Saturday, February 20, 2016

Pakistan Arms Teachers to Protect Schools

Image from AFP

The Khyber Pakhtunkhua provincial government of Pakistan has its taken steps to make its schools harder targets for terrorists.  In December of 2014, it suffered the worst terrorist attack in the nation's history when seven foreign naitonals attacked the Army Public School in Peshawar, the provincial capital.  The seven terrorists killed 141 people, 132 of them school children.  The attack may well have been modelled after the Beslan school attack in 2004.  The Government of Kyber Pakhtunkhua has had a different response than the Russian one.  The Kyber government has authorized its teachers and other employees to carry guns.  An editorial writer in Pakistan disagrees with that decision.   From
The Khyber Pakhtunkhua government after the APS attack decided to allow employs of all educational institution including teachers to carry licensed arms on the premises to respond in cases of terrorist attack. Carrying guns remained common after Charsadda attack. Although self-defense is crucial, at a larger sense its state responsibility unharming its institutions and citizens. With regard to education institutions, the respective administration should have a tight security management instead of allowing teachers to carry arms.
Somehow, the writer thinks that allowing people to be armed to defend themselves is harming them.  At least that is how I interpret the statement 
"..its state responsibility unharming its institutions and citizens."
Allowing people to defend themselves seems to many to be the highest order of good, not harm.  Pretending that the state can protect them better than themselves is a high level of harm.  A little Internet searching confirmed that this has been the policy for more than a year.  From
Provincial Information Minister Mushtaq Ghani confirmed the decision, adding that the province was unable to provide police guards for all of its government-run education institutions.

“The number of police in the province is not enough to guard 35,000 schools, colleges and universities — that's why we have allowed teachers to carry firearms,” Ghani said.

Authorities began training teachers in how to use guns last week and the latest batch of female trainees started learning the ropes on Tuesday.

“It's a two-day course. We are training them on gun handling and also on [the] procedure of using it,” said Mohammad Latif, a trainer at police headquarters in Peshawar.
Teachers in many situations have been armed to protect themselves from attackers.  It happened on the American frontier,  and it was not too long ago that Israelis learned the lesson, armed school personnel, and fortified their schools.  Not all personnel are armed in Israeli schools, but some are, in areas considered more dangerous.  A growing number of American schools are creating cadres of armed volunteers to help keep their schools safe.

Khyber Pakhtunkhua has a long history of independent people who arm themselves and do not look to the state to solve their problems.  The world famous Darra Adam Khel is not far from the capitol of Peshawar, about 25 miles to the South on the road to Kohat.   The village is famous for making duplicates of just about any small arm in the world.  All are available for cash.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

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