An Unarmed Teacher’s Lament

One of the great things about blogging: all our posts stay active. Fresh comments to old articles bubble-up to the surface like a bottle of champagne uncorked from the Titantic’s resting place. An educator (code-named PC) found a two-year old query. I’ve elevated his response to  Question of the Day: Are Armed Teachers the Answer to Spree Shooters? because it’s an important issue (still) and Dick Heller told me last night that he’s focusing his efforts on campus carry, where victories are coming fast and furious (so to speak). Here’s PC’s take of teaching in a gun-free environment like, say, the NRA Convention . . .

“I have been a teacher for over 13 years and have taught at some of the worst inner-city schools, but currently have been at a suburban school district for some time. I also am a CCW permit holder and have been trained in defense tactics. There is only one area of my life in which I do not feel safe… school!!

We had metal detectors in the inner-city. Students let students in through back doors. Are we going to man every entry way in a school? Consider the school your son or daughter goes. How many entry ways (doors, windows, etc.) are there? Can you feasibly man them all?

The answer is no. How many times have we heard a teenager lazily say “I could just kill him” and it is obvious there is no seriousness behind their words. So we will now take anyone who says anything remotely violent and have them seek counseling? Another interesting strategy, but you would have 1/3 of the school population in the counselor’s office.

Also, if some students realize I can get out of math class today by saying “I could hurt you”, some will. However the real problem is that a small group of people in the world do wish harm on others. If you completely disarm the large group that doesn’t mean to do any harm, they become sheep for the slaughter.

Do I want to pull the trigger on anyone (including a teenager)? Absolutely not. If it means saving myself, my family or others in my care (such as my classroom of students), I would in a heartbeat.

The only problem is, the government won’t allow me to protect those who are in my care. In parting, if a student decides to come armed to my school and tear up the place, I have only one thing to say…. we could have minimized the tragedy, but the government wouldn’t let us.”

comments

  1. avatar Phydeaux says:

    +1

    I carry every time I go to my child’s middle school, occasionally during the school day but mostly after school in support of extracurricular activities. This has been legal in Oregon for years.

    To my knowledge, there has yet to be a rampage – or incident of any sort – by a CPL holder at a school in this state. In spite of this, when Gov. Kitzhaber signed a recent CPL confidentiality bill into law, he called on the legislature to pass a law restricting guns from schools. The Democrats trot this bill out every session, but have so far failed to pass it in both houses.

  2. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

    Disarming the criminals or would-be criminals is the answer, not arming the good guys. The Loughner case proved that. There were probably a dozen concealed carry guys nearby, of course they didn’t come forward for obvious reasons, but they were powerless to stop him in time. Even a guy practicing situational awareness would have to have the luck to be in just the right place at the right time.

    The downside is that some of the good guys whom we might arm in the mighty effort to protect everybody, are themselves not safe. You guys always want to ignore that fact, yes I called it a fact. Every day the news carries stories of formerly law-abiding gun owners going bad.

    So, in the final analysis, you don’t solve the problem you wanted to, except in extremely rare lucky cases, and you create some new problems along the way.

    It’s a bad deal.

    1. You’re right, disarming criminals is an excellent idea. How do you suggest that be done? More gun laws to restrict the law abiding citizens who obtain their firearms legally certainly don’t help. Criminals, and would be criminals, do not obey the law so making it more difficult to buy a gun legally does nothing to stop illegal gun purchases. The reality is that there is no practical and effective way to prevent crime. Period (barring minority report future telling of course). Cops don’t prevent crime, they react to it. Crime happens, and bad guys manage to find weapons to commit those crimes. That has always been the case and always will be, you’d be naive to believe otherwise.

      We also are not arming people, it’s about allowing people to arm themselves.

      For someone who is so proud of themselves for stating something very erronneous as fact, I find it ironic for you to say there were “probably” some concealed carriers nearby. Wild assumptions seem to be something you enjoy.

    2. avatar James St. John says:

      don’t feed the troll

  3. avatar Mike S says:

    If a CCW holder is trusted with the responsibility of carrying a firearm, why is that trust suddenly withdrawn when they step through the doors of the school where they teach? Are there not children elsewhere?
    School prohibition is one of those things that seems reasonable to someone who has applied no logic to the question (so of course, we can’t be surprised when the anti’s are dead set against it)

    1. avatar B5S4 says:

      The problem with pointing that out is the possible reaction: “Oh my god you’re right, there are children everywhere! We need to ban guns Everywhere! Think of the children!”

