Every one of us engaged in the discussion of the recent school shooting is looking for a solution to keep our children safe. Many of us have children of our own, we cried when we heard the news. I did. I thought about my own daughter, my nieces, nephews and all those Christmas presents still under trees in that town that will go unopened. My ex wife, the mother of my daughter, works as a para with special needs kids in an elementary school. I thought of her. We all want to make sense of the senseless and we all want to be sure this will never happen again. Sadly, we can't.
If anyone read my previous article written before this last tragedy, you know I'm a strong supporter of gun rights and the right to carry. Threats come in all shapes and sizes and the don't stop at city borders, signs or laws. Just as we all have a right to life, we have a right to defend our lives. That means different thinks to different people but it is and should be a universally respected right.
With that, there has been a lot of talk of arming our schools which conjures up multiple images of everything from armed security or police to Ms. Johnson packing a .38 in her purse to Coach Anderson with a Glock on his hip. All could have possibly lessened the toll of this tragedy but none are realistic solutions.
Carrying and potentially wielding lethal force for defense I believe is not only a personal right but a responsibility. I shoot at least every other week and seek out advanced training every chance I get. Most teachers I know are not of that mindset and if we demanded that from them our only teachers would be those who couldn't find jobs as police officers. You also have a compounded problem when police do arrive for an active shooter and everyone is armed. Carrying a gun should be a personal choice and if they decide to get the proper permits I think they should be able to but that's not a practical solution.
Real tactical solutions do exist however. From school design to security systems to defensive tactics training for school staff, all options need to be considered. Even a fire extinguisher can be used as a weapon if need be. Technology allows to install alarm and messaging systems. Fire doors can automatically close cutting of the threat to a smaller portion of the school.
Finally I also propose a less lethal option in all classrooms. Shotguns can be specifically marked so law enforcement knows what they are and they can be loaded with rubber shot, bean bags, tazer rounds or tear gas and could have at least given staff a chance. They can be locked in electronically monitored cases that only allow access once an alarm is activated. Police can them be notified that has been activated and will be aware that those are there.
Some say that those without training will freeze in such a situation but reports coming from Sandy Hook don't support this. The principal died confronting the shooter, and at least one teacher died protecting her children. Lets at least give our children's protecters a chance.