Since Sandy Hook there has been talk about arming teachers. Well I live in TX so we are moving forward with this plan in some school districts. But I don’t think it is good idea the fundamental premise is flawed and the execution is flawed.
The premise of arming schools seems good on the surface, the idea is to provide protection to children. But the issue is that arming teachers in schools will not prevent mass shootings. It might deter a potential mass shooter from targeting a school. Though it isn’t like schools are the only place that can be targeted, if a person wants to start killing people there are plenty of places they can do that. In fact the Aurora shooting was at a theater so does that mean we need to armed guards at theaters too? What about malls? What about city streets? Are we going to put armed security on every corner and in every building to deter mass shootings? If we want to deal with the problem of mass shootings then armed guards are not a solution. Guards only address the symptom not the cause. Deterring a shooter from one location does not prevent targeting a different location. We simply can’t protect all locations all the time.
On top of basing this plan off a flawed premise those moving forward are flawed in their execution of the plan. The districts that will allow armed teachers only want them to have a concealed weapons license in order to do so. But a concealed weapons license does not mean you are prepared to use a gun in a real combat situation. Think about what the situation would look like if a teacher was forced to defend students from an attacker. There would be screaming and chaos, people running every which way trying to get away. There would be pushing and shoving as people are fleeing for their lives. It would be chaos and confusion. In that chaos the defending teacher would have to identify the enemy target and shoot the enemy target accurately without hitting innocent bystanders. I have done a concealed weapons course and I am sorry but the short time at the firing range is not enough for a person to even be able to accurately shoot a stationary piece of paper. Yeah you learn to shoot but it takes practice to be accurate. So a concealed weapons license is not adequate training for a teacher to defend students.
Instead I think that if teachers want to be armed in order to protect students they should at minimum have to take all of the firearms handling training that police are required to take. Police are trained to identify enemy targets when innocent bystanders are around. They are trained to shoot the enemy while not hitting bystanders. In addition armed teachers should have to maintain the same level of continuing firearms training that the police are required. They should be required to show that they put in the same amount of time practicing as police and they should be re-evaluated every year at minimum (preferable twice a year). This is what I think is a minimum absolute requirement.
Though to be truly safe I think teachers that want to be armed should actually do all the firearms training done by SWAT. SWAT are the specialists in going into hostile situations and eliminating enemies while protecting innocents. Their training is focused for situations like mass shootings. So if a teacher wants to carry a gun to protect their students they should maintain a skill level with their gun that is up to par with SWAT.
Requiring armed teachers only to have concealed weapons license is asking for trouble. Putting guns in the hands of those inadequately trained and expecting good results in an emergency is foolish. If people are insistent on arming teachers then teachers should be properly trained for the situation they are intended for.