guns and Armed Guards in Schools is not the Solution

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Jeff White, Dec 26, 2012.

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  1. Hypnogator

    Hypnogator Member

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    I agree completely that putting armed security in each and every school in the country is simply cost prohibitive. It may be a good approach in some of the larger districts that can afford it.

    I think the majority of can agree on one thing: The ONLY effective way to stop an active shooter bent on killing is IMMEDIATE armed response. Some propose allowing teachers and school staff to carry concealed weapons in schools, if they have concealed weapons permits. This might well stop an active shooter, or, if made known, dissuade a potential shooter from even attempting a mass murder. But allowing teachers to carry their concealed weapons would open the possibility that unauthorized persons could gain access to the weapons if left in a purse, briefcase, or desk drawer. Moreover, the responding teacher would be at a severe disadvantage in using a pocket pistol to confront a gunman with a high-powered semi-automatic rifle or shotgun, possibly wearing body armor. Finally, there would be a severe risk that a teacher attempting to intervene in an active shooting incident would be shot on sight by responding law enforcement officers.

    Based on my training and experience training law enforcement agencies all over the country, I believe there is a better solution to effective immediate armed response while minimizing the risk to the armed responder. A fellow law enforcement trainer has accurately called active school shooters “monsters.” Every school building in the country has fire extinguishers to enable teachers and staff to fight fires, should they occur. I believe that schools should also have “monster extinguishers” strategically located throughout the campus – a securely locked container holding an easy-to-use rifle, such as an M-1 Carbine or AR-15, plus an armored and distinctively marked “raid jacket” that would instantly identify the responder to law enforcement responders and provide some modicum of protection from the shooter. Specially trained volunteer teachers and staff members would have keys to these containers, and would be able to respond instantly with effective lethal force to terminate the threat. The rifle is much easier to shoot accurately in an emergency than a handgun, and would penetrate all but the most cumbersome body armor.
     
  2. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    ilbob said;
    I disagree. I talk to the mental health professionals who do evaluations on a weekly basis. They know exactly who is dangerous and who isn't. While I believe that much of psychiatry is pseudo-science, it isn't that hard to know who is dangerous and who isn't. Certain indicators in their past conduct are usually a dead giveaway. They guy who cuts a man's throat in a fit of rage and then stands up in court to defend himself by saying he and the victim were arguing and the victim started chocking so he attempted an emergency tracheotomy to save his life, is pretty much a danger to himself and others. (yes we had this crime here, he actually cut two peoples throats but the female victim survived). He was well known to the police. In and out of jail and mental facilities for years. No he didn't shoot large numbers of people, but he is just as sick as those who do.

    In the article I linked in the opening post, the parents of the boy in Missouri talk about their struggles to keep their son in residential treatment. The long term beds aren't there anymore. And the system is set up to keep putting these people back into society.

    Every peace officer who ever put the man hours into doing an involuntary committal can relate stories of how they went off to the mental institution, were put on meds and released and within days were back doing whatever it was got them committed in the first place because without someone to see they stayed on their meds, they didn't.

    Millwright said;
    As more strain is put on budgets the problem is only going to get worse.

    1911 guy said;

    Here in Illinois the governor is closing the state facilities for the developmentally disabled. His solution is to put them in neighborhood group homes. Many of them are functionally incapable of caring for themselves at all. The families of these unfortunate people have been fighting this for two years. It won't be long until we see some of them in the criminal justice system.

    Texan Scott said;
    Allowing teachers and administrative staff to carry is not going to happen nationwide. No school board is going to take on the liability of giving someone with an unknown level of training the additional duty of armed security guard. The trial lawyers see every tax funded institution as a cash cow waiting to be milked. School districts would see lawsuits for failure to adequately train these people if there was an accident or an improper use of force. I believe every state in the nation has minimum training requirements for armed security guards. If we won't let someone with just a CCW permit be an armed security guard, what makes you think it's good public policy to let one be the first responder in an active shooter incident?

    How many teachers with CCW permits would accept the job knowing they had no civil immunity?

