January 14th, 2013
05:00 AM ET

My View: If we love our children, we need to protect them

Courtesy Harrold ISDBy David Thweatt, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: David Thweatt has been superintendent of the Harrold Independent School District in Harrold, Texas, for nine years.

This week, Schools of Thought will publish perspectives on school security. Tomorrow, a parent and author reacts to school safety responses in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

(CNN) - Good parents protect their children. We protect them from the wind, sun, fire, cold, sickness, from animals, harmful philosophy, other children, predatory adults, injury when possible, their own faulty reasoning and anything else that we see as a dangerous risk to their health and well-being. They are the future, and they are precious.

At the Harrold Independent School District in Texas, we believe we’ve done everything possible to protect our children. We use cameras, electronic security and emergency plans, and some of our staff members are armed.

When I got into education in 1979, the idea of guns in schools was completely off my radar. But I believe faulty logic was used to frame the 1990 gun-free school zones law, which made it illegal for most citizens to knowingly possess firearms near schools. No police record, news account or anecdotal evidence showed that school personnel authorized to carry weapons used guns to hurt or injure innocent children. There was no reason for the federal law except defective reasoning: Policy makers believed that because guns came into schools in the hands of law-breaking gang members and drug dealers, the smart response was to take them away from law-abiding citizens.

What a perilous law that has become. We hung a sign on virtually every school in America that said, “Here await our most precious possessions in the world, and they are not protected.”

In Harrold, our school serves about 105 students in our rural community 150 miles northwest of Fort Worth. Best-case scenario, we are a half-hour away from the closest law enforcement officials.

In 2005, after shootings at other schools and universities, I began to research ways to protect our school’s children, and my research included the idea of arming staff members. There was no blueprint for how that would work, so we spent two years researching and considering different requirements and legal issues. The school board passed it October 22, 2007.

We call it the Guardian Plan.

It does not OK every staff member to carry a gun. Employees must possess a Texas Concealed Handgun License and be approved by the school board. They undergo training involving accuracy and hostage situations and are required to use frangible ammunition to minimize ricocheting and injury to bystanders.

The Guardian Plan is not entirely outside the box of school security – many schools have armed guards or officers – but it has some unique qualities when compared to the status quo. No one knows the identity of our Guardians, and because they do not know who is armed, guns aren’t likely to be stolen, and our Guardians aren’t targets the way a guard or officer might be.

The number of Guardians can be higher than the usual one or two security guards, and they can be placed strategically throughout buildings. Unless the media shows up every few years to highlight the fact that some of our personnel are armed, my students forget the guns are present. They are out of sight, out of mind. That’s never the case with security officers with guns in open holsters.

The Guardian Plan is a blueprint that can work other places, but I firmly believe in local control and that every community needs to do what they think is right. Would I change any of the components? No. We thought about it so long, and tried to answer every possible question. I have taught in larger districts, and know they might need a different vetting process for who can carry a gun, and different discussions with parents and kids. In our town, we value self-reliance, and we are used to being our own first responders.

Many believe that Second Amendment traditions and rights are antiquated, treacherous and unnecessary. Some believe that if all of the guns and weapons were thrown into the sea, the world would be at peace. To be direct, this is naiveté at its zenith.

We know guns are not permitted in prisons, but those facilities are not nice, safe places. Killing tools of many kinds are fashioned there because creativity and design are not only traits of good and honest citizens. Not all immoral and depraved individuals are in prisons. Some have yet to be identified, and some are intent on harming our children - in our homes, schools and any other place. Guns in the hands of good people results in protection from bad people. It is that simple.

Is it foolproof? No, nothing is. At the end of the school day, we at Harrold want to know we’ve done everything possible to protect our children from people who are intent on harming them. We are better prepared to do that than many other places.

Across America, we need signs in front of schools that read: “We love our children: They are protected.”

The opinions expressed are solely those of David Thweatt.

What do you think? Read more perspectives on school security, and share your thoughts in the comments section.

soundoff (458 Responses)
  1. JLC

    So who is protecting our children from the teachers if they go off the deep end? Not fool proof plan but people are the problem, obviously. Trying to elimate people is not the answer, but rather looking a training against this. Remember back in the day when we had fire drills and drills for earthquakes etc. I believe trainging to be prepared should still be implemented. All of our law enforcement and military do this daily; for the threat of terriorism. This is a form of domestic terrorism and as such we should defend ourselves.
    The best advice I have heard so far is from that of a Navy seal. He said to provide training to all school staff, use of kevlar sheets, kevlar vests, auto-locking doors for classroom etc... The more you plan the better prepared you will be.
    Treating our children and schools as prisons is not the answer...

