Mar 102013

Of the many so-called solutions to protecting our society from gun violence, placing armed guards in schools is one of the most popular on the right.  Keeping schools safe has to be a high priority, but I question the validity of the notion that guns are the solution to gun violence.  Here’s one reason why.

10schoolgunsA school district in New York has put a program to put armed officers in schools on hold after a policeman’s handgun went off at Highland High School.

At a Wednesday meeting with parents, Highland Central School District and police officials explained that Officer Sean McCutcheon had been suspended after his Glock .45-caliber pistol “accidentally discharged” in a school hallway at around 1:38 p.m. on Tuesday.

Lloyd Police Department Lt. James Janso said that a suspension was standard procedure while the incident was under investigation. Officials offered no further explanation as to why the gun discharged.

Some parents at the school board meeting questioned whether having armed guards in schools was worth the risk… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Crooks and Liars>

Photo credit: NY Daily News

This video isn’t that good, but it will give you the flavor of feelings in the community.

I don’t blame the policeman.  Accidents happen, and I really don’t know enough about the specifics.  However, if accidents like this can happen, even with the best trained professionals, police officers, putting guns in the hands of teachers, untrained school officials, and especially volunteer vigilantes is a virtual guarantee that tragic accidents will happen.  I think that regulations to enforce responsible firearms use will be more effective and less dangerous, but, if there are to be armed individuals in schools, they should be police officers, or perhaps retired police officers.


  27 Responses to “Should Schools Have Armed Guards?”

  1. They are thinking of arming teachers in one of the Dakotas.  I can see it now:  

    Scenario One: frustrated principal wants to break up fight in the parking lot of a high school.  The kids won't stop fighting.   The principal discharges his gun into the air once to get everyone's attention.  The bullet strikes a kid on the football field, killing him instantly. 

    Scenario Two:   A poorly trained teacher has an unruly class she cannnot manage.  She begins to use the threat of taking out her gun each day to get them in line.  The kids react with fear because they genuinely think she means it.  What kind of a behavior management plan is this to make kids settle down and work?

    Scenario Three:  Another maniac enters a school, armed, to shoot everyone in sight.  He signs in at the front desk successfully because his weapons are hidden in his coat.  He proceeds to a classroom and startles the teacher and the students.  The teacher does not have time to get her gun.  All are shot before anyone else in the school realizes what is happening.

    Scenario Four: A teacher has an unruly student in class who disrupts instruction daily with aggressive behavior.  The teacher cannot make the student stop. The anger between the student and teacher begins to escalate as the teacher, angry and not in control, threatens to use his gun.  One day, the teacher has had all he can take.  He shoots the student in the classroom.

    • Excellent comment Angie.  Here's a different take on #3.  The teached does have time to get her gun, but is killed before she can use it.  Ther shooter uses it to kill more students without having to reload.

      • And that is what would probably happen, Tom. That makes a lot of sense.

         I have to vent for a minute.  What the hell is wrong with half the country?  None of this armed teacher stuff makes the slightest bit of sense at all.  It's utter lunacy.

  2. It has already been proven by Columbine and Virginia Tech that armed guards do NOT deter school shootings.

    How many more children must die to prove it to the politicians?

  3. I know how to use a gun , I can shoot — I have a gun license–passed screening ; I am not trained to use a weapon in a crisis– and frankly no matter how much rraining I would have– I am not safe in the scenerios described here– I know that– I wonder how many others are not safe either but either are not aware of their own limits  , or are forced into situations where they may be required to be armed? That thought alone scares the hell out of me—

    • Ditto.  I'm a sharpshooter with nine bars, but I would trust myself in such a situation.  As a volunteer firefighter, I know how much training high-rish situations require.

  4. People have to be of a certain character and to be TRAINED to react in a certain way in a crisis – eg to walk towards the sound of gunfire instead of running away (like the rest of us) – what blithering idiot Repuglicon thinks ALL teachers have the same personality traits as the Army?  They demonstrably don't – or they wouldn't be in teaching they would be in the Army!  Also as TC has said in the past and as Patty says – Columbine High and Virginia Tech prove that the presence of armed guards does not stop shootings.

  5. Well, it's pretty clear that's what is needed are even gooder guys with guns to protect us from just the merely good guys with guns who are protectig us from the bad guys with guns.

  6. I think it depends on WHY the armed guards are suddenly necessary – if Students are bringing guns to school, then their Parents need to be arrested…if Outside people are "the threat" then armed guards should be posted Outside the school! People just seem to be losing all reason. NOBODY inside a school should be armed with anything more than tasers, mace, or pocket knives..and I only say that because I carried a pocket knife in my purse in school – I had to walk home every day & more than once I eluded suspicious characters when no one else was in sight (and WAY before cell phones!;).

    • On the surface, armed guards sound great.  However, think of al the possible entry points in a school.  Each window is an entry point.  How many armed guards would there need to be to cover all sides of a large high school? 

    • AQngie made an excellent point.

  7. NYC often has cops at schools and even medal detectors upon entering – and I'm not so disturbed by that – this is a crazed city – it has proven to be fairly regulatated – both of my kids are "city bred" and my son – now in Seattle – is "knowledgable" in gun use –(much to my dismay) and my daughter is living here in NYC — she's street smart — I wish that I, as a parent could continue my own belief that guns are only encvouraging violence – but I can't control the world – or my children!

    I'm certainly against teachers – the "mentors of our  children" – to be gu carriers – let those decisions be brought up in their own f'd up families not in our schools!

  8. A school district in New York has put a program to put armed officers in schools on hold after a policeman’s handgun went off at Highland High School.

    Guns in school are simply a bad idea… 🙂

  9. I am opposed to guns, period.  So then it is no surprise that I am opposed to guns in schools.  Teachers are trained to teach, so let them teach.  Schools are no place for second best when it comes to guns.

    One thing that I was very surprised to see, was some towns/cities having by-laws that mandated that all homes have a gun in them.  The Guardian article was not the first article I saw, it articulates several instances of this.

    Now that blew me away as a violation of the 2nd amendment.  It puts the right to bear arms in the context of a militia and nowhere does it say that a person must bear arms.

    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    It could also be a violation of the first amendment.

    It seems that the US is "gun happy".


  10. Guns have no place in schools.  Some of the teachers I had would have shot several of us if they had guns.  These kids are all ready subjected to unwarranted searches of their lockers and personal possessons, some have to go through metal detectors to get to class.  Our whole country has gone crazy.  That quote, I think from Thomas Jefferson, "if we sacrifice liberty in the name of security,we will have neither" rings true to me.  Of course, that applies to almost every where we go these days.

    • I had a teacher like thatt in High School. He was so bad that the other teachers celebrated when we dyed his hair green.

      • How did you die his hair green? You must have been a reall "badboy bad a$$" in school, Tom!   I want to hear that story!!!! LOL!

        • Bad?  Me?!!? surprise

          We had a guy in our class, who was a genius, studying postgraduate physics and chemisty, while taking his English. History, etc. in high school.  He concocted a chemical that reacts with the keratin in hair turning it permanently green.  While friends stood guard, I snuck into the teachers' lounge and spiked his Vitalis. 😈

          It was May, and he wore a ski cap for the rest of the school year.  Another teacher presented him with a toupee in the cafeteria. 😀

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.