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“In school districts, it’s very politically driven and school district administrators get pressured by boards and communities to do one thing or the other, and that’s generally driven through the lens they’re looking through for the Second Amendment. But this isn’t a Second Amendment issue — it’s a risk management issue.” – Alan Harris in Attorneys to schools: You can allow guns, but it’s risky [via]


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  1. Allowing employees to be armed is the highest risk a district can expose itself to, said Catherine Wilson-Jones, director of risk management at the KCSOS office. That’s something the Kern High School District is considering, having already allowed non-employee CCW permit holders to carry on campus.

    Many administrators, teachers, and students at Sandy Hook, Va Tech, Umpqua CC, Columbine, et al would dispute this assertion, but they’re all dead.

    You see, a risk management expert should know that risk assessment isn’t merely a matter of quantifying severity; rather, it is a function of severity, probability of occurence, and probability of detection. The potential severity of a failure mode for “gun” may be very high, but properly carried by a law-abiding citizen (licensed or otherwise), the probability of occurrence is essentially zero. On the other hand, the attraction/deterrence calculus for a would-be mass shooter hinges largely on the presence of “gun” carried by law-abiding citizens at the location of the intended target.

    • I’m guessing that his assertion is pertaining to protecting the school district from lawsuits, in which case he’s right. The problem is that nobody sued the Sandy Hook school district for stripping them of their 2nd Amendment rights while failing to provide adequate security, and if someone did the suit would have been thrown out by the judge. However if a teacher has a negligent discharge in the classroom, 30 parents are going to file suit seeking damages for ’emotional stress’ or something and they’ll win. The problem is the courts not the 2nd Amendment.

      • As usual, it’s the F’in lawyers that are F’in this country up.

        Nearly every stupidity that you come across on a daily basis is due to lawyers.

        One of the positives of an apocalypse is that lawyers will hopefully suffer a disproportional percentage of the casualties.

        • As much as I dislike lawyers, they are merely facilitators and empowerers of the entitlement society we currently live in.

          It’s the people not the tools.

        • The lawyers are just reading the rules and trying to apply situations to them, and vice versa. Don’t blame the lawyers, blame the rules and laws the lawyers are working with.

        • While his hyperbole is huge, I think he’s more or less correct. Lawyers are not just “reading the rules and applying” they are stretching the rules beyond all logic and reason. Its not exactly a coincidence that nearly all of our ‘wizards of smart’ in washington have law degrees, most of their high ranking aids have law degrees, nearly all of the lobbyists have law degrees.

          We are awash in people interpreting and reinterpreting the us legal code to the point that the common man for whom “ignorance of the law is no excuse” has nearly no hope of being anything but ignorant.

        • While 0.6 percent of the U.S. adult population are lawyers, 41 percent of the 113th Congress are.

          Members of Congress are sixty-eight times as likely as all American adults to have practiced law.

        • Yeah, let’s get rid of all the lawyers.

          Start with Alan Gura.

          And if you’re pinched for defending yourself with a gun, demand to speak with an anti-lawyer @ssh0le.

          No? Then STFU.

          If you were quite a bit smarter, you’d be a lawyer and do some good in the world.

        • While there are good lawyers, if all lawyers were exterminated, the net effect would be strongly positive.

        • @kyle “they are stretching the rules beyond all logic and reason” There’s always the occasional jerk trying for an utterly unreasonable meaning to a phrase, but why strain the meaning of the rules when you wrote the rules to mean what you wanted them to. The damage is done not in the application of the rules, but in their writing. So blame the guys writing the rules (an awful lot of lawyers there too) and the folks allowing them to write said rules (voters).

  2. It would appear that the “risk assessment” here is based on the FACT (certainty) that if a teacher, employee or visitor to the school manages under any circumstances to shoot themselves, someone else, or a student, which person is not engaged in criminal or terrorist activities at the time, the school district WILL GET SUED. He’s a lawyer – he knows that for a fact.

    On the other hand, if the school is attacked by a madman or terrorist organization, no matter the body count, the school district is unlikely to face any lawsuit, even from survivors or their relatives.

    So long as the school districts pretend they are making a best effort to deter such events while maintaining their stand that guns in the school will not work, this will be the status quo. Until an armed teacher blows away a shooter in the hallway on the way to the nearest classroom, that is.

    • If an armed teacher blows away a mass shooter in the hallway, no one will ever hear about it. The media will either go silent or attack the teacher as a murdering vigilante (George Zimmerman).

