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Armed Teachers: Riskier Than Other Armed Citizens?

An op-ed posted on the Fox News website misses the mark.

by
Mike McDaniel

Bio

May 27, 2013 - 12:00 am
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In the 2010 Jose Guerena case in Tucson, an interagency SWAT team — supposedly the best of the best and the most highly trained — fired 71 rounds into Guerena’s home. They perforated his home from wall to wall and floor to ceiling, hit several nearby homes, and hit Guerena only 22 times despite shooting from only about 10 feet away. Guerena, a Marine veteran of two combat tours, awakened from a sound sleep by what he felt were criminal intruders breaking down his front door — they did not have a no-knock warrant — and wearing only underwear, hid his wife and son and took up a nearby AR-15 rifle. He never took the weapon off safe, and didn’t fire a single shot.

During the 2013 hunt for rogue ex-cop Christopher Dorner in California, several officers shot up, without provocation, two unarmed women delivering newspapers in a pickup truck that resembled the vehicle reportedly driven by Dorner only in being a pickup. Photographs of the pickup reveal as many as 30 bullet holes. Only the officers’ terrible marksmanship allowed the women to survive without life-threatening injuries.

Stories of similar highly and consistently trained police officers are not hard to find. Citizens are not, in fact, uniquely dangerous.

Citizens use firearms successfully as often as 2.5 million times a year to protect their lives and the lives of others, usually without firing a shot. And when they do have to shoot, they often do so better than the police, as in the recent case of the Georgia woman that shot a burglar in her home five times, saving her life and the lives of her two children.

Teachers should not be required to be armed against their will — but there is no shortage of the willing. At a recent free handgun class in North Texas, conceived by Navy SEAL Chris Kyle before his death, more than 700 teachers attended. They recognized the potential danger — and their responsibility.

Teachers, like any other citizen, need only a limited number of very specific skills: the ability to safely handle their chosen handgun (commonly known as the manual of arms); knowledge of the laws governing deadly force and concealed carry; knowledge of the methods of concealed carry; and the ability to shoot straight. Concealed-carry licensing requirements for many states include all of this information, though some states do not, and those states do not suffer an increased level of mistaken shootings by citizens.

Anyone that regularly carries a concealed weapon absolutely should take advantage of as much competent training as they can obtain and afford. They should regularly practice with their handgun, in dry and live fire. They should continually work to develop and enhance their situational awareness — their heightened awareness of the world around them. But all of this need not be costly or take enormous amounts of time, and it must not be a bar to carrying a handgun in the first place.

Involving the government in the application of a fundamental human right never enhances freedom or safety. Such involvement inevitably leads to “one size fits all” mandates, such as requiring only a single make and model of handgun — greatly limiting concealability for many — and establishing prohibitive time and cost barriers to the exercise of fundamental freedoms.  Teachers are more than intelligent enough to choose appropriate, effective, and concealable handguns, and to carry and use them properly. Millions of less-educated citizens do as much every day without expensive and time-consuming governmental mandates.

Krauser is correct in advocating good training, but the threat of school attacks never diminishes.  If we truly want to protect children, we can’t require unrealistic and unnecessary training, and we must take advantage of those in the best position to protect them: teachers.

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Mike McDaniel is a former police officer, detective, and SWAT operator, and is now a high school English teacher. He blogs here.

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Top Rated Comments   
First of all, law enforcement officers receive extensive training NEITHER in shooting NOR in controlling their fear impulses.

This author comments, "Many (cops) will repeatedly find themselves in great potential danger and it is that repetition, more than training, that will allow them to recognize and deal with their physiological responses to danger. In effect, police officers never cease feeling fear — they are just scared so often, and the best learn how to deal with it in non-debilitating ways."

This, too, is false. Though most rookies experience caution-inducing fear at first, this is no different from the fear we all (including teachers) overcome when learning to drive an automobile in traffic. After years of nothing happening the typical cop tends to become as complacent as experienced motorists.

Regardless of their day-to-day experience, however, most cops are terrified in their first few gunfights (and surviving cops who experience more than one or two in their career are the few among the few).

If the first cops available run to the alarm of an active shooter, the chances are that this will be the first time those cops have done anything of the sort. You might find more experienced cops on the S.W.A.T. team, but the more selective you are in choosing your first-responders, the more time you can expect to wait until that team can be mustered. (That's why Boy Scouts are taught First Aid. No one denies that the proper medical specialist would do a better job -- if he happened to be on the scene at the emergency.)

All police begin as rookies, and all soldiers are green in their first battle, and sometimes the horror of experience can make a man too cautious to be effective. That is why our leaders deliberately chose inexperienced soldiers for the landing at Normandy on D-Day.

There are no easy solutions to the problem of violence. However, they tell you that, in a gunfight, the gun you fight with is the one you have with you when the fight breaks out -- not the better one you have at home locked in the safe or in your patrol car. Similarly, when soldiers are attacked, you don't get to wait for the Special Forces to show up -- you fight back with the people you have.

