In the wake of yet another school massacre where nineteen children and two teachers were killed in a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, my reactions mirrored those of many drained Americans. “When will this stop?” “Those poor families.” “What can we do as a country to stop this?”
My query on facebook, Why are there not armed security officers in every school in our nation? brought out mixed reactions and opinions. I thought it was pretty obvious we needed armed school officers in every school now—at least while we wait for real change in gun laws, in our mental health systems, and in our collective hearts in this country. I admit I posted from a deeply personal place. My husband, a retired police officer, is currently working as an unarmed security officer in an elementary school. Both my son and his girlfriend are new teachers. So many beloved friends and relatives are teachers.
What you are about to read though, is not my hand-wringing. Instead I bring you the sound opinion of a viable, immediate solution to our vulnerable schools. Here is my experienced and level-headed husband, Sean.
This is my professional opinion coming from over thirty years as a police officer with several of them as a S.W.A.T team member/commander and firearms/ tactics instructor. For those who say ban gun sales, that ship has sailed. There are an estimated 400,000,000 guns in this country. I strongly believe in regulated gun sales with an emphasis on background checks and mental health assessments. There should be no sales to unpermitted persons and no sales to anyone under the the age of 21.
Now onto armed security in schools. First let me say that those advocating for arming teachers are not thinking it through. The amount of training needed to shoot in a combat situation (which is exactly what a school shooting situation is) is not realistic for teachers. They have enough on their plates educating our children and keeping up to date with their own education and school mandates. A highly trained (emphasis on highly) armed security force can not only be a deterrent but effectively respond to a situation.
As I said, the guns are out there so it is a pipe dream to think halting sales will stop this madness. The (armed) security force would have the time and opportunity to train during the summer and other school breaks, along with professional development days. An armed security force is not the ultimate answer, but used in conjunction with greater mental health awareness and treatment is a tool to reduce the number of children that are being murdered in our schools.
An unarmed security guard in a school is basically a bullet trap designed to slow the assault down enough to put the school in lockdown. I will do whatever I need to do protect the lives of the children at my school but I could do a much better job if I was properly equipped.
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Contact Your U.S. Senators and Representatives – Everyday Advocacy. Reach out to your local Board of Education.