  3. “The pen is mightier than the sword”

    Therefore all education in the arts is a risk, as is free speech by administrators and educators. After all its not a 1st amendment issue.

    • Zing!

      This is why the prog-left has been so assiduously burrowing into the education system for the past 75 years. Independent-minded people with good thinking skills put their preferred world order at risk.

      • Its pretty disgusting. Until schools (and government officials) are held responsible for the deaths their policies cause its cheaper to let the proletariat die. They can always just import more after all.

      • Yep. The really important children of our dear leaders are protected by highly trained men with guns; the rest of us “useless eaters and breeders” can just make do with gun free zone signs and wishful thinking, as is only appropriate.

  4. Seems to me like this is yet another reason why government schools are a bad idea. Since they’re government organizations, they should be bound by the 2nd Amendment (they’re not, of course, but only because of unconstitutional laws). So get the government out of schooling and let the market sort it out. Then there would be schools with armed teachers, some with just an armed guard, and probably some that are “gun free”. Parents would decide for themselves which environment they want their kids in. If parents really want their kids protected only by “no guns” signs and long police response times, then the schools with armed protectors will either fail financially or abolish the guns to attract all those hoplophobes’ kids.

    There might even be some nice side benefits, like kids getting a decent education (schools that fail to teach will quickly be out of business instead of perpetually remaining a sinkhole for tax money).

    • Oh come on. Public schools are direct representations of their districts. If the district has resources and cares, they are very good. If not, not so much. Turing them private will have no effect on that one way or another. And how exactly is being a private institution going to protect a school from being sued?

      • Well for one, since voucher proposals keep getting clubbed like a baby seal, I’ll have to pay double tuition if I send my kids to private school. I’m not saying do away with public schools, but giving parents more choice in the school won’t hurt society.

    • Before the advent of government schools, during the founding of our Republic, the literacy for the general public was actually higher than it is today.

      Back then, if parents couldn’t afford to send their children to a private school, they homeschooled them. And guess what, just as homeschooling generally shows superior results today; those that homeschooled back then had superior results as well, at least as compared to the current results of our government run indoctrination centers.

      Because in the end, a government run entity, in this case a public school, will always end up using it’s access to the general public, especially the children, to promote it’s own survival over the benefits, and the freedoms, of the people it is supposed to protect. If that means the end result is general illiteracy and an inability to think logically and with reason, so much the better for those desiring an easily controlled and manipulated public.

      • You can still home school them, you can still send them to a private school. You can also move into a better school district. My parents did that (they even home schooled while I was in private school) and I do the same with my kid. Also schools are “indoctrination centers” only so much as the public allows. I have seen private schools that are more of an “indoctrination center” than any private school. But getting rid of public schools and changing them to private is not going to help with that at all. Comes down to the parents. However, as a society we want to give the tools to parents who actually care but may not have the resources. It’s nice to have a stable country when we retire, and for our kids when they grow up.

        • I agree. We get the government and the public schools we deserve. This is a quote that seems appropriate.

          NUMBER: 424
          AUTHOR: Alexander Fraser Tytler (1747–1813)
          QUOTATION: A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.
          SUBJECTS: Democracy

      • I guess I should have linked to the original newspaper article, but was too lazy to find it. This was an old thing that happened a while ago, just thought some of the youngsters would appreciate seeing it.

        Wikipedia entries are cited and footnoted, it’s been legit for a long time now. Occasionally lacking depth, other subjects it’s all the good historical data in one place. Sure, if you get into controversial topics, you have to know what to expect, just like any other source of data.

  5. In a former life I sold insurance. Of course there is risk. Not all teachers are trustworthy(I had a jr. high teacher abscond with $30000 of union funds). So what? Thats life and “shall not be Infringed”.

    • ” Not all teachers are trustworthy…”

      That’s the truth.

      Some of today’s teachers are taking a literal ‘hands on’ approach to sex ed these days… 🙂

      • “These days”?

        My mom graduated in 1952.
        The gym teacher was rumored to have a harem of girls who took turns standing guard outside his office while he serviced their friends.

        I graduated in 1982. That same summer one of my classmates married a teacher.

  6. If a risk manager can tie your hands, then your hands will be publicly tied, and you both will have telegraphed your vulnerability. If that’s not a risk management issue than I don’t know how the guns-in-schools issue came about.

  7. A generation ago schools were run by WWII vets. Today run by emotive metrosexual wimps and chicks. No balls or backbone on either.

        • M.M., do you have a degree in Education?
          Where from?
          Were you expected to learn and spout socialist dogma to get along in college?