When a school massacre is attempted, for better or worse, your first line of defense is the adults who are already on the scene. Making those adults helpless cannot possibly improve your position.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
They don't need "adequate" training any more than other private citizens do. They might want it though.
Any adult who possesses a Concealed Carry License should be able carry their weapons in school and be allowed to use it in defense of his person, the students, and the school.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Classic straw-man approach of arguing against a position the other side isn't taking -- "However, the overly simplistic proposal to arm all teachers is a knee-jerk reaction of monumental proportions that could ultimately hurt their cause."

No one wants to arm all teachers. First, the teachers to be armed must volunteer. Second, the volunteering teachers must then be trained. Third, the trained volunteering teachers must then be certified.

Of course, the better position, according to Krauser, would be to leave the schools entirely defenseless, waiting for a policeman to arrive from who knows where, or for a policeman on campus, way on the other side of the building and following the protocol of clearing every room he passes, to get to where the shooting is. There were police at Columbine -- but they weren't where the shooting was, and lots of people died on account of that.

Arming some teachers would help. But were Leftists, we don't need solutions that actually work. We don't need to prove anything. We control the media and, therefore, anyone who has a countering opinion has to prove their position while we do not.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (81)
All Comments   (81)
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Public Schools & Guns
From a friend.....

Today a recently retired public school teacher that I’d not seen in several years, visited. All I ever knew of her politics was she despised Bush. We got on the subject of the grammar school boy who chewed a pop tart in the form of a gun and was expelled. I mentioned that this silliness seems to be constantly in the news all around the country. Here’s a shocker.

The lady was a member of TEA & NEA. She said that the reason this is being done is to create a generation of future voters who consider guns evil and would be more inclined to amend and remove the 2d Amendment.

If you want to change a nation’s culture, control the education of their children. In my day all education was exclusively a state operation; no federal money, no federal control, and each state’s teachers’ union was more in keeping with the politics and views of the majority voters in their state.

The first compulsory public education was in Germany long before anyone heard of the Nazis. Once the structure is set in place at the central level, it will be used by those who “know best.” If we got back to a 50 independent states school system it would defeat the attempt to make everyone think alike.

Orwell was way to early with “1984.”
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I fail to see how allowing the active shooter to be the ONLY person in the room with a gun makes ANYONE (but the shooter) 'safer'. The supposition that more people would be killed should teachers be armed (that is the logical reason for NOT allowing teachers to carry arms, if that's not the point WHAT is?) is ludacrous.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Looks like the most vociferous allies of arming teachers are the people that stand to gain the most:
Gun sales;
Weapons trainers;
NRA;
Gun lobby;
Ammo manufacturers.

Why does this sound like a Democrat/Progressive strategy?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You left off at least one: the helpless people who are killed when a gunman is the only armed person in the room.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Is it any surprise that the people who make, handle, train with, and sell firearms would be in favor of properly training and arming teachers to defend children against terror?

Is it possible some of these have ulterior motives? Sure.

Is it also possible that many of them have pure motives? Absolutely.

If you won't take this view on the problem, fine. Then let's ask the next logical question.
What would a person say about voluntarily training and arming teachers if that person:
Has military training and experience with firearms
Has almost 15 years of experience in multiple branches of the military and law enforcement
Has dealt with criminals and armed Islamic jihadists
Is a decorated combat veteran
Has no ties to the NRA, gun lobbies, the firearms industry, the ammunition industry, or those who make money training in weapons use

I'd say I would feel more comfortable with my kids in school if free training were offered to all teachers who want to volunteer for it and they were given the right to carry in the classroom.

Schools are, by their very nature, tempting targets for terror.
Immediate armed response cuts the death toll by more than 70% on average in situations involving a shooter in a school.
Properly trained concealed carry permit holders are almost never a danger to those around them and are shown to be responsible and reliable.
The average response time from law enforcement mixed with the complexity of shooting scenarios leads to high body counts when no immediate armed response is present.

Training and arming volunteer teachers for an active shooter scenario is a pragmatic approach to providing an immediate armed response to terror without breaking state and federal budgets and without putting students at risk of accidental shooting.

If you don't believe this, FINE. What's your solution to the problem? Let's discuss it. I'm open to better ideas.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You forgot the children
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Okay Gridley;
Where's the outcries of ALL THE CHILDREN calling for their teachers to have their own guns?
And those little voices in your head don't count.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Geezer, the only "children" against arming teachers are the ones coached by an adult (with an agenda) and given a microphone by an adult (with an agenda).
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
To Yooper and anyone else who is overly concerned about law suits and lawyers there is a fairly simple solution.

Stand your ground laws or some version of the castle doctrine directed toward school protection personnel.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Stand your ground is already controversial among the private and judicial circles. Likewise, it can't apply to public education employees in their function as educators.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That's brilliant!
Why hasn't anyone thought of allowing someone in a school to shoot an intruder armed with rifles and handguns and firing at will?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
First of all, law enforcement officers receive extensive training NEITHER in shooting NOR in controlling their fear impulses.

