A Proposal for Protection of Our Children From the Killing Fields that Our Schools Could Become
PHILOSOPHY OF AUTHOR: I would rather die standing up to defend myself and my children with a firearm blazing in my hand than to die cowering on my knees before a terrorist.
- Individuals and organizations with an agenda for the personal disarmament of the American people have gleefully used every school shooting in the last 10 years to further their goals. Unfortunately, the previous school shootings predictably increased the shrill cacophony heard from this vocal minority to “ban the guns”. More recently, evil terrorists are targeting schools in order to demoralize a nation such as in the Beslan, Russia massacre.
- The simple and self-evident solution to balancing the interests of the protection of our children at school with the protection of our gun rights has been conspicuously absent during this national debate which has been practically controlled by the anti-gunners due to the national access given to them by the media. To be fair, gun rights advocates have only responded with the usual cry of, “Don’t grab my guns because of the sins of the few”, without offering any real solutions.
- Our children and the American people deserve action on this crucial matter rather than the empty words of partisans. This C.A. T. SCHOOL SAFETY PLAN is the only sensible response to this problem that offers any real chance of success. The goal is not to prevent deranged persons or terrorists from somehow obtaining firearms and bringing them to a school to wreak havoc on our children (an impossible task), but to provide a plan for giving those who are charged with the responsibility of protecting our children a means for doing so if this does happen. If we can also possibly deter others from similar unlawful conduct, then we have received an additional benefit; however, the primary goal when all else fails and an individual shooter or group of terrorists open fire at a school full of our children is not to call for “early family intervention” or to psychoanalyze the shooter – it is to immediately defend the children and to stop the shooter.
ARM THE TEACHERS
- By permitting volunteer teachers to be trained by volunteer instructors in Combat Arms techniques and then permitting the certified and licensed volunteer teachers to carry concealed weapons on school grounds, lives will be saved and crime will be deterred. Students, parents and teachers will actually be more safe than under the present system that forbids guns on campus for every one else except for the individual shooter and terrorists who obviously have no regard for the law or the lives of our children.
Additionally, the individual shooter or terrorists will face return fire from trained and loving teachers who already daily put their lives on the line for our children. Through instruction and certification in Combat Arms techniques, teachers will be given the means for protecting the children they care so much abut in addition to their own self protection. Combat Arms instruction goes well beyond that which is customary in Concealed Carry Permit classes and would cover many typical police training topics such as “Shoot/Don’t Shoot” scenarios where proper target acquisition is taught.
It is instructive that a shooter in Oregon in 1998 reportedly climbed on a lunchroom table during the shooting. He was obviously fearless that he would face return fire; he thereby silhouetted himself perfectly for a clean shot if there had been just one trained volunteer teacher nearby with a defensive weapon. Return fire, even if aimed high for safety, would have the beneficial effect of causing the shooter to “duck and cover”. The shooter would now have to deal with issues concerning his own safety that have heretofore been conspicuously absent in every school shooting.
- The C.A.T SCHOOL SAFETY PLAN is:
- STRICTLY VOLUNTARY
No teacher should be required to participate in this program. Neither should any teacher be denied participation in the program who can meet the requirements of a Combat Arms Course for Teachers.
B.ONLY FOR THOSE SPECIALLY TRAINED
This Plan does not envision an “open season” for all teachers to crry concealed guns on school grounds. It is obvious that school administrators would not tolerate an untrained and unlicensed teacher carrying a concealed handgun at school. Current laws and penalties are sufficient to deal with unlawfully carrying weapons to school.
C.ONLY FOR THOSE WHO ARE PROFICIENT
The standards for admission to any particular school district’s C.A.T. SCHOOL SAFETY PLAN should be high enough to provide security for our children without compromising safety. However, the current system of leaving everyone to their own devices has led to our children having to defend themselves, such as the brave young man in the Oregon shooting, Mr. Jake Ryker, who charged the shooter and took a round in the stomach for his fellow students and Mr. Ruiz in California who was shot several times. A proficient volunteer teacher with a concealed handgun could have stopped the shooter dead in his tacks without having to make heroes of our children.
