Arming teachers with guns in the classroom, as Bill Lee proposes, would be the single most dangerous thing to happen to students in Tennessee history. Students and teachers in close proximity to loaded firearms daily?
Across this state, in middle schools alone, there are probably hundreds of student/teacher conflicts a day. What if a student got hold of gun in a struggle with a teacher? What if a teacher, in frustration, brandished a firearm at a student. What if a teacher,"stood their ground" and shot a student? What if a student tragically killed another student accidentally or on purpose with an unattended firearm?
All of these things, multiplied by 994,000 students and 66,400 teachers statewide, are very likely to happen eventually if teachers are armed as Bill Lee proposes to do if he becomes governor of Tennessee.
Arming teachers as a solution to school security is simply not well thought out. This is a sign that Bill Lee is simply too inexperienced and uninformed on key issues to be our next governor.
Karl Dean would do what he did in Nashville. Provide funding for more school resource officers to protect our students, a common sense solution for a serious public concern. Mayor Dean is the best choice to be Tennessee's next governor.
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What if? What if? That's right, arm the teachers with rocks, safe rooms, furniture in front of doors, etc.
I know this is a delicate subject, I'm all for having four or five or more resource officers in each school. I also know that's not going to happen.
What if a deranged psycho is on the school grounds and the resource officer is on the other side of the school? This is a classic case of turkeys at a shooting gallery for the shooter which we have seen many times before.
Time is of the essence. Some people will always consider firearms bad, they just can't grasp the idea of firearms in the right hands can save lives as well as take life when necessary. If and when school personnel are allowed to carry firearms, extreme vetting will be conducted and safety procedures with firearm protocols will be in effect. Not all teachers, staff, custodians, etc. need to be armed.
The key idea is to let the shooter guess who can shoot back and ruin his day.
I know if I had children in public schools I would feel much better knowing my kids at least had a chance to survive.
Think about it. Do you want your children to be helpless victims of mass slaughter, which has already happened many times in the past because of feel-good no gun zone intentions, or do you want someone looking out for them to fight back and save the lives of our children?
Mr. Lindsey, if Karl Dean can provide more funding for resource officers, I'm all for it 100 percent.
In the meantime, I'm a realist, and I'll go with Bill Lee.
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The NRA and politicians aligned with that organization seem to think that more guns will be okay for society. After all, if I have a gun at breakfast and so does the cute girl at the cash register, what could go wrong. Ditto for the idea of teachers being armed. I, tongue firmly in cheek, once advocated for Smith and Wesson to design a gun specifically to fit the hand of a child. After all the argument suggests that they, too, should be armed and push the absurdity of more guns to an insanity.
I was trained by the NRA in high school about proper gun safety. The rural part of the world I am from offered hunting for fun and for food. Deer, pheasant, rabbit, squirrel and even woodchuck. I think the NRA has moved away from the good to the policy of the consumer, selling guns. I was trained further with all types of weapons in the U.S. Army and I have a gun in the house but let me share how absurd having guns and when needed the complexity of conflict when someone else has a gun and your gun is in your desk, your purse or locker. If a burglar is already in my home and he has a gun what do I say to him... "excuse me for a moment" (let me get my gun, put the clip in, pull the slide back)…
All the boys in my neighborhood had Daisy BB guns. We used to play "war" with the bb guns. Not to be undone with the mind of a young kid shooting bb's at one another. Oh boy, the story gets real conflicted. This is what happened. Mike was in the old chicken coop. The hole in the roof was perfect for popping up and shooting a bb at someone usually far away. That bb from my Daisy got mike between the eyes. Every Daisy was collected by dad or mom never to be seen again.
Maybe we should all share our real beliefs that guns are not the answer to the schools or to society.
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I think there is a difference between what Mr. Lindsey is accusing Bill Lee of saying and what he actually said. Bill Lee's website has a stance on "Arming Teachers" that states, "We should absolutely allow a qualified and vetted teacher to make the choice to be a part of the solution."
