Former prosecutor and Upper Dublin (Pennsylvania) School Board policy chair Sarah Johnson Rothman believes that the best way to protect children in schools is to, well, not protect them. Apparently, the Pennsylvania Senate is considering a bill to permit school districts to arm their employees. She asks “[w]hat could go wrong with allowing our teachers to pack heat in their kindergarten classrooms?”

I’m guessing she thinks that’s a rhetorical question, but it actually is the key to this debate: What could go wrong with allowing teachers, librarians, janitors, and administrators to exercise their natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil and Constitutional right to own and carry the weapon of their choice?

Ms. Rothman comes up with some specific objections…sort of:

… We need [teachers] to be lifelong learners that are highly adaptable to … new standards and curricula … But, they should not be hired muscle with a firearm at their side. We need them practicing their craft not honing their sharpshooting skills at the gun range.

I agree, teachers should not be “hired muscle,” they should be teachers, but Ms. Rothman seems to think that no one working for her school system might already have a permit to carry. But according to this study by the Crime Prevention Research Center, as of 2012 8.67% of Pennsylvanians had their permit to carry. And according to OpenPAgov.org there are 501 school districts, charter schools and other public schools in the state with 146,655 employees on the payroll for 2015-2016.

Assume that 50% of those people work somewhere outside of an actual school (superintendents, secretaries, press flacks, miscellaneous administrative staff and so forth); this leaves an average of about 146 employees per school who work where the kids are. That means on average each school will have about a dozen people who are already “honing their sharpshooting skills at the gun range” in their spare time. They just need the state to get out of the way so they can protect their students the same way they protect their children.

Ms. Rothman then displays a virulent case of hoplophobia:

If guns are allowed in our schools, where would the guns be? Holstered in plain sight, tucked into a teacher’s pants, in a desk drawer, in a handbag, in the locked container in the classroom, in a cabinet in the front office? Imagine Mrs. Schmidt explaining an algebraic equation with a loaded 9mm Glock holstered to her ankle, or Mr. Sample leading a physics experiment while a SIG Sauer is tucked into his waist.

Not b eing neither a blithering idiot or a panty-soiling hoplophobe I am completely opposed to off-body carry in this sort of situation because A) so what if some kids see a holstered handgun and B) a gun locked in the office does you absolutely no good when Nutjob Bob kicks in the classroom door and opens fire. A point which Ms. Rothman proceeds to make in her next paragraph:

And if an armed intruder or a disillusioned child came to the school with a gun, what would happen? Would the “teacher security force” all run to the office arsenal to grab guns while the school is on lockdown?

She then denigrates those teachers she previously lauded:

Yet it is inconceivable that even with the training the legislation mandates, reading specialist Mrs. Windheim could adeptly and accurately shoot the intruder while being shot at with young scared, screaming children in the mix. It is just as likely that she would miss and accidentally harm one of her students.

I agree that it’s highly unlikely that Mrs. W. could “adeptly and accurately” shoot an intruder. Most cops would be hard pressed to do so. It’s extremely difficult to shoot accurately when someone is shooting at you, which is the whole point of having Mrs. W. armed in the first place.

Yes, it’s possible that Mrs. W. would miss the intruder completely and “accidentally harm one of her students,” but the fact that someone is shooting at him is almost certain to drive the intruder from her classroom. Ms. Rothman would apparently prefer that our armed lunatic be able to carefully and methodically (or perhaps adeptly and accurately) aim, fire, and repeat until he runs out of live children to shoot before moving on to the next classroom and doing it again.

Rothman finishes her piece displaying her ignorance with a soupçon of hypocrisy:

Guns should not be met with more guns, and certainly not in our schools. Guns do not make us safer. Those who claim otherwise are not just peddling a myth, but a lie.

I’m sorry Sarah, but it’s you who are peddling the lie here; as I have pointed out before, Defensive Gun Uses save more than twice as many lives as Criminal Gun Uses take. Also as Dr. Gary Kleck has pointed out (and several other researchers have verified) using a gun in self-defense is the safest and most effective course of action available to would-be victims of crime.

As for her hypocrisy, her Rothman says that “[g]uns should not be met with more guns” and yet earlier in her piece she states:

If the concern is the response time of law enforcement to rural areas, this problem should be directly addressed by providing trained professional security personnel for these specific schools.

