In the wake of the latest mass shooting America is 99 yards deep in a national public debate over how to respond. Something will happen of that I am certain, but what exactly remains to be seen. One idea being floated is the notion of arming teachers which has resulted in a myriad of responses from educators. Typically they go something along the lines of, “I’m a teacher not a cop.” Or perhaps, “Am I expected to be a gun expert?” So let me talk very bluntly to the teachers of America, among which includes my own wife. When a mass shooter walks into your school you are neither a teacher or a cop. Lady you are a target. When the hammer strikes the round and the bullet exits the gun with a muzzle velocity of perhaps 2,000 feet per second your occupation is irrelevant. You are no longer an educator, wife or husband. You are a clay pigeon and having been shot at myself in a foreign land I highly recommend that you adopt my life mantra. Namely, if you shoot at me I will shoot at you back. But let’s talk to the teachers crying about carrying a gun.
I Don’t Want You to Carry a Gun
If you are a teacher whose stomach is turning at the notion of having to carry a gun then I don’t want you to do so. This is not Baghdad and the likelihood of a school shooting given the number of schools in America and days in school is actually astronomically low. My wife who is a teacher is a wonderful woman. She is an amazing mother to our children, great teacher and she routinely makes me feel funny things in my special place. That being said, she is not the one in the school to be carrying a gun. Sorry honey, I love you but you know this to be true. I did however meet the PE teacher who was an Army veteran of Iraq and you know what, seems like a solid candidate to carry a gun to protect my wife.
Lighten up Francis, no one is asking to arm every teacher in America and if you are one of the ones on crying on TV or blogging about it then you wouldn’t be one of the ones asked anyway. I had an 11th grade Health teacher who was a kooky old lady. Looking back I’m pretty sure she was drunk by lunch everyday, but she would recommend that we get naked, jump up and down in front of the mirror and if stuff was jiggling we needed to exercise more. I’m serious, true story. I do not want that lady to carry a gun. Teachers, if you are incompetent or terrified by the pew pew pew keep your heads down. By all means, put down the guns and let’s be friends.
The vice-principal however was a man named Coach Ross. He was a big burly guy who served in the National Guard. Tell me, what exactly is wrong with Coach Ross carrying a gun? I’m willing to bet you couldn’t find a school in America who didn’t have at least one veteran serving in some capacity at that school. Then again, veterans are not the only proficient shooters out there. I’ve met countless civilians who school me on gun knowledge. Cops are just average dudes who get some good training. Why can’t a teacher receive the same? Most cops will never have to pull the trigger in the line of duty in their lives. Why do we assume teachers can’t be ready for the day most people dread? Sigh, let’s talk about the cops in the Florida shooting.
There Are No Words for Officer Oppum
I actually hesitate to write about the officer who was posted at the Florida school as a resource officer. Unless someone intentionally thrust themselves into the national spotlight I don’t like to use this blog a venue for personal criticism. The officer at that school who was there within a minute and opted not to go inside during the six minute shooting spree didn’t ask for this to happen. I don’t want to bully or shame the man as I am sure he has much to live with in the wake of this shooting. Many are deriding the man talking about what they know that they would have done in his situation. To which I reply, no you don’t. You assume and you hope, but you don’t. Those of us who have heard the snap and crack of a bullet fly overhead and pressed forward might have some more evidence, but the average person only hopes they know. That being said, for the sake of children in future shootings we have to call an Oppum an Oppum and learn.
I want to apologize to the cats sitting next to every veteran who watched that clip as they undoubtedly got kicked. I cannot watch that part of the movie without rage and flames coming from my face. There is no greater case for arming a handful of willing teachers than the actions of law enforcement during that school shooting. I would go so far as to say there is no greater case for the 2nd Amendment than the actions of that officer during the shooting. I’m as pro LEO as it gets, but it is foolish and unwise to acquiesce the total security for the one life you have been given on earth to government.
The crux of the problem in that scenarios was that the officer himself was not being shot at. Had he been shot at I have no doubt he would have known what to do back. Still though, man this was a school with kids. LEO you have to be better than that. You simply must be. Mass shooters are cowards. Once they get a little fight back they typically put one through their own skull. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury we are just asking for a few teachers in each school to have the ability to fight back. In some capacity, any capacity. Are you telling me the football coach who died shielding students with his own body would have been confused as to what to do if had a gun on him?
If your response to the mass shooting is a call to ban AR style weapons then you are offering nothing more than a thought and a prayer. There is no Congress that will pass it until at least 2019 and there is no President that will sign it until at least January 2021. How many school days and how many school shootings will pass until that time has passed? Finding a couple of qualified educators in each school in America is not hard and it is action that can be taken now. If you are an educator and this makes you pee in your Bea Arthur panties then don’t worry, I don’t want you to carry a gun.
Some have said the failed action of the trained cop is proof that arming teachers is a stupid idea. Except that the cop wasn’t getting shot at and the teachers were. When someone shoots at you it is human nature to shoot back. There are 300 million guns in America right now and no policy will undo that. There is nothing being debated in D.C. that will reduce the carnage at a school shooting this very Monday. Arming a few well qualified teachers who will shoot back is something that can be done now. Those teachers will not freeze up as did the cop because those teachers will be getting shot at too. When someone shoots at you I promise, you shoot back. Getting hit in the crossfire by an armed teacher doing their best means very little to the person who is getting riddled with 5.56 for over six minutes. So don’t go there. Shoot at me and I will shoot at you back is my life’s mantra. Schools would do well to find 1 to 2 individuals who believe the same.
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