This author comments, "Many (cops) will repeatedly find themselves in great potential danger and it is that repetition, more than training, that will allow them to recognize and deal with their physiological responses to danger. In effect, police officers never cease feeling fear — they are just scared so often, and the best learn how to deal with it in non-debilitating ways."

This, too, is false. Though most rookies experience caution-inducing fear at first, this is no different from the fear we all (including teachers) overcome when learning to drive an automobile in traffic. After years of nothing happening the typical cop tends to become as complacent as experienced motorists.

Regardless of their day-to-day experience, however, most cops are terrified in their first few gunfights (and surviving cops who experience more than one or two in their career are the few among the few).

If the first cops available run to the alarm of an active shooter, the chances are that this will be the first time those cops have done anything of the sort. You might find more experienced cops on the S.W.A.T. team, but the more selective you are in choosing your first-responders, the more time you can expect to wait until that team can be mustered. (That's why Boy Scouts are taught First Aid. No one denies that the proper medical specialist would do a better job -- if he happened to be on the scene at the emergency.)

All police begin as rookies, and all soldiers are green in their first battle, and sometimes the horror of experience can make a man too cautious to be effective. That is why our leaders deliberately chose inexperienced soldiers for the landing at Normandy on D-Day.

There are no easy solutions to the problem of violence. However, they tell you that, in a gunfight, the gun you fight with is the one you have with you when the fight breaks out -- not the better one you have at home locked in the safe or in your patrol car. Similarly, when soldiers are attacked, you don't get to wait for the Special Forces to show up -- you fight back with the people you have.

When a school massacre is attempted, for better or worse, your first line of defense is the adults who are already on the scene. Making those adults helpless cannot possibly improve your position.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Arming teachers is like building a fortress with more access points than defenders. And the cost overrun has already taken it's toll.

this is nonsense. Self-armed teachers would be competent defenders in the classroom, just as self-armed citizens are everywhere we already go. Is my town a fortress with more access points than defenders, merely because a few hundred of us normal folks go about armed? I rather think not. We already stop between one and two and a half million violent crimes a year with our own weapons, for which we have sought out the needed training, at NO expense to the taxpayers. And in almost all cases, without ever firing a shot.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"We already stop between one and two and a half million violent crimes a year with our own weapons..."

Can you please publish such 'legitimate' data source(s) to support that claim.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
First, the teachers to be armed must volunteer.
agreed.
Second, the volunteering teachers must then be trained.
nope. Let each decide the level of training THEY need, and seek it out. Sure, reimburse them for additional. SOme teachers are already well trained, by their own choice.
Third, the trained volunteering teachers must then be certified.
WHY? The FACT they stepped forward, armed themselves, sought out their own training is more than enough. WHO will determine the "standards" and "testing" that they "need"? Armed citizens everywhere are no more certified than to fill out the government required (whether rightly so is another issue) Mother May I papers to be "allowed" to exercies their RIGHT to carry.

Armed citizens, some forty millions of us, already carry almost everywhere we already go. Let US< teachers or not, ALSO carry in the schools. Oour track record already vets us as responsible, reliable, looking after the safety of those round about us. That wold NOT change just by virtue of crossing the imaginary line separating school property from the convenience store adjacent.

Get real... simply ALLOW those who desire to do so carry in the schools. We will protect their occupants just as we now protect them everywhere else we already go.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Another factor Krauser ignores is this: the present situation, where NO ONE on school premises is armed, guarantees the "fish in a bucket" environment for the likes of Lanza, Holmes, Cho. Having ANY teachers POSSIBLY armed is not a quantitative change, but a qualitatative change. In this new, badly needed environment, Lanza and his ilk will never know whether that first teacher they encounter will be armed and competent. THIS is a fundamental game changer. The details of how many, level of training, who can or will, are meaningless. The fact that SOMEONE present at any school COULD be armed and skilled is the largest deterrent factor. Schools would no longer be goldfish bowls.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
so if a teacher is armed, instead of cowering in the closet with her/his students he could put them in the safety of the closet and take a defensive position to protect against anyone entering the class room.

Sort of like a sniper and could get off several shots, before the criminal could get into the room. Of course that is unless the person is limited in how many rounds of ammo the person is allowed to have.

And would rather than, then watching a massacre.

Funny to listen to a lib on talk radio try to say that he is against guns in schools and if in such a situation he would protect his students by standing between the gunman and his students. Thus he would be the first to die and his students after him.

When asked about the gun to protect, he then said if it was his time, it was his time. Which is also more malarky.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Okay, Mr. McDaniel;
I think your headline question has been adequately answered.
And I hope you can see the narrow scope this action would encompass; And the enormous cost.

What's really missing is the discourse from the security professionals and local law enforcement.
Even though lawyers may pose a good argument, they do need to keep a supply line of bread and butter.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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