Armed Teachers in School…Killers, All
Although you may spend your life killing, You will not exhaust all your foes. But if you quell your own anger, your real enemy will be slain. ~Nagarjuna~
The NRA is a lobby, arguably one of the most powerful, and no longer an organization of hunters, conservationists, and marksmen. I’m sure there are members who are appalled at the direction the NRA has gone; from education and responsibility to high drama and creating armed camps out of our schools. This is a strategy completely in line with their single minded focus on gun control and historical reaction of creating fear of…’bad guys with guns‘, especially if they are black, a union worker, and now the supposed mentally ill teen or young adult who will attack your school. Their solution, of course, is to arm ‘the good guy’ in the school. And those good guys and gals are the teachers, the principals, the administrative assistants, the instructional assistants, the food service ladies…you get the picture.
There are already States where school staff can bring guns to school, we already have armed law enforcement School Resource Officers (SRO) in schools. I’ll speak to the issue of armed law enforcement professionals in schools in a later piece. Today my concern is for the armed school staff member and what it really means to commit to being armed in your school.
I know something about being armed and, full disclosure, I love firearms. I still own mine from my years in law enforcement. I love a shotgun and high powered rifle. I love the smell of gun oil and breaking down a weapon and putting in back together…the weight of the thing, on the range when the ejected cartridge burns when it lands in an open collar. But they are the tools of a trade and that trade is death. Firearms are meant for one thing and one thing only: killing someone or something.
They should be owned and used with respect, responsibility, and discipline. For to own a firearm means at some point you are willing to kill with it. You cannot wave it around for intimidation, or carry one openly(even when it is your right) or concealed (with or without a permit) to make a point without the willingness, intent, or design to kill with it.
Police officers do not use their weapon to warn people. They do not fire warning shots. They do not shoot to injure or disarm. Their weapon comes out in a situation which may create the necessity to kill the individual in self defense or the defense of others. It often does not come to that…however, officers acting in high risk situations know they will use their weapon to kill. To be trained in the safe use of a firearm is more than just a class or list of do’s and don’t’s. It is the trained mindset of being prepared to kill. That mindset is yours forever with the baggage that comes with it.
So ‘good guys with a gun’, are you prepared to kill? To kill a child? The gunmen in high school shootings since 1997 have been teenagers or young adults. They often have attended that school and you may have had them in class, or seen them around school. Are you prepared for the regular mental practice that comes with being armed and prepared for the high risk situation where you will be required to kill? Kill an armed gunman with the face of a child? Kill a gunman with body armor, charging, armed with a firearm that is loud and intimidating? Kill an armed gunman who has killed without being distracted by the that victim?
Are we ready to move beyond making everyone in this nation okay with killing? We are being bullied by a group of undisciplined and irresponsible gun owners who spend time on the range making big, bad loud noise and think their weapon can be ‘controlled’ for intimidation only and the illusion of home or school safety. We know a lot about war and killing and profiting from both. When are we going to learn about peace and human connection and a justice that heals?
Photo Credit: http://www.mirror.co.uk