Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Governor Jay Nixon Right to Veto "Teachers With Guns" Bill

"Arming teachers will not make our schools safer."

With those wise and rational words, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon vetoed a "Armed Teacher" bill from the over-zealous Missouri legislature. The bill - which is clearly a knee-jerk reaction to the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary and Arapahoe High School - would have cleared the way for school districts to assign certain teachers and administrators as "school protection officers"and arm them after they undergo "special weapons training." This naive response to the threat of gun violence is a terrible idea, and teacher and law enforcement associations should do everything they can to defeat any measure that intends to put guns into schools.

The only personnel who should ever carry firearms on a school campus are School Resource Officers, who are trained and experienced police officers who are assigned to school campuses as part of their normal patrol routines. The ability to use a gun in a crisis is an incredibly delicate and complicated issue, and it's not something regular citizens can do with a few hours of special training. And, gun zealots in the United States are dangerously naive to believe that armed citizens will responsibly and effectively handle a gun and defuse or defeat a live shooter situation in public. Police officers train regularly for such instances, and they still do not perform - or shoot - with precision all the time. The idea that a fifth-grade science teacher can calmly react to an active shooter with professional precision is dangerous and irresponsible.

Putting guns into schools will not solve the problem of school shootings. It will, more likely, increase the incidences of accidental shootings and violence. If communities are fearful about guns on campus, they should very simply budget for a school resource officer in every school. That is a what sane and responsible society would do.

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