Since the Sandy Hook school shooting there has been a great deal of talk about putting armed volunteers in those schools which do not already have an armed School Resource Officer.
What can possibly go wrong with this idea? After all, they’d be volunteers and not cost already financially strapped school districts money they cannot afford. Win-win for everyone, right? Our children would be protected from another Sandy Hook and everyone would be happy and safe.
First of all, SROs are highly trained police officers. In addition to the additional training they receive in areas such as bullying and abuse, they regularly participate in firearms training and “active shooter” scenarios. How many volunteers have the time and money to devote to this training?
In addition, police officers have undergone psychological screening and background investigation prior to becoming police officers. True, there are those who slip through the testing and checks prior to becoming police officers, but the majority of the “bad apples” never become police officers. Are volunteers willing to submit to the same screening and checks? And who pays for this?
Well, you say, there is Joe Jones – he has lots of free time (he’s always hanging around the Legion or neighborhood bars) and he was a SEAL/Ranger when he was in the military. So he’s already undergone all those tests and he’s very highly trained. Is he? As of January 2007, there have been about 10,400 SEALS (including currently active, so what are the chances? (See:http://www.leatherneck.com/forums/showthread.php?40119-How-to-spot-a-Phony-SEAL) So, maybe he says he was an Army Ranger. Same sort of thing:http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_Army_Rangers_are_there.
So, he says he’s former FBI, CIA, or maybe Mossad. Then it must be very difficult for them to find gainful employment or he wouldn’t have all that free time to devote to being an armed guard in a school. So, he’s retired? Easy enough to find this out during a background check.
Same for any felony record. Or domestic violence record. Or road rage. Or any number of things that should automatically disqualify a person from being armed in the first place, let alone armed and in a school.
So, he’s the guy who works the night shift so he’s home all day. Do you really want someone who, if he is there at the school all day every day, is more than likely to be sleep-deprived running around your child’s school with a loaded gun in an active shooter situation?
Okay, you think that just the general knowledge that there is an armed guard at the school will keep shooters from trying anything. Ask the parents of those killed and injured during the Columbine shootings in April 1999 how well that worked for them. (See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/21/columbine-armed-guards_n_2347096.html) And how well did that work at Fort Hood in November 2009? (See: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/33678801/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/t/gunman-kills-wounds-fort-hood/#.UWwyBUqQOtE)
Arm the teachers and the rest of the school personnel, you suggest. First of all, do you want to pay everyone at your school for the time and expense of training and purchase of firearms? Then, there is placing additional demands on those who are entrusted with educating your children to prepare themselves for a successful future. And, last, but certainly not least, is it really a good idea to have guns all over the school. Should the teachers and others wear them at all times? You think a couple of kids can’t ever, ever manage to disarm a person if they are of a mind to do so? And if guns are not being carried at all times, where and how should they be stored? Storing guns securely and safely at home doesn’t seem to have worked all that well so far.
Placing armed volunteers in schools may seem like a good idea; the consequences, not so much.