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September 19, 2014

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NEWTOWN MASSACRE:

On this, anyway, father and son agree: Turning schools into armed fortresses a bad idea

J. Patrick Coolican

J. Patrick Coolican

When I heard about the massacre in Newtown, my first thought was about those families because that pain will never go away.

My second thought was about my father. He’s been on the school board for the better part of a quarter century in my hometown of East Hampton, Conn., which is 50 miles northeast of Newtown, and he did a stint on the state school board, as well.

Connecticut Elementary School Shooting

David Freedman, right, kneels with his son Zachary, 9, both of Newtown, Conn., as they visit a sidewalk memorial for the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Newtown, Conn. Launch slideshow »

My father and I don’t agree on much. Earlier this year, he sent me a subscription to National Review, the conservative journal. He has a mischievous sense of humor, and I suspect that in addition to thinking I’d be miraculously converted to the true faith, he liked the idea that I’d be on all the conservative mailing lists and get solicited for money from the likes of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

One thing we do agree on, however, is that America’s obsession with security is destructive to our way of life. He proudly refuses to lock doors and even leaves his keys in his car when at the local market. (OK, that one’s a little baffling.)

His attitude is: if I’m gonna live in this little hamlet in the middle of nowhere, what good is it if I have to lock my doors?

So I figured his reaction to Newtown would be dismay at the inevitable freak-out and calls to turn our schools into heavily fortified camps that resemble prisons more than learning environments.

Of course I was right. “For every bit of security we gain, we lose a little bit of freedom,” he told me.

The local high school in my hometown has installed a security system that locks the doors once school starts; office staff buzz in visitors after seeing them on a video monitor.

“I find that to be an affront. I can’t walk into East Hampton High School?” he asked, incredulously.

Now, after a weeklong silence, the National Rifle Association’s executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, has called for armed guards in our schools, with the federal government spending whatever is necessary to get it done — by January.

Let’s leave aside the toxic messenger and the entire topic of gun control for another day and just talk about armed guards in our schools.

As Dave Weigel of Slate pointed out: “This isn't an entirely new idea. You probably don't remember the name of Neil Gardner, a sheriff's deputy in Jefferson County, Colo. He was the armed guard assigned to watch Columbine High School who usually ate lunch with the students, so he could be in the school.”

It’s not clear a shootout at any of these massacres would have saved lives.

My father was blunt in his dismissal of the idea: “That’s ridiculous.”

Part of the argument is economic. “If you wanna hire an armed guard, that’s one fewer teacher,” he said.

There are about 100,000 public schools in America. Let’s do the math: If you spend $50,000 per school on an armed guard — and that’s a conservative estimate — that’s $5 billion. Some schools already have police, so the number might be somewhat lower, but you know this will turn into a typical boondoggle of training and equipment costs.

The choice is clear: Raise taxes — and who thinks the NRA membership favors that? — or eliminate an educator position in exchange for your armed guard.

It always irritates me when I’m at the mall or a bookstore and I see an armed security officer — the price of the goods and services I buy is higher so we can pay for all this security.

My colleague Paul Takahashi informs me that the Clark County School District spends $1.78 million, or about 0.8 percent of the district’s $2 billion general fund budget, on salaries and benefits of its police force. The high schools have their own officers; middle and elementary schools do not. Let’s keep it that way.

Amanda Fulkerson, district spokeswoman, said in an email the administration has tried to maintain a sense of normalcy, sending a memo to principals instructing them not to cancel events or do anything out of the ordinary. “The message we've been pushing is — turn off the TV, talk to your kids, send them to school. Do not put unnecessary fear of school into your kids.”

As my father noted to me, “School is the safest place for a kid.”

The data show he’s right. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, during the 2008-09 school year, there were 1,579 homicides in the United States among school-age youth ages 5–18, of which 17 occurred at school. That’s 1 percent.

Now throw in all the automobile deaths. In 2009, 1,314 children 14 years and younger died in crashes, and approximately 179,000 were injured. About 2,700 teenaged drivers were killed in 2010.

(It’s worth noting that America is the safest it’s been in decades, with violent crime rates collapsing for the better part of two decades. Moreover, violent crime is almost always between two people who know each other or are gang rivals. There’s a lot more to be done about crime, especially in some hard-hit urban areas, where Glock-wielding gang members fight on. But we hear precious little about that.)

