Monday, February 26, 2018

Coming to a School Near You?

In the aftermath of the Parkland school mass shooting, the proposed right-wing 'solution' to regular school shootings is arming teachers. This proposal serves to shift the topic of the conversation away from limiting unstable individuals' access to guns through proper vetting procedures and its implementation would serve to create a new market for firearms, which is the primary concern of the NRA. Gun sales are in the toilet, what better way to boost sales than to put the burden of school defense on a cadre of newly-armed teachers? It's not like schools are funded properly to begin with.

The big wrinkle in this plan is training- teachers need to teach, learning to handle firearms properly is time-consuming and expensive, and teachers should really be developing pedagogy, not pistolry. The very idea of poorly-trained individuals engaging in gunplay under stressful situations gives me the creeping horrors. Watching a recent video of a Tulsa, Oklahoma liquor store shootout has reinforced my feelings... I'm not a gunslinger, though I have handled shooting irons, even having engaged in trap shooting on an annual basis for a period of my life- the sight of the mother/daughter liquor store owners standing in close proximity to each other while shooting the sawed-off shotgun wielding scumbag who robbed them gave me a headache- the robber could have gotten a two-for-one special with a single shot. Even crazier, the daughter shot the robber in the back while he was grappling with her mother- there was a good possibility that she could have hit her mother, that the ball from her pistol could have gone through the robber and hit mom. I showed the video to a friend of mine who is in law enforcement and he was incredulous- when you shoot, you need to be cognizant of where your bullets could end up, anyone downrange of a target is potentially in danger. Popping off shots while mom is mano-a-mano with your target is not advisable.

Thankfully, only the perp was perforated (I don't have any sympathy for the creep, he chose the wrong career to engage in, and he bumped into a predictable occupational hazard), though I'd chalk this up entirely to dumb luck. I wouldn't want this particular sort of engagement to become the norm in our nation's schools.


mistah charley, ph.d. said...

the sheriff's deputy in the florida school was way outgunned - a pistol vs an assault rifle

deterrence (as opposed to restricted availability of weapons - more reasonable, in my opinion, but less acceptable to the american public, and much harder to implement) requires not concealed-carry teachers - a monumentally silly idea - but armed guards wearing body armor and carrying machine guns

alternatively, access to the school campus could be restricted on the airport departure gate model - id and metal detector search required - a lot of city halls and courthouses are already like this

as to what will really happen, other than more of the same - it's hard to make predictions, especially about the future

mikey said...

Simple answer to the question posed in the blogpost title?

No. Not. Gonna. Happen. EVAH.

Even if you figured out how to fund it, were able to choose an issue weapon and cartridge (takes large forces YEARS to make a selection that works for big people, little people, men, women, Germans and Asians), find enough teachers who didn't opt out of the program and give them minimal training (law enforcement officers get what amounts to 'minimal training' - they are not in any way 'expert') you still have a show stopper.

Liability. Somebody gets shot, and everybody gets sued. The teacher, principle, district, county and state. Once this happens a half dozen times, the schools would throw ALL the guns in the dumpster. And since they are educators, they are smart enough to understand this...

Karl Kolchak said...

I'm a retired LEO, and the dirty little secret is that even many cops are pretty poor shooters who have to keep practicing just to keep minimally qualified to shoot at PAPER targets. In real life shootouts, cops hit their targets just 18% of the time. Handguns are notoriously inaccurate even at close range. The more "good guys" you arm, the more innocent bystanders will get shot. It's just a fact.

And as an aside, given what happened down in Texas at a black church where a parishioner managed to successfully wrestler a shooter's gun away only to be shot himself by responding police, would YOU want to be a black teacher trying to defend his/her students when some of my unfortunately trigger happy former colleagues show up?

The New York Crank said...

An add-on to Karl Kolchak's comments on inaccuracy. In the Army, back win the early 1960s, I was a machine gunner. At least on those days, machine-gunners carried a sidearm, a .45 semi-automatic, as well as a browning .30 caliber gun. (It took a 3-person crew to carry the machine gun, its tripod, and enough boxes of bullets to make it worthwhile.

Anyway, after lots of training on the .45, I was sent to a firing range to qualify on it. I did as I was told, holding the pistol in my right hand while supporting it with my left. Firing from the proper position. Etcetera, etcetera. I put at least three bullets in a target. Unfortunately, it wasn't my target. It was the target of the lieutenant in the next aisle, who was so furious he almost got me court- martialed. However, he only got a couple;e of shots into his own target, too.

That's how inaccurate semi-automatic hand guns can be.

Yours crankily
(and bang bang!)
The New York Crank

Emma said...

This is a great idea, I don't know what you're complaining about.

First of all, the only kind of gun problem a nation can have is "not enough guns." Secondly, gun manufacturers are job creators. Lastly, the only effective criminal-behavior reform strategy we know of is sending the bastards off to Jesus. Win/win/win.