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Truth and Lies About Safer Schools

MARCH 20, 2018

It is every parents nightmare. We're horrified that someone might injure our children. The strength of that reaction is why brave and honorable men deliberately put their bodies in the way of bullets during the Parkland, Florida murders. That is why female staff died protecting "their kids" in the Sandy Hook attack. Those students meant more than life itself to brave teachers and law enforcement officers. Unfortunately, our strong feelings allow us be manipulated by the news media. The truth is bad enough, but we were lied to and told that mass murder is an epidemic. Let's separate the truth from the lies.

The good news is that there is not an epidemic of mass murder. Even though mass murder is rare, we should still take prudent actions to protect our students. Schools are considerably safer than they were in the 1990's. We're working to make them safer still. That didn't stop some "news sources" from twisting statistics to sell their advertising and their agenda. They claim that mass murders at school are common. To make this claim, they had to classify a solo-suicide at an abandoned school as a school shooting.

Purchased advocacy research made the inflated claim that there were 46 mass murders this year. They wanted us to think that our neighbors have become insane murderers and that only the cops should have guns. In contrast, those same inflated statistics make me think we should arm school staff to protect our students, but I might be alone in holding that view.

The gun prohibitionists said we should leave our safety to the police and that school resource officers will protect our children. Some brave officer put their life on the line defending our kids. Bless them. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen every time. We recently watched several school resource officers walk away from a school and wait for the shooting inside to stop.

That isn't against the law. The police have no duty to protect us or our children. They are not forced to protect one student or a thousand of them. Not now. Not ever. If someone said that the police have to protect us, they lied.

The gun prohibitionists said that teachers are too emotionally unstable and untrained to protect our children. If teachers are really that crazy then we should empty the classroom and send the kids home for their own protection. I think the author exaggerated his claims because that description of teachers doesn't come close to the teachers I know. If mass murder is as common as the alarmists claim, then teachers appear to be a rock of sanity in comparison. I'm willing to cling to that rock.

No solution will be perfect. There have been accidents where adults negligently discharged a firearm in a classroom. Most of those negligent discharge incidents involved law enforcement officers. (here and here and here and here). So far, we have not seen an authorized and trained member of school staff have a negligent discharge in school. I hope it never happens but statistics say it will happen eventually.

CNN and the Huffington Post said that teachers don't want to carry guns in schools. I'm sure many teachers feel that way. We also see many teachers who want to protect their students, but CNN and HuffPo ignored that story. A recent Gallop poll showed that teachers would volunteer to carry a firearm in school at a rate that is considerably higher than the average concealed carry rate across the US. There is other evidence that some teachers want to go armed. I checked with the major training programs across the US, and found that training classes for teachers are consistently overbooked. Also, school districts never have a problem finding qualified volunteers to protect students. That tells me teachers love "their kids" and we have the right people in our schools. I predict that these trained teachers will use their first aid training far more often than their firearms. Don't expect to read about that in the evening news because that headline won't sell soap.

Don't confuse media headlines with truth. We were told that civilians who own scary black rifles really own military weapons of war. That clickbait simply isn't true. The United States Army doesn't use the 60 year-old AR-15 to equip its soldiers. It never did, and neither does any other country. As an ordinary civilian, I can't go buy a new military automatic rifle, and our soldiers don't want what I can buy from a gun store. If someone told you otherwise, they lied.

We have accomplished a lot to protect our students. I recently attended a meeting where school administrators and law enforcement officers discussed school safety. They look at their safety plans and change them week to week. Unfortunately, we should expect more copycat murders about a month after the last one.

If we really wanted to stop mass murder, then the news media would refuse to show the face or speak the name of the murderer. I don't expect that to happen anytime soon.

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