With the NRA’s call for an armed police officer in every school, a debate has erupted over cost of such a strategy, but there is a much more efficient and inexpensive path to secure schools. For some reason the teachers’ unions, politicians, and school administrators think that teachers are somehow less responsible, less capable, and less trainable than those who choose a career in law enforcement, and that having anyone with access to a gun in school besides a uniformed police officer would interfere with children’s ability to learn. Setting aside those confused perceptions for a moment, what about those of us who are not teachers or school administrators? What about parents, grandparents, and other concerned citizens?
As the loving grandparent of a wonderful 6-year old, a veteran, shooter, and all-around good guy, my answer to school security is the same as Isaiah’s answer to God thousands of years ago; “Here am I; send me!”
I am competent with firearms. I work well under pressure. I have a proven track record as a responsible and law-abiding citizen, and I have a deep concern for the safety and security of my grandson and the other children who attend his school. I also know that there are literally millions of intelligent, responsible parents, grandparents, and concerned citizens just like me who would gladly step up to serve as protectors of their own local schools. All of us are ready, willing, and able to fill the security void exposed by the demented coward in Connecticut. We are here. We are available. We are ten million strong voices, all saying “Here am I; send me!”
Perhaps this is part of the broader idea that NRA was suggesting during their press conference. I don’t know their full plans. NRA’s Wayne LaPierre mentioned retired police and firefighters as potentially part of their proposed school security plan, and that’s a good start, but there is no rational reason to limit service only to these groups. There are plenty of other people who have what it takes to learn and implement security practices.
Some media have suggested that LaPierre called for the arming of teachers. That is a complete distortion. LaPierre’s call was specifically for armed police officers and then he mentioned the idea of drawing upon the experience and trust found in retired police and firefighters. Never did he suggest that teachers or other school staff be included in the NRA’s proposed security force.