    When did I say anything about stripping anyone of civil rights based on what they might do? I am referring to those people who have proven they can't cope with life on their own.

    And I never said anything about stripping people who voluntarily seek help of anything. Have you every talked with any of these disturbed people? I have to as part of my job. Many of them would rather be in the hospital but our system is not set up for that any longer.

    Having served more then 20 years as a US Army Infantryman I am well aware of the cost of freedom. Having spent 20 years in law enforcement I also know that there are many people on the streets and in our jails who are completely incapable of caring for themselves and many of them are a danger to others.

    tpaw said;

    Money and resources is an issue with everything. No one has the resources to protect their children or their home or anything else to the level that they are 100% certain nothing bad can happen to them. We make choices and place a value on people and things we love every day.
     
  3. 9MMare

    9MMare Member

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    Do you have that same attitude about govt paid health care? Or even welfare? Spending more in our child protective services agencies?

    Please dont forget, parents are FREE to spend any amount of $$ they wish protecting their kids, including homeschooling, private schools, or paying for armed security in public schools (if that's allowed. Laws against that are likely to change, at least for security if not staff).
     
  4. 9MMare

    9MMare Member

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    Not to mention the hysteria, similar to right now, when a teacher is overpowered to get their weapon by a teen or 2 or 3? It's not necessarily possible to keep CC a secret all the time.

    So they get his/her gun and shoot up some fellow gangbangers or other students?

    Just another witchhunt against guns.

    Again, I'm really trying to avoid big changes that can come back and bite us in the butt WHEN they get over come...as any will. Armed guards dont always work now...if pro-gun people shove that down the public's throat and it stilll happens? We keep getting backed further and further into corners where the guns end up being the last straw for them to grasp.

    There is no complete solution. It's a mistake to mislead the public that there is. On BOTH sides.
     
  5. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Member

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    Mr White,

    Please permit me to clarify two points :

    First, when I suggest that that school teachers and administration be allowed to CC, I do NOT mean that they should require permission of the local school board. We can do that already in Texas, and most schools won't, because of anti- 2A sentiment or simply fear of, as you suggest, legal liability.

    I suggest the State (and here, for my part, I mean Texas) needs to make it plain that it is the teacher's individual right; that the ISD has no authority to deny, or need to know, and therefore a legal indemnity from liability. Each person will exercise their own rights at their own risk, AS DO WE ALL who CC.

    Further, to suggest they shouldn't be allowed to carry because simply having a CHL doesn't make them qualified to respond is a dangerous charge levelled at CHL holders in general ... are the rest of us dangerously unqualified CHL holders also?

    Second, I do not recall you (Mr White) saying that anyone should be stripped of civil rights because of what they MIGHT do... but others have gone as far as to suggest a tracking database of citizens who took medication as teenagers! Will we now have on someone's legal record the fact that they were given ritalin or prozac as a 13 year old? And would that contraindicate allowing gun ownership? If not, why even do it? And how comfortable are we with allowing private medical history become public record? Such things are violations of privacy that discourage people from seeking treatment for themselves or their families.

    Of course, people who have made threats, displayed disturbing or dangerous behavior, become substance abusers or otherwise demonstrated that they are not capable of managing their lives because of mental issues HAVE done something demonstrable... and it should be shown in court (a hearing, due process) that they are mentally incompetent. The legal basis for this already exists. No draconian new laws are needed; we need to be willing to FOLLOW THROUGH with the system we have. Yes, that costs money. No, it won't prevent every tragedy. But if we're going to "do something" we need to try what we're supposed to have already been doing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  6. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    Yes, I would do the best I could to protect my child. But I dissagree that "saving one child's life is worth any cost." It is one of those politican statements to justify an open ended expense with little practical return.

    Even with an armed guard at a school, after months or years of boring inactivity.... a determined shooter could easily get past them and take them out without extra-ordinary measures taken.

    The mental health approach may be the approach to take. But I would first insist (and fund) the transfer of appropriate documents to the FBI/ATF to be included in the NICs data base and see what develops. There are already laws about someone being declared mentally ill and not qualified by their mental condition to own a firearm. Expanding those laws would have to be very thoughtfully done and would be subject to court challenge.
     