    January 24, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
  2. Input Welcome

    Working Draft: Re: Letter to the President

    NOTE: Your constructive input is welcome.

    We, the people are deeply concerned about the following, which we request, as we the people, your immediate attention to if at all possible. The reason that we make this immediate request is due to the very real concern for the safety, well-being, and protection from harm of mental patients of all ages, religions, nationalities, gender, race, and ethnicity, etc., and disabilities in light of the recent tragedies that has placed a huge amount of blame on autistic persons, and mandates signed by you that could be construed to violate the rights of the mentally ill and their families.

    Historically, the mentally ill have been treated poorly in this country, much like those whom the revered civil rights leaders of our great country challenged all to provide equal opportunity, education, rights, judicial access and fairness of courts, legal systems, education, schools, jobs, housing, health care, etc.. Today, we are asking you to do the same for the mentally ill and their families, communities, and society as a whole (as all could be disabled from mental illness at some point in their lives – and historically – most are).

    While the power and politics of the system within which the responsibility for mental health practices, procedures, and policies encompasses many whom benefit and thrive, many of the patients and much of society are made to suffer the greatest of burdens and sorrow because of it.

    There are many reasons why so many suffer at the hands of the current mental health system, as you may well know. It is widely considered to be a system of care that is very deeply flawed by those whom are aware of the true realities of the way things really are in the mental health system, and/or the reasons and reasoning as to why the system is so flawed. To ask the patients to suffer through not only their illness, healing, recovery, and management of their illness at the same time that they must also suffer at the hands of this deeply flawed system places an inordinately undue and unhealthy burden and suffering on not only them, but on the whole of society as well.

    President Obama, the most obvious need that is not being considered in the last few weeks national affairs, in which you have so immediately made sweeping changes to the rights bestowed upon all of this great nation of independently minded souls, was one of the deep rooted anger that exists in the USA today, be it toward the mentally ill or gun rights issues or whatever. To single either one or whatever out for discrimination in signed action that will, in essence, limit the future and rights of every single citizen of this great nation, only serves to invite further victimization, discrimination and prejudice against all deemed to be or made to be in any group of similarly classified individuals. As outlined in the laws of this land, which you have sworn to uphold, and to which your pledge we honor as you do ours, as a united 'we the people' governed under a respected and trusted unifying law of the land, we humbly ask you to reconsider your recent actions under the same wisdom you value by your honor chosen mentors, and to whom, we thoughtfully agree to their mission of freedom and equality for all.

    The restrictions you have placed on the rights of the mentally ill are a closing of the door to the rights you honor with your pledge to defend, honor, and uphold for ALL citizens of the USA. We question the possibility now allowed that many might fall prey to those whom may wish to exploit and / or harm those with disabilities and related, or as ill guided control, or weapon of discrimination and prejudicial policies, practices, and procedures against any made to fall into this category of citizens or deemed to be in this category of citizen. This is now a great burden to all, and places many at further risk of harm, discrimination and prejudice, as you could well imagine given the need for revered leaders and movements throughout the ages.

    It is hard to imagine how banning guns can be such a problem, yet forcing the banning of guns on those at the mercy of a mental health system that is not prepared to deal fairly with such power to control, discriminate, and cause harm, exploitation, nor the loss of protected rights throughout the entire system of education, judicial, employment, military, health care, mental health care, security systems and officers, society as a whole and as individuals, families, communities, churches, non-profit groups, universities, the agencies set up to regulate all that can cause mental illness in our foods, water, medicine, practices, procedures, and policies, and ALL can be and ARE AT MERCY of this type illness and treatment without legal representation and supports, and a fair and equal judicial system, that this could truly be ok.

    Therefore, we the people, request humbly and with post haste to amend to these signed actions provisions that will allow for the furthering of reasoning throughout all levels of the greatest government system put in place by the people, for the people, and for which we are all pledged to honor and protect and defend as USA citizens of this great and wonderful land of which we know, that you, our chosen leader, will be able to see the wisdom of your forefathers and revered leaders and mentors as being the only true way for our nation to be for the people, by the people. Thank you and God Bless you in your leadership and wisdom as you guide this grand nation through four more years of being a nation built on the wisdom of many.

