In response to the NRA’s proposal to put armed guards in schools, gun grabbers have been shouting that armed security guards at Columbine High School weren’t effective in stopping the carnage there. [Click here for an account of the day’s events.] It’s become one of the staples of their argument against allowing trained personnel with firearms in schools. But the effectiveness of “school security” comes down to two factors . . .
Response time and competence. The response time of “school security” on a campus isn’t much different that the response time of a police officer in a town setting. It takes a spree shooter just one second to retrieve a hidden firearm and start shooting. But, depending on the size of the campus and the location of the security officer, it can take several minutes for security to be notified, get to the scene and react. When seconds count, school security may still be minutes away.
The second issue is competence with a firearm — the ability to hit what you’re aiming at. A school security officer at Columbine took several shots at one of the killers from 60 yards and missed. This means the officer either wasn’t trained to shoot at such distances, was incompetent at shooting at that distance, never trained under stress or some a combination of all of the above.
The only answer to the problem of reaction time is to have armed personal at the scene, not a radio call away. And that means teachers. Trained teachers with guns. The answer to the shooting skills problem is to provide better training than the NYC police officers who shot 11 innocent bystanders. That should be the easy part.