      1. avatar Mike S says:

        LOL good point

      2. Children are defenseless and vulnrable enough as is. Now throw in the fact that it is a gun free zone, or in other words an area that is a target to BGs and that cannot legally defend itself because it is not empowered to do so. Conceal carry has proven time and time again to be of far more benefit than harm. There’s plenty of stats to go around to show the number of successful DGUs and the correlation between states that have allowed their law abiding citizens to choose to exercise their rights and lower crime rates.

  4. avatar GS650G says:

    The day a CCW holder does the unthinkable I’ll agree with gun free zones but so far several million permit holders have not gone there. The current morass in Sanford Fl is an attempt to convince people CCW, SYG and all other self defense laws are a problem. They want society concerned about armed citizens enough to outsource security to the “authorities” who have no liability whatsoever.
    Convincing the masses that an armed, permitted, investigated, trained citizen with the means to protect them belongs everywhere is a daunting task.

    1. avatar Henry Bowman says:

      “The day a CCW holder does the unthinkable I’ll agree with gun free zones”

      Why? Why should “licensing” have any bearing with regards to an individuals willful, criminal act? The gun itself (or a person’s license to carry it) does not commit crimes.

    2. My problem is that along with allowing people to carry where they please, the assumption is made that the only reason they would be armed near a school is to cause harm. Unless you’re going to a place that has a dedicated amount of security that can guarantee absolutly no guns are allowed in any entrances (such as a sports stadium), then you cannot guarentee a gun free zone. Therefore any public place outside such a venue should not restrict individuals from carrying personal protection. A gun free zone just says, hey BGs come over here if you want to commit a crime with little to no resistance.

  5. avatar Frank says:

    His point in simple terms, a “no firearm zone” is a killing zone for those who would not and did not follow the law to begin with. Anyone unarmed in a “no gun zone” is a lamb to the slaughter in waiting. The only way to protect the sheeple is to arm the dogs willing to protect them. As this teacher is.

  6. avatar GS650G says:

    Ultimately if a CCW staff member were to prevent a tragedy would the person face justice? Good luck getting a hero indicted.
    The problem is being discovered with the heater and hauled off for violating the law. You would be accused of endangering others without benefit of good example.

    1. avatar Michael B says:

      They’d probably lose their jobs and never be able to teach at a public school again. I’m sure there are private schools that wouldn’t mind having them, though. Also..they could take some more training courses and work at a shooting school. I’m sure gunnies would be happy to help them out.

    2. avatar Henry Bowman says:

      Face justice? No, they’d likely face the injustice of loss of employment and possible criminal charges.

      1. I’d imagine they would get the self defense claim okay, but they’d definatley get charged for illegal possession of a firearm, and then probably not be allowed to own a gun again.

  7. avatar John E> says:

    Having gone to Catholic school for 12 years I have learned to turn various items into weapons. Rulers, erasers (they are not called that for nothing), the Nuns raised hand to hand to a new level, moreso than the years of martial arts I have had since college, I often think they were trained by Ninja’s 🙂 Pencil sharpners, pencils. They are all weapons, as is stealth and surprise, ferocity and will. If confronted you can be assured I would not be lined up against the chalkboard.

  8. avatar Wiscosotan says:

    My wife is a teacher and feels very strongly about her responsibility to the kids left in her care. She has a PTC, and the one place she would most want to carry is at school. Given the size and budget of her school, there is no “wait for the authorities” option. They would only be there to take pictures of the aftermath as in most school shootings.
    I thought that teacher and former cop Mike McDaniel did a good job in coming to the conclusion that teachers and administrators ought to be allowed to carry in his recent series on school shootings found here:

  9. avatar Henry Bowman says:

    Caveat: This is not an encouragement to act contrary to the law, it is merely a question.

    Given a proper cost/benefit analysis and risk assessment, does the written, legislative “law” actually have a bearing on your decision to fully exercise your natural, inherent rights to property and self-defense? In short, if your life is in danger, does it really matter if you’re carrying “illegally?”

    1. avatar Accur81 says:

      Sure it does. To a liberal, you’ve just become a new age “sophisticated” person with dark secrets and hidden passions. They would do their best to fry you, especially if you were of the wrong race to shoot a minority.