D. ONLY CONCEALED CARRY
Our children, teachers and school administrators should not daily face the sight of teachers walking the halls of our schools with a rifle in hand or a pistol on the hip. Furthermore, the confidentiality of the identity of the armed teachers must be strictly maintained for the safety of the teacher.
E. TRAINED BY VOLUNTEERS
Not only will the teachers who elect to be trained and certified to carry concealed handguns be volunteers, so will the trainers. The net effect of all of this is that the C.A.T. SCHOOL SAFEETY PLAN will cost practically noting to the taxpaters except for lost time during training (which should be compensated time and not time lost for the teachers) and for the cost of the handguns (which should be of standard and uniform type, provided by the school districts and remain the property of the schools.)
- We must give our teachers and school administrators the chance to defend themselves and our children:
A. THE SHOOTERS ARE NOT ATTACKING POLICE STATIONS
Because they are, after all, just sniveling little cowards only brave enough to go shoot it out with unarmed students with whom they have some real or imagined grievance. Terrorists will target schools for obvious reasons – just to kill our precious children.
- SCHOOLS ARE (AND SHOULD BE) GUN-FREE ZONES AND THE SHOOTERS KNOW IT. Our current system sets our children and their teachers up like giant targets. Now that the press has (as it must in a free society) brought the news of these shootings to all the rest of us and to potential shooters, we can expect a lot more of these tragic stories on the nightly news unless we take action now to turn the tables on the misfits and terrorists who would prey on our children. Our teachers and school administrators must be freed to have the means at hand to defend our children from the individual shooters and terrorists.
- THE “C.A.T.” PLAN TARGETS SHOOTERS AND TERRORISTS figuratively and literally.
- CONCEALED CARRY IS THE KEY to success here. The beauty of concealed carry is that a potential shooter does not know which teacher is armed. An openly armed teacher is also an immediate target of a potential shooter who might be inclined to first take out any nearby armed teachers. Concealed carry will probably be considered very unfair from the standpoint of the potential shooter or terrorist who will not be able to tell who is armed and who is not. It is intentionally unfair to the potential shooter. A corollary key is that there should be as great a number of teachers under the Plan as possible. This should not be a token, “feel good” program where only a few teachers are certified because the greatest deterrent is having an armed teacher nearby if some crazy person pulls a gun and starts firing. The C.A.T. SCHOOL SAFETY PLAN calls for as many concealed handguns in as many teachers hands as possible if a shooter opens fire.
- CONCEALED CARRY HAS WORKED TO PREVENT/DETER CRIME IN OTHER VENUES and has not resulted in the carnage that was predicted by opponents to gun carry by teachers. All the same old worn out excuses for doing something effective to stop this growing problem will be used by the anti-gunners just as they did to try to stop concealed carry permits. After September 11, 2001, we have finally found the courage to arm our commercial airline pilots (or at least some of them.)
OBJECTIONS AND ANSWERS
- A few of the anticipated objections that will be voiced by opponents of the C.A.T. SCHOOL SAFETY PLAN, together with answers to these objections, are as follows:
- OBJECTION: IT MAKES THE SCHOOLS MORE DANGEROUS
Recall the same objection in regard to the concealed carrying permits and arming the pilots.
ANSWER: IF WE CAN’T TRUST OUR TEACHERS, WHO CAN WE TRUST?
- OBJECTION: IT WILL LEAD TO MORE VIOLENCE
As baseball legend Yogi Berra said, “This is déjà vu all over again.”
ANSWER: IT’LL STOP THE SHOOTER
While it is certainly true that shooting back at a shooter or terrorists (Dare we say it?) is an additional violent act, it remains that the violence will be directed at the shooter or terrorist to stop the shooting. This is a good thing, not a bad thing. If anyone has any question about that, please ask the live survivors and witnesses of the school shootings for clarification. Unfortunately, you cannot ask the dead victims.