  7. 9MMare

    9MMare Member

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    This is interesting and I've seen it proposed both ways....keep it concealed and private AND make it known so that there can be a coordinated defense if necessary.

    And also because it can put the teachers at risk to be found with a drawn gun in a situation where the police respond. (Just like the rest of us).
     
  8. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    +1 I agree, that is exactly the way that Utah has done it.
     
  9. tpaw

    tpaw Member

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    I ask you both one question. What if it were YOUR child? Would cost be a factor between life or death?

    Think about how much tax payer dollars pay for Obama's family vacations to Hawaii. Starting with Air Force One, it's flight crew, fuel and all other expenditures. Now, wouldn't you rather see YOUR tax dollars go to a more meaningful cause? One being your childs safety. Is his vacation more important than your children. I'm sure he has dozens of agents protecting HIS children everywhere they go. Are they any better than yours?????
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  10. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    Do you really think that we need to create another TSA type of police force?

    I don't believe that is an answer at all myself. I believe the Utah solution is all we need to do coupled with profiling of potential shooters. They have many things in common. Assuring that they cannot have access to any weapons is not an impossible task. Once again, they stopped a creep that was going to do a "Columbine" in a school about 5 miles from my house.

    We do have a lot of tools available.

    Another issue is that gun owners do have to take the responsibility of gun ownership seriously and protect others by securing their weapons. I hope we get some updates on how the kid got his mother's weapons especially when she wanted to have him placed in a secure facility.
     
  11. tpaw

    tpaw Member

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    Perhaps I think from the standpoint of where I live, NYC. We have a police force of 35,000 plus. Probably larger than most third world countries have army's, and more than most towns here in the US have people.
    Allocation of officers to secure schools would not be a burden here, in fact, it's being done now in many areas, and will continue.
    Many municapalities do not have that advantage and I understand that.
    Inteligent planning by qualified personel is essential where resources are limited. Parental In-put is essential. Go to school board meetings. Take an active interest! Show up, ask questions! Apathy is our worst enemy. Parents need to get involved in their childrens education and extra curricular activities.
    Perhaps cutting back on tax dollars for perks in certain school districts is a start. What perks? It's up to the parents to decide. After all, it's your tax dollars that pay for it all.
    Just my opinion guys. There is no ONE answer to the problem.
     
  12. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    Interesting, Ohio is allowing a pilot program of arming teachers after 3 day class.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/12/26/ohio-firearms-group-offers-to-train-teachers/bit.ly/Rgh6aO
     
  13. 9MMare

    9MMare Member

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    If it was my kid and *if* I was worried about a mad shooter killing my child in a school, I would take action to find a way to PRIVATELY raise the funds for whatever protections I deemed necessary.

    I would teach my child in the best way I could how to react in such a situation. I would get the school board to allow teachers to cc if they chose to.

    *I* have nieces and nephews in NJ...a very un-gun-friendly state. The oldest are now shooting skeet and practicing and know how to use guns safely. My eldest nephew likes shooting ARs and I'm saving to buy him one (but he's only 16) I reinforce this along with their parents. We do these things together. *I* teach my eldest niece about self-defense (the other is 6). *I* am not unduely worried about them in public schools. I do worry about lots of other things.

    However *since these school shootings are no more common than being struck by lightning or being mauled to death by a dog,* I would not subject my fellow Americans to footing the bill for it because that goes against my beliefs in the Constitution.

    I would accept that the ultimate protection of myself and my family was OUR responsibility, not the local or state or federal govts'.

    And you did NOT answer my question. I respected you enough to do so.
     
  14. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    Cost is always a factor in everything we do. Life is full of risks. The chances of injury or death are probably greater driving or riding in a car on the way to school. I think the last time I noticed, there were nearly 1000 highway deaths this year in my state. School shootings.... 20 kids (nationwide); that's 20/300+ million people in the US.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  15. tpaw

    tpaw Member

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    9MMare

    Please re-state your question, I'll be more than happy to answer it to the best of my ability. Thank you.
     