So I guess guns should be met with more guns, even (especially) in our schools.

60 Responses to School Board Member: Guns Should Not Be Met With Guns

  1. “…We need them practicing their craft not honing their sharpshooting skills at the gun range.”

    Why not both?

    And to be clear… you are not arming teachers, you are allowing citizens who already have firearms to bring them into the classroom. These people already own the firearm, they already hone their ‘sharpshooting skills’ on their own time, you are simply stopping the practice of asking them to disarm to come to work.

  2. Yeah it’s much better just to lay there and let the assailant make up his or hers mine whether or not you should live or die. Or we could just use harsh language against guns and so-called gun violence we should tell this to the police departments that they should no longer carry guns they should just use Stern voice and harsh language to control the populace when committing armed felonies. LOL this guy is a moron as usual with liberals. And just for an example look what happened in France the police were not armed and the arms terrorist chase them down and shot them like dogs in the street because they did not have the Constitutional protection of the Second Amendment and we’re not armed to defend their lives and the lives of the people that they swore to protect pretty much a big BS.

  3. Homicidal maniacs with guns should be met with hugs and kisses not supersonic bullets! At least until the agents of the state show up 45 minutes later…

  4. So, now she wants school resource officers (armed police) in the schools…isn’t that what the NRA said some years ago? And, didn’t the antis ridicule them for exactly that same thing, wanting more armed officers in schools? Oh, I know, it’s only a good suggestion when an anti says it. Gimme a break.

    • Conversely, the NRA wailed about Pres. Obama’s executive orders, one of which was to provide funds to hire more SROs.

      • Local governing authorities should be funding local educational and security initiatives. Not the Federal government, and certainly not POTUS.

  5. These Lefty liberal stay don’t know whether to cry or go blind. Banks use armed security to protect their clients money and their own Bank employees. Don’t we owe the same amount of attention and defense to our children in the schools when we are at work?? It’s okay for Hillary Clinton to have a dozen armed Secret Service men surrounding her at all times but she wants you to drop your guns in a Dropbox and give them up give me a break this whole country is on a knife’s edge we have people in this country who do not believe in the constitution do not understand the freedoms that we have and that are guaranteed to us by the framers of this country. More of that europian BS mentality. It’s really very simple to me you can have your opinion raise your children the way you want them raised and at the same time I can live my life raise my children the way I want to raise them not the way the government tells me to raise them the way I want them raised and my wife end of story.
    Yes the NRA did bring this up actually had put a lot of money into the investigation of how to make schools safer and the two items that came up was to have on staff a school resource officer a armed police officer and two arm certain teachers that already had concealed weapon permits and putting them through some additional training. This was brand on a computer against thousands if not millions of situations and based on an algorithm that was come up with by an investigative committee they were able to determine the least amount of casualties from a school shooting was to have both an armed resource officer and armed teachers that were positioned throughout the school to respond to a complete threat immediately and defend their students. The quicker you get bullets going out a mass shooter the faster he’s either going to blow his own brains out or Surrender. These people are usually mentally unstable and driven by on rash decision making and terrorist propaganda to the point where they’re not wrapped too tight anymore. The only way to deal with extreme violence is with a good guy executing extreme violence on such person or persons. Pretty much SWAT 101 eliminate the threat before he or she can do any damage to anyone else including yourself in your team.

  6. With (former) prosecutors like this, no wonder we have psycho criminals on the streets. See for example today’s news from Boston. Psycho with two priors for strongarm bank robbery (!) slits the throats of two doctors then fires on police, who fire back and can’t finally dispatch him to wherever druggie paychos go. Why the heck was this guy not in prison? And as for well placed shots by the police….

  7. adam lanza was armed with a rifle in a school where no one else was armed. He killed more than 20, mostly small kids.

    How in the fuck could an armed school employee or volunteer armed community member have made that any worse?

  8. Guns are always met with more guns. The only question is how long before that happens? The killer at Sandy Hook was immediately confronted by staff. They were unarmed, so he just killed them, and it barely slowed him down. Put guns in their hands and it’s very possible that the outcome of not only that confrontation, but of the whole scenario, is entirely different.