    Sincerely and with Deepest Respect,

    'We the People', USA
    January 20, 2013

    January 21, 2013 at 3:56 am |
    • JLC

      you should really write this response to the president and not CNN...

      January 24, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
  3. cheryl mcfarland

    The cry over guns has caused the media and others to look completely past something very simple. The response to the heartbreak and tragedy of a school shooting has gone straight to guns in the school. There are already guns in many schools. However............

    The most effective new security hardware in a school would actually be locks on the classroom doors that could be quickly locked from the inside. (And yes, there have always been solutions in case a teacher gets locked out of the classroom. Duplicate keys, for one.)

    Some schools in our nation have installed classroom locks that lock from the inside. I've seen them referred to as Columbine locks. The lack of such locks were suggested as a problem in the Virginia Tech shooting, and, from narrative reports, seem to have been an important factor in the Sandy Hook one.

    Resource Police Officers are extremely valuable in schools for many reasons, but not for guarding the many entrances to schools which are in frequent use throughout the day. This includes doors held open for multiple elementary classes going out to and in from the playground and kitchen doors held open for deliveries.

    As for armed staff and faculty,
    it may well be that guns would only be carried by individuals who are extremely well trained and responsible. However accidents and deliberate theft (even simple mischievous theft) are a serious possibility–and can be seen as far more likely than a gunman breaking in the school.

    January 17, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
  4. jibjobjab

    why dont they just put metal detectors and a guard in every school at every entrance/exit. ANYTIME ANY STUDENT COMES OR GOES THEY GET SCANNED and checked by the guard. GUARDS AND METAL DETECTORS AT EVERY ENTRANCE/EXIT. thats it. not teachers with guns ....i mean jesus are you guys crazy ???????? the teachers dont need guns. the kids should be checked when they come and go EVERYTIME EVERYTIME EVEREYTIME. from recess to coming or going. If teachers all had guns what is stopping a kid/teen from trying to get the gun from a teacher ??????? NOTHINNGGGGGGGGG. so the solution??????? NO.GUNS.

    January 17, 2013 at 3:50 am |
    • MikeTeachKC

      The reason this is not done is simple: money! Unless you can have EVERY door guarded all the time there are people inside the building, you have a weak spot that can be exploited by anyone wishing to do harm. Some schools have 20-30-40 or more doors, and they ALL must be able to be opened from the inside, and unless they are guarded, an accomplice could let the wanna be shooter in that way.

      January 18, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
  5. Richard

    of corse, you have to be in texas to be crazy enough to put guns in schools.

    January 16, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
    • The Dr.

      Why not do what medicine does and do a trial? Have one state ban assault weapons, limit bullets in magazines, and heavier background checks... And have another open up their citizens to carry where ever and when ever they want. Track the gun crimes and then make a decision. Rushing to pass legislation will only get us into a worse predicament.

      January 16, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
      • Whatever

        Because you would have to find two states with the exact same population, population density, and general culture in order for that test to mean anything. And even then it wouldn't be applicable to the rest of the country because the other states wouldn't have those same demographic profiles.

        January 18, 2013 at 12:21 am |
  6. Joe

    Wonder if anyone has paid attention where the shootings take place.
    They are in areas were they have the strictest local gun laws restricting legal gun owners.

    January 16, 2013 at 6:52 am |
    • Crocker

      Take WA D.C. for example. They have some of the strictest gun laws – yet have one of the highest gun crime rates. Go figure.

      January 17, 2013 at 9:36 am |
  7. jeff

    NO GUNS ALLOWED IN SCHOOLS EVER !!!!!!!!!!! Put an armed guard or guards outside but nobody and i mean NOBODY brings a gun into the school EVER !!!!!!!!!! Here is an easy one for all the idiots, NO GUNS = NO DEAD KIDS !!!!!! GET IT YET !!!!!!!!!!!

    January 15, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    • chamillion20

      I get it. You want no guns for the bad guys. I'm so sorry they won't listen to you.

      January 16, 2013 at 12:25 am |
    • dan

      The caps lock made it obvious how dumb you are. Then I read what you actually wrote.....you're retarded.

      January 16, 2013 at 1:22 am |
    • Dee

      so Jeff, tell me how well that's working for ya, buddy. These schools didn't have any guns allowed, but yet we still have dead kids....your logic is...well, not logical at all. Based on evidence, I mean.