  16. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    I'd like a show of hands please. Who believes the reason that school buses don't have seatbelts is due to anything other than money? And don't dare mention air bags.


    Speaking of mental health and community living, I had a client referred to me earlier this year for a vocational evaluation. Nice guy with pretty good skills, but because of his history the private/treatment high school was required to send 2 adults with him and at least one of them had to be watching him at all times.

    But I'm retired now. 37 years was at least 7 years too long. They kept cutting every agency's budget year after year and I see they're still cutting.

    John
     
  17. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    We closed mental health institutions because of abuses and expense in the 80s. What many pointed out was that there was no way to care for many of the people being abandoned in the closings. What rational person thinks that someone that has to be supervised to take their medication will continue to take their medication without supervision. Group homes with supervision helped many, but others simply weren't suitable for them and were also abandoned because of economics and "principle". Homeless rates skyrocketed after patients were put out on the street.

    Add that the stigma against mental health care is still strong in this country and we have a poor system for helping those most in need and protecting the public from those we most need to protect ourselves from.

    Finally, even if you have private insurance that will cover a teen and permit you to get them in an institution for care, that insurance will not cover an adult family member. The blogger anarchistsoccermom posted "Thinking The Unthinkable" about how things had to go before her son was institutionalized. I have a colleague who's 15 year old son began "acting out" a year ago. We talked about his behavior from time to time since I have a daughter of similar age and a son who's older. When he told me several weeks ago that his son had made threats about killing kids in his HS by taking a knife or gun or even gasoline they'd finally picked up the phone and had him taken to a local private in-patient facility. He also pointed out that when they realized this was their last resort they also realized it was probably 9 months later than when they should have done it. "How do you cook a lobster without all the fuels? Turn the heat up a little bit at a time.", he said. We talked about a parents love for a child "blinding" them to the serious nature of the child's problems. We talked about denial also. We talked about how even after you see there's something more than teen challenges to authority going on how the process of getting counseling for a kid can be challenging (I walked that path with my son after he ran away from his mother's) and how that can even cloud you to seeing the greater problem.

    It isn't easy to get help for your kid if they have personality or mental disorders that are dangerous. It isn't easy because you don't want them to be sick, because you don't want the neighbors or family to see them as sick, because you don't have the money or the community doesn't have the resources or they tell you that the police will handle it when they can't.
     
  18. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    So true HSO. I spent two years working with autistic kids for two years before I went to med school. I also spent a summer working at Boston Mental Institution one to one with a criminally insane client between my first and second year of med school. This person had stabbed a woman in the back in self defense. Yes, he was insane for sure.

    There are indeed people that benefit from in patient hospitalization. There are also many who truly are a danger to themselves or others. The homeless problem in America is mainly a combination between those that have drug abuse issues and the mentally ill. There is no law against being crazy. The only time that anyone can intervene is when there is objective evidence of a danger of harm to themselves or others.

    With these school shooters, often times they hit the radar for being strange or different, but they don't commit any acts that puts them in the other categories where intervention is indicated.

    I believe that there is an even deeper failure of parents who don't have any clue what their kids are doing. Thinking again of the huge number of guns that the Columbine kids had in their homes. I can't imagine that happening in my home since there were not any off limit places in my home. My kids did not have the presumption of privacy outside of hygiene of course. I looked and searched my kids rooms to know what they were doing when they were teenagers. I did intervene on my own on a couple of occasions. Parents are still part of this loop. If the cops can find much evidence after the fact, where were the parents before the fact?
     
  19. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    I disagree with armed guards, but I have to say giving a few teachers training and letting them carry would be a far cheaper way to provide a quicker end for an active shooter in our schools.
     
  20. awgrizzly

    awgrizzly Member

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    I don't like the way security guards was immediately dismissed as crazy without consideration. I don't consider additional gun laws a better suggestion, or one that would have any immediate effect. If a weapon ban was put in place, what about all the guns already available, what about the fact that almost all of these shooters use illegally obtained guns, what about the difficulty in getting the bad guys to obey laws?