    As it was, he had an absurdly long time alone and unopposed with his helpless, defenseless victims until guns showed up to meet his guns. That time unopposed was the deadliest weapon he had that day.

  9. This type of person thinks that by bringing guns into proximity with children, that it’s an invitation to visit it upon their charges. A tacit refusal to accept the responsibility of protecting children because it is too icky a thought that a teacher, a janitor, a principal, an “educator” might just have to physically protect their students with violence is a line that will have to be crossed. Otherwise we will see more dead kids in this country.

    My mom was a teacher and I asked her flat out, if you were armed, COULD you protect the lives of your kids (students) against impending violence with your firearm’ and she buckled. She couldn’t say yes at the time. So I showed her a YT clip of a school shooting in Mexico where a boy nonchalantly went about his day and slipped a hand into his backpack and shot students and teacher casually. ONLY by exposure to violence, as distasteful and appalling as it is, are these type of rigid mental blocks to reality EVER going to be defeated. Now, she agrees that school faculty need to be armed. Why not prepare all for the possibility of violence? Seems one of the most important lessons we once knew in this country. Would be fantastic to see it alive again.

  10. Unfortunately, these minds will never be changed until they too become victims of violence at the hands of a depraved criminal. Let’s just hope that happens sooner rather than later, for our children’s sake.

    • Also unfortunately, you use logic in your thinking while these people do not. If some violence did fall on her, she would just scream louder that all firearms need to be removed from everyone. They cannot grasp that evil people will do evil things until confronted by a person willing to stop the violence.

  11. I agree no cops or any security personnel of any kind in schools, government buildings or public gathering places at all! /s

    More guns would only make the situation worse, especially for the now committed murderer spraying death upon the masses. Let them run out of ammunition and then use stern but kind words to get them into the county lockup and courthouse /s

    What could go wrong? I’m sure France could give us a good lesson in this area

  12. She’s a women with little in the way of expirence with the real world outside her academic bubble. Opinion invalid.

    • The left is very big on credentials and respecting expertise – until it comes to armed conflict, at which point the opinion of teachers, physicians, and journalists is supposed to stand in for that of actual fighting men.

  13. Guns shouldn’t be met with guns, of course. The logical explination is everybody should have their own personal unicorns to jump on and ride off to la la land in case of a school shooter.

  14. If self defense, or defense of others, especially children seems wrong or controversial to you we aren’t going to get along.

  15. Most of my male teachers in grade and high school were “hired muscle”. They were veterans and many had been in combat. My 8th grade teacher was a fighter pilot in the Naval Reserve. He spent his summers on deployment. They were all excellent teachers.

  16. To think…this MORON is on a school board, overseeing the education of this generation of little red diaper babies! Anyone who sends their children to public schools today is just asking for them to be raised a gender fluid self rightious over privilaged socialist/communist fuckhead.

  17. The woman is obviously a total nutjob ! The of Pennsylvania should really reconsider how this person ever got a position in government WITHOUT Any common sense. She should be reviewed, and lose her position .

  18. If guns are not the answer then I would assume she’s also against calling the police since they show up with… Guns.

  19. A physics lesson for little Miss Hoplophobe….Force can only be overcome by….yes….Force. Her strawman arguments are pathetic, and her hypocrisy is mind numbing. Sorry lady….facts and truth are NOT on your side. You are the one living a lie in Fantasyland.

  20. An armed teacher doesn’t need special training to defeat a school shooter. The latter almost never have special training themselves. What an armed teacher needs is a door. Ms. Rothman, being thoroughly ignorant of all things to do with combat, can be excused for nor recognizing this, but anyone with a little exposure to the concept knows of the tactical advantage that a door and its doorway give to a defender. They don’t call it “The Funnel of Death” for nothing.

    One teacher. One gun. One door.

  21. I am sick and tired of people who assert that a “brainy” person cannot possibly be skilled with a firearm and skilled in self-defense.

    I placed in the top 1% of the nation on standardized Mathematics and English tests (e.g. ACT and SAT tests). I have a college degree in one of the most difficult fields of study that exist. I am also an outstanding athlete playing at “A” or even “AA” level recreational softball, volleyball, table-tennis, racket ball, and hockey. I have advanced skills and belts in Martial Arts. And I am an exceptional hunter and marksman. Recently, I ran my first ever “shoot, don’t shoot” course which required moving and shooting while engaging multiple attackers. My worst hit rate was 13 out of 15.

