Anytime the subject of an unarmed response versus an armed killer in a school comes up, the inevitable, knee jerk, uninformed responses are as predictable as XXXXX They go something like this:
“Just shoot them.”
“Arm the teachers.”
“That’s why I carry.”
“Get your CCW.”
“Only a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun.”
“Bullet to the head.”
“You’re an idiot.”
Without fail, 98% of responses will be some derivation of these, and no matter how reasoned, impassioned, informed, or lucid the counter arguments are, the confirmation bias is so strong, they are disregarded out of hand. So, here’s my attempt to try and shine some light on the topic.
First, I have guns. I have had guns since it was legal for me to do so. I grew up around guns. I first shot when I was four years old. My grandfather owned a gun store. I have a makeshift range on my property. I’ve trained with the likes of Larry Vickers. A big part of our newest course includes armed responses in these events, when possible. I am VERY pro-gun when it comes to ownership in the US. I am very pro-self- defense, in general. I think if more good people would train and carry, we would all be safer.
This is not a gun issue.
Depending on the source, police "hits on target" are around 15% in a gunfight. They have to draw their weapons on a regular basis. Now, you have a teacher that is probably as likely to have to draw her weapon as she is to be struck by lightning and attacked by a polar bear in the same day, and if she does, she has kids running around all over the place. What do you suppose her success rate might be under those conditions? What are the odds she shoots a child or another teacher?
What sort of firearms training do you expect to get teachers, when most school systems aren't willing to even have a discussion about fighting back, unarmed? You want to choose six teachers in a school and train them as you would an Emergency Response Team? In that case, I say let’s go. I will do what I can to make that happen, but if your solution is to send any teacher that wants it through a simple CCW certification and encourage them to carry inside a school, I am not on board with that, and I think if you would ask most experienced shooters and firearms instructors, you would get a similar response.
Even though the vast majority of school systems have tepidly adopted RUN-HIDE- FIGHT, almost all of them ignore the last part of that tagline. We all know how to hide and how to run, and we have since a very young age, when it was encouraged in games. Fighting, while just as natural as the other two, has been mostly dissuaded since childhood. Therefore, very few adults know how to fight, especially in a situation like the one we are discussing here, and administrators, by and large, are unwilling to change this.
Again, do you think firearms training is something that is going to happen for teachers in our current environment? If you want to get them involved in some force-on-force scenarios, where hitting paper at seven yards is not the milepost, and you can get admins and legislators to sign off, I say let's go, but...
Ultimately, while I am all for having armed and WELL TRAINED staff, I am dealing with the reality that we live in, and that reality, at this time, does not only not have armed teachers, that reality does not even want a discussion about it. So, save your bluster, your bloviating, your grandstanding platitudes, and get with the real world. If you want to actually make schools safer, let’s admit that what is currently being done is grossly inefficient and needs immediate and massive reform.
Let’s recognize that four times as many unarmed citizens have stopped active shooter events than armed ones. If the culture is not ready for armed teachers, then let’s recognize and acknowledge that, and let’s give them options that might be more palatable to the powers that be and continue working towards a more complete approach to school safety.
As long as one side screams that “only a gun will stop a gun” and this idea of an unarmed response is “stupid”, and the other side screams that we should simply “ban all guns” or that we “need more locks/cameras/buzzers/etc.”, then absolutely nothing will be accomplished. I am willing to (continue) doing my part. What about you?