      January 16, 2013 at 2:47 am |
    • James

      Definitely an idiot. Responsible educators that are already tasked with caring for our children should be able to protect themselves against crazy people with guns. But guns are not the issue. The worst school massacre was a bombing in 1927. Gun Violence is the use of a gun by a criminal in a criminal act. Crazy people killing others for no reason is not something you can legislate away. The recipe for IEDs are all over the internet. Why do we not address the real problem of the lack of mental health care for kids and other people that have mental problems?

      January 16, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Dave

      So Jeff, why not just pass a law saying people can't shoot other people unless in necessary self-defense.


      January 16, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • MikeTeachKC

      How are you going to enforce this? The people who would do harm, don't care. As long as there is ONE person intent on doing harm, they WILL be able to come in and DO harm. "Wishing" guns away just won't work. They exist, and they will continue to exist. Do you wish only bad people to have guns? Do you wish to be at their mercy...a mercy that they do not posess?

      January 18, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
  8. fatblackfrancis

    “Here await our most precious possessions in the world, and they are not protected.”

    Only in America would they need protected. Oh, wait, that's because every other civilized nation on earth have complete bans on deadly weapons.

    January 15, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • dan

      Yes people only harm kids in American schools....do research before posting a statement like that. But that's what CNN comments sections are for I guess. Random idiots trying to sound insightful or clever. Quick tip...When a google search can shred entire statement....you probably shouldn't have made that statement. Dummy.

      January 16, 2013 at 1:26 am |
    • Robie Cagle

      So what you are saying is that it is impossible for someone to dress like a Police Officer in Norway and go to a Christian Camp and murder dozens of people – please, get serious, instances happen around the globe and it requires little in the way of investigation to even find the info. Gun Free School Zones are nothing more than easy pickings for criminals hell bent on destruction of lives, in this case youth and no law will stop them from committing their atrocities because there are no defenders at these schools and that is what we need, on site defenders, people with knowledge, training and intelligence to protect the innocent. Unfortunately this seems to be lacking in your diatribe and hyperbolic comments. A little education would do you some good.

      January 16, 2013 at 2:22 am |
    • Dave

      Refresh my memory here... how many children were stabbed in China recently?

      January 16, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
      • Will

        yeah, and how many of them died?

        January 16, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
  9. icequeen75

    I think what this administrator makes sense. It is a well thought plan that has the good guys with guns but also extensive training. I also think while we are putting guns in the hands of the good guys, we also need to think of ways to keep guns out of the hands of bad guys. Is any gun control legistation going to be perfect? No, but guns are simply too easily accessible to the bad guys and there has to be better ways to keep guns out of the hands of bad people

    January 15, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
  10. James

    I agree that it is crazy not to let trained licensed individuals that are already dedicated to teaching and protecting our children have a fitting chance and be allowed to carry a gun. I also have and AR15 and would not give it up until you can guarantee me that all the gangs, and other threatening groups have been disarmed. I believe that if you put every policeman on that job it would take decades. Anyway, if you want to protect our children, at least give them the same privilege that airplane pilots have, a lockable bulletproof door. Not to have a safe room, or place to hide from a shooter in a school is the height of insanity.

    January 15, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
  11. Leif

    Some people really believe that armed staffers would turn on the kids? Really? And do what, steal their lunch money?

    How likely is anyone going to be able to fire a gun in a school and NOT get caught? What are they doing, sneaking about the empty building in the middle of night during summer vacation? Anyone, staff or otherwise with a right to carry who abused it in a school would be guaranteed a very long sentence in jail followed by a lifetime of ineligibility for any job in their chosen profession ever again. And that's if they don't actually shoot somebody!

    Only a crazy person would ever actually pull out a gun and use it in a school, a crazy person or someone aiming at said crazy person.

    January 15, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
  12. encouraged

    agree 100% with this article. as a kid growing up in suburban jersey, i definitely knew my school was safer because of the presence of armed security officers. all the more better if there were more trained, but covert, armed personel.

    to all who think this idea is just crazy, get out of your shell and realize that in most of america where carrying a concealed weapon is not stigmatized, there are significant numbers of carrying, law abiding citizens who do not go around shooting each other in public venues.

    the poor little ones lost at newtown deserve their memory honored by providing the means for every student in this country to know he or she is safe and protected when entering a school.

    January 15, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
  13. Fubarack

    I would only put kids in a school that did have a few people armed, and in vetting the school, I would make sure they had a sign in front of the school, stating that it was a gun zone.
    Kids deserve better protection than our politicians, so let's at least give them the same protection that politicians and officials choose.

