The case for letting teachers conceal and carry columnists hometownsource.com west la college library

That’s the message some students are sending after another school shooting. This one killed 17 people at marjory stoneman douglas high school in parkland, fla.

But the question is: what should we do? It’s been 19 years since the columbine killings. Since then, the united states has averaged 14 deaths from school shootings per year. That includes the 33 killed at virginia tech in 2007 and the 28 killed at newtown elementary in connecticut in 2012. In minnesota, we had 12 killed in 2005 at red lake and two killed in 2003 at cold spring rocori.

Since columbine, some tightening of the laws has occurred, but obviously something is missing because mass shootings are continuing. Building security is ramping up, turning what were once community centers into secure fortresses.School shooting

One has to feel sympathy for those trying to prevent these killings. The task before us is similar to the challenge facing the transportation security administration (TSA), which attempts to keep commercial airline passengers safe. Millions of people fly every year just as millions go to school. Finding the handful of bad actors willing to commit these crimes is a needle-in-the-haystack exercise. The school challenge is particularly daunting; a kid who doesn’t want to take a math test that day can call the school with a threat. (minnesota schools alone have had 19 threats made since parkland.) so many false alarms desensitize anyone.

In the florida shooting, everyone had plenty of warning. The assailant posted on youtube that he was “going to be a professional school shooter.” the FBI received a tip that the assailant was talking about killing people, possibly in a school, but the agency failed to follow up.School shooting the school continued to open its doors 20 minutes early at the end of the school day, which the shooter knew. The school security official waited outside for help to arrive while the murderer was mowing down kids.

The U.S. Has had 10 mass shootings (both in and outside school settings) since 2012 involving nine or more fatalities. Only two (newtown and parkland) had shooters under the age of 21, and the newtown shooter used his mother’s weapons, killing her before he went to the school. The guns in all the shootings were purchased legally, although the background checks were passed in some cases because of paperwork reporting failures.

We need to get at the cause of the problem if we are to solve this issue. Some have suggested more funding for mental health services.School shooting to be truly preventive, however, we need to address the adverse childhood experiences (aces) that too many children experience in the very first months and years of life, when their basic personalities are being formed. Are they born into an environment of psychological, physical or sexual abuse; violence against their mother; or living with household members who were substance abusers, mentally ill or suicidal, or imprisoned? Do they have learning disabilities, including impaired hearing or vision?

Minnesota recently increased the money it is spending on early childhood scholarships to increase the screening of children living in poverty to get them help earlier in life. Studies show this is key to improving the odds that they will grow up to have healthy, successful lives.Mass shootings

No system is foolproof, but another measure that needs serious discussion in minnesota is allowing teachers who volunteer for the responsibility to conceal and carry a handgun. When a school shooting takes place, seconds count. A single law enforcement officer may be on the wrong side of the building. If law enforcement has to be brought in from the outside, it will take at least three or four minutes. Pro-gun advocates say that on average 14.29 people are shot if police from the outside put down the threat and 2.33 are shot when a civilian is able to stop the assailant.

I have known many teachers over the years who hunt and are comfortable with guns. If I were designing the regulations, no teacher would be required to conceal and carry a weapon. Any teacher who volunteered to do so would be required to take additional training on their specific weapon and that training would be free to the teacher, paid for by the state or district.Mass shootings the local school district would, with the approval of the school board or administration, determine which, if any, teachers can carry. Politicians don’t like such decisions, because it forces them to be held accountable, one way or another. For those concerned about a student wresting a gun from a teacher, only guns with fingerprint locks would be authorized.

As it is, 10 states now allow teachers to conceal and carry: alabama, alaska, arizona, hawaii, kansas, new hampshire, oregon, rhode island, utah and wyoming. Of the 281 people killed in K-12 school and college shootings since columbine, only 27 were in those 10 states.

We don’t need every teacher to be armed, but knowing some teachers are armed would deter many would-be shooters. These shooters never attack a police station; they go after the defenseless.Conceal carry

Even then, we would still need to pray that the teachers would never have cause to use their guns and that no teacher would be accidentally shot by police in the ensuing chaos.