By Rob Morse
It’s bad enough when another broken, narcissistic idiot with a gun kills innocent victims. It’s worse still when the mainstream media gives the murderer — depending on their politics — a multi-million-dollar publicity campaign.
Until society and the media dynamic change drastically, we’re left with doing what we can to defend our children in schools and our neighbors in churches and synagogues. Along the way, we have to balance some conflicting emotions with some important truths about protecting kids and others in, well, sensitive places. Finding the right middle-ground is hard.
Let’s start with some facts. We defend our elites with guns. Lots of men who carry them. That’s true for rich anti-gun billionaires like Mayor Michael Bloomberg and for elite DC politicians and their families. You’re well advised to ignore what politicians say about guns and watch what they do. They think guns save will their lives and the lives of those they love.
As for the rest of us. Well, we’re on our own.
Emotions that swirl around high profile public violence are hard to deal with. For most of us, attacking a school or a church is evidence of incomprehensible, unimaginable evil. But just because it’s uncomfortable to think about doesn’t mean a mentally ill narcissist won’t do it as a desperate grab for attention. Mass murderers deliberately attack innocents — frequently children — to up the level of outrage.
When it comes to our neighborhood school, our first reaction is to fill the hallway with police before the school opens. We want the best defense for our children and those of our neighbors. That feeling tends to fade, though, as we add up the costs.
Yes, we could put a SWAT team in every hallway of every school building. We could put an armed officer on every school bus and ball field. The good news, though, is that attacks on schools are exceedingly rare and the chance that it will happen at any one school is less than it will be struck by lightening.
Realistically, all the money that could be spent on armed cops patrolling the halls of every school in America would devour their budgets.
Fortunately, there’s a broad, effective middle ground that has worked perfectly to protect students in districts across the country. For over a decade, we’ve had thousands of armed volunteers in schools. These volunteer teachers were recruited by their school districts. They’ve been trained by outside organizations and then approved by their school boards.
As a result, we’ve had several million classroom-days with armed, trained volunteer defenders in schools without a firearms accident. Besides the peace of mind it provides, no school with armed teachers has ever been attacked by a would be school shooter. That’s a lot of practical, verifiable experience.
The best defense is to prevent an attack before it can take place. We have a lot of experience to indicate that shooters don’t want to target schools with armed teachers on site. None of these volunteers have never had to defend a school that had a publicly announced safety program of armed school staff.
Success changes everything…if we’re willing to learn from it.
This article originally appeared at Slow Facts Blog and is reprinted here with permission.