Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Time to arm willing teachers to stop spree killers ! or ?

by Jeff Thomas

By now everyone has heard about the Chardon High School shooting that left three students dead and two others wounded this week.

Many believed it was just a matter of time before a school shooting reached Ohio. On Monday morning it happened. This just highlights the need to arm willing teachers to serve as the last line of defense of our children.

While a lot remains unknown about Monday's shooting, had a willing and properly trained and armed teacher been present, this could have prevented multiple children from being shot.

I don't know anyone who would argue against the notion that children are the most precious gift in life.

Nor would any able-minded parent stop at anything to protect their children. Having the ability and means to protect children should not stop when they leave the home or enter school where they will spend more than 10,000 hours to someday be able to graduate from high school.

While some may try to argue that targeting schools for massacres is a new phenomenon that began with the Columbine High School shooting in 1999 that left 12 students and a teacher dead, and 21 others wounded, that's far from the truth. Bath Township, Mich., still holds the unwanted title for being the deadliest mass murder at a school in U.S. history when a man, enraged over property taxes to build a new school, set off a series of bombs. Killed were 38 elementary school children, two teachers, four other adults and the bomber.

There also have been countless other school killings that did not capture national headlines. On top of that, numerous plots have been foiled.

One thing is clear from history: school massacres have happened for many years and will continue to happen. While teachers have received training in how to lock down their classrooms, and police have changed their strategy to have the initial officers on the scene go in as opposed to waiting for a SWAT team, more needs to be done.

It's time we arm teachers who are willing to stand guard between our children and someone willing to harm them. This in no way means arming reluctant teachers, but rather arming teachers who are willing to accept the responsibility.

A teacher willing to take the appropriate training and pass a qualification test could become the one who saves numerous lives.

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