This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, March 5, 2018:
Thomas Edison said “The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are: hard work, stick-to-itiveness, and common sense.” That may explain why so few accomplish anything worthwhile, because “Common Sense, Isn’t!”
Take the average school board. For years, nearly all of them have bought the argument that if you post enough “gun free” zones around the schools, shooters will take heed and go elsewhere. A parody of this nonsense can still be found on YouTube (see Sources below).
What those “gun free” zones mean to murderous thugs is “safe shooters’ hunting preserves!” John Lott, founder of the Crime Prevention Research Center, has proven statistically that 98 percent of all “gun free” zones have been the target of all mass shootings.
But finally a trigger point may have been reached: the Valentine’s Day massacre in Florida seems have triggered a remarkable rediscovery of the trait, and schools boards across the land are pulling down those signs and putting up ones that read “Not a Gun Free Zone.” Others are taking a more positive tone: “Welcome to our School. Please note that our teachers and staff are armed and prepared to protect our students. You have a nice day.”
Internet sign makers are having a field day with the paradigm shift: “Life is short. Don’t make it shorter.”; “Are you bulletproof or just stupid?”; “Due to price increases on ammo, do not expect a warning shot”; and so forth.
Take the public school board meeting held last week in Pike County, Kentucky where the topic was arming teachers and staff at the county’s 25 high-, middle- and elementary schools. What made the hearing remarkable wasn’t the unanimous decision by the board to begin the process of training teachers and staff to carry intelligently firearms at those schools, but the disdain with which they treated the only naysayer in the room: Jon Akers, the Executive Director of the Kentucky Center for School Safety.
Akers said that the idea of training and arming teachers and administrative staff “scares me to death … arming people who are not trained equal to that of law enforcement officers is risky.”
There is no record that anyone in the audience laughed at Akers’ protest, but it was clear that his argument, like so many being offered by people like him, just doesn’t hold any water. Under the new proposal, school teachers and staff could volunteer to carry concealed at the schools but only after passing a background check, a drug test, a mental evaluation and a qualification course. And they would have to requalify regularly.
Teachers’ unions are all out of arguments, especially in light of the massacre of innocents on Valentine’s Day. Those innocents had no chance to defend themselves because the school was declared a “gun free” zone. Those opposed say that programs to train teachers and staff to defend their students would cost too much, that teachers should teach and not be cops, that there’s a risk of a “shootout at the OK Corral” with teachers and staff shooting bystanders and themselves during an attempted shooting, that those funds ought to be spent elsewhere (for pencils and mental health advisors, etc.), that the teachers are already overworked and underpaid, etc., etc.
But common sense is finally reaching local school boards. They are increasingly recognizing that “when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.” Those boards are realizing that teachers and staff members, with skill at arms, could end a potential shooting immediately or within just seconds, while the police are on their way.
In Sidney, Ohio, for example, there are 3,400 students in schools where teachers are trained to confront such a situation rather than waiting for law enforcement to arrive. Schools there have dozens of biometric safes tucked away discreetly in closets and classrooms, but accessible immediately by those already trained. Said John Scheu, the school superintendent, “We can’t stop an active shooter but we can minimize the carnage.”
In Texas, there are 172 school districts where for more than a decade teachers and staff have been allowed to carry weapons after having undergone specialized training. That training is rigorous, to say the least, and often exceeds the training required of law enforcement. After passing various drug tests and background checks, along with a mental health exam, those teachers and staff volunteering to protect students must undergo 80 hours (that’s two weeks) of training by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.
The task is daunting, to be sure, with 98,000 public schools in the U.S. and most of them unprotected, except with those silly and dangerous “gun free” zone signs. But now, perhaps thanks to that Valentine’s Day shooting, common sense is returning to school boards. This rediscovery of ancient wisdom portends many positives: fewer shootings, fewer casualties (except among the shooters), more teaching, less noise, and certainly less MSM blather about guns.
That would be a welcome sign and proof that common sense is becoming more common.
The New York Times: Trump Wants to Arm Teachers. These Schools Already Do.