The locked-down school environment isn’t just expensive; it also sends the wrong message.

The Nevada News Bureau reported that Gov. Brian Sandoval has asked for a briefing on school security at the next meeting of the state Homeland Security Commission. He specifically requested information about “fencing and single points of entry and buzzing in and out.” (Newtown had a secure door-lock system that didn’t stop the killer.)

I don’t blame Sandoval for his concern, but our schools already look too much like prisons. How about a guard tower, concertina wire and sandbags? That will keep us safe.

I don’t mean to be flip. But all this security tells children that we live in a dangerous society, one that requires constant vigilance against random crime, a menace that can only be defeated with an endless arms race of more powerful weapons and body armor and "tactical" gear.

The self-defense fetishists may think so, but nothing could be further from the truth, which means it doesn’t belong in a school.

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  1. Coolican -- looks like I'm the first to say excellent report from you, love the way you reminded us of some real numbers, and sanity. Your dad is right on with all this!

    "Hell is other people." -- Jean-Paul Sartre from his 1944 play "No Exit"

  2. Enormous profits lay waiting for those who can provide safety products for the most prevalent fears. Companies stand ready to make incredible short term profits off fear caused by violence and mayhem.

    "Sales of bulletproof backpacks, kids' body armor by Utah company soar 500 percent following Connecticut shootings".

    Bullet proof backpacks, something I personally would never wear in a war zone can be purchased for as little as $300 each (my Boy Scout backpack, not bullet proof, cost about $8). Bullet proof notebooks, paper pads and other paraphernalia are displayed adjacent to the back packs.

    The NRA knows a buck when they see one and paranoia means BIG BUCKS for the astute, the privileged and those in special places, like the NRA. To hell with education - the real money is making education SAFE and Wayne LaPierre with the NRA know that best.

  3. The fearful reactions after a violent tragedy rise to the level of imprisoning the populous in one way or another. Only the mentally ill or victims of our economic system are left free to react out of their agony.

    Armed guards in schools is another brick in the wall. And the bricks are building fortresses in schools, workplaces, homes and other public locations.

    Imprisoned freedom is no freedom.

    The reference to local schools resembling prisons was exactly the impression I had when I moved to Las Vegas. How uninspiring a lockdown environment is, and add guards to do what? They are going to be sacrificial targets, unless you place them in bulletproof plexiglass boxes on wheels.

    Consider how many of the assailants commit suicide. If a guard is in a location at a distance from the assailant, the assailant can still take out whoever they come in contact with before they are put out of their misery.

    Imagine the help that could be given to people needing mental health services for the billions that are proposed by the NRA.

    Financing preventative measures for the mentally ill would be a much better investment than those to protect from the mentally ill that have gone over the edge due to lack of early help as a preventative.

  4. Having an arm guard at Columbine High School did not help the students on that tragic day.

    The NRA does not have good leadership. Instead, the head of the NRA could be legally insane based on the comments made today.

  5. Gee another Coolican hates an idea but doesn't have an alternative, what a shock.

  6. Mr. Coolican - You sound indignant towards the NRA's idea of a cop in every school yet CCSD already does that for the high schools. You bring up Columbine, but fail to mention that Neil Gardner was eating lunch in his car in the parking lot when the shooting started. I would never have imagined the massacre in Newtown, and I suppose if someone is willing to trade their life to commit such an evil/bad act it is difficult to stop them, but let us not so quickly dismiss possible solutions no matter where they might come from.

  7. The NRA, by refusing to be a major part of the solution, remains a major part of the problem.

    The idea of armed security in every school is a poor one. But if it does come to pass, it should be paid for with an excise tax on assault weapons, high-capacity ammunition clips and magazines, and an annual license fee for possessing an assault weapon.

  8. I love the way those most secure scoff at the security of others. That moron, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, rails against guns yet has a whole bunch of gun-toting security gorillas watching his back. Try getting into any courthouse in America without going through metal detectors and past armed guards. I can't be positive as I have never visited the offices of the LV Rag, but I have a feeling you can't just walk into any part of their facility without having gone through some sort of security. I know that's the case with the R/J. So, with guys like Coolican, it's do as I say, not as I do. With friends like him who needs enemies?

