Opinion

Why We Must Arm Teachers Now!

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Posted: Feb 15, 2018 5:30 AM
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent the views of Townhall.com.
Why We Must Arm Teachers Now!

Guns in the hands of trained teachers would’ve saved lives Wednesday in Broward County, Florida.

Sadly Florida’s own state legislature preferred children and school personnel die instead.

In a minimum of back to back legislative terms, then state House of Representative Greg Steube introduced legislation in 2014 and 2015 to allow teachers to be armed on school campuses in the State of Florida. The successful measures in the state House then died in the state Senate where both the teachers’ unions and the PTA brought political pressure to bear to kill the bills.

So blame—at least in part—the carnage this week at Parkland, Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school—on the lobbying efforts of those two groups as well.

Steube has not given up the fight. The former state House representative is now a state Senator and for 2018 plans on introducing at least two gun bills that would allow expanded capacity for gun owners to be able to carry and in some cases conceal their guns on their person. 

These bills are expected to receive the same pushback of the previous efforts. Florida state Senators should re-evaluate their positions though. Florida after all is home to two of the top ten worst mass shootings in American history.

The shooting at Stoneman Douglas may not have been completely preventable but it might have very much been stopped long before 17 victims were killed and another 14 sent to area hospitals. 

The almost identical observation should be made of the shooting at Sandy Hook school in Newtown Connecticut.

In both instances from the amount of time it took the first shots to ring out, to the time it took campus authorities to dial 911, to the time police actually arrived, and by the time the incident concluded just gave entirely too much time for evil to be done.

In both incidents the estimates are that it took police only a minimum of 5-6 minutes to arrive once the initial calls for help were placed.

Who could complain that police arriving on the scene of an active shooter in such an immediate timeframe was anything but attentive and prompt? In the Sandy Hook episode electronic locks, reinforced doors, and other security upgrades had been installed and appeared to function properly. In Florida the Stoneman Douglas campus had at minimum two squads of armed “resource officers” present—as do all public high school campuses in Florida.

In other words all of the safety precautions that the anti-gun lobbies have conned everyone into believing would work in the event of the worst case—didn’t—when the worst case presented itself.

Almost immediately in reaction to the unfolding of the news as it was happening Shepherd Smith on Fox News Channel asked Florida Senator Ben Nelson “What could be done?”

The Senator mumbled something back about how because of the division in Congress “we’re not even able to pass legislation that would prevent terrorists from buying an automatic weapon.”

But neither shooter in either case were members of Al Qaeda or ISIS. Both were former students of the districts they attacked. The Sandy Hook shooter killed family members to steal their weapons to go on his shooting spree. The shooter in Parkland had long had a reputation for loving to shoot guns even while maintaining a belligerence against the school. He also evidently expressed that animus around the campus enough that many students immediately assumed this attack was carried out by him even while the attack was on going.

Steube’s last attempt at arming teachers was also extremely reasonable. It required that the only teachers who would be allowed to be armed on campus would be those who had former law enforcement or military service background. It also required that said teachers showed a proficiency in the handling and safety of their sidearms.

Sadly the smug-left-of-center news media for the next many days will make long sad pronouncements about how all of this could’ve been avoided and should have already been addressed.

Floridian and State Senator Greg Steube agrees.

Sadly that same media will point to the ownership of guns by law abiding people and believe that taking them away is the only ultimate answer.

But the only real thing that gun confiscation has proven is that the increase of gun free zones in our society is also an increase in targets for people who never abide by laws on guns or anything else.

If the Broward Sheriff and the Parkland police were able to respond in 5-6 minutes yesterday.... 

If two squads of armed resource officers are on campus but not in the building where the shooter begins firing...

If electronic locks, and reinforced doors do not prevent the penetration of a committed killer into a school where innocent children wait like sheep to be slaughtered...

Then it is time for teachers to be armed, locked, loaded, and ready to end a killing spree before dozens more die.

So arm the teachers. Arm them so that the mere knowledge of such firepower potentially raining back down on the perp dissuades him from ever attempting an attack. Or at the very least ends his attacks before maximum potential carnage has been created.

Save children, arm the teachers, arm them now!

No more excuses!