Last week’s blog got a lot of attention and I was happy to field several questions on a variety of subjects. So, here’s an elaborate discussion on firearms in the classroom.
It’s about time
Do I believe we are going to see more schools recognizing the need for an immediate armed response as a means of protecting their students. Yes, but it won’t be a nationwide event, there will be pockets of schools through out the country, but my hope is with time it becomes normal for schools to have armed personnel on the property. In addition, I think it would be a good idea for those schools to go public they are participating in a nationwide effort to protect their students with armed personnel.
Fortress, sort of
It’s an old adage from the physical security field, I don’t have to make my location invulnerable; I just have to make your’s look more inviting. Pretty simple concept and some might have issues with the idea, but too bad. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out those willing to break the law more than likely will take the path of least resistance. So, if they had to choose between a school who had armed personnel present versus one who did not, it seems logical and reasonable they would pick the later. Those looking to do harm are not looking for a fight, they want to perpetuate their cowardly acts without the fear of their own injury or death. If they felt they might encounter someone who would shoot them in the face without breaking a sweat it kind of diminishes their whole point, which is to make a point.
A gun on the hip is worth two in a box
With that being said, how do teachers go about their daily school days armed? Really there are two conditions, there is on body and off body. Off body can be very tempting because it is less of an inconvenience, but I strongly discourage this as the primary method. It should be common sense that if an event were to happen when the individual is away from the off body location it really isn’t doing much good. There is a temptation to find a compromise and that this method is a compromise. I disagree and here is why, this type of mentality promotes laziness. It might take advantage of the notion there is an armed response, but it also creates an environment where the responsibility of being armed is diminished. My first issue with that is pretty obvious, you have to fight your way to the gun, then fight your way back to the fight. With an event measured in seconds it is wishful thinking at best. The next issue is someone who is well versed in gunfights would not consider placing their firearm off body, they may consider a backup or more serious weapon like a rifle, but as a primary hell no!
The placebo effect
So, if folks are thinking this as a viable means I have to question how capable they really are with regards to gunfighting. Make no mistake, we are talking about the worse case scenario here, one where few are totally prepared for. I have had this discussion with peers and pretty much all agree that someone who would be willing to go off body doesn’t really appreciate the dynamics of the situation. Yes, that might hurt someone’s feelings, but what I don’t want is a placebo effect, thinking you are good just because you have something locked up in a box somewheres.
Don’t be that guy
If you decide to take on this responsibility, and I’m directing my comments to teachers and employers at this point, please ask yourself whether you are willing to carry on a daily basis, to be inconvenienced by the clothing options, to put in the extra hours to train and prepare, because if you are not then you very well could be the accident waiting to happen. While some may consider this a discouragement to being armed in schools I don’t, it is the truth that we must all acknowledge.
Nobody said it would be easy, but it is the right thing to do as long as it is done right. On body carry methods should be the only recognized method of arming teachers and employers. Having a gun in a lockbox should not be considered armed, it should be considered for what it is; a gun in a box out of reach.
"To be prepared for war, is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace" George Washington, First President of the United States