Students expected to be well behaved . . . and alive
Teachers at Arkansas school to pack heat
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This is the sort of thing that will have the gun control crowd apoplectic, of course, and that’s usually your best indication that you’ve hit on a good idea. If any crazed gunmen try to enter Clarksville High School in Clarksville, Arkansas - about 100 miles southwest of Little Rock - they won’t get far:
Dougan is among more than 20 teachers, administrators and other school employees in this town who will carry concealed weapons throughout the school day, making use of a little-known Arkansas law that allows licensed, armed security guards on campus. After undergoing 53 hours of training, Dougan and other teachers at the school will be considered guards.
“The plan we’ve been given in the past is ‘Well, lock your doors, turn off your lights and hope for the best,’” Superintendent David Hopkins said. But as deadly incidents continued to happen in schools, he explained, the district decided, “That’s not a plan.”
After the Connecticut attack, the idea of arming schoolhouses against gunmen was hotly debated across the country. The National Rifle Association declared it the best response to serious threats. But even in the most conservative states, most proposals faltered in the face of resistance from educators or warnings from insurance companies that schools would face higher premiums.
In strongly conservative Arkansas, where gun ownership is common and gun laws are permissive, no school district had ever used the law to arm teachers on the job, according to the state Department of Education. The closest was the Lake Hamilton School District in Garland County, which for years has kept several guns locked up in case of emergency. Only a handful of trained administrators — not teachers — have access to the weapons.
The typical attitude toward guns is that they are nothing but trouble, and are so dangerous that if you must have them on-site, they should be locked up and almost impossible to access. The problem with that thinking, of course, is that you have to be able to act quickly when a threat presents itself. What they’ve done in Clarksville is recognize that while there is some danger involved with the presence of guns, there is an even greater danger posed by the appearance of an Adam Lanza type. You never know when that could happen, and if it does, entire classrooms of children could be dead by the time the trained administrators become aware of it, unlock the secret box, load the gun and get to the scene.
Arkansas law allows for trained, armed security guards to be on site at schools, and there is nothing in the law that prevents the teachers themselves from doubling as the security guards. They have to be trained, of course, and presumably be subject to background checks. But once that happens, the presence of an armed teacher in that classroom offers much greater protection against a Sandy Hook-like massacre than a quixotic new “gun control” law that politicians dream will keep that would-be assailant from laying hands on a weapon of mass killing.
The teachers union doesn’t like it, of course, because teachers unions are knee-deep in left-wing politics. And I can understand why some of the teachers might feel apprehensive about packing heat. But the reality of today’s world, as Sandy Hook demonstrates, is that schools are not entirely secure places - and no gun control law or declaration of “gun-free zones” is going to change that. If you are a teacher in today’s society, one of your jobs is to protect your students not only from everyday dangers but, perhaps, from a threat that could take their lives.
Deadly force may be the only way you can do that effectively. If you can’t live with that, then you probably shouldn’t be a teacher. Kudos to Clarksville school officials for taking a step that could actually save lives instead of just joining the usual political yelping so as to appear to care.