Paper Offers Off-Base Objections To Oklahoma's Teacher Carry Bill

AP Photo/ Rick Bowmer

Oklahoma is moving toward making it easier to protect students from active shooters, by advancing a bill that would allow districts to choose to allow teachers to carry — and setting out training guidelines.

The response is — of course — predictable.

The bill –– House Bill 2588 — has already passed the Oklahoma House, and has been read in the Senate, with — according to one state senator — a good chance of passage.

“What we are trying to make sure is that this is a mass shooting attempt and not a successful mass shooting and the only way to guarantee that we do that is to make sure that our teachers are trained, willing and able to carry on campus,” Oklahoma Senator David Bullard told news station Fox 12.

Of course the Tulsa World has already come out with an editorial decrying the bill.

Guns in schools are an opportunity for a tragic accident to happen, and they’re a bizarre transformation of the mission of teachers.

Teachers aren’t guards. They aren’t police officers. They go to college for years to learn how to teach, a noble and difficult profession. But the Legislature thinks that a few hours of perfunctory training can transform them into people who can take on a killer in the hallway (and make them obvious to police looking for a person with a gun).

Teachers are absolutely NOT those things, but they are often the only thing standing between your children and a gunman. 

Such happened at Sandy Hook, when Victoria Leigh Soto threw herself between her students and a gunman, losing her life but saving theirs. She damn well should have had something besides her body when she walked to fight back.

The Tulsa World editorial board would deny her that.

Then we have the typical argument of, “But no one would KNOW” who was armed:

The measure includes no provision for informing parents that their children’s teachers (or the principal or the lunch lady) are carrying guns. Does that make you feel any safer about your child’s school?

This is sort of the point, folks. A gunman (or woman, don’t want to be sexist here) doesn’t know who is, or is not armed. Who might shoot back and who might not. School shooters and mass shooters generally target gun-free zones knowing they will not be confronted and that the police are going to take minutes to get there. 

As most school shootings are over in five minutes, that means that the shooter has plenty of time to murder whomever he wants and get out long before help can arrive.

Contrariwise, as the National Review noted in 2018, FBI data shows:

From 2000 to 2013, only five times did an armed citizen (who was not a police officer) exchange fire with the shooter. Three times the citizen killed the shooter, once the shooter committed suicide, and once the shooter was wounded. Fast forward to 2016–2017. In that time period, six armed citizens confronted active shooters. They stopped the shooting four times (in one case, the shooter fled to a different site and continued shooting, and in the other the armed citizen was wounded before he could stop the shooting).

So while arming teachers is no panacea, it certainly is part of the solution.

But wait! The World continues — with blatant hypocrisy yet!

Schools are safe places. In some children’s lives they are the safest places in their lives. In response to a few rare tragedies, prudent school districts have taken smart defensive moves to protect children without arming anyone. More guns won’t make them any safer.

This (rather poorly written) paragraph perpetuates several myths while containing a grain of truth (a media specialty). 

Yes, school shootings are indeed vanishingly rare, as even the Washington Post concedes. 

… the statistical likelihood of any given public school student being killed by a gun, in school, on any given day since 1999 was roughly 1 in 614,000,000. And since the 1990s, shootings at schools have been getting less common.

After any mass shooting, the left rushes to the camera and to the blogs where they will get breathless coverage from a dishonest media as they scream for gun control before the blood of the victims is even dry.

The reality is much different, and they know it. 

A RAND corporation study (something of a gold standard for objective research) noted that they found no evidence that arming teachers or staff in K-12 schools had any effect — positive or negative — on “gun use outcomes.”

So no, arming teachers does NOT make kids less safe. 

I will, however argue with the lack of positive outcome. You cannot prove a negative, and the only proof of deterrence working is — that there are no shootings.

So the reality is allowing teachers to carry causes no harm — and may do some good.

What, therefore, is the logical argument against it?