Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters have apparently joined in calls for school districts to consider allowing teachers and staff members to carry guns on school grounds.  The Republicans seem to favor not only having armed police officers in the schools, but also having guns available for teachers and administrators.

We have heard the same thing from friends and family.  A similar proposal was floated in Tennessee, and it seems like our Facebook page was full of this sort of proposal all weekend.

We are, to put it mildly, skeptical.  But what do we know.  So we reached out to an expert on this issue to get a more educated view.  “I think it’s a horrible idea,” said a former homicide detective who wished to remain anonymous, “Introducing John Wayne and more guns into this mess seems like insanity to me.”

The detective retired from a major city Police Force.  Most significantly, he worked on close to one hundred police-involved shootings.  He explained that shooting and killing someone is extremely difficult even for highly trained law enforcement officers.  “Throughout their careers, officers go through literally hundreds of hours of training.  This training includes not only shooting a weapon, but also evaluating the backdrop and target acquisition.”

The movie theater shooting in Colorado was cited as a good example of how someone with a gun can easily make things worse.  “What people don’t appreciate is that the training and experience of law enforcement officers provides the officers with the knowledge of when the opportunity to do some good arises.  In the Colorado situation, someone who jumped up with their trusty gun to try to return fire in a dark theater surrounded by a hundred panicked people at best probably would have just gotten himself killed.”

Daria DeNoia, a primary special education teacher in Columbus City Schools, wrote an excellent guest post explaining that teachers don’t want to be armed.  You should read that, if you haven’t.

The Detective added that a lot of people who advocate arming teachers don’t appreciate the particular challenges of schools.  Especially in a High School setting, it’s often hard to tell who is the good guy and who is the bad guy.  Law enforcement officers who respond to a chaotic scene might just see someone with a gun and will naturally try to take that person out – even if that person is a teacher trying to defend a school.    In addition, he adds, “Arming teachers, absent the training that police officers go through, is likely to lead to a cross fire situation that puts students in harms’ way.  In addition, most schools have block walls, so someone responding to an attack has to be aware of the possibility that bullets can ricochet and strike innocent people.”

So there is an expert opinion on this issue.  Feel free to share.

  • Admin

    I’m a high school administrator and this is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of. Total knee jerk reaction. High schools in particular are very emotional places. Guns and emotion are a terrible mix (and no I’m no gun control freak). No thank you. I’ll take my chances using my words and a little common sense.

  • dmoore2222

    Let me make it easy for everyone. The utter shock and awe that results when guns start going off is simply overwhelming, Period. Especially in enclosed spaces. If you’re stupid enough to try this, clear out your garage, close the door, and set off a dozen strings of firecrackers. Then try doing something as simple as dialing 9-1-1. This would approximate the chaos of a shooting scene. In a real active shooter situation, you’d be dead before you got to the second numeral. The chances of mistaken circumstances or identity are so high that a shooting scene can be made much worse. School employees are not equipped to confront a shooter, especially one with an assault rifle. This computer game fantasyland delusion of self defense promoted by the likes of Rick Perry, and others mentioned, has to stop.

  • Hint: The guy with the gun, shooting children is the bad guy. It’s not too difficult for even the mentally challenged to understand.

    On the other hand. Leave the kids totally vulnerable and a easy pick. All the school shooters know this.

    Second option: Turn the schools into prisons.

  • dmoore2222

    That’s easy for you to say from the comfort of your keyboard. You better hope you never find yourself in a position to take anyone out. You’ll see what a blur it is then when the last thing you drank is running down your leg. I can guarentee you you’ll feel just a little bit “mentally challenged.”

  • So the only two ways to prevent another Sandy Hook are to 1. either arm teachers or 2. turn schools intro prisons?

    Seems like there might be some other options we could consider.

  • Retrofuturistic

    Maybe what the Christian GOP wants is for people to be afraid to send their children to the public schools that they want to destroy anyway. Then the road will be open for all that public money to go into the private pockets of unregulated charter and religious schools.

  • wgood

    Yes, you might do something crazy like stand between the shooter and students unarmed. Maybe Moore will be there to save you with some quick anecdotes. Regardless of the awe, and confusion can we react? What is needed is highly trained armed staff. When I say highly I mean ” highly “trained.
    Dmoore in a play over scenario wouldn’t you give the principal at sandy hook a weapon?

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