The gun nuts did not waste much time after the brutal slaying of 20 six year olds, some teachers, a principal, and some others at a school in Newtown Connecticut to start suggesting that everything would have been fine if only the teachers were armed. And now, after more days have gone by, it seems that the gun nuts are making this suggestion even more frequently.

The evidence suggests that when there are more guns around, especially in the hands of untrained individuals, there is more rather than less danger. Don’t let anyone tell you that an armed population is a safe population. That is a blatant lie. The evidence also suggests that the few times there is an armed citizen in a position to to intervene in a spree killing, they don’t manage it. Arming citizens does not help. These two facts together explain why spree shootings in towns, neighborhoods, places, where people are constantly yammering about their guns and touting their conceal-carry behaviors all the time (like Colorado and Arizona) did not involve response by armed citizens even when they were present.

But none of that is as important as one simple fact. Well, two simple facts, regarding arming teachers in schools. Fact 1: The teachers want no part of it. Fact 1: The parents will not allow this.

There is a very good rational argument to not arm teachers, and there is not rational argument to do so. So we should not. But sometimes we also just need to do what people really want to do, or avoid doing what people just don’t want to do. That counts too, depending on what issue we are talking about. Here we have a situation where the gun nuts would really like to see teachers armed, but they are not teachers and they probably don’t even have kids in schools, and where the teachers themselves are saying they won’t do it. The parents are saying they don’t want it to happen. In this case, then, not only is there a rational argument to not arm teachers, but nobody involved who counts (the gun nuts don’t count) is going to allow it.

Today, a staff member (not a teacher) in a Minneapolis school who has a carry permit brought her pistol to school in response to her own fears raised since the Sandy Hook Massacre. The boneheaded gun nut bragged to her colleagues about it. Someone called the cops, the cops came in and found the gun and took it away, and the school administrators sent her home and have her on leave (charges are being considered). And guess what? The parents are livid.

If you work for a school and you think you know better than everyone else and unilaterally decide to bring your firearm to work, then you you should be fired and jailed.

Comments

  1. #1 Kevin Sanders
    December 19, 2012

    Well I sort of agree with you. I am a gun nut myself, but I do not think every teacher should be armed. I was at work one day and a customer had something in his pocket. I suppose he noticed that I saw the bulge and the dummy pulled out his Ruger LCP 380 pocket pistol. At that point I did not know wether to swat him with something and hope it knocked his brains out or to just sit there calmly and hope not to get shot. He was an idiot. He meant no harm, but how was I supposed to know that? I have firearms too, but I do not go around flashing them. That’s just stupid.

    I am a gun nut and own several handguns, but I do not carry them where I go. I leave them at home. Even though I have a pistol very similar to his, he made me nervous showing it off like that. Then he would not put it back in his pocket.

    I calmly asked him to put it away becuase our facility was tobacco and firearms free. Technically it was not firearms free becuase people were allowed to have weapons in their car, but he didn;t know that. He did put it back in his pocket without question. He wasn’t a blowhole about it, he was nice.

    I also have another customer who likes to pack heat. He wears a snub nose 357 magnum on his ankle and carries a 1911 model 45 caliber semi-auto under his coat or in his truck. I will make an exception for him though. He used to be a warden in a prison in Montgomery Alabam and has actually had ex prisoners take a shot at him. So, technically I can understsnd his nervous caution being a former warden of a max security prison as well as a cop.

    Greg we do not always agree son subject, but we agree on this one. Putting guns into the hands of teachers at school is not suh a good idea. Perhaps more trained security officers would help more. To be honest, I do not have the answers.

    I do say that schools should have some for of security guard that is armed with more than a stick or some mace. University police have the same authority to arrest someone and use lethal force as any city cop or state trooper. Perhaps we should look into better security officers at schools, but do not arm the teachers. Most citizens will shoot randomly when frightening which puts other people in danger as well.

    Here is some disturbing info about mind altering drugs and gun violence. that most people are not talking about. Talk show hosts are quick to blame gun, but the mind altering drugs rarely get mentioned:

    Huntsville, Alabama – February 5, 2010: 15-year-old Hammad Memon shot and killed another Discover Middle School student Todd Brown. Memon had a history for being treated for ADHD and depression. He was taking the antidepressant Zoloft and “other drugs for the conditions.” He had been seeing a psychiatrist and psychologist.

    2. Kauhajoki, Finland – September 23, 2008: 22-year-old culinary student Matti Saari shot and killed 9 students and a teacher, and wounded another student, before killing himself. Saari was taking an SSRI and a benzodiazapine. He was also seeing a psychologist.