  9. The NRA...

    Upping the ante on stupidity, one idea at a time.
    Coolican hits the nail, again.
    Your father sounds like a voice of sanity from a bygone era.

    I once moved from 'the middle of nowhere' to a large metro where folks were incredulous at my leaving doors unlocked and keys in car...it's my nature to be trusting, expecting 99% of folks to do the right thing and liking my odds of not running into the 1% that can't or won't.

    Arming schools to the teeth to fend off the rare wackjob
    with a weapons cache is giving in to that 1%...
    Lock, Stock & Barrel.

  10. "You bring up Columbine, but fail to mention that Neil Gardner was eating lunch in his car in the parking lot when the shooting started."

    flyinglow -- not sure what you're trying to say, but there's a lot more on your point @ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/21...

    "The NRA, by refusing to be a major part of the solution, remains a major part of the problem."

    pisces -- the NRA is not the custodian of our liberties, our republic and its many levels of government is. The NRA is only the face of your fellow citizens peacefully assembling, consulting for their common good and petitioning their elected representatives accordingly. You know, like the First Amendment guarantees.

    "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." -- H.L. Mencken

  11. KIllerB

    By all accounts the NRA has about 4 million members or a bit over 1% of the populatio. But my issue is not with most of the members, it's with the organization itself. Full disclosure - at one time I was an NRA member until their paranoia-laced propoganda became too much to take. They have become the spokesman for the most extreme elements of their membership and there is no doubt that they are energetic and influential. But I seriously doubt they represent most gun owners' concerns whether NRA members or not.

  12. "...my issue is not with most of the members, it's with the organization itself."

    PISCES -- it's not just the NRA. One of mankind's many shortcomings seems to be taking a good idea, instutitonalizing it then proceeding to FUBAR it. Our republic is probably the best example of that, organized religion another. Good post!

    "There was not a single adult male on the school premises when the shooting occurred. . .A feminized setting is a setting in which helpless passivity is the norm. Male aggression can be a good thing, as in protecting the weak, but it has been forced out of the culture of elementary schools and the education schools that train their personnel."

    TeaPublicanPatriot -- good quote! Kind of gives one the feeling our public institutions have lost their grip on reality, no?

    "I love and treasure individuals as I meet them, I loathe and despise the groups they identify with and belong to." -- the late, great George Carlin "Ready or Not, Here Comes Another Book"

  13. Killer B wrote,

    ""You bring up Columbine, but fail to mention that Neil Gardner was eating lunch in his car in the parking lot when the shooting started."

    Exactly! So what do you do? Put an arm guard in every class room and tell them not to eat lunch or go to the restroom, or just don't move from 7 am to 3 pm?

    Again, the head of the NRA must be legally insane based on the comments he made today on 12/21/21.

  14. The idea of armed guards in schools seems crazy but so does a guy walking into a elementary school and shooting 6 year olds.

    It's pathetic and sad that we've come to this (and i'm not saying I agree but..) if they outlawed assault rifles tomorrow and made gun laws like that of Japan it would still be decades if not a century before Americans were significantly less-armed right? In the meantime what?

    It's absolutely pathetic that even the idea of needing a guard at every school is suggested but right now our kids are more likely to die by school shooting than school fire but we practice fire drills all year long, have sprinkler systems and fire retardant buildings.

    Gun control or much better oversight can come but it will be a while before it really makes a difference. What do we do in the meantime? Hope it doesn't happen again?

    Mental health and gun laws might be the answers but they're long long long term solutions. What can we do in the meantime?

  15. Chunky says:

    Mr. Coolican said" "...But all this security tells children that we live in a dangerous society, one that requires constant vigilance against random crime, a menace that can only be defeated with an endless arms race of more powerful weapons and body armor and "tactical" gear."

    It IS a dangerous society Mr. Coolican, the Newtown and Aurora shootings are perfect albeit horrible examples.

    Survival today requires constant awareness of one's surroundings and the subtle actions of strangers and apparently family as well. Look at how many people walk parking lots and streets head and thoughts buried in their smartphones; exactly what criminals are looking for. Awareness isn't paranoia, just paying attention.

