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“I do not have enough faith in our citizenry—regardless of their comfort level with handling guns—to believe that everyone would have and/or use the proper judgment in the many uncomfortable and sometimes intimidating, even threatening interactions that can and do present themselves in the school yard or building. And, referring again to last week’s school shooting in Marysville, Wash., the shooter reportedly was confronted by an unarmed teacher, who is being considered a hero for her actions.” – Junior high principal Russ Moore in No, Teachers Should Not Carry Guns [at edweek.org]

63 Responses to Quote of the Day: It’s A Matter of Trust Edition

  1. It’s funny because I don’t any trust in the people around me either so I carry and encourage everyone else to do so as well.

    It’s also the reason I distrust cops, politicians, teachers, bureaucracies and just about anyone in a so-called position of “authority.”

  2. Our strategy for school shootings; shoot back. Their strategy; learn kung fu, make your mind like water, and you will know the right moment to strike…

    Chuck Norris should do a mass shooting simulation where he is never able to deliver his roundhouse before getting shot. Maybe THAT would get the point across.

    • Just cower until they run out of bullets then jump on them like a spider monkey… Way better than using one those icky old guns.

      • Which is why we should all agree to a maximum capacity of 10 rounds in our bullet clips. That way we can bust out the kung fu a little earlier.

  3. So you’re saying, Mr. Moore, that even if teachers were armed and trained, they’d STILL do the wrong thing when confronted by a school shooter? Statistically, school shootings would be prevented simply by having armed school staff. Assuming someone was stupid enough to try, then again, statistically, the shooters would kill themselves immediately upon being faced with armed opposition. What is it you think could “Go wrong”? I don’t think you have a clue about the subject you’re addressing.

    • I guess what he’s saying is that an unarmed teacher who confronts a shooter with noting but bare hands, risks injury or, more likely, death, is a hero. If the same teacher is armed, then he/she is..what exactly? An accident waiting to happen? A threat to innocent kids? And that’s just because he feels icky about people handling guns? I don’t know what the best solution is, but it seems like the person who could respond quickest and stop the carnage would be a teacher, trained and armed.

      • He thought process is “Better a dead hero, than a live teacher with a gun”.

        Or

        “See, she was armed only with words and prevailed.”

        Yeah, because that works out so well the vast majority of the time. See exception, not rule.

  4. Which is worse, getting gunned down trying to shoot the shooter, or getting gunned down while hiding under your desk?

    • Read it again. You’re supposed to confront the shooter while being unarmed. Then they’ll put a gold star on your casket and call you a hero.

      • Help wanted – Teacher
        Skills needed – Ninja training, demagogue-like oratory skills, willingness to die for political agenda. Prior experience babysitting unruly toddlers a plus. Teaching skills a plus, but not required.

  5. Good guys still vastly outnumber bad guys. So, letting everyone be armed actually puts armed bad guys in the minority. It’s easier and more practical than trying to just disarm the bad guys. There’s two sides to a ratio.

    • Who said anything about disarming the bad guys? The way it looks now, they’re the only ones who’ll get to keep their guns.

  6. I’m glad my daughter got out of teaching when she could. A steady diet of listening to this mentality could cause brain damage. Hey, maybe I’m on to a root cause of school shootings. My heart goes out to all of you depending on our public education system.

  7. Russ Moore’s argument seems to confuse the idea of allowing school personnel to carry vs requiring them to carry.

    I don’t support forcing them but fully support allowing them to carry.

  8. Read the article and conclude the castle doctrine is again in play. Mr. Moore, school principle, gun owner, hunter and CCW permit holder, doesn’t feel a teacher has enough training to make the kill decision and states that capability is best left to law enforcement. Once again a leadership position is used deny or stand in the way of lawful self protection. To ask teachers to be fodder for a gunman is unconscionable, morally corrupt and shameful in that he takes a do nothing approach or worst…it’s another agencies responsibility.

    The purpose of allowing teachers to be armed is to make most effective tool to stop a gunman available to end the assault the quickest way possible.

      • According to the Admin in DC these days we’re an especially untrustworthy group. As if I give 2 flying phucks what a DC pol thinks of me or my brothers.

        Never was a teacher but I retired from a school district.

  9. And I have no trust in the Progressive Aristocracy to honor any of our God given rights, so I will keep my means to fight along side We The People should the “enlightened” keep pushing us toward their ideal tyrannical utopia.