    Go jump in a lake Ms. Rothman.

    • Best Virtue Signal I’ve ever seen on TTAG. Taylor previously held the entirety of the top ten and now falls to second through eleventh.

  22. “Guns should not be met with more guns, and certainly not in our schools. Guns do not make us safer. Those who claim otherwise are not just peddling a myth, but a lie.”

    I’m sure that if the next Nidal Hassan started shooting up her kid’s school, she’d want the police to respond, not with guns, but with “fairy wands”, a la “Monty Python.

    I’m always fascinated by twits who prefer to see the CERTAINTY of children INTENTIONALLY shot and KILLED, execution style, over the POSSIBILITY of accidental WOUNDING.

    She’s the type who would have counseled the Jews to walk peacefully to the pit at Babi Yar, “lest somebody get hurt”.

    • … twits who prefer to see the CERTAINTY of children INTENTIONALLY shot and KILLED, execution style, over the POSSIBILITY of accidental WOUNDING.

      Such twits justify their position as follows:
      (1) Murderous attacks in schools are exceedingly rare. The body count from such murderous attacks will be lower than the body count from all of the buffoons who fondle their firearms in the school building and negligently kill students.
      (2) The overall body count of a murderous attack will be higher when armed teachers intervene because armed teachers will blindly/wildly spray bullets into countless students … and kill dozens more than the murderous attacker would kill unopposed until police arrive.

      Those “arguments”, of course, are not in line with reality. Even if a few teachers were armed in every school in the United States, I would be absolutely stunned if those teachers killed just one child every year due to fondling their firearms in the classroom (rather than keeping their handguns holstered). Certainly that is a lower body count than murderous attacks at schools in the United States every year. As for armed teachers increasing the body count versus letting a murderous attacker operate unopposed (until police arrive), that is demonstrably false. First of all, armed defenders have intervened in thousands of murderous attacks. The rate at which those armed defenders hit a bystander (including non-fatal wounds) is effectively ZERO. Second of all, even if an armed teacher “sprayed” bullets at a murderous attacker and struck students, those bullets would hit random locations on those students: hits to random locations are MUCH LESS FATAL than the shots that a murderous attacker would carefully place at point-blank range.

      As usual, Ms. Hysterical is vomiting words hoping that something strikes a chord with parents who will then oppose armed teachers.

  23. Guns meeting guns is just crazy. We should have signs. Big signs that have a gun with a circle and a slash through them. And we should pass a law making murder in a school illegal. That should stop all school shootings. Oh and we should train teachers and administration how to speak with soothing nonconfrontational voices that will cause the shooter to change his/her ways.
    If that fails then we need to create an adminstrative position of executive violence prevention commander. This person will have the power to command any future school shooters to leave the premises immediately. If they fail to do so then the commander will put them on notice and being on notice will be so humiliating that no serious shooter would dare pull the trigger.
    All of the above of course will be very expensive and will require several million dollars per school to achieve but it’s for the children.

  24. lol okay, if teachers are so magical and sacrosanct, how about the janitors? Do they need to also spend every minute ‘honing their craft’ or can they take an hour off every week to go shooting?

    I’m guessing she’d stutter and eventually come out with an entirely different argument against that. “Janitors have to be around corrosive and dangerous chemicals! We don’t want them thinking about the AK-47 on their ankle instead of occupational safety!”

  25. School Board positions are how people post for higher political positions and the usually require differentiating themselves with POS stupod position talking points, so I’m going to go with Fing (D) on this one.

  26. I agree with Ms. Rothman: guns should not be met with guns in schools. Instead, school boards should allow the little bastards under their control to be gunned down, or, in the alternative, Ms. Rothman should interpose her useless flabby body between the bad guy and the kids so that she goes first.

  27. The number of Pennsylvanians with Licenses to Carry Firearms (LTCFs) is old data and bases participation rate on the percentage of licenses vs. total population. Anyone under 21 cannot get an LTCF and thus can’t participate in the rate to begin with.

    According to the Pennsylvania State Police-issued figures, in 2015 there were 1,139,499 active LTCFs. Population of those age 21 or older, according to the US Census Bureau, was 9,590,477, which works out to 11.9% of the adult population being licensed (1 in every 8.4 adults).

