I am neither a member of the National Rifle Association nor an avid shooter. But I have carried a gun as a tool of my trade for more than 30 years, and have come to appreciate the advantages of being armed in those moments when a deadly threat presents itself. That said, I am not among those who would place a weapon in the hand of every teacher. For one thing, not every teacher is qualified to handle one. There is no shame in this. Using a firearm for self-defense requires a certain mindset and level of proficiency that few teachers — indeed few people in most professions — possess. (Though I suspect the number of teachers hoping to achieve that mindset and level of proficiency has just increased.)
But the mere possibility that one or two staff members at a school might be armed may offer just enough deterrence to inspire second thoughts in any but the most determined assailants. And if such a determined assailant proceeds with an attack, is it beyond the pale to hope for intervention by an armed teacher? Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) appeared on Fox News Sunday on December 16, and he was widely derided (here, for example) for expressing the wish that the principal at Sandy Hook, who died in the attack, had “an M-4 [rifle] locked up so when she heard gunfire, she pulls it out and she didn’t have to lunge heroically with nothing in her hands and takes him out and takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids.”
For those who find that absurd, a question: is that scenario not preferable to what actually occurred?
It’s appalling to see so many people seeking to cloak themselves with cheap grace for having “done something” in response to the Newtown massacre regardless of how ineffectual the “something” might prove to be.
There’s been a lively exchange of comments to the piece, but I’m always keen to hear from my friends in the Ricochet community. Read the whole thing here.