County's Issues With Arming Teachers Shows Deeper Problems

Following so many mass shootings, the idea of armed teachers and other staff just makes a great deal of sense. After all, police simply can’t respond fast enough to prevent the loss of life. Trusting a school resource officer might be effective, provided they step up when the time comes and don’t hide outside as children die.

Teachers and staff aren’t just people in a position to respond, either. They’re often targets of the kinds of maniacs that burst into schools with murderous intent.

Unfortunately, opposition to armed teachers may well reveal some of our real problems.

Take, for example, what’s going on in a Wyoming school district.

The concealed carry policy has been a source of controversy and conflict ever since the board first began discussing adopting such a policy in 2017. The board initially voted to adopt such a policy in the spring of 2018; however, that policy was ruled invalid following a challenging lawsuit that argued the district failed to follow the Wyoming Administrative Procedures Act (WAPA) in adopting it.

The board then went through the adoption process again during the 2018-19 school year, again voting to adopt the policy in the spring of 2019. However, the policy was again challenged through the courts, with a lawsuit filed on the first day of the 2019-20 school year by plaintiffs Tim and Katie Beppler, Nathan Prete and Tiffany Eskelson-Maestas, who claimed the rule was invalid because the district had still not adhered to WAPA requirements, had violated the constitutional rights of those who did not want their children educated in a school with armed staff and had failed to abide by the enabling statute that mandated a district establish instructor qualifications.

They believed they had a constitutional right to put other people’s children at risk because of their own innate biases against guns.

Now, I can’t comment on the procedural stuff because I’m not anywhere near knowledgeable enough about Wyoming state law to begin to delve into it. I’m not a lawyer, after all, nor did I play one on TV.

However, the bolded portion of the above quote was emphasized by your’s truly. I wanted to call attention to it because I found it especially troubling. Procedural stuff can be dealt with. Attitudes about guns are much more difficult to address.

After all, this shows us that we need to address the hearts and minds of many people. We have to show them that guns in school, particularly in the hands of specially trained and qualified individuals, isn’t a detriment to school safety, but an enhancement.

You see, the important thing to do here, at least as I see it, is to not pretend that these teachers and staff members are heroic, altruistic individuals who should be afforded superhero status. Instead, let’s frame it as these are folks who are going to be there and in the process of protecting their own lives, they may be able to save the life of your child.

Plain and simple.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where those ideas aren’t easy to get out there. Sure, we can write about it until we’re blue in the face, but we’re preaching to the choir. We’re giving you all information that you can then use in your own discussions. We can’t boost the signal and you know damn good and well that if you provide a link to a story we write, it’ll be dismissed because of our clear biases. They won’t address the substance of what we wrote, but they won’t need to. Not in their minds.

The mainstream media is less than useless for this purpose. Their anti-gun attitudes have been well documented. They’re not likely to help us out on this.

That means we need to find alternative ways, and the best is just straight word of mouth. We need to share the idea that teachers protecting themselves will lead to them protecting our kids. We need to show the data from places where teachers are already armed which proves that kids are safer with armed teachers or, at the very least, not in as much danger as many people seem to think.

For better or worse, we’re going to keep running into this kind of attitude. We can’t cram guns down people’s throats. We have to undermine the propaganda and change their minds first.