Opinion: School Gun Control Texas-Style
Opinion: School Gun Control Texas-Style
Before my first mug of coffee this morning, yet another in the long line of interviews with a Stoneman-Douglas student wanting stricter gun control laws greeted me. This child sat there looking oh-so-serious as he proclaimed everything but small handguns that could be used for home defense should be banned. Then he went on to say being allowed to own even those few guns on his approved list should be much harder than current law provides. Everyone wanting to have a gun should undergo mental health testing. They should be at least 21. His demands went on and on. Oh, his reasoning? It was only “common sense”.
The problem with this “common sense” approach is that it won’t solve anything. As we learned with Prohibition, outlawing something doesn’t mean it will suddenly vanish from the streets. The black market that already exists for guns will only grow larger and stronger. The only ones who will obey the law are, well, those who do now. Instead of having a database, flawed though it might be, for registering gun owners, we’d have none.
I’ll even admit to wondering if he thought we ought to undergo mental health testing to own a knife or drive a car. After all, those could be seen as instruments of violence. In 2014, a sophomore wounded 24 in a Pennsylvania school. His weapons? Two knives. This year, a knife attack in a Russian school left at least 12 wounded. In Prince Georges County, two students were injured in a knife attack. Then there was the attack at a Nampa school where the culprit was stopped by a fellow student. Of those four, three occurred this year. Yet where are the calls for knife control?
Banning civilian ownership of semi-automatic weapons isn’t the answer to the problem of school security. Nor is it the answer to stopping those students or other potential suspects who might one day pick up a gun – or a knife – and go on a rampage. Someone determined to get a gun and use it will find a way. History has shown us that.
So what should we do to protect our schools?
One solution is to follow the example set by Texas.
Arguably, the deterrence factor is even more important. It shouldn’t take an academic study to prove that shooters are far less likely to target a school that will offer resistance. It’s commonsense. Those willing to shoot defenseless children are deranged, evil men, and the only thing such men respond to is force. They are cowards, and the prospect of return fire is the only thing likely to convince them to leave a school alone.
One way Texas does this is by allowing school districts to designate administrators and teachers who act as “guardians”. These guardians are allowed to carry concealed on campus. The identities of who these guardians are isn’t publicized. In fact, in most instances, their fellow teachers and administrators won’t even know. Think of them as the super heroes of the school. Mild-mannered teachers by day, guardians when needed.
As noted in “On Guns and Virtue-Signaling”, these teachers and administrators undergo not only the usual requirements necessary to qualify for a concealed carry permit but additional training and, in most districts, mental health evaluations as well. Currently, there are 170 districts in Texas that allow these special “guardians” or “marshals”.
Despite media suggestions to the contrary, the system has been working in Texas and can in other parts of the country. As The Hill notes, “There have been no shootings, intentional or otherwise, at any participating districts in Texas. Teachers and students feel — and in fact are — safer coming into work.”
As a parent, ask yourself if you prefer waiting minutes for law enforcement to be notified and respond to a possible school shooting or if you’d rather know your child was protected by teachers and administrators committed to obtaining the training and qualifying for the privilege of carrying a weapon in order to keep another tragedy from happening.
While you’re doing that, think about something else. Which school is a shooter more likely to target: the one he knows has no “guardians” in it or the one where it is public knowledge that there are not only armed school resource officers but also armed teachers and administrators? Which would be the path of least resistance to someone determined to cause death and destruction?
If your answer is the school that remains a “gun-free zone”, you’re right. So isn’t it time to do away with that so-called safety measure and take a real step toward making sure our children are safe?