    3. Dekalb, Illinois – February 14, 2008: 27-year-old Steven Kazmierczak shot and killed five people and wounded 21 others before killing himself in a Northern Illinois University auditorium. According to his girlfriend, he had recently been taking Prozac, Xanax and Ambien. Toxicology results showed that he still had trace amount of Xanax in his system. He had been seeing a psychiatrist.

    4. Jokela, Finland – November 7, 2007: 18-year-old Finnish gunman Pekka-Eric Auvinen had been taking antidepressants before he killed eight people and wounded a dozen more at Jokela High School in southern Finland, then committed suicide.

    5. Cleveland, Ohio – October 10, 2007: 14-year-old Asa Coon stormed through his school with a gun in each hand, shooting and wounding four before taking his own life. Court records show Coon had been placed on the antidepressant Trazodone.

    6. Red Lake, Minnesota – March 2005: 16-year-old Jeff Weise, on Prozac, shot and killed his grandparents, then went to his school on the Red Lake Indian Reservation where he shot dead 7 students and a teacher, and wounded 7 before killing himself.

    7. Greenbush, New York – February 2004: 16-year-old Jon Romano strolled into his high school in east Greenbush and opened fire with a shotgun. Special education teacher Michael Bennett was hit in the leg. Romano had been taking “medication for depression”. He had previously seen a psychiatrist.

    8. Wahluke, Washington – April 10, 2001: Sixteen-year-old Cory Baadsgaard took a rifle to his high school and held 23 classmates and a teacher hostage. He had been taking the antidepressant Effexor.

    9. El Cajon, California – March 22, 2001: 18-year-old Jason Hoffman, on the antidepressants Celexa and Effexor, opened fire on his classmates, wounding three students and two teachers at Granite Hills High School. He had been seeing a psychiatrist before the shooting.

    10. Williamsport, Pennsylvania – March 7, 2001: 14-year-old Elizabeth Bush was taking the antidepressant Prozac when she shot at fellow students, wounding one.

    11. Conyers, Georgia – May 20, 1999: 15-year-old T.J. Solomon was being treated with the stimulant Ritalin when he opened fire on and wounded six of his classmates.

    12. Columbine, Colorado – April 20, 1999: 18-year-old Eric Harris and his accomplice, Dylan Klebold, killed 12 students and a teacher and wounded 26 others before killing themselves. Harris was on the antidepressant Luvox. Klebold’s medical records remain sealed. Both shooters had been in anger-management classes and had undergone counseling. Harris had been seeing a psychiatrist before the shooting.

    13. Notus, Idaho – April 16, 1999: 15-year-old Shawn Cooper fired two shotgun rounds in his school, narrowly missing students. He was taking a prescribed SSRI antidepressant and Ritalin.

    14. Springfield, Oregon – May 21, 1998: 15-year-old Kip Kinkel murdered his parents and then proceeded to school where he opened fire on students in the cafeteria, killing two and wounding 25. Kinkel had been taking the antidepressant Prozac. Kinkel had been attending “anger control classes” and was under the care of a psychologist.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    December 19, 2012

    Why do I feel like I just watched an entire season of Law and Order ?!!??? :) :(

  3. #3 dab
    December 19, 2012

    Oh great, “mind-altering drugs”. Allow me: Correlation does not equate to causation. Being on medications or other drugs did not make those people do what they did. At best, the drugs were supposed to be treating some imbalance that might – MIGHT, but just as well might not – have contributed to their irrational behaviour. Again: correlation, not causation.

    Before someone thinks they’re being a genius and shutting down my own argument, no, you can’t extend this to guns. The correlation between people having devices that fire bits of metal at very high speeds and other people having bits of metal fired into them at very high speeds is an entirely different matter that is no as easily confounded as mental health, so much the worse for people who want to shift the blame from guns to ‘craziness’, as though numerous horrific mass murderers have not been found to be psychologically sane.

    There is a clear distinction between being mentally ill and being evil. That remains regardless of whether you want life to be so simple that you can equate the two. Please do not tar all people suffering any one of the variety of mental disorders with the brush of evil people who do not necessarily have anything like the same condition.

  4. #4 Artor
    December 19, 2012

    dab, I agree with what you said, but I want to make a distinction. Yes, there is a difference between being mentally ill & evil, but someone can be a danger to themselves & society without being evil. Being mentally ill is one way, and while we shouldn’t stigmatize the ill, we should be wary of the danger they can pose.

  5. #5 Kevin Sanders
    December 19, 2012

    It is rather creepy that almost every one of these incidents, the shooter was on some sort of drugs that regulate, or sometimes deregulate, chemicals in the brains that control emotion.

    Dab may be correct. We cannot know if the shooters were either on their meds or off their meds when these occurances happened, but it should be looked into. The use of these type of meds is out of control anyway. Of course some people really seriously do need anti-depressants. I am not saying get rid of them, but our dotors should be more careful in assessing the patient’s situation before blindly writing a prescription and moving on to the next patient. I do think that there needs to be some serious discussion of mental health issues and meds in this country regardless of what we do with guns. Depression/anxiety often gets overlooked as not being a serious illness, but depression can leave a person bedridden if it goes too far.