          (honest questions, all of them. I’ve heard things and I’d really like to hear from somebody who was there)

        • Great questions. Masters in Teaching from Columbia College of Missouri. It is a small private college that attracts many career change, military and online students. I went to the on campus evening program. It is fairly conservative and the faculty focus on how to teach, not what to teach. There was on one or two instructors who were repeating the progressive dribble. As a hard core Constitutionalist, I was able to resist. None of the professors freaked over the military vets and ex LEO’s firearms and school security discussions on breaks. Younger students in the program (age 25 to 30) had real problems understanding the safety advantage of arming teachers and staff. A physically fit 250 lb football coach was convinced he would be jumped and have his concealed pistol stolen. Others did not have a clue how you could shoot accurately and effectively to defend a violent attack. Biggest problem is that many teachers have convinced themselves they can’t fight back.

          Feds. need to go. Too much regulation and testing wastes time and $.

      • The first step is to do away with the federal dept. of education. Return local schools to local control.

        Meant as a reply to M. M.

        • +1

          The Dept. of Education only came about in 1978, not that long ago and is a fairly recent phenomenon.

    • More accurately, America was a loud and proud christian country, top in the fields of science, math, engineering and literacy. First to land on the moon, the best muscle cars, the highest in marriage and personal savings with the lowest debt per capita. Guns in schools were the norm, with many schools having shooting teams with shooting ranges in the basements of the schools.

      Then, as the hidden communists, ie (liberal/progressives) in our schools and media started having their effect, G-d and reason left the building, and indoctrination and irrational emotion took over.

      I find it interesting that many people celebrate the rejection of our common christian heritage and gladly embrace the nihilistic self-loathing of the atheist “intellectual elite”, along with the blood, terror and tyranny that follows those promoting a G-dless society and call it “progress”.

  8. “Even though I know nothing can make life foolproof, I FEEL much better knowing my government tells me they can, and will, protect me and mine from our own foolish actions, for only the minor cost of freedoms, responsibilities, and votes; which I need explained simply, before I use them anyway.” – a progressive viewpoint.

    • Thank you for providing me with my first giggles today. I am thankful that I had my coffee earlier as hot, steamy caffeinated beverages don’t treat my nasal passages well……..

  9. “…But this isn’t a Second Amendment issue — it’s a risk management issue.”

    If only there were a school district somewhere in this country that allowed firearms on campus so we had a comparison point to properly evaluate the risk.

    or if you prefer a slightly different spin~~~~~~~~~~

    Risk? The insurance must be completely unattainable for those other schools that already have armed teachers and/or armed students.

    • There are five states that have made it legal to CC on campus. TX, CO, UT, ID and TN. No problems from those legally able to carry a firearm, of course.

      • In MI, we’ve had firearms preemption since 1990.
        I forget when it happened, but our pistol carry laws prohibit concealed carry in schools while allowing open carry.

        A few years ago, people started actually doing it, and it’s been in the news a lot over the last year because of a couple of lawsuits against schools which think they can make their own laws.

  10. As a parent, teacher, lawyer and firearms instructor I cover most of the bases here. The point of the article seems to be that the school districts can’t buy insurance to cover a negligent discharge by a teacher or administrator and REAL safety of students be damned. Dr. Erich Deitz has done the science on school shooters at Purdue University. The science indicates that the best defense is a campus set up with some controlled access, one or two armed SRO’s (school resource officers), a select group of VOLUNTARILY well trained and equipped (concealed carry) teachers and staff with coordinated lock down plan. This armed approach saves the most live and predicts limiting casualties to the 1 to 3 in a Sandy Hook, Columbine, Va. Tech type attack. Since it is not 100% effective everybody ignores this plan except several districts in Ohio and a few others around the country. Buckeye Firearms Association sponsors very high end training for teachers and staff who apply to attend.

    So how do they get insurance, Ohioans? It has been legal in Missouri since 2003 but the school districts are chicken to do it.

    P.S. The Second Amendment is an insurance policy – it manages risk against tyranny.

  11. Instead of taking protection measure they would rather bury their heads in the sand and hope the queen of new York comes up with a confiscation plan.

  12. Harris is FOS. In most states, schools have absolute or qualified immunity. If political leaders would stop trying to suck up to plaintiffs and the victim class by drying their tears with the state’s checkbook, almost every lawsuit would be dismissed.

  13. Barrister Harris there seems to be talking about risk to the school district, not so much to students.

    Well, if the admins get killed, the check moght not clear, so I suppose I get it.


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