      We know better, but the antis sure as hell do not.

      Perhaps there is a chance that an honorable DGU that saved lives would be properly treated as a heroic act. But with our restrictive school guns laws, and borderline – retarded media, I doubt that would happen.

  10. avatar Low Budget Dave says:

    I am still OK with banning students from bringing guns. More than half the teens I meet seem irresponsible. Maybe I am just judging them by their hoodies, but I would not trust them as a last line of defense.

    Teachers are a different question. I wish all my sons teachers were trained and armed. Although trained first. And repeatedly.

    1. “Teens.” Well teens can’t legally buy guns so wha’ts the problem? Federal law prohibits minors (under 18) to buy a gun. I’m reading Vermont as an exception at 16 apparently. Minimum ages for CCW vary from 18-21, depending on the state.

      1. avatar Low Budget Dave says:

        I think we are agreeing. I think that the laws that disarm teachers are incorrect and should be changed, but I happen to agree with the law regarding students.

        I have heard people argue on this board (not often, and usually in the comments section) that the laws should be changed to allow students to carry as well. I just wanted to make sure we were drawing the line at teachers.

        1. avatar Robert Farago says:

          All American citizens have the right to keep and bear arms. The states decide when an individual becomes a full “citizen”, or what rights a child has up until the state considers the individual an adult. But when a child reaches the age of majority, the government shall not infringe ANY of his or her constitutional rights.

  11. avatar Phrederick says:

    Move to Utah, our teachers are allowed to carry.

  12. avatar Phrederick says:

    Move to Utah, you CAN carry in schools unless they are private and posted no firearms. That’s not just teachers, any valid CCW.

  13. avatar Anon in CT says:

    Just to be devil’s advocate – to me the real concern is that the teacher is surrounded by dozens of little hands, many of which would love to get their hands on his piece. So what happens when one of them tries – elbow strike to the the head? Good luck staying employed as a teacher when the little darling professes innocence and a half dozen of his buddies back him up.

    I would imagine that this would be more of an issue in the inner city than in rural Utah.

    1. avatar Parthenon says:

      retention holster

  14. avatar JSIII says:

    My wife is a teacher and she is getting pretty damn good wiith her K9. It is sad to say that even when we get CC here in Illinois she will not have the ability to defend herself or the children in her care inside of her class room. Teachers should be the last line of defence for our children, I know I would feel much better knowing the teachers in my Childrens school are armed than knowing they are not.

  15. avatar Ralph says:

    In this life — if there’s any justice — you reap what you sew. If the “authorities” want to keep students undefended and vulnerable and the sheeple give them that power despite massacres in “gun free” zones, then f^ck ’em and their offspring. It’s no skin off my nose, and it thins the herd. Sorry, but that’s the way I feel.

  16. avatar Sanchanim says:

    Well in CA it isn’t even an option.. We need a few more tragedies before anyone will even think about it, but they would probably ban a standard 45 pistol before they let teachers carry which is sad and points directly at the hysteria and stupidity of law makers.

  17. avatar Professor X says:

    The problem is worse on college campuses. There are a continuum of ways to walk onto a campus, and none of the buildings (on my campus) have metal detectors. We don’t even have as much of a police presence as most public high schools do.

    But even tenured faculty can be fired if they have a gun locked in their car. The only thing protecting us are stickers on the doors.

  18. avatar joecr says:

    I think we need to change the law so that “gun free zones” can only exist if there is no way for any gun to enter the “gun free zone”. Also if someone ever is able to get a gun into the “gun free zone” it is no longer a “gun free zone” ever again & whoever made that a “gun free zone” has a $9,000,000,000 fine. To encourage people to end any current or future “gun free zones” $5,000,000 of that fine will go to the person that brought the gun into the “gun free zone” as long as they did nothing that would be a crime without any gun laws. If the used the gun to commit a crime such as murder then they receive no reward, but the place is still no longer a “gun free zone”. (The numbers are big to encourage people stupid enough to want a “gun free zone” to take massive precautions to prevent a gun from ever entering the “gun free zone” & the reward was to encourage people to do something about the “gun free zone”. Also the numbers used were just random numbers I thought were big enough to encourage the behavior I’d prefer to see in response to “gun free zones”.)

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