  6. #6 Sam
    December 19, 2012

    You do know that airline pilots are armed with guns, right?

    Over 3,000 people died due to box cutters. If pilots would have had guns back on 9/11, chances are less than 20 people would have died.

    Since pilots have been given guns in the cockpit, we have not had a single terrorist takedown. A big part of that reason is the deterrence guns in the cockpit has.

    Now, not any pilot can get a gun. They have to get cleared by the federal government and go through professional training at a federal facility.

    Now, not any teacher should carry a gun, but why is it a bad idea that a professionally trained teacher shouldn’t carry a gun? None of you say cops shouldn’t carry guns. If a cop doubled as a teacher, do you think that makes the students unsafe.

    I’m shocked that you would be opposed to armed teachers (cops in shools) that could’ve have saved all those 20 little kids by taking out an insane nut.

    By the time the police respond to a school shooting, its too late. We need professional teachers armed in schools. It’s the only way that will save the most lives.

    Thinking that is a crazy idea, shows how nuts some of you really are and that you would rather more kids die, than save them with an armed teacher.

  7. #7 R.L. Schaefer
    December 19, 2012

    Our Founding Fathers understood that the private ownership of firearms might give pause to a government considering tyranny and therefore wrote the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Unfortunately, the courts and politicians have “interpreted” the Constitution and twisted it to reflect popular opinion and political expediency. It no longer protects it’s citizens from a government with a rabid thirst for power or from the popular whimsies of the progressive majority who believe that opinion polls should govern a nation – not the Constitution.

    From the beginning of our nation until 1968 there was very little in the way of gun control. Firearms, unlocked and often loaded, hung over fireplace mantels and stood in corners of tens of thousands of homes across the nation. Firearms could be purchased by anyone through the mail. There were no background checks or waiting periods. Children were taught to shoot, practice gun safety and act responsibly at an early age. Guess what? Some schools even had shooting teams and guns were often brought to school and shot there. So what changed? How did guns become evil? How did these inanimate objects turn so many of our youth into twisted and tortured souls since advent of “Gun Control”?

    Could it be it’s wasn’t the guns. Could it be our youth and our society is actually effected by the immoral garbage Hollywood turns out and calls entertainment? Might there be a link to the thousands of ultra violent video games kids start playing at an ever younger age? Is it not possible there is damage being done by the soulless, mindless and violent noise that passes for “music” nowadays? Aren’t we, as a society, made less honorable, by electing those with no honor to lead us. Isn’t it a problem when raising kids is left to the government or strangers while well-off parents pursue a bigger home, a flashier car or their own personal “growth”. Isn’t it sad that we have chased God to the shadows of our society, while promoting condoms in school and parading homosexual sex on the streets of San Francisco? Isn’t it a pity that our “wonderful economy” doesn’t provide the same standard of living it did 40 years ago when only one working-class parent had to go to work to earn what it takes two incomes to accomplish now? Why do we listen to feminist groups who think being a mother is a “waste”. Haven’t we destroyed our respect for life by the promiscuous use of abortion as birth control? Why don’t we find it hypocritical that the”Hollywood elite” shove sex, gratuitous violence and moral poverty down our throats and then scream they’re protected by the First Amendment, and in the same breath denounce the Second Amendment? What about the effect of drugs, both illegal and prescribed, that our children take to alter or control their minds? Is the popular belief that morality is subjective -“free floating” and “If it feels good, do it.” – a good example for our children? Is part of the problem that we teach children to have self esteem without actually having to do something to earn it? Could all the “experts” be wrong and maybe discipline in the home is not such a bad thing after all? Maybe there is more to parenting problem teenagers than simply tossing the car keys at them? Are all the Federal programs in our schools actually about education or are they, perhaps, indoctrination? Finally, is it a healthy thing to encourage lifestyles that satisfy the body, yet starve the spirit?

    None of these things matter you say. Besides, these issues are far too difficult and the solutions much too time consuming. More laws, now there’s the answer! Besides it’s much easier to restrain the freedom of the people than to teach free people self-restraint.

  8. #8 ron
    December 19, 2012

    “But sometimes we also just need to do what people really want to do, or avoid doing what people just don’t want to do. That counts too, depending on what issue we are talking about.”–Now there is some moral clarity. When you agree with me…we should do it…when you don’t agree with me…I’m going to belittle you and say that I’m right anyhow…so we should do it.

    That’s how a highly educated “scientific mind” sees society in 2012?