Now, Bill Lee's own words are a far cry from an issued firearm for each teacher. I'm thinking that Bill Lee had teachers like Greg Kinman near Nashville in mind when he said that they should have the choice to be a part of the solution. If you have any doubt, watch the mild mannered English teacher hit the gong with laser accuracy on his youtube channel: Hickok45.
Highly qualified people are out there teaching our kids and if people like Mr. Lindsey would have it, they should never be allowed to be anything other than a sitting duck in a gun free zone.
Oh, and for the record, I'm still a firm believer that if we wanted to keep guns out of schools, we would put up the same precautions that keep guns out of every other government building.
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The idea of placing yet another responsibility on teachers seems wrong somehow. Their duty is to
teach and evaluate students. They are currently being ask to basically parent children in character, emotional and family problems, etc. In addition, they are expected to meet the individual learning needs of each student regardless of disabilities.
Has anyone thought if the most basic liabilities of arming teachers?
Any one discharging a firearm is responsible for the bullet(s) fired. In the extreme high tension of trying to shoot an attacker, the teacher could accidentally shoot a child or another teacher or staff member. They could actually shoot the attacker and a bullet could pass through and hit an innocent person. Yes, I know part of the rationale of using a 9mm round is that it is less likely to exit the body. But suppose the attacker was grazed and the bullet deflected? What if the round hit another object and then struck an innocent person?
Now suppose that you have several teachers who are armed and actively trying to approach the attacker. The police /SWAT arrive and have to determine instantly who is the bad shooter and who is an armed teacher. Suppose the teacher sees a SWAT officer dressed in tactical gear and advancing with a long gun. Is the SWAT officer the good guy or the bad guy? Suppose the police and the teacher turn a corner and come face to face with weapons pointed at each other? What if a panicked student approaches the armed teacher from behind and startles the teacher?
The negative possibilities are endless. The armed teacher is totally responsible for each round they fire. There are no do overs or remediations. The primary problem that I see on top of the hypotheticals above is the question of how much training and by who? Are you going to train the teachers to the level of SWAT officers? How will the teacher maintain that level of readiness? Who will pay for that training and when will the teacher take that training. Firing a weapon at a shooting range is just step one. It’s like giving someone a piece of paper and a pencil and telling them to be an artist. The difference? Art usually doesn’t kill people.
I’m not a security expert, but there are plenty of people who are. Why has no one bothered to put together a coalition of professionals to address the issue? My idea would be to limit access to the school by creating a point of entry that is staffed constantly. In that same area a central room of video feeds that is monitored full time. No gaps in surveillance. Finally, a staff of trained individuals who are in body gear and armed. Police, retired vets who qualify, etc.
The barrier is money. That is the only barrier. That’s it, money and who will provide it. Schools will have to be modified, surveillance systems installed, and personnel hired. It is all about money. How much are children, teachers, and staff worth? How much? Obviously not as much as the people in federal buildings, or people going into concerts and sports events, or even the people at the bar where bouncers guard the door.
The problem will be resolved when enough people die. If that seems harsh, consider the following: Traffic engineers (professionals) are responsible for creating safe roads and intersections. We all know that there have been and are areas in Chattanooga where too many traffic accidents and deaths have occurred. It may take decades for re-design, lights to be put in place, or other drastic changes to be made. The hold up? Money, it’s money. It may be a matter of lawsuits brought by victims families. The money will be spent when the liability from litigation reaches a certain point.
Now you know how the problem of school shootings will be resolved. There is another aspect of the dilemma. As a nation we must accept the fact that if we want security, we have to surrender certain freedoms.
Each and every time criminals make headway into theft of any kind, it results in an inconvenience to the innocent public. Who eventually pays for theft? You do. Who suffers because of airplane hijacking? You do.
How many locks and keys and security systems, and security questions and legal loopholes do you have to deal with because of criminal behavior?
If we want to divert the deranged individuals who commit mass shootings and attacks, we will have to commit to exposure of mental problems, histories of certain hospitalizations, use of certain classes of drugs, and give reports of atypical behaviors to a central organization. Heaven forbid we bow to that process!
You will. Eventually you will. How far in the future is that inevitably? Probably decades, maybe generations?