  28. The school district of which she is part is in the Eastern part of PA. She is a former prosecutor and advises the school board. I suspect she is feathering her own bed by espousing what her constituents in this district like to hear.

  29. So……… in other words, a trapper keeper & eraser vs. a .38spl makes sense for a teacher? Ok…….

  30. Fine, Ms. Rothman, when the next aspiring Adam Lanza shows up you go confront him/her unarmed.

  31. “And if an armed intruder or a disillusioned child came to the school with a gun, what would happen?”

    Ideally, an authorized facility member would negate the threat before the armed intruder could harm anyone.

    Is that difficult to understand?

    She is one of those that wants a gun-free utopia. Fine. Split the U.S.

    Let her live in ‘Fantasy Land’. I’ll live in ‘Realville’…

  32. Maybe the kids in the district are so bad that Ms. Johnson fears that the teachers may just get fed up and shoot the students ☺️

  33. Didn’t there used to be at least some half intelligent seeming anti gunners once? Jeez the arguments are getting dumb.

    • Gun control is a lost cause in the US. The smart anti’s have seen this and moved on to other causes.

      The folk too dumb to breath without a coach are all that’s left.

  34. The actual solution which is much easier to implement is to remove your children from the government indoctrination centers and home or private school them (which has a security plan). If they’re not in a school with its gun free zones they likely wouldn’t be targeted. Public education must end. Look what it did to this woman!

  35. The only way anti-gun people to learn their lesson about guns and
    accept “the people’s right to keep and bear arms” is after
    they have been beaten and raped multiple times
    and their families murdered
    and then given the opportunity to use a gun for self-defense.
    That is the only way I see it.
    If I was ever on a jury and the victim did not have a gun or believe in guns
    I would automatically find the defendant not guilty no matter how bad the crime.

  36. Hey listen Sarah…. you’re cute, but that’s about it. We just can’t see each other anymore.

  37. Since when is PA part of California? This woman with the hyphenated name promotes the tranny lifestyle ( see her hubby’s pic?) It is a crime that these people choose how to educate our children, isn’t it? This whole movement is nearing an end and the real American lifestyle will soon return.No thanks to the school system, the last bastion of communism. This is a fact. Nikita pounded his shoe at the UN and bragged how communism did not have to fire even one shot to beat America. Friends, look no farther than the schools and especially the universities.

    • From her Bio on the school website:
      “Sara is the proud product of public schools from kindergarten through law school.”

      Reminds me of the line from Men in Black where agent Zed says, “You’re everything we’ve come to expect from years of government training.”

  38. Arming a teacher? Maybe in the South, Ohio Valley, or Midwest but NEVER in/near the urban/suburban centers of the coastal regions of the Left (West) Coast, Northeast or Mid-Atlantic States, hell ALL the teachers are members of the Commie UFT/AFT teacher’s unions, better to arm the custodians/janitors/groundskeepers in those school districts.

  39. Approximately 90% of mass shootings occur in “gun free” zones.

    And why do anti-gun people automatically assume that everyone else is as incompetent as they themselves are?

  40. A huge majority of mass shootings occur in gun free zones. These places are chosen by the psychos specifically because they know they will not face any armed resistance. Arming teachers would serve as a deterrent and these kind of crimes could actually be prevented without the teachers even needing to draw their weapon.

  41. When the news headline is “School Board allows teachers to be armed” the odds that a killer will seek an easier target. Gun Free Zones attract and just the potential of armed resistance deters.
    Un-Armed Victim Zones get people, kids included, killed.
    All school staff and teachers should have already passed a background check. Few teachers are too dumb to learn how to safely handle firearms. Apparently “Former prosecutor and Upper Dublin (Pennsylvania) School Board policy chair Sarah Johnson Rothman” is too dumb to understand logic.

  42. Some people simply do not live their lives in the circle of REALITY , they evolve and consume emotion and irrationality at the expense of their own peril and God forbid they are called upon the protect the life of someone else as they are climbing under their desk , like pulling the blanket over their heads they want to pretend that life is lollypops and candy sticks .
    Perhaps this is a result of Sesame Street 24/7 in their kindergarten world .

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