Friday, October 13, 2006

More on Arming School Teachers

Dave Kopel anticipated Folkbum's indignation, and parries, raising him:

One reason why adult sociopaths so often choose to attack schools — schools to which they have no particular connection — is that schools are easy targets. It is not surprising that police stations, hunting-club meetings, stateside army bases, NRA offices, and similar locations known to contain armed adults are rarely attacked.

Because of the spread of concealed-handgun licensing laws, now in 40 out of 50 states, whenever you walk into a place with a large crowd of people — a restaurant, a theater, a shopping mall — you can safely assume that several people in the crowd will have a license to carry a concealed handgun, and some of them are currently carrying.

Schools are one of the few places in the United States where the government has guaranteed that there will be no licensed, trained adults with a concealed firearm that could be used to resist a would-be mass murderer.

Since this fact is apparently obvious to random psychopaths, it would be very dangerous to assume that the fact is not obvious to terrorists also. Beslan, Russia, shows that terrorists with al Qaeda connections consider schools to be good targets.

...Like many states, Utah enacted a concealed-handgun licensing law in 1995. Unlike most states, Utah did not make schools an exclusion zone for lawful carrying. Not only a teacher on duty, but also a parent coming to pick up a child from school, can lawfully carry a concealed handgun in a Utah school building — after, of course, passing a background check and safety training.

After eleven years of experience in Utah, we now have exactly zero reported problems of concealed handgun licensees misusing guns at school, or students stealing guns from teachers, or teachers using their licensed firearms to shoot or threaten students. During this same period, we also have had exactly zero mass murders in Utah schools...

Some people who do not like the idea of teachers being armed to protect students simply get indignant, or declare that armed teachers are inconsistent with a learning environment. I suggest that dead students — and the traumatic aftermath of a school attack — are far more inconsistent with a learning environment than is a math teacher having a concealed handgun.

...Pending legal reform, there are several steps that school districts can take to improve school safety. Almost all teachers spend several days a year in continuing professional education programs. Every school district should begin, at least, offering self-defense training as an option to teachers on “in-service” days.

A dose of common sense. Too bad that the typical left-oid reaction is to run, screaming, from the room.

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