Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ohio School to Arm Staff

The news reports that an Ohio school district has cleared the way to arming its teaching staff if the individuals have a gun license.  This is not, in my opinion, the correct response to the SandyHook shootings, though clearly that is the impetus. Schools should not seek to arm citizenry, but instead should implement a School Resource Officer program in all schools. The program is "well-regulated" and time tested. Certified law enforcement are trained to shoot in a crisis; the average person is not. More than likely, increased gun presence increases the margin of error, and law enforcement officials I've heard do not support a more armed populace as a safety measure - especially in schools. Granted, there is concern that an SRO is not always present or in the right place, for we know that Columbine High School had an SRO on campus.  But procedures have changed since then.  And, for evidence of a trained professional armed guard being the appropriate response to gun violence, I would point to the armed guard who brought down a shooter at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs in 2007.  In this case, it was a trained security officer who saved the day, not the average citizen.  When the average citizen carries a weapon and responds to "trouble," society is more likely to face a situation like George Zimmerman stupidly and irresponsibly shooting an unarmed man out of fear ... and maybe ill will.  As a final thought, I would offer some insightful commentary from Aaron Sorkin's The West Wing.  It's not specifically about schools - but it says something about arming any citizen with the intent of making the world safer or preventing crimes.

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