    “The parents are saying they don’t want it to happen. In this case, then, not only is there a rational argument to not arm teachers, but nobody involved who counts (the gun nuts don’t count) is going to allow it.” Rinse and repeat. This is the thinking that made sure the nearest good guy with a gun was minutes away when seconds cost lives.

    Here are some of the times where an armed citizen stopped a shooting (before it became a national headline): Pearl High School
    Appalachian Law School
    Muskegon Michigan (search Clare Cooper)
    New Life Church
    Santa Clara Gunshop
    Aniston Shoney’s
    Good Food Market
    Early Texas Peach House
    AT&T store New York Mills, NY
    College Park, GA
    Trolley Square
    Winnemucca NV
    Parker Middle School Dance
    Destiny Christian Center
    Tyler Courthouse

  9. #9 Greg Laden
    December 20, 2012

    Ron, you can provide all the made up lists you want, there are actual studies and you are actually wrong.

  10. #10 John Haigh
    UK
    December 20, 2012

    It’s topics like this that make me really glad I live this side of the pond. I can’t see an answer to the mass murder issue in the US, there are just to many guns out there for gun control to have much effect now. Add to that the blind faith that arming everyone to the teeth is going to help and I would despair. What happens when the first teacher starts shooting, or the first kid gets hold of a teachers gun and blows his/her head off?
    What is clear is that America is a violent society, far more so than any western counterpart. Hollywood is not the reason, we watch mainly US films here. Levels of violence do seem to be dropping, but the US assault rate (armed or unarmed) remains several times that of Canada or Western Europe.
    What else is different about the US? The size of the wealth gap between rich and poor and much more religion spring to mind, but I have no idea what effect, if any, they have.

  11. #11 Eric Lund
    December 20, 2012

    @Sam: At the time I thought that arming pilots was a bad idea. (Reinforced and locked cockpit doors, which were installed on US civilian aircraft after 9/11, would have been enough to prevent 9/11.) For the same reason I think arming teachers is a bad idea, and likewise I view the armed citizen scenario as a fantasy.

    There is a reason that SWAT teams are special units in law enforcement and that ordinary cops are not issued such armaments. The reason is that the skill to use a firearm in a situation where innocent bystanders are close to your target is something for which SWAT team members get special training–ordinary cops (let alone civilians) do not get this training.

    Now try the following thought experiment: Somebody is shooting into a crowd. Somebody else responds by shooting his own gun. Now suppose you are a cop, or another armed citizen, responding to the situation. Chances are you were looking the wrong way when the shooting started. Which of the two shooters is the bad guy? How do you know they aren’t in cahoots with each other? I suspect I would guess wrong about half the time, and I suspect the same is true of almost all civilians and a majority of cops.

  12. #12 ron
    December 20, 2012

    @ Eric…

    Cops are not at the scene when the armed gunman shoots into crowds. Cops are at least 10 minutes away and by then, the situation resolves. In any of the shootings that have made the news, you can’t say that this cop confusion scenario has occurred. If anything, the cops wait ( http://tinyurl.com/cewxgwp ).

  13. #13 Greg Laden
    December 20, 2012

    So, ron, you seem to be suggesting that the best solution is to just get rid of the guns to begin with.

  14. #14 adelady
    December 20, 2012

    Well, this one certainly made the news. Though I suppose there’s no confusion, just bystanders getting bullet and ricochet injuries.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/27/us-usa-shooting-empirestate-police-idUSBRE87Q04X20120827

  15. #15 Kevin Sanders
    December 20, 2012

    @ RL

    You are correct sir. I remember growing up. There was always a loaded 12 gauage pump standing on the corner of the dining room and almost everywhere you went you saw at least two to four guns, often loaded, hanging on the back glass of pickup trucks in the parking lot of a grocery store. Men never used to take their guns home after a day of hunting if they needed to ake a stop for something in town.

    Culture has changed. There is more evil allowed to exist now than long ago. The old days were great, but are gone and I primarlily blame the 1960s and 1970s youth for that. Their stubborn rebellion and lack of morals has backfed evil into this country. They kciked God out the schools, banned Christmas, re-educated youth into socialist thinking, embrace sin as normal life, and then ask WHY when somethiung goes wrong. In the words of my Russian customer, I will not understand. Where a parcel?

  16. #16 adelady
    city of wine and roses
    December 21, 2012

    “Culture has changed. There is more evil allowed to exist now than long ago. The old days were great,…”

    You’re American aren’t you? But you’re neither black nor a woman as far as I can tell. The 40s, 50s and 60s weren’t so wonderful for ‘them’ whether they were young or not. The “rebellion” of the civil rights and feminist movements was long overdue. You may dislike what you call “socialist thinking” in the USA – which in Europe or Australia would be referred to as moderately conservative – but it’s hardly the end of the world.