    The idea of a guard in every school may not be practical, but the idea of guards should not be dismissed. At the very least it should be an option in every school district in the nation and left for the parents to decide. Perhaps some would want to contribute toward hiring a guard. Perhaps some parents with gun training (like local vets or retired cops) would want to volunteer for guard duty. Perhaps providing some teachers training and providing a gun in a lock box or principal's desk drawer would be better than nothing. Perhaps consideration that a school gun free zone guarantees the safety of the shooter, not the children. After all, the protection of children is a priority of the parents. Entrusting politicians for this is not a good idea... might even be called crazy.

    I believe that the immediate dismissal of the concept of security guards was more an ideological response than practical. It's at least worth discussing.
     
  21. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Member

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    There's the Dave Grossman et al argument that spree shootings by younger shooters are heavily influenced by violent video games, violent television, and violent movies.

    If the 2nd Amendment can be subjected to restrictions like NFA related tax stamps and such, what about the idea of similarly infringing the 1st Amendment and impose a tax penalty on Hollywood and video game manufacturers for any product that promotes violent behavior above a certain threshold. Establish certain thresholds for glorifying violence and sadistic behavior and if they are exceeded by a game, TV show, or movie, slap a major tax penalty on it. (Ideally then use the funds for things like mental health resources for at risk teens and school security programs, but of course Congress doesn't ever do the right thing with a money supply.)
     
  22. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    I agree it was ideological. A lot of us don't like the ideology of a police state, which is what armed guards and security everywhere is helping to create. Imagine a world that looks like our airports do now. Clean, tidy, tightly policed and almost entirely devoid of liberty. You are subject to search, seizure, disarmament with no due process. You have no free expression beyond very limited confines. You have limited means of movement. You are only permitted limited personal items. You are subject to observation at all times in all places. You are subject to random checks. All the while the intercom blares overhead about the need to stay vigilant.

    Getting kids used to that sort of thing in school trains them to accept it as adults. And bit by bit we become a liberty-free nation. In such a world, the mere fact of owning a few firearms becomes moot.

    The NRA is mostly on our side, but it is also in favor of brutal federal criminal laws and is not "small government" by any stretch.

    Careful about mentioning tax penalties. Because I guarantee there are a lot of cats in DC contemplating exactly that when it comes to our firearms! Have you forgotten that CJ Roberts loves him some tax penalties? Besides, I have real firearms to protect the fake ones in video games.
     
  23. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    Sorry, I understand the sentiment, but why would we support any abrogation of the Bill of Rights at all?
     
  24. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    awgrizzly said;

    I didn't say we shouldn't have any armed guards. I said a national program to put them in every school would not be cost effective. There are clearly some schools where armed guards or police officers are necessary to maintain order. But for the most part these schools already employ armed guards or school resource officers.

    We are not going to have properly trained and equipped security forces in our schools for minimum wage. It costs a heck of a lot of money to train and equip an effective officer. Remember, the training is continual. We don't want to trust someone who's only training was what the state requires to be an armed security guard to interact with our children and expect him or her to risk their life taking out an active shooter. If you want quality, effective people in that job you are going to have to pay a decent wage. I don't know how the schools are funded where you live, but here we pay for them with our real estate taxes. It's not unreasonable to expect the kind of security you are talking about to cost $80 to $100K per officer per year by the time you figure salary, training, equipment, the employer's share of social security, unemployment insurance premiums, health insurance etc.

    How many school buildings do we have in this country? I am sure some of them, like the high school I went to are large campuses with several buildings which would require a security force to properly secure, not a single officer. School districts would have to have more then one officer per building so that there was a reserve available to fill in when the regularly assigned officer was sick or taking a personal day.

    It's easy to say "Put an armed officer in every school building in America!" it sounds good and really upsets the antis. But the logistics of such a program boggles the mind.

    cosmoline said;

    This is another good point. The whole time I was in the Army I hated living on post because of the rights you give up there. I certainly don't want my grand kids brought up in that environment.
     
  25. 9MMare

    9MMare Member

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    Please see my first sentences in post # 54.
     
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