One thing I advocate for a lot here on the pages of Bearing Arms is for armed teachers. As a parent, I want my daughter’s teachers to be able to do more than just hide the kids and hope a mass shooter doesn’t see them. I want the teachers to have the means to protect themselves and, by extension, the classroom of children which just happens to include my daughter.
However, I look at this like a parent. After all, that’s what I am.
Stephen Gutowski, writing at the Washington Free Beacon, talked to some armed teachers about just why they carry guns.
Michael, a middle school technology teacher who asked his last name not be disclosed because his school district does not reveal which teachers are allowed to carry guns, has been carrying in his school for three years. He said he had to wrestle with the decision to carry a gun at his school.
“It was actually a real, deep emotional time when they asked me,” Michael told the Free Beacon. “It took me probably over six months to decide to because it’s an intense thing, but the thing that ultimately decided is I want the kids to have a chance and I want to have a chance. If I’m going to throw myself out there anyways, I would like to have something to have a chance to shoot back. Did I ever want to? You know you never want to, but you want to be able to.”
He said he was happy that his district allowed him the opportunity to be armed at school and his connection to the kids he teaches is ultimately what motivates him.
“You protect these kids, they become your kids, my kids,” he said. “And I want these kids to be safe, have a safe environment and to succeed. And to me this is one more step towards that in this day and age. If something were to ever happen, I want to have that chance to protect my kids.”
Gutowski talked to several teachers, of course, and I encourage you to go and read his whole story. It’s quite good and worth the time.
Yet there was one thing mentioned by a teacher who isn’t allowed to carry that I suppose I knew and didn’t know. You see, there’s also very little medical training provided to teachers.
While no one wants teachers to also have to be doctors dealing with a kid’s tummy ache, if you’re concerned about a mass shooting, you should probably consider some appropriate medical training.
He said he was hopeful that he could at least bring the emergency medical training offered as part of FASTER Colorado’s course back to his school as a means of potentially saving lives. He said the head of security at his school told him about the medical training their security staff receives and he wondered why teachers aren’t given similar training.
“I kind of walked away going well wait a second where is our bleeding control, trauma kits in the school, where are our tourniquets?” MacFarlane said. “Has there been a training offered to teachers? We have district security personnel saying how important it is, the use of tourniquets. And it’s not a gun, so why aren’t those in schools?”
“At the bare minimum why aren’t we trained in the use of tourniquets and packing wounds and using chest seals?” MacFarlane said. “That would be easy to do, and I’m still getting people saying that would disturb a lot of teachers, and I find that just funny. It’s a strange attitude of just we’ll let other people solve our problems and what we’ll do is we’ll just hide and give up.”
I’m a former Navy Corpsman. I often forget that many people have no clue how to treat a traumatic wound. They’re completely lost as to how to apply a tourniquet or anything of the sort. After all, I learned some of it in Boy Scouts and Uncle Sam’s Yacht Club provided the rest of my training. It’s been part of me for so long that I simply forget not everyone has that skillset.
Yet there’s absolutely no reason why they shouldn’t. None.
Every teacher should be trained in these basic life-saving techniques and have access to the necessary equipment should something happen.
No, that won’t negate the need for armed teachers, but let’s also be honest about how many teachers are going to carry a firearm. Most aren’t.
The thing is, if there is a shooting, that medical training could be just as valuable, especially after the threat ends. Lives can be saved beyond those who are never shot because the killer is put down first.
We need to start making this a normal part of the discussion as well.
We also need to look at why some have decided to carry guns and remember their words when we discuss this in the public sphere.