    January 15, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
  14. palintwit

    1. Round up all the owners of semi-automatic weapons.
    2. Temporarily confine them in old, abandoned airplane hangars.
    3. Load them into box cars and transport them to the deep south.
    4. Confine them to special camps where they will be allowed to blow each other's brains out.

    January 15, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Sean

      Sure thing, Hitler.

      January 15, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Dan Jones

      That might be a bit hard on our professionals. I was a member of the NRA and I have a fair knowledge of who owns those semi-automatics. The crowd is largely doctors, dentists, police officers, judges, businessmen an women, etc. It is an expensive hobby.

      January 15, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • bulletproof

      You must be crazy, just because somebody disagrees with your opinion and likes guns you would do this??? How about we do that to all the african americans, Jews, or any other group.. sounds crazy right??? You sir, sound like an idot!!
      Freedom is never Free– God bless the USA

      January 15, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Dave

      First they said "you don't need guns". Then they said "get on the train."

      January 16, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Nick

      Yeah, also you better hope this country doesn't get attacked, 9/10 of the military will be locked up in your concentration camp dummy, go figure we like to shoot ARs. But its okay, according to your logic, the invaders will turn their weapons in at the border because guns will be illegal, the drug cartels do, right?

      January 17, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • MikeTeachKC

      Palintwit, do you KNOW what a semi-automatic weapon is? Do you THINK it is a machinegun? If so, you are wrong. I am a teacher, but I am also a 12 year veteran of the US Army, and I carried a machinegun and other automatic weapons all that time. There is a difference.
      Also, what you are suggesting is VERY much like what the Nazi's did under Hitler (I also have a History degree) and you are SO far of base that you DO show signs of mental problems, most likely anger control issues. I suggest that you get some help before you go off the deep end and hurt any innocent people.

      January 18, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
  15. aviva1964

    I really don't know what the big deal is. Many schools already have armed guards. I haven't heard of any armed guards or professional security or even trained teachers/admins slaughtering any kids.

    Kids see security guards at banks, at stadiums, at airports – security at school DOES NOT equate to your kids going to school in a prison, nor will it make your kid afraid to go to school. It might make them LESS afraid. I don't understand why so many people are insisting on taking this specific type of weapon out of the hands of law-abiding citizens, but won't even consider actually protecting their children. If you love your children, protect them.

    January 15, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
  16. mckoder

    They tried armed guards in Hospital E.R.s. The result? Over the last decade, a quarter of gun crimes in American E.R.’s were committed with guns wrested from armed guards. More info: http://www.annemergmed.com/article/S0196-0644(12)01408-4/abstract

    January 15, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • Dave

      Read more closely - 23% of shootings in the ED, where shootings in ED were 29%, so a bit less that 7%. Considering the overall statistics include prisoner escapes (11%), it would be interesting to see what percentage of the shootings in which the gun was wrested from the officer/guard were prisoners.

      "The ED environs were the most common site (29%)..."

      "In 23% of shootings within the ED, the weapon was a security officer's gun taken by the perpetrator. Case fatality inside the hospital was much lower in the ED setting (19%) than other sites (73%)."

      January 16, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • Dave

      I suppose I should point out that your referenced research has to do with shootings, not "gun crimes". The total number of shooting instances in/around hospitals were 154 in an 11 year period , or 14 per year on average. Note also that 21% were suicide attempts.

      Old marketing adage – If your numbers are small, use percentages.

      January 16, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
  17. everard powell

    I love it!!! we should do the same in NYC

    January 15, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
  18. dulcimer172

    Who protects kids from staff with guns ?

    January 15, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • chemsoldier

      School staff who will use guns illegally against their students have no concern for their jobs and will simply bring a gun in and commit their crimes whether or not they are legally allowed to have a gun in the school. Its not like they are searched on their way in. Only the law abiding that intend to work live and teach will bother to get permitted to carry in a school.

      January 15, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • Dan Jones

      Who needs to? There are hundreds of schools where the children are protected by armed personal and to date not once has any armed guard ever harmed a child. Can you sat the same about your gun free zones?

      January 15, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • A dope

      I wonder, besides the cops are the teachers the only ones allowed to carry guns at school? What about a conserned parent with multiple children at one school. what if the parent did not get along teacher? Could they carry a gun to a parent teacher confrence or are the teachers the only civilians in the community allowed to carry a gun in city limits?

      January 15, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • A dope

      Oh yeah after my graduating class of 1999 in Washington Iowa two Cops are there everyday. No problems since, and not as much underage smoking there also.

