Missouri Training Teachers To Pack Guns; Everything To Be Just Fine Now
While some people are getting their knickers in a twist about guns and trying to limit the number of guns in circulation, the good people of Missouri are taking a more direct approach, getting guns into the hands of classroom teachers where they belong. TheKansas City Star had a big Sunday profile on one training program for Armed Educators, which is turning mere teachers into the sharp-eyed killing machines that their districts' parents need them to be. It looks pretty effective, especially if you're the guy with the contract to run the training program.
The article is full of lines like this:
In the year and a half since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, as America has struggled to find the answer to its epidemic of school shootings, some districts have decided that teachers are the ultimate first responders and need to learn to shoot back.
We are perhaps just a little bit biased, what with our history of being wimpy liberals, but we actually are not one tiny bit reassured knowing that somewhere in Missouri, the gym teacher who motivated everyone by calling them a bunch of faggots is now going to be thinking of himself as "the ultimate first responder" because he's had a 40 hour training course and carries a Glock. Still, let's not worry ourselves too much about whether arming teachers is a good idea -- god knows some of the teachers are more than willing to blow away their students if they suddenly turn bad:
So, are these teachers ready to pull the trigger on a shooter? How about if it’s a kid they’ve had in class?
“None of us would be here if we haven’t already answered that question,” one man said.
The training program is run by a "former Missouri Highway Patrol trooper" named Greg Martin, who is no fan of uniformed armed guards, for a very obvious tactical reason:
districts should not rely on uniformed guards, whom he views as “soft targets” -- the first person a gunman would try to take out. Martin also thinks that a few minutes of police response time is far too long if somebody starts shooting in a school.
Isn't it nice to know that we have people out there ready to help us plan every schoolday as a potential SWAT exercise? Mr. Martin has also given serious thought to the importance of having our children's armed guardians blend in with the school population:
His plan calls for one or two staff members carrying concealed weapons, anonymously, their identities known only to school district administration and local law enforcement.
“Like air marshals on planes,” Martin said. “How many hijackings have we had since 9/11?”
See, this man has given it a lot of thought, and he has figured out that the threat of possibly someone on an airplane being armed made all the difference, since that's apparently the only change in air travel security he's noticed. Never mind actual security experts like Bruce Schneier, who says that, really, there are just two changes that have made the biggest difference since 9/11: "reinforcing the cockpit door, and convincing passengers they need to fight back." Everything else, he suggests, is "security theater" -- it looks impressive, but has little practical effect. Same goes for "solutions" like arming the teachers. It plays to the NRA fantasy but in real mass shootings, the gunman is almost always tackled, not shot by a good guy with a gun, or he shoots himself as soon as he hears sirens.
We're more inclined to agree with G.A. Buie, a high school principal in Eudora, Kansas, and the head of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, who says arming teachers is kind of a stupid idea:
“We would be asking school officials, trained as educators, to make a quick transition from teacher to SWAT member, arrive on the scene, assess the situation, overcome the severe nervousness that naturally accompanies a deadly force incident and take immediate action before blood is shed,” Buie said.
“It’s a bit more than you can cover in a typical teacher in-service.”
Still, Martin has a really impressive little pretend boot camp going, complete with making the recruits run a mountain trail or do pushups when they accidentally hit the paper squares representing students instead of the targets representing the bad guys. Martin gets $17,500 for every two school staffers he puts through his 40-hour training course, and so far, ten school districts in Missouri have signed up. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal that will definitely work out just great! And no school will ever have to worry that its armed teachers will screw up and accidentally shoot a kid, because as we all know, once you've been trained on the proper handling of a weapon, you just don't make stupid mistakes. Heck, trained firearms users never screw up around kids. If they did, we'd hear about it somewhere, we bet. And as we all know, it's impossible to stop shooters any other way.
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.