What could possibly go wrong if one or more teachers in a school are selected to be a “designated defenders” with a weapon?
Let’s look at a possible scenario. A crazed gunman enters the school. The armed teachers have to: (1) recognize that this is a situation where their weapons are essential; (2) provide for the basic security of their own 20-30 students by getting them out a side door, under desks, into a closet, etc. (3) unlock the strongbox with the weapon and check it for functionality; (4) begin patrolling the various corridors of the school complex; (5) insure that they don’t shoot another armed teacher who is also searching for an intruder; (7) find the perpetrator; (8) determine that there are no innocent people in the field of fire; (9) while remaining undetected in a wide, straight school corridor, make the first shot count (if the perpetrator has a semiautomatic rifle, you won’t get a second).
All of this has to be done in less than 10 minutes (the length of the reign of terror at Sandy Hook Elementary). If everything does not go perfectly, you have one more dead teacher and an additional weapon for the crazed gunman.
Supporters of arming teachers will argue that this scenario will never happen. When the gunman sees a sign saying “Armed Teachers on Site,” the coward will flee and seek an easier target. I, too, hope it will never happen, but considering that these shooters are seriously disturbed and often suicidal, I doubt a sign will deter them.
We must protect our children. While arming teachers may provide a false sense that Rambo is on the scene protecting every school, more guns are not the answer. Reducing access to large magazines, eliminating uncontrolled gun sales, securing guns in the home, working on early identification of potential shooters and other steps must be taken before schools become armed camps.
Francis J. Lynch