      January 15, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • David

      Really? Ok, How about the schools where some of our liberal leaders children attend school. Lets remove the armed guards from the schools? I mean, who's going to protect them from the armed staff? footballism. "come on, man"

      January 15, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
  19. Joe

    That is it ARM EVERYONE. Everyone has a gun with them EVERYWHERE..schools, public buildings, churches, parking lots and cat houses...oh yeah don't let me forget BARS we need protection in bars. The entire civilized world is laughing at us..let's boldly move forward and turn America into a REAL SHOOTING GALLERY. We can have shoot outs in the parking lot at the mall after a fender bender, at church, in City Hall and imagine the insanity in the bars! Battles in Afganistan would look like arguments at the old folks home!!!

    January 15, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Sean

      There are millions of LEGAL firearms in this country. If your reasoning was true, we would have killed everyone in this country many times over. There is no statistical evidence supporting anything you just said.

      January 15, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • U a

      #$%&! idiot

      January 15, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Dave

      No one is proposing citizens be required to be armed. You obviously disagree with using violence to counter violence - if you are comfortable with somebody else having to save you if you are attacked, then you can skip having to even think about being prepared to stop an attacker. There is a good chance you won't have to do anything violent to save your life during your lifetime, so odds are reasonable that your world view will serve you will.

      January 16, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Dave

      Quick quiz - last year did we lose more Americans to "gun violence" in Afghanistan or Chicago? Hint: Chicago says citizens can't carry firearms.

      January 16, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
  20. TomGI

    As long as the decision to arm the school staff is fully disclosed then fine with me. I want to be informed so I can pull my kids out of there. I don't want my kids going to a school with armed staff. There are alternatives to that and I want to avail myself of them.

    January 15, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Jon

      I feel the exact opposite. Banks have guards to protect our money from the bad guys, do children not deserve the same protection? I'm sure the kids at Sandy Hook Elementary would have loved to have an armed guard as they sat there completely defenseless.

      January 15, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
      • bulletproof

        i could not agree more Jon.. I

        January 15, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
  21. Jeb

    "No police record, news account or anecdotal evidence showed that school personnel authorized to carry weapons used guns to hurt or injure innocent children"

    The same could be stated about teachers who are se xu al predators....until they are caught. And since you want to be realistic, lets consider say a 38, 9mm or 40 with an accuracy measured in feet and clips (typically) of 9, versus a long rifle with an accuracy in yards and magazines of 30-40 rounds.

    What about a zoned, automated tear gas system (similar to fire suppression systems), or other less-than-lethal means? Woudn't that make more sense in a school?

    The day my county allows armed admin is the day my kids become home schooled.

    January 15, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Elvis


      January 15, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • David

      interesting idea, but the the loon will just have a gas mask with hiim. You obviously don't think things through. And would you be ok with your kids going to the same schools as Obama? Because these schools have armed guards

      January 15, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
  22. todd marlin

    why stop there ? Let the teachers carry a rocket launcher or a bazooka in the classroom, so that when they go nuts and harm a bunch of children, the NRA can't use this as the next brilliant solution on how to keep kids safe 🙂

    January 15, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • bulletproof

      " so that when they go nuts" I see a lot of teachers going crazy in the news, happens all the time.. not really.. I think your over reacting just a little..

      January 15, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • Dave

      The right tool for the job suggests a concealable handgun to be the best matchup for providing a deterrent to an armed intruder.

      Of course, this is a reasonable response to an unreasonable suggestion, which is likely not what you were aiming for in your posting.

      January 16, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
  23. Oakspar77777

    I am a teacher. My school has an SRO who is armed, but it is a single man in a very large school complex. In an emergency, his response time is likely to be minutes (call the office, the office radios the SRO, the SRO runs up to a quarter mile if he is on the far side of campus checking cars in the student lots).

    I am also a CCW carrier. I an always carrying anytime I am not heading to, at, or coming from work. I have passed the necessary test to be a CCW carrier (100%) and I can shoot far better than the local police qualifications (though any officer who can't do that is a poor shot indeed, as it is a sadly low standard).

    I don't need a gun to protect me from my students. They are generally good people who are more prone to mischeif than evil. I have never been afraid of my kids.

    The reason I want to carry is not for protection from them, but protection for them. I'm not taking a pistol into an AR fight and I'm not going to be a ballistics dumby and soak lead. If during a lockdown, however, I am drawn down on the door, entering my classroom would result in death to the shooter (kevlar or not, I'm shooting until the twitching stops).