    We use armed guards to protect banks, government buildings, corporate offices, casinos, airports, politicians and celebrities. What could be more important than protecting a building full of children with whatever means possible? Ever see a "No Firearms" sign at a bank? Most banks have tellers behind bullet proof glass.

    We need prevention and protection in every aspect of our society, schools included until such time that we live in that perfect world we all dream of. Ban the sale or transfer of every single gun, magazine and form of ammunition in existence and the crazies and criminals will still obtain them or their functional equivalent.

    It would be great to live in a world with no evil or danger, a world without psychos who are intent on doing harm to others and/or themselves. But that is not the reality of the world we live in today. Sad but true.

    When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

    It's a pain in the rear to carry a concealed weapon every day. Just when Chunky thinks he doesn't really need one to go for a haircut or to the gym, he hears of a shooting in a salon or gym or mall. Name a place this doesn't happen that is not guarded.

    That's what Chunky thinks!

    Happy Holidays!

  16. The NRA is Nothing more than a Lobbyist group selling their snake oil to the people that give them money.

    And The Government is not going to or never will try to take your guns away from you. That's Propaganda at it's best, This is to get you to buy the elixir.

  17. 'Gee another Coolican hates an idea but doesn't have an alternative, what a shock.'

    ^^ Have to agree with this comment.

    I think it would be a knee jerk reaction to put armed guards at schools. But, I have no better idea to offer, except to express my opinion that mental health is virtually ignored in this country. With better healthcare and access to it perhaps people like Adam Lanza and his family could have had the help needed for him to prevent this situation. Instead his care was left on the shoulders of his mother alone. We now see how that worked out.

  18. I think Wayne LaPierre did his membership a disservice in two ways. I would have never pointed fingers at others as that takes away from the credibility of the organization and the message. Second, I would not have advocated a police officer in each school without first proposing a partnership in study to determine the best and most cost effective solutions that could be reasonably accomplished. There are places, like Israel and others, that have greater threats on a daily basis than our own and yet have fewer hurt in this way. Yes, they are a tiny country compared to us with a much smaller and vastly different population but that doesn't mean there might not be something of value to be learned from them. Something that could be adopted wholesale or in a modified form to prevent future school attacks.

    The real problem and I believe the answer of course is in human behavior. I attended a large north east high school where it was not unusual for the boys to have a shotgun for deer hunting in their vehicle. The high school had a rifle team that competed against other schools and I cannot ever remember a gun crime of any kind at or near the school despite the fact that team members on occasion would have to carry the firearms used in competition in and out of the school and to another. The difference between then and now is human behavior, the root causes of that behavioral change are myriad and complex. Most homes were two parent homes then and a stay at home parent was common. Neighborhood involvement, frequent communication and friendship among neighbors was commonplace. There are many more differences, gangs were few and far, kids spent more time interacting with others their age and little in front of TVs with only 3 stations and computers and video games didn't exist to keep them inside and alone.

    Each person is an individual and I know of no one causal factor or solution that will solve all our problems. I do know that concentrating on an inanimate object to change human behavior is a false god. Were it in my heart to do harm to another I am capable of accomplishing that in dozens of ways without ever needing a firearm. Tens of millions of us are.

  19. In 8th grade a girl was found butchered in the Band Room. They thought it was me. The victim had looked a lot like me--a friend, fairly close friend. Anyhow the student who did it--because she told him he had to stop selling drugs in school or she'd turn him in--was sent to a private mental hospital for 3-4 years and then walked free--Minnesota juvenile law at the time. Anyhow, I completely agree that it is dangerous to put armed guards in schools--Columbine had one. Didn't prevent anything. Here is something that CAN HELP: find out how your kids, the other students, treat the kids who are NOT their friends. Do they respect them or do they ridicule them. Even if they don't blatantly mistreat others, do they think they are better than others just cause they are way more cool? Or, do they like to maintain casual relationships with everybody else, to acknowledge their class mates and allow them to maintain self respect. We all have options in life, we must encourage everyone to recognize this. And what better way to be aware of those who might be in serious need of mental health services?

  20. I'd be just a bit more believing in the legitimacy of the NRA's concern about school safety if the NRA had agreed, up front, to fully fund its "plan".

