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Arming Teachers Isn’t Enough:
A Proposal of Modest Caliber

| January 13, 2013

children and guns NRA schools

Harry Callahan would be proud. (Bikerock)

I’ve been listening to Waye LaPierre, the National Rifle Association vice president,  talk about how to protect our children from the next school massacre, and I have to say: he makes some sense. The only thing that can keep guns out of schools is more guns in school.

pierre tristam column flaglerlive.com flaglerlive We have about 70,000 public schools in America, only 23,000 of which have armed security of one type or another. That’s insane. LaPierre is proposing having an armed guard in every school. That, too, is insane, because it’s not enough. There was an armed guard at Columbine. Look how much good that did. It’s not just about the armed guards. It’s about the teachers, the principals, the librarians, the counselors, the bus drivers, the custodians. All those guys should be armed. And have a rifle at the ready, above the blackboard or below the dashboard, just in case.

But even that is too timid, because we’re still forgetting the children. They, too, should have the right to fire back. Considering how desensitized they are to violence, they’re probably the best shots around. By the time they’re 10 years old most children can torture, maim, kill and decapitate anything that moves thanks to video games inspired by 12 years of perpetual wars. Let’s channel that superb energy the right way by arming the kids.

It’s about education. Children should know how to wield guns responsibly as quickly as possible because, after all, guns don’t kill people. People kill people. So there’s absolutely no need to worry about placing guns in the hands of good people. And what child of yours isn’t good people?

There’s no reason to leave schools exclusively to the educators, either. That’s old school. With so much talk about shrinking government and running schools like a business, mass shootings may be just the needed trigger to fresh ideas.

The National Guard have nothing much to do now that our peacenick president is bringing troops home faster than he’s creating new wars. It doesn’t have to end there. We should have whole squadrons of armed national guardsmen in every school, every day care center, every extended day program, in every girl and boy-scout troupe, all the way down to Sunday school.

Just as we have magnet schools, we could have magnet armories. The National Guard could park some of its hardware on the school grounds of high schools.


Roofs are terrific emplacements for the beautiful .50-caliber Barrett that could detect and make pink mist of even the hint of a school shooter a mile away. And tanks. Let’s not forget what a tank could do in the parking lot of a school, to say nothing of missiles, because those school shooters will get savvy.

Not to leave law enforcement in the cold, Sheriff’s and police departments could have substations at middle and elementary schools. I also keep hearing of how we could make use of retired cops and military. Great idea. Sic them on school buses, in cafeterias, on playgrounds. We could call them the assisted living platoons. These heroes’ reflexes are bound to be life-savers in one mass shooting or another, assuming the geezers’ duty is timed between naps and pill-popping.

And every morning of course, we can begin our blessed day with the poetry of Wayne LaPierre, lord and savior of the greatest individual right known to any of us lucky enough not to be among the 100,000 Americans shot to hell every year, and the 30,000 dumb enough to be killed that way: All together now, I pledge allegiance to the firepower of the United States of Armament, and to the NRA to which it bows, one purpose, unholstered, with guns and ammo for all.

Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here or follow him on Twitter. This column is also syndicated through Florida Voices

Good old American know-how. (M Glasgow)

Good old American know-how. (M Glasgow)

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30 Responses for “Arming Teachers Isn’t Enough:
A Proposal of Modest Caliber”

  1. Mikeylikesit says:

    I didn’t know that you had such a great sense of humor, Pierre!

    But seriously, there were a couple of good points made (whether you intended to make them or not). With as many Sheriff’s Deputies (140+/-) in our fair county and assuming most have their own cruisers, why not have them park at our schools to file their reports or whatever it is that they do while parked in our medians and throughout the county. Even driving-through the school parking lots in their cruiser each time they pass bywould add dozens upon dozens of “visits” each day. Their presence alone would help deter a would-be shooter and quite possibly much other potential violence on campus. It would certainly cut down any delays in response times to any school emergencies!

    btw- My Sunday School does have armed personel. And my kid’s school has armed teachers and staff but that’s because we homeschool. Our school’s curriculum also includes gun safety and shooting but, sadly for most other kids, absolutely no violent video games, movies or music.

    We also teach the value of our neighbors and fellow man and include the love of Christ instead of relying on teachers to do a parent’s job. Could it be that that’s what’s missing in our schools and homes today?

    America definitely has a violence problem that seems rooted in the desensitized disregard of life. The solution is far more complicated than just gun control.

    • Jean Stowell says:

      Unfortunately we have heard very little about trying to eliminate some of the violent videos and movies that are so available to young minds today. But then Hollywood is this administration’s friend.

    • Brad says:

      At Mikeylikesit , Sounds like you`ve got the breeding grounds for our next couple of mass murderers , teaching them to shoot just like that kids mother did , not letting them go to school like all the other kids , they hate them kids!! why do they get to go to school and we don t , why do they get to play video games and we don t , why do we have to be different , I`m sure the parents of these kids thought they were doing the right things too , smothering your kids , can be just as deytimental as ignoring them , not letting them do what most kids do can cause resentments , lets hope that never happens , because if it does , they know where to get the guns and how to use them ……Great Job!!!!

    • Van says:

      You also have “a violence problem that seems rooted in the desensitived disregard of life,” as your love of Christ and guns clearly shows. Christ would obviously be carrying guns everywhere he went, and riding on dinosaurs wielding them, if only he’d lived in the enlightened times you represent.

    • Helene says:

      Re Mikey: “my Sunday School does have armed personel”. Methinks your Sunday School (assuming you are talking a Christian SS) needs to re-read Matthew 26: 47-56. Here’s the gist –
      “Put down your sword”.

  2. Jack Howell says:

    Very good tounge in cheek Pierre! I have watched, with interest, how schools are planning to handle this security problem. Pierre, you know that since I retired from the Marine Corps, I have taught, for 13 years, in inner city high schools in New York City, Waterbury, CT, Rahway, NJ and Jacksonville, FL. Security at these schools was poor to lacking …by my standards. In the wake of Newtown, CT, knee jerk reaction appears to be the selected course of action. Many, including the NRA, are advocating the arming of principals, teachers or other staff members to handle the threat. I think what we are forgeting, is that this can and probably will happen again! In my opinion, what needs to be done is to harden the target. Make school physical security extremely difficult if not impossible to penetrate so that a would be assassin would not be likely to attempt a shooting as it is just too difficult. Each school should be thoroughly inspected, by security professionals, weak areas identified and harden,security plans reviewed and motified and all school employees trained.

    Notice, that I did not say anything about arming school staff. Law enforcement does not have the current funding to allow for the placement of school resourse officers to be physically placed in each school. However, it is conceivable to either contract with security agencies or create your own secuity department. Security must be well funded as you get what you pay for!

  3. Geezer says:

    Us older folks, we had it so much better than today’s kids.
    We collected 45’s, not the pistols, but the records with the donut holes.
    We watched the Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, and Saturday morning cartoons…
    Gigantor, Courageous Cat, Magilla Gorilla, played ball, ran around…….

    Today it’s violent video games, blood and gore on cable….this is what kids and silly adults consume.

    I had a great childhood. I never worried about being SHOT in class.
    I only feared the butch nuns who would slap us around here and there in old Saint Patrick’s School.
    on Mulberry Street, 1960’s NYC.

    It was scary, but not life threatening.

    • Helene says:

      That’s right Geez. Those nuns and even public school teachers had paddles to whack our behinds should we step out of line. But alas, the government decided no paddles anymore. No, now they want the teachers to carry guns.

  4. Diane says:

    the day they put guns in the hands of school teachers , principals, etc is the day my children will be home taught…..why put guns in people’s hands? how do we know the teacher is not a crazy person? what we need to do to protect our children is bullet proof windows, bars on the windows and security guard at entrance that will scan each person walking into the school just like the airport …and they need an ID card to enter that school..if you don’t belong in that school you do not enter….

  5. Alex says:

    Why don’t we just dig a deep ditch around the school property and fill it with water. Have one entrance and use TSA techniques and personnel to screen everybody entering school property.

    This will cost the taxpayers lots of money and create jobs.

    We should send the bill to NRA and all the gun loving citizens in the school district.

    The price of freedom is not cheap so paying up should not be a hardship or a problem. :)

  6. Spare Us says:

    I say no to teachers packing guns….maybe stun guns, but that should be their limit. Too many teachers in our nation use poor judgment—watch your nightly news.

    Our schools are scattered all around the county. More should have been done to build all schools in a central location. Not good for parents with kids in 2 or three schools.