    I don't think we will ever have a shooter, odds are long against it, but there are evil people in the world. Three of my former students went on to commit homicides. The correct response from a teacher to a society that says, "you are not to be trusted with a firearm around my kid, unless we bump into you at Walmart on Sunday," is to respond "in an active shooter situation, I am using your children as human shields."

    No teacher has ever responded that way, and yet, we insist upon distrusting those whose care for your children is second only to your own.

    Also, note, that in states where teachers can carry, how many incidences of teachers shooting students are there (the answer is 0).

    January 15, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Jeb

      "Also, note, that in states where teachers can carry, how many incidences of teachers shooting students are there (the answer is 0)."

      this is a flawed argument. For example, 3mos ago you could ask how many mass shootings have occured at elementary schools in Newtown and the answer would have been zero. Prior to the Columbine shooting the answer would have been zero. Prior to the VT shooting the answer would have been zero for VA.

      The point is you can't tie the fact that shootings haven't happened in schools with armed teachers simply because they are armed. In fact, some of these school shooting have taken place at schools with armed resource officers who just happened to not be there – something the shooter would not neccessarily have known. Furthermore, most are on a suicide mission anyway so they likely don't care if there are armed staff.

      January 15, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • TomGI

      A parent has a right to know if staff are carrying weapons. As long as it is disclosed I'm fine with it. So I can know and then subsequently pull my kids out of that school. My kids deserve better than an educational environment where some dingus governor or school admin has decided it would be OK for them to carry weapons on campus.

      January 15, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
      • Steve

        Let me get this right. You have a problem with teachers who are willing to protect your child with thier life carrying a gun to help protect your child?

        January 15, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
      • chemsoldier

        As is your right.
        My wife is a high school teacher, has a permit, can outshoot some SROs I know. I see no reason she should not be able to get credentialed by her district to carry in school as she already does at Walmart, Chucky Cheese and the McDonald's play place.

        January 15, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
      • Dave

        "A parent has a right to know if staff are carrying weapons."

        No, they don't.

        Let me give you an example. The Gun Free School Zone act allows states to provide exemptions to the law. The State of Utah has provided that a person obtaining a Utah Concealed Firearm Permit (CFP) may carry a firearm on school grounds. The Uniform Law in Utah disallows a subsection of the state from writing their own gun regulations, so a school doesn't have the ability to say a CFP holder is disallowed. A teacher or administrator can obtain a CFP, and their school cannot disallow their carrying a firearm on school grounds. State law also says permit holder's information is private.

        There are hundreds, if not thousands, of educators and school administrators who are already armed in Utah. This has been in effect for something like 10 years, I believe. The reason you don't hear about this?– because there hasn't been any problems. What a surprise - leachers and school administrators are law abiding people and are trustworthy.

        January 16, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • bulletproof

      You sound like the kind of person I would love to have as my son's teacher. He has been around guns for the past two years, he is only 7 and he knows how to shoot his 22 better than most adults. I would feel so much more at peace if he went to a school where i knew he had guardian angles that were armed and willing to take that shot at an evil doer.
      God Bless you.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
      • bulletproof

        Typo " guardian angels"

        January 15, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
  24. Jake Wheeler

    I have move back to the UK but lived in the US for 20 years. The crime here is out of control. People get stabbed or beaten to death rather than shot but the main difference is that normal people walking on the street tend to be the victims whereas in the US murder victims are generally other gang members or drug dealers. Consequently you are several times more likely to be the victim of violent crime in the UK than in the US. I believe background checks should be more severe especially regards mental health but also firmly believe a free society must have guns to defend itself.

    January 15, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • jhysterio

      The concern at this moment is to prevent mass killings in the US. They're not looking to disarm lawful people, only unlawful ones and to control the types of weapons that can kill more people in less time. It's gun control and regulation not total gun bans. Your post doesn't really address what is trying to be done here.

      January 15, 2013 at 10:55 am |
      • Mikeb1004

        "They're not looking to disarm lawful people, only unlawful ones and to control the types of weapons that can kill more people in less time." Please explain how this affects those that are unlawful. By definition, only the lawful will comply. To "control types of weapons that can kill more people in less time" doesn't take into account chemical weapons – household chemicals can be deadly, flammable weapons – gasloline can take out a whole building rather quickly, etc. To ban weapons based on appearance only (i.e. assaut weapons) is rediculous! My .308 hunting rifle is much more accurate than an AR-15. Muliple pistols can be carried on a person providing the same opportunity to kill many people in a short period of time. Your argument does not work.