  21. Who said anything about "armed fortresses". Spin, baby, spinnnnn...

  22. Say "no" to armed fortresses; say "yes" to a gun on the hip of every legitimate, background-checked citizen who wants one.

  23. "...say "yes" to a gun on the hip of every legitimate, background-checked citizen who wants one."

    James_P -- last time I checked this is an open carry state. No background checks required unless you're getting a concealed permit.

    "It behoves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others; or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own." -- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Benjamin Rush, April 21, 1803

  24. "Wrong, If you buy a firearm a background check will be performed, unless you buy privately or a long rifle at a gun show. . ."

    BeSafest -- actually we're both right. James_P mentioned nothing about buying, only carrying, but his "background-checked citizen who wants one" is definitely a gray area. No big deal.

    Definitely disagree with your "stupid to store more than a couple hundred rounds at home." I have an SKS which takes non-standard Russian ammo, and had the chance to buy a thousand rounds on sale. Nothing wrong with that at all. As for your "you still have to worry about people that just don't give a hoot about the law!" -- now that's just ignorant. See below.

    "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual." -- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Isaac H Tiffany (1819)

  25. It never ceases to amaze me the way people equate accidental deaths from lawful activities like driving a car to murder.

    While it's true that not many kids get killed in school. There are tens of thousands of weapons that get confiscated from children. Guns, knives, tasers you name it. In addition bullying is another major problem in school that has resulted in children committing suicide.

    While giving guns teachers is absolute nonsense having good security is not a bad idea.

    You would be amazed how many youngsters that aren't even dry behind the ears walk around armed to the teeth. Many of the gang killings in this country involve kids that have not even begun to shave. If they're walking the streets armed they're going to school armed.

    I believe it was last week that a kid was driving to school in Vegas with firearms and explosives. You can not expect teachers to deal with idiots like this. They're not trained for it.

  26. If you make something Idiot proof then someone will make a better Idiot!

  27. I enjoyed the outdoors when I was taught by my father to hunt and fish I also passed this on to my sons. I remember a time when I told my father that I was thinking about joining the NRA and wanted to know his feelings on that. He told me before I did do that to really think about this. They the NRA started out with noble intentions but they are not what they appear to be. Ostensible I think he used. He further advised me to understand that once I join and later some lunatic goes out and kills a bunch of folks and that person is carrying a membership card, Then all of those members will now be labeled as domestic terrorist for the rest of their life. It only takes a person to do this in the name of the NRA or a Militia regardless if that association agree's or not. That was the best advise I have taken.

  28. Most schools in "inner city" area of the USA already have armed guards, locking doors, security cameras, etc in place. Why? If they didn't, criminals would be selling drugs and having shootouts in those schools. "But we don't want to scare the kids or send them the wrong message ..etc etc" as this author suggests. LOL is all I can say to that! ANY school that doesn't have an armed presence from here on out MIGHT have a massacre. Just like bank robbers don't rob banks with armed guards, statistically, (they chose the ones without bullet proof divides and without armed guards, DUH!!) someone wishing to pump bullets into your kid why they learn how to read and write will choose to do so at the school without a security guard. Those are just the facts. You can choose to deny this. You can deduce that the odds of that happening are slim to none, so why worry about it? But if you choose to forego armed security in the future, you are playing Russian Roulette with your child's life. You might not realize this, but they WILL BE scared at a school without armed security vs knowing a heat packing guard or 2 is patrolling the school and not having to worry every time they hear a scream in the hall ways.

    BTW, I am starting to wonder why a certain "curious" aspect of this case is not being discussed by our free "mass media". I am referring to the fact that both the Colorado theater shooters father and the father of the CT school shooting will soon be testifying in Congress with information against the INTL bankers in the LIBOR Scandal. What are the odds of that! Think the mob is bad? I wonder how much money the INTL bankers have at their disposal to silence would be rats or forever shame their family name? Does the technology exist to mind control someone into doing something like this? Google "CIA mind control FOIA information" to get up to speed on how someone can manipulated to do most anything. Did that happen in this case? If we couldn't expose 911 for the obvious inside job that it was I don't have much faith we'll ever expose any "conspiracies" involving our handlers (INTL bankers). I just find it curious that the media isn't at least reporting on this angle of this case.

  29. The CO shooters father is the head scