Saturday, January 12, 2013

Guns for our Teachers

There are few people in the Legislature who do not seem to represent the best thinking. 

To whit:
  • Newly-elected Rep Liz Pike, R-Camas wants "trained" teachers to carry guns in their classrooms.
From the Times:

GOP state Rep. Liz Pike helped to kick off the state gun-laws conversation last month with a widely read Facebook post that floated the idea of allowing teachers to carry guns in the classroom if they undergo training and pass a psychological evaluation. The program, modeled after one in place for airline pilots, would be voluntary.

Pike suggested in a Facebook post that teachers also would have to pay for their gun training, provide their own weapon and keep it on their person at all times.
  • Rep. Brad Klippert, R-Kennewick, also wants teachers to have guns in the classroom.   Rep Klippert is a school resource officer at a high school.  From the Tri-City Herald:
State Rep. Brad Klippert plans to introduce a bill during this year's legislative session to allow teachers and other school employees to carry a weapon at work.

The Kennewick Republican told the Herald on Thursday he hasn't drafted the bill yet, but he said no educator would be required to carry a firearm at school.

The law he wants to draft would require any teacher wanting to have a weapon in the classroom to undergo a mental health evaluation and firearms training.


Read more here: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2013/01/11/2232479/kennewick-state-representative.html#storylink=cp
So there you go, teachers.  More professional development for you AD you get to pay for it.

Hey you two, how about no more huge magazine clips?  Or closing the gunshow loophole (number one on my list). 

Read more here: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2013/01/11/2232479/kennewick-state-representative.html#storylink=cpy

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why both sides of the debate have to insist on 100% pro or con solutions. Guns in the classroom? Ridiculous. How long before 5 boys tackle the biology teacher, steal the gun, and shoot somebody with it? The law calls such things "attractive nuisances" for good reason. Dumb idea.

On the other hand, I think having guns in a safe in the main office, and/or a secure location elsewhere in the school, perhaps in 2 or 3 locations, accessible only to a trained security officer, teacher, counselor or principal (or Custodian, for that matter, so long as they are regulated, trained, and deputized with proper authority), is not a bad idea and dare I say would make a mass shooter think twice, or at least risk being shot quickly, before killing tens or hundreds.

I'd rather have weapons locked up, but accessible to highly trained, experienced staff, rather than having guns in the classroom. And they should never be deployed except when imminent and certain danger to life, such as from a potential mass murderer, is happening.

I own guns, despise the national NRA political machine, and do not want to see guns in any classrooms, anywhere. But I also know these shooters calculate how much damage they can do before police can react, and I disagree with anyone who thinks a responsible, properly trained adult with a gun at the ready couldn't have saved lives in a situation like Sandy Hook.

There needs to be some middle ground solutions that account for the calculating, deliberate psychopaths we are seeing today. I'm tired of hearing "there's nothing we can do" unless we arm everyone, change Hollywood and the video game industry, blah, blah, blah, which lead to nothing but more shootings like we've seen. WSDWG

Anonymous said...

Requiring teachers to have firearms training and psych evals isn't enough. I say if folks want to push for legislation to allow teachers to carry guns at school they should also need to add a host of other requirements, such as self-defense training & certification (to maximize likelihood they can protect the weapon from being taken by force), annual fitness testing (need to stay strong), training in evaluating situations and proper response options (risk assessment, etc.), training in quick identification of weapons (so jumpy teachers don't shoot a kid who pulls out a cell phone), etc. And better make those psych evals annual. Might want to incorporate some provisions for addressing personnel related-issues too (e.g., disciplinary actions, pay freezes), since you don't want disgruntled teachers walking around campus with guns...

Ooh, or here's an alternate idea-- schools could just hire cops to teach the kids instead!

HIMSmom

Patrick said...

Well, Columbine had an armed security officer at the school and another one nearby and it didn't help. One person with a rapid firing weapon and large clips can kill faster than the security officer can react.

The gun manufacturers who fund the NRA would love for the "solution" to be multiple armed security officers at every place where more than five people might gather. They're counting up all the additional gun sales that would lead to.

That many more people with guns will increase the chances of gun play. Security guards are typically a low pay job with only a little training.

I support background checks and mandatory training for all gun owners, no loopholes for private sale or gifts or inheritance. And limit availability of large clips to military and law enforcement. I have no illusions that will lead immediately to lower gun violence, as there are so many weapons out there already, but over time it will improve the situation.

n said...

I do not want to teach in a building where anybody uses a gun for any reason whatsoever. Frankly, the notion that anyone suggests a gun should be available in a school building (unless police security - and even then I'm not convinced) is anathema to me. Yes, 100% con is absolutely the right place to be.

I've worked twenty years in a gun-free zone and felt perfectly safe. The moment I know that any teacher has a gun in his/her room, I will feel less safe. Locking more doors is a better answer and we are doing that. As sensational as these shootings are, they are still rare.

I don't know a single teacher who wants to start "carrying." Adding guns to schools is not the answer.

The two previous posts have said it well.

Anonymous said...

"On the other hand, I think having guns in a safe in the main office, and/or a secure location elsewhere in the school, perhaps in 2 or 3 locations, accessible only to a trained security officer, teacher, counselor or principal (or Custodian, for that matter, so long as they are regulated, trained, and deputized with proper authority), is not a bad idea and dare I say would make a mass shooter think twice, or at least risk being shot quickly, before killing tens or hundreds."

I've got two problems with this:

1) Bringing guns into the school, even locked away, is not a middle ground solution, because those who abhor guns get nothing out of it and those who believe in the potential of firearms get another talking point. I don't want evil in the school, I want to prevent it from coming to the school in the first place.

2) I don't think there's been any school shooters that have intended to kill students and then leave. It's a suicidal act, not a tactical one.

--Ryan--

Melissa Westbrook said...

WSDawg, I don't want guns in schools. It's like giving up on our society.

That said, Ed Murray agrees you with and so do I. There has to be common ground and a way to talk through this.

Chris S. said...

I'm glad you have another gun thread- i've been meaning to post this for the person who asked for evidence gun control works:
Silencing the Science on Gun Research

Anonymous said...

Staple guns...yes! I am so tired of having to paper clip bulky reports.

Sped Staffer

dw said...

Chris S, fantastic article. Everyone should read this.

I had no idea this aggressive blocking of research was happening, and I find it appalling.

I don't buy the NRA's BS for a minute, but neither do I think we're going to have a gun-free nation within my lifetime or my kids' or grandkids' lifetimes either. I do believe that when someone is mentally deranged enough to go to a public location and open fire on people as has been the case in several well-publicized recent actions, that the only way they will be stopped is by another citizen (whether private, security or police) with a firearm. How do we balance this without eliminating 100% of all guns in our society?

I don't know the answer, and frankly no one here on this board does either. What we DO need is research into the issue to figure out what we can do in a practical sense, both short term and long term to prevent (or at least drastically reduce) tragedies like Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, etc.

Any time legislation blocks legitimate research, those lawmakers need to be called out and ridiculed for the idiots that they are. Forward this article around via whatever social networks you use and start making calls/emails to these guys so they know they risk losing their seats if they support pea-brained squelching of research!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Chris S. and dw.

Ditto for me on
" I do believe that when someone is mentally deranged enough to go to a public location and open fire on people as has been the case in several well-publicized recent actions, that the only way they will be stopped is by another citizen (whether private, security or police) with a firearm."

If a teacher wishes to carry a pistol at school, I want them to be trained in the use of firearms and thoroughly evaluated for mental health (at least every two years). I also want that pistol on them and in a very secure holster while a school. For classroom teachers especially in ground level rooms with outside windows and near outside doors that pistol needs to be on them.

Teachers and students in remote locations with very little law enforcement have NO protection from the kind of incident that took place in Newton, CT.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

The day my child's teacher carries a gun to school is the day my child becomes a home schooled child.

Has there ever been a documented case of a civilian with a weapon stopping someone bent on mass murder? Ever? Maybe there has been, but I have never heard about it.

- no guns at school.

Anonymous said...

WSDWG, Dan Dempsey and Melissa seem to be advocating more guns to solve the problem of gun violence.As Mr. Spock would say, "fascinating".

worm

Anonymous said...

People who pathologically hate firearms add the catchet of 'cool and dangerous' to firearms. Give the weapons the psychological power over you and they will become more used because they're the thing people are most scared of. Guns are just like shovels...tools. But they're being treated like cigarettes both by the marketing companies and those pathologically afraid of firearms.

Also, on a perhaps unrelated note...how many veterans are teaching in our schools? There is nobody for a shooter to be even a bit afraid of in most schools. No veterans teaching, no real security other than a paper sign to 'sign in at the office'. Security is a joke and the people populating these buildings have almost no experience with dangerous people which puts them at a distinct disadvantage in identification and prevention. Before anyone gets crazy about the veteran comment...if you went to school between 1950 and 2000 you were probably taught by several veterans and you came out just fine.

-Seattleite.

Anonymous said...

Guns are like shovels.

Unf'nbelievable

Anonymous said...

Goddess help us. May the kids of today be not as ignorant as the adult gun apologists on this blog. It's pretty obvious that fear and self loathing drive people to cower behind firearms. Go get some weed, listen to some nice music and relax. Your fear is only in your mind.

Opal

Anonymous said...

No guns at school,

You raised the question "Has there ever been a documented case of a civilian with a weapon stopping someone bent on mass murder? Ever? Maybe there has been, but I have never heard about it."

I don't know of any compilation of this kind of data. However, I do know that the shooting a month or two ago at a shopping mall in Oregon was stopped when a bystander confronted the shooter with a legally permitted concealed handgun. Rather than fight someone who could actually fight back, the shooter committed suicide with his own gun.

Signed,
Voice for reason

Anonymous said...

I teach a popular class of 100+ students at the UW. A class similar to mine (same subject) was targeted by a shooter at another school. The shooter was a disgruntled student and the instructor was killed. I am constantly aware of the possibility. However, the day that I feel the need to carry a weapon into class is the day I quit lecturing. Each weapon in the room further compromises the safety of the class. The analogy of guns being similar to cigarettes is very apt as gun deaths are cited as one of several reasons that US life expectancy is the lowest among 17 wealthy nations.

Below I will paste a comment from CNN that was posted in reference to the brave teacher who verbally convinced the recent CA shooter to drop his weapon. It perfectly encapsulates my feeling on armaments in the classroom/school and it is no more extreme, ironically, than the positions of the NRA regarding the "slippery slope" of gun registration.

Caution - it is a bit graphic.

"No this is the wrong way to go about it, the teacher should have been armed with a gun, a few hand grenades, maybe a rocket launcher, a couple of ninja throwing stars, a blow dart and some nunchakus.Thats what the NRA would have you believe. Then he should have blown the guys head all over the students because that would toughen them up and become hard working protectors of the 2nd amendment. The teacher could have gathered the students around the corpse and dipped their fingers in the blood, smeared it on their faces and wailed to the heavens above. Sounds a bit like lord of the flies doesn't it, well welcome to NRAville. Enjoy your stay, shoot first and shake hands later."

-Face the class without a gun

PS. I am going to Virginia Tech in a few weeks to give a seminar and I will not have a shovel with me.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Worm, you clearly don't know how to read. I am NOT or have NEVER advocated more guns.

Anonymous said...

I apologize for misunderstanding your agreement with WSdawg as agreeing that guns should be in school offices. What middle ground were you referring to when you stated your agreement with his post? As far as Ed Murray, he seems to be avoiding offending the gun nuts as he seeks new political office. I find Wsdawgs idea ludicrous and like all gun owners he must have a inner need to dominate others. And to the other gun aficionados on this blog, guns do in fact kill people, just like knives and bats. The difference is that knives and bats have utilitarian and athletic purpose, respectively. Guns for sport and hunting? If they didn't maim and kill so catastrophically I could see it but the carnage they leave in their wake is an an unacceptable trade off. As a species we need to evolve socially like we did when we stopped slavery or brought women into public life or allowed LGBT people rights. Change is good sometimes and gun ownership advocates are without a doubt on the wrong side of history as surely as slaves owners and gay bashers and anti-suffragists. The future, hopefully the near future, will not have gun toting or gun owning citizens, anymore than it will have governments run by rich white men. Smell the coffee and look towards and work towards a better tomorrow.
Worm

Melissa Westbrook said...

I didn't say middle ground, I said "common ground."

Like close the gunshow loopholes.

Like if you lose/misplace your gun, you have to report it to the police.

Things like that I believe responsible gun owners would think okay.

It's important not to demonize anyone for their choice but to offer ways for better responsibility for the guns in our country.

Anonymous said...

Mother Jones has an excellent piece debunking Wayne LaPierre's notion regarding private citizens (good guns) and whether this has actually prevented causalities or stopped the shooter. Also note that the police upon arriving on a scene of a shooting will need to discern the good gun with the gun from the bad guy with the gun.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/nra-mass-shootings-myth

MC

Anonymous said...

"Change is good sometimes and gun ownership advocates are without a doubt on the wrong side of history as surely as slaves owners and gay bashers and anti-suffragists."

I don't WANT guns in schools anymore than anyone else does. But there are few options available to stop a mass murdering shooter than another armed person. What do responding police do, besides wait for the shooter to run out of bullets? They surround, protect, evacuate, and close in, with GUNS.

I was taught by many Korean War and WWII vets, who would scoff and laugh at the Die Hard-like Hollywood shootouts people seem to envision. Raising Arizona was a movie too.

The question in my mind is: Given the option, would any of the adults at Sandy Hook have used a gun if it were available, to defend themselves, the children, or save additional lives? Anyone cowering in fear while a mad gunmen is closing in to kill them would want that chance, I believe.

As for whether an armed person has ever stopped a mass-murdering, assault weapon toting nut-job, the answer is yes, in Colorado Springs, in 2007, when a heavily armed gunmen entered a church, armed to the teeth, and shot 4 or 5 people in the foyer. An armed former cop in the congregation drew her weapon, and skillfully shot the shooter several times, severely wounding and disabling him, saving hundreds of lives.

I do not glorify or celebrate the Colorado example to advocate for more guns, but only to provide a concrete example of where an armed, trained person removed a serious threat and saved perhaps hundreds of lives.

As for the suicidal versus tactical nature of many mass shootings, I believe that's all the more reason to intervene as quickly as possible, with as much deadly force as possible, to save innocent lives from possibly avoidable slaughter.

There are innumerable other steps that we, as a society must take to prevent mentally unstable people from getting their hands on tools of mass murder, like AK 47's and the like. And although there are already enough assault weapons on the streets to kill us all twice, I support the assault weapons bans because sometimes a society needs to speak with disapproval towards absurdity and flagrantly dishonest justifications for what is, in many cases, a lustful fetish for perceived power that is satisfied by a tool of mass destruction.

I get the argument about the "need to dominate" and how a weapon in the hand, and mind, of an immature, irresponsible person is like a match to gasoline. I largely agree with that concern and sentiment. Too many clowns are owning and carrying guns, no doubt.

But I don't see the 2nd Amendment that provided the Sandy Hook killer's mother with the right to buy a firearm for her obviously strange, withdrawn, graphic violence-loving son going anywhere soon, or in my lifetime, no matter what efforts are made.

So, in the meantime, how do we stop a mass murdering shooter, armed to the teeth, once he's in the school hallways? That's the real question, isn't it? WSDWG

Anonymous said...

I don't know why, but the slavery analogy keeps coming back to me, probably the Lincoln movie. Lincoln was not an abolitionist. He was distressed about slavery but did not want to end it until it became a tactic in the war.
I put anyone who doesn't advocate complete disarming of civilians in the same camp as Lincoln. the blood of the next massacre victims and all shooting victims is on your hands. If it weren't for solid abolitionists like Fred Douglas and John Brown, we might still have slavery in the south of our continent.

Live free from gun violence

Melissa Westbrook said...

No, the real question is why do we accept that there ARE shooters in our schools? Are we so bad off as a society that we believe this "is just the way it is?"

I don't. I won't and that's why I won't support guns in schools.

LIve Free, I am just finishing slogging through Team of Rivals and it is fascinating to see the evolution of Lincoln's thought on and the country's.

Anonymous said...

Evolution. As was said earlier we will, no doubt evolve our thinking to ban all guns, just like we, our fore parents, banned slavery. So let's get on with it.
Scaed