  10. “I am a licensed gun owner and have been ever since I was able to purchase a firearm legally.”
    Where is he from?
    Where are people licensed?
    In Wisconsin, I have a CCW permit/license to carry my wife’s gun, my gun , your gun if you loan it to me but I don’t need licensed to “own” a gun.

    Is that the NY, NJ, MA etc. crowd?

    • Excellent point. He’s from NY. He’s licensed to own a gun. Which means he’s already been conditioned by his state government to believe that he needs permission from to exercise a natural right (no offense to the free-thinking New Yorkers out there). And since he needs permission, he’s probably already been indoctrinated into believing that no one is adequately trained to carry a gun (except the police and military, of course). Have you ever noticed how the anti-2A crowd always starts off by claiming to be gun owners?

  11. I don’t have enough faith in our government- no matter how comfortable they are passing laws- to allow them to pass laws that strip me of my rights.

  12. The problem is not teachers carrying, or not carrying, guns. The problem is a dumbed down electorate who allow men such as this to control our schools. How men of this man’s ilk, who believe pop tarts, or fingers in the shape of a gun are the functional equivalent of evil incarnate, got into office is the heart of the problem. These idiots are appointed by the school boards YOU elect! How many times have YOU gone to the trouble to check into the background and beliefs of those YOU elect to YOUR local school board before YOU vote them in. If these sorts of people are populating positions of authority within YOUR school system, there is no one to blame but YOURSELF. Nothing will change unless YOU change it! The next election cycle, organize a group of YOUR friends and make it a point to find out every single thing YOU can about the candidates running for office. If YOU find out they are pop tart gun phobics, or think that “zero tolerance” is a great thing, or that having the police arrest a seven year old boy for stealing a kiss from his little blonde classmate is a reasonable response to the situation, then SOUND THE ALARM! Let everyone YOU know, far and wide, what this person believes. The entire school board is ELECTED, they didn’t just “happen,” somebody VOTED them into office.
    Local elections are the only ones that really count. If YOU don’t take the time to research who is seeking power over the minds of YOUR children, then YOU are at fault, not the apparatchik YOU allowed into a position of authority. YOU.

  13. So because an armed teacher might make a mistake and shoot somebody, it’s better to allow school shooters – who will definitely shoot somebody – to continue unopposed. And hopefully there is a heroic teacher in every school, who is also blessed with uncanny luck, who will disarm the shooter before they shoot too many people.

    Yup, great logic there.

  14. I’m inclined to agree that teachers carrying isn’t a great idea, but not for the reasons he states. What I’m more concerned about is the distraction it could pose for students. Let’s face it, most kids aren’t exactly jumping up and down when it comes to school to begin with, and giving them something else to focus on (i.e. Ms. XYZ’s gun is printing, and lets face it, that would be a huge distraction for most kids, either because they find guns fascinating but have no experience with them other than Call of Duty, or because their parents have instilled a fear of guns) is not a good idea. That being said, I don’t have a problem with the idea of staff having guns, I just don’t think that people in a teaching capacity can effectively do their jobs while carrying in a typical classroom environment, and I really don’t like the idea of off-body storage in a school (outside a safe).

    • Why not dedicate a day in class to learning about it?

      The teacher just gets up in front of the classroom, shows the students her gun, and teaches them gun safety. Should help demystify the whole thing, and maybe there could eventually be a class field trip to a shooting range, with signed permission from the parents of course.

      Be a cold day in hell when this happens, though…

      • There’s no way. As much as I would like that to work, you can’t undo years of misinformation or no information in a day. Unless they are living it at home, unfortunately there’s not much that can be done. I also think that even kids who are very familiar with guns would be distracted. Let’s face it, chatting about your teacher’s G19 is a lot more fun than learning Ancient Egyptian history or correcting the grammar in an essay.

        Personally, I think the actual presence of guns may not be necessary. Merely the threat (by repealing the GFZA) could be enough, at least in some cases. Then again, the Teddy Roosevelt philosophy of speak softly and carry a big stick comes to mind.

        • Some of us remember the days when gun safety was taught in school, and some of us remember HAVING guns (legally) at school…not carrying on the body, of course.

          So, what we have now is the aberration that needs to be corrected. You say it can’t happen. I say it can..we can return to something more like “normalcy.” But we never will by acceding to failure before we start.

  15. He has more faith in the cops than a CCW permit holder?

    Many of the CCW permit holders that I know (including myself) have more training & practice than the average cop in handling firearms, marksmanship, situational awareness, and confrontation avoidance/deescalation.

  16. funny how you pay lip service to “protecting the children” while doing everything in your power to “not protect the children”.

  17. Allowing educators to carry guns makes them the appointed defenders of our schools. But what if the principal (or teacher) doesn’t act quickly enough? Or doesn’t believe in pulling a gun? Or couldn’t find the key to the locked drawer containing the gun? Or wasn’t in the building when a threat presented itself? There now becomes a culpable nondefender, someone who didn’t do her duty and now another target for finger-pointing, excuse-making, lawsuits, or worse.

    Russ lays it all out at the end of his pathetic post. He repeatedly claims in the article to be a trained experienced shooter. He lives and works in NY, but has a carry permit. Yet, at the end of his essay he makes clear that his real fear isn’t about other educators with guns. Rather, he dreads the possibility that he himself would have a gun, but fail to stop the active shooter, and be blamed for that failure, as if having a gun means he would have to perform heroically and with perfection. Tell me, Russ: Is that what cops usually do? In NY?

    In other words, and unsurprisingly, the bottom line of the essay is that he doesn’t want the responsibility of being armed, because he might fail to perform heroically. And so, he would prefer more kids get shot, just so long as he personally does not receive blame.

  18. The statist argument in nut shell. ‘I don’t trust my neighbors’

    Sounds like a personal problem to me.

  19. “I do not have enough faith in our citizenry … to believe that everyone would have and/or use the proper judgment in the many uncomfortable and sometimes intimidating, even threatening interactions that can and do present themselves in the school yard or building.” – Junior High Principal Russ Moore

    I didn’t realize that is all the criteria we need to deny people their rights.

    Like so many people have said, anyone who is willing to infringe our right to be armed is also willing to infringe any other rights — such as our right to due process before government forcibly infringes our rights.

  20. So he’s advocating “unarmed confrontation?” Isn’t that what didn’t work out too well at Sandy Hook/Newtown?

  21. That’s why people are liberal/progressive, they don’t trust regular people to manage their own lives.

    To be a progressive really means you are a regressive. It’s a regression to a child like state where the parent figure would assume all authority over you, including your defense.

    Liberal/progressive, proud to be the party of the powerless, helpless and defenseless.

    And making laws to keep us that way.

    • ThomasR – That’s it. I’d like to thank Mr. Moore for his candor. Most leftists like to speak as if they believe in the ordinary citizen while implementing policies that are based on utter distrust and condescension toward him.

  22. Really just the same old “but if someone gets angry and they have a gun, they’ll shoot people!”

    I had that conversation with a coworker who said “what if you’re arguing with your wife and you had bad day?” I said, “I’m not a sociopath, nor do I have anger issues, so…” That’s the answer to this teacher, too.

  23. So he carries a concealed firearm himself, for the protection of himself and presumably his family, but would deny others their natural, civil, constitutional, and human right to defend themselves? Interesting. On what rational basis does he deliver his fredom infringing fiat? Why, he doesn’t think you’re calm, cool, collected, or suitably skilled to pull it off, that’s what! Well.

    Never mind the reality of the at least hundreds of thousands of successful and lawful DGUs by armed citizens each year, because defending their success isn’t the point here. Never mind the abundant errant rounds, negligent discharges, and, some would argue, murders-by-cop, committed by supposedly highly trained, so-called professionals in law enforcement, because indicting their failures isn’t the point here.

    What is the point here is that people have the right to defend themselves, and that right is sacrosanct. As for this Principal, we don’t need his education. We don’t need his thought control. And we certainly don’t need his gun control. Hey, Principal, leave those gunowners alone!

  24. I’ll just say this:

    If someone didn’t do something threatening that would make someone fear for their safety in the first place, then it wouldn’t happen. Don’t want to be shot? Don’t threaten to beat someone up, don’t actually beat someone up, and don’t rob people.

    Why do they victim blame?

  25. Man I’m happy my kids are grown up and out of public school. If we had it do over again we would home school. My son does and my brother has done it for his (10!) kids. And everything turned out OK. Yep teachers should be armed. I am in favor of concealed carry too. So ‘ya don’t distract the younguns…

  26. “I do not have enough faith in our citizenry—regardless of their comfort level with handling guns—to believe that everyone would have and/or use the proper judgment in the many uncomfortable and sometimes intimidating, even threatening interactions that can and do present themselves in the school yard or building.”