    Kids and adults can be shot anywhere-not just schools. For example, movie theatre, driving in the car, grocery store etc. What has happened doesn’t warrant teachers to carry guns. Considering how many schools are in our country, and how few school shootings take place we need to realize this is not a problem to turn into a bigger problem by arming our teachers.

    More needs to be done to help those who suffer mental illness….before they carry out crimes taking a life.

  7. Stevie says:

    http://tnsmartgirl.com/2013/01/06/school-shooting-in-tennessee-that-national-media-did-not-report/

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    Well regulated meaning trained armed personnel that will protect the children. The best of the best that America has to offer. Leave the teachers to their teaching.

    OR end the public school system. It is an unsafe bigoted institution anyway that makes a high profile target.

  8. Stevie says:

    http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/5332.html

    Just one example of the bigoted school system. Censorship against certain literary works.

  9. Lonewolf says:

    Hey, you stole these talking points from the NRA president. Stop the plagiarism now.

  10. wsh302@msn.com says:

    does anybody have a solution?

  11. Stevie says:

    “Hey, you stole these talking points from the NRA president. Stop the plagiarism now.”

    Nonsense. I got the idea from the President himself who has armed guards protecting his daughters and the other children at their school.

    Justice and equality demands that we prtotect all our children the same way.

    • Helene says:

      Riiiight!! Because your children equally have a bullseye on their backs just like any and/or all the Presidents of the United States of America children have on theirs. Oh, I forgot, it must just be our current president whose children need to be guarded. Get a grip man.

  12. Deep South says:

    Great Ideal. We should train Principles, Teachers, and Administrators how to carry and handle a gun. We also need to install doors and gates that close and lock, and nobody may leave or enter without clearance
    Perhaps make it similar to a Military Base. I don’t think it would hurt to call on some retired veterans to stand guard a few hours a day. I wouldn’t mind donating my time and service to protect our next generation.

  13. Karma says:

    @ stevie
    You are so correct, look at all the hypocrites out their. Take any ARMED security away from your kids that can not afford a nice private school. The President himself just renewed a law that gives him ARMED security for life.
    Look at the NY newspaper that printed the names of gun owners and then got ARMED security for the building. The editor of the paper has a ARMED security guard at her house.
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/01/12/judge_jeanine_pirro_rips_journal_news_for_outing_her_as_a_gun_owner.html

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/obama-signs-law-giving-himself-bush-lifetime-secret-184305122–politics.html

  14. kathy kauth says:

    The most simplistic solution is to mandate that all school children be armed [maybe not kindergarteners cause they can be such big babies], keep a tidy ketch of napalm in all teacher’s lounges and imprison anyone who is voices opposition to the second amendment which, by default, requires the repeal of the first amendment.

  15. Liana G says:

    Why is it that we never hear of mass shootings happening at charter and private schools? Doesn’t happen in those environment? Well then,there’s your answer!

    …”With so much talk about shrinking government and running schools like a business, mass shootings may be just the needed trigger to fresh ideas.”…

    If this article is insinuating along these lines, then we are indeed a sick, debaced, and sordid nation. Yet, totally within our societal makeup. Frightening…

    • Helene says:

      hmmm, no shooting at private schools? Tell that to the Amish community in PA whose daughters were slaughtered in an Amish school in 2006.

  16. Stevie says:

    “The most simplistic solution is to mandate that all school children be armed [maybe not kindergarteners cause they can be such big babies], keep a tidy ketch of napalm in all teacher’s lounges and imprison anyone who is voices opposition to the second amendment which, by default, requires the repeal of the first amendment. ”

    This is the type of sarcastic duologue that just keeps the problem from being dealt with.

    These are our children. This is precious souls. We have a responsibility to act in a manner that stops this now. Traditional gun control measures failed to stop the carnage in Connecticut. Why is this allowed to go on year after year. We are able to stop this with rational actions. Why don’t we do what works? Guard them with our lives! Make them feel safe and secure. We can do this. Is there anyone who does not want to protect these children?

    Then try to solve the chronic problem that we have avoided for so long. Not until the children are protected. They are priceless.

  17. Geezer says:

    I’d like to help outfit the educators with anti-riot equipment,
    teach the pee-wees some marksmanship too.
    Tactical 101 for pre-adolescents.

