Op-Ed Addresses Fight To Arm Teachers

School shootings are something no parent really wants to consider. Even after we’ve seen them over and over again, we don’t want to consider them. The idea that we can send our child off to school one day and them not come home is a devastating fact of life, but to lose that child to such a senseless act of merciless violence is more than many of us can bear.


However, we also know that there are solutions and that gun control ain’t one of them.

An op-ed at the Missoulian points out one potential solution:

started high school back in 1991, before “active shooter” drills for students and teachers existed. Never did I imagine that we as a society would have to deal with such evil in the world and our schools would be left completely defenseless to stop that evil.

Back then, some teenagers actually went to high school with a shotgun or rifle in their vehicle because they had been hunting in the morning before classes started. Kids were not shooting up schools back then.

For the record, I graduated in 1992 and I can confirm this. Rifles and shotguns were normal in the parking lot of my school since many of my classmates went hunting right before school.
And no, not a single person was ever shot on our campus.

What has changed since 1991? Kids are not taught about morals and God like we were when I was young. Parents are not allowed to actually discipline their children like my parents did when I was young. Sure, we had Nintendo games like Mike Tyson’s Punch Out and Mortal Combat, but extreme violence was not glorified and marketed to children back when I was a kid like it is today. Kids were not diagnosed with any number of mental issues and prescribed drugs at the drop of a hat for it either. Kids were disciplined and held accountable for their actions.

Some Montanans seem to think that if we pass more gun control regulations, mass public shootings will stop (Shannon Kinsella Thomas online-only guest column, Sept. 2). They blame Republican politicians for giving in to the NRA. But even many European countries with extremely strict gun control laws, such as Russia, Finland and Norway, have much higher per capita rates of these attacks than we do.
But there is a different approach. 20 states, including some parts of Montana, currently allow teachers and staff to carry concealed guns to varying degrees on school property, so we don’t need to guess about how safe these schools are. Some states have had these rules for decades. In recent decades, only California and Rhode Island have moved to be more restrictive. The Crime Prevention Research Center, of which I am the executive director, looked at all the school shootings of any type in the United States from 2000 through 2018.

And yes, arming teachers is a vital step.

Let’s not pretend it will end the threat forever, but it is one of the best ways we have to change the landscape of school shootings. They’ll continue, but rather than 27 children being shot, we’ll have stories about how a shooter fired several rounds before the math teacher put three round center mass of the shooter’s torso.

No, the shootings won’t vanish overnight, but once school shooters get killed before they can rack up a body count, many will start looking elsewhere to achieve their infamy.

All because teachers are allowed to defend their own lives and thus, by extension, will defend the lives of others.

The author of this piece is well acquainted with not being allowed to protect yourself. Nikki Goeser was disarmed by law when her stalker murdered her husband right in front of her. She was in a gun-free zone, but the killer wasn’t deterred by that, just like school shooters aren’t deterred by laws forbidding them from taking guns on campuses.

As a result, I agree with Goeser. Let teachers arm themselves and watch the problem get sorted out in short order.

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