    Since this guy says he knows about guns he’s essentially playing the role of an apostate who, on seeing the light, uses his new insight to show the People Of The Gun are wrong and the gun-controllers are right. But what’s he’s really saying—and the above quote is the money shot—is that the social costs, measured in deaths, injuries, and mayhem caused by spree shooters, is more acceptable than the political consequences of arming teachers and other school personnel.

    • Interesting. Every policy is a decision and every decision entails trade-offs between alternatives and outcomes. Force them to acknowledge the crass politics and spree shooting carnage that are their de facto choice, and put the lie to the whole “if it saves just one life” casuistry.

  27. I think that Moore means that since the teachers can’t teach and the administrators can’t administer, he (and we) shouldn’t trust any of them with guns in schools because they’re all so damn incompetent.

  28. He should inform our military they don’t need their guns. They are much better off unarmed against our adversaries.

  29. “I do not have enough faith in our citizenry—regardless of their comfort level with handling guns—to believe that everyone would have and/or use the proper judgment in the many uncomfortable and sometimes intimidating, even threatening interactions that can and do present themselves in the school yard or building. So they should probably do not have proper judgment to be teachers and administrators either.

  30. “I do not have enough faith in our citizenry…”

    Well, at least he admits it plainly. As for the rest, the stupid, it hurts.

    I have a somewhat better opinion of my fellow humans, and a higher regard for their prerogatives. My felt lack of faith is not sufficient to impose my preference against their will. More subtly, I am not their master, nor do they live for my sake. I do not have to have “enough faith” in their proper behavior (Says me.) to *permit* them something, but rather I must have *enough evidence* of bad action to *restrict* them something they would do.

    – I have enough confidence in my fellow humans to have “failth” that most will deal with firearms responsibly. This includes their choosing to always carry, sometimes carry, or never carry, based on their own judgment. Most people who carry won’t carry if they drink, just as they won’t drive.

    – I have enough confidence in the grand human experiment that I believe that most who wish to carry guns (particularly in the US) would net make my world better by doing so.

    – I have enough respect for people’s right to protect themselves that I require more than a vague absence of “faith” myself, to erode this right for others.

    – I have enough humility about my own judgment in a broad, complex, multi-faceted experience, to defer my distant, impersonal, partial, general lack of confidence in what others will do regarding guns, to their local, personal, better informed, and specific confidence in themselves and in the moment. (I think someone who thinks they, personally should carry and even use a gun *right now* has better basis for making that judgment than I do in general, from somewhere else.)

    – I have enough admiration for the autonomy of individuals, doing as they like, that I believe restricting others should be limited, specific, and individual, with the burden of fact-based proof on the restriction.

    – I have enough understanding that people are individuals to realize that while one might have an individual absence of faith in others, those others are likewise individuals who’s assessments also carry weight.

    – I have seen enough of people doing right when uncomfortable, intimidated or both, that I speculate there would be a net loss to the world should we take away a tool to act righteously at need from the many, to deny a tool of bad action to the few.

    People step up. We should let them.

    – I have enough respect for observation to note that that teacher who had courage unarmed was not daunted by discomfort or intimidation, regardless of anyone’s sense of how a citizens might behave under stress.

    – I have enough acquaintance with logic that the example of one unarmed teacher stepping up to an active shooter does not argue that “people” are not to be trusted, but rather than the opposite. Up against it, she did right (vs. the other thing.)

    – I have enough grasp of evidence to think it relevant that no prohibition of a generally available technology or substance has ever worked. Indeed current prohibitions are failing miserably, including those of various citizenries possessing guns, and the many prohibitions on prison populations.

    – I have enough understanding that tools are tools, while agency is human that I will not advocate for the general abolition of political speech, embargo of inference, prohibition of vague statistical implications, or silencing of feelings of “faith”, though some people apparently can’t use these tools without doing violence to language, logic, statistics, and intuition, along with the issue at hand.

    – Because I know better than to engage in over-generalization, say from individual bad actors to “citizenry”, I will not advocate that all education administrators, or even junior high principals be banned from political discourse they (or rather one, specific “he”) clearly cannot handle responsibly.

    This particular abuse of rhetoric only means that this particular would-be Napoleon should shut up. Gagging everyone in the education field is not indicated. Although, he does have a gift. That amount of stupid packed into so few words would be astonishing had I not seen it so many times before.

  31. If you actively advocate against allowing teachers the best tool to protect their charges from a school shooter, Mr. Moore, than you do not deserve the honor of the title principal.

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