    How about diapers with a pistol pocket?

    Put a real boom-boom in your Pampers!

  18. kathy kauth says:

    THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN IN GUN CRAZY FLORIDA:

    ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo and lawmakers reached a deal Monday to strengthen the state’s gun laws, leaving New York poised to become the first state to take legislative action following the Connecticut school slaughter.

    The Senate passed the measure, 43-18, shortly after 11 p.m. Monday — exactly one month after the killings in Newtown. The Assembly was expected to wait until Tuesday to hold its vote, and give the Empire State arguably the nation’s toughest gun laws.

    The legislative package would expand the state’s existing ban on assault weapons, limit the size of ammunition magazines, close a series of loopholes, and create safeguards to make it more difficult for the mentally ill to own firearms.

    It would also impose tougher criminal penalties for gun crimes, including a mandatory sentence of life without parole for murdering an on-duty emergency responder.

    The bill was backed by a hard-charging Cuomo, a potential 2016 presidential candidate who was positioned to reap political reward if the measure passes, as expected.

    “This is a proposal that seeks to limit gun violence,” Cuomo told reporters at a news conference announcing the agreement. “It has nothing to do with . . . legal gun owners who use their guns appropriately.

    “Much of this is common sense,” he added. “Unfortunately, common sense has eluded us for many years.”

    Opponents, including workers from upstate gunmaker Remington, decried the deal as a “knee-jerk reaction” that will infringe upon the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms and cost hundreds of jobs. But many said the Connecticut massacre of 20 students and six staffers galvanized public opinion.

    The key provision is an expansion of the assault rifle ban. Owners of military-style weapons that will be made illegal can keep them if they register with the state and undergo a background check.

    They can only sell them legally outside of the state. Ammunition clips will be limited to a maximum of seven bullets, down from 10 now; ammo dealers will be required to register with law enforcement; and bullet purchases will be tracked in real time.

    Private gun sales will be subject to federal background checks, and handgun and assault rifle owners will be required to recertify their permits every five years. Permit holders can seek to keep their names from being publicly disclosed.

    Senate Republicans, feeling pressure from the gun lobby, pushed to broaden the bill by including tougher criminal penalties; school safety improvements; and an expansion of Kendra’s Law, which allows judges to order treatment for disturbed individuals.

  19. The Truth says:

    The responses in this thread are exactly why our country is failing on so many levels.

    Here’s my take on what could help this problem:

    1. More extensive background checks and no way around it. I am fully in support of the 2nd amendment, but I do believe that extensive background checks need to be performed.

    2. The ‘assault type weapons’ that we can get so freely must be put to a hault. I understand the infatuation with these guns. The AR-15 weapons are beautiful and they are very powerful. Unfortunately, they are very easy to purchase and can cause a great deal of harm to a large amount of people in a short period of time. I know many gun lovers won’t like this, but these weapons need to be regulated much more. It’s insanity to me that one of these weapons can be purchased so easily.

    3. Improving the mental health system. We have many people in this world that are mentally sick and either don’t know it or we don’t know it. We need to make mental health checks and care affordable and easily accessible. I realize that every person who is mentally ill won’t just walk in to something like this, but we have to start somewhere and this is it. If the care is un-affordable or in accessible then it’s ineffective.

    4. Everyone needs to stop pointing the blame on one single thing – guns, violet video games, violent movies, hollywood, etc. There is not one thing that’s to blame in this, it’s a combination of what our society has become. I grew up playing violent video games but I have not ever thought about shooting up a school, a mall or a movie theater. I know how to separate reality from a video game. I watched violent movies growing up yet I never had any feeling of doing what I saw in these movies.

    5. As a society, we need to get back to caring for our neighbor. When I walk down the street, I see many neighbors who turn the other way and want nothing to do with saying hello to anyone. It’s a sad society we are turning into and WE are to blame. Let’s change our attitude towards eachother, let’s help a neighbor and be there for people. I am scared for the world that I live in, as I am not that old and have a long way (hopefully) to go before I pass on. I am scared to think what this society will become in 10-15 years. We have too much hatred in our every day lives (largely in part due to certain media organizations, hatred towards the government, etc). Step away from TVs, breathe some fresh air and enjoy our lives. There’s far too much good in this world.

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