- OBJECTION: INNOCENT BYSTANDERS MAY BE HURT
In order to defeat a sound proposal that will help save children’s lives (not to mention the lives of the teachers and school administrators), opponents to the C.A.T. SCHOOL SAFETY PLAN will plead “The Children”. Their argument on this one is basically that it is better to allow the individual deranged or sociopathic shooter or the terrorists to shoot as many children and teachers as they have the capacity to shoot than to take the chance that a trained and certified volunteer teacher may cause a misaimed or ricochet bullet to strike another student. The opponents would rather our children have no chance at all than a fighting chance for life. The C.A. T. SCHOOL SAFETY PLAN offers an alternative to dead children.
ANSWER: CONSIDER THE ALTERNATIVE: WE ALREADY HAVE INNOCENTS BEING SLAUGHTERED
We do not make light of the death of or injury to any of our children, especially from “friendly fire”. The child is equally dead or injured. However, our schools have previously become war zones where the “rules of engagement” are insane. With the Beslan, Russia massacre as an example of what the plans are of the terrorists, we will be irresponsible not to take reasonable and measured precautions. Instead, we are asked to accept the inevitability of incoming rounds and are told me can’t fight b ack. “Call 911,” we are told. No. Let the anti-gunners call 911. When the individual shooter or terrorists are finished shooting they can then call for the body bags and the news cameras. But if we love our children and truly want to protect them, we should give volunteer teachers and school administrators the ability to grab their concealed firearm, run to the sound of the gunfire and see if a few children’s lives can be saved.
FURTHER ANSWER: THESE WILL BE VOLUNTEER TEACHERS WHO ARE TRAINED
The chances of a trained volunteer teacher firing into a group of students in an attempt to hit the shooter is practically zero, especially if properly trained. The chances of an un-harassed shooter hitting someone when firing into a group of students is practically 100%. The odds go way down when the shooter is having to dodge bullets. Which odds would the potential victims prefer?
- OBJECTION: ISN’T IT UNLAWFUL TO HAVE A GUN AT SCHOOL?
ANSWER: State by State, laws would have to be amended in most cases to accommodate the teachers, administrators and janitors who want to carry.
- OBJECTION: SUPPOSE NOT ENOUGH TEACHERS VOLUNTEER?
Do not ask the Teacher’s Unions nor the school administrators. Their answers will be predictable: “No, No, No! Bad idea! We don’t have a gun problem at this school! We already have a campus security cop somewhere around here who has been trained in martial arts. Blah, Blah, Blah!”
Quietly ask the teachers anonymously. Let them vote on this individually by volunteering no matter what some union official or administrator says. One in ten would be enough; even one in twenty would give our children a fighting chance.
ANSWER: YOU WILL BE SURPRISED HOW MANY VOLUNTEER, MALE AND FEMALE ALIKE. IF THE NUMBER OF VOLUNTEERS IS INSUFFICIENT, THEN WE HAVE TO CONSIDER RECRUITING NEW TEACHERS WHO WOULD ALSO VOLUNTEER.
- OBJECTION: WILL THIS REALLY HELP VERY MUCH IN A TERRORIST ATTACK?
What can teachers and school administrators with sidearms do to stand up to a bunch of terrorists with automatic weapons and bombs? That is, why don’t we just accept the inevitable and lay down and die with the children?
ANSWER: First, you put the defensive force where it is most needed – inside the zone of initial attack. Secondly, you provide the defensive force when it is most needed – out the outset when the individual shooter or terrorists are trying to gain control in the typical Columbine, Colorado and Beslan, Russia scenario of “attack, capture, siege and massacre”. Thirdly, there is the element of surprise (against the shooter or terrorists). Experience has shown tht decisive action in the opening moments of an “attack” can prevent an immediate “capture”. In the case of the Beslan, Russia massacre, the terrorists would have been forced to either “duck and cover” or would have been forced to ignite themselves outside before they gained control. Lastly, to just buy some precious time for backup to arrive would be a benefit unto itself.
By Carl D. Haggard