        January 15, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  25. jhysterio

    Arming teachers still doesn't address the problem of mass killings, it shifts it away from the schools. There will still be mental/angry people out there looking to make their statement while taking down innocent people. Do we need the same armament in theaters, malls, workplaces, churches, restaurants...any public place where groups of people gather? Do we want that kind of society? We may well end up like one of the Escape from New York movies where entire cities live in a locked down state.

    January 15, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • Shane

      I'm fairly sure we already have the same "in theaters, malls, workplaces, churches, restaurants...any public place where groups of people gather," in many places around the country. I've had my Texas CCW for a while now and have legally carried my firearm in each of the places you mentioned except for the schools my children attend. Thankfully I've never been in a situation that required the use of my firearm but I'll tell you if someone around me wanted to commit mass murders I would fully exercise my right to limit the damage and death that someone like that may cause. That is what I'd like to have added to the schools in my area; even if I am still excluded from carrying inside schools I'd feel much safer knowing that there was someone who may have the opportunity to do more than simply watch my children die.

      January 15, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
  26. Smoke and mirrors

    I think these educators are smart. They are doing it right. What other people think is irrelevent to them. Protecting the kids is the first prioroty.
    We use the same level of protection for money, jewelry, celebrities, art or other items of value. Our children are much more precious and valuable than these.

    January 15, 2013 at 10:27 am |
  27. jhysterio

    In our state of Illinois 5 years ago we had "our" rampage killer on the Northern Illinois Univ campus. He carried three handguns (a 9mm Glock 19, a 9mm Kurz Sig Sauer P232, and a .380 Hi-Point CF380), eight loaded magazines, and a knife. He also carried in a 12 gauge Remington Sportsman 48 shotgun concealed in a guitar case. He killed 5 people and wounded 27. He struck with such quickness and so unexpectedly no one had time to react and one of the first people he shot at was the teacher, who escaped. He got in through an obscure entrance and by the time police arrived he had killed himself and it was all over.

    Could an armed teacher have prevented him? I don't know...the teacher was busy doing other things when the shooting started and it was so sudden many people just froze. Could an armed guard have prevented him? Again, we don't know because one guard can't patrol a whole building effectively.

    However, I do think securing the buildings would be a first step and setting up surveillance systems where a guard can view all (locked down) entrances could be implemented. Also, perhaps "safe rooms" could be established in certain areas where potential victims can at least take refuge...(recessed cameras of the entrance to these can allow those inside to let others in). This technology exists...yes, it would cost $$$ but maybe it's time priorities shifted where the taxpayer money is used.

    January 15, 2013 at 9:41 am |
  28. The Truth


    The lack of intelligence and common sence on this board really surprises me!!!! I though Americans as a whole were smarter than that; I guess I was wrong!

    FACT: Israil (a MUCH more dangerous part of the world) arms it's teachers and has had 8 students die of gun related violance in their schools over the past 10 years.
    FACT: The USA has "Gun free school zones" and have had well OVER 200 students die of gun related violance in schools over the past 10 years.

    ... here is another FACT ... 2 of the teachers in CT are known to have faced down the gunman and did what they could to protect their students. If EITHER or BOTH of those teachers were armed there is a better than average chance that some of those children who died would still be alive today!!!!!


    *In hindsite I guess I shouldn't be surprised about how utterly STUPID people are ... after all more than 1/2 of voting Americans RE-Elected a man who FAILED at every single thing he did other than getting Binladen and that whole operation was not even his ... it was set up by Bush, the one he blames for all HIS mistakes!!!!!!

    January 15, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • gerry

      Go back to your hole angry troll.

      January 15, 2013 at 9:27 am |
      • The Truth

        Enjoy your roting once the government runs out of money and can't pay for you to live off the backs of others!

        You lazy troll.

        January 15, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • Jim

      Its ashamed that you feel that way, however because of people like you, Democrats will continue to be the majority in office. thank you...

      January 15, 2013 at 9:38 am |
      • The Truth

        No ... it's because of unintelligent and lazy people like you that the Socalists and Marxists (aka: Today's Democrats) are going to stay in power ... at least until the economy collapses (which it will) like it did in Greece. The shame is that no one is big enough to bail us out when we fall like Greece go bailed out so the rioting is going to b 100x worse.

        ... and it's morons like you that we will have to blame!

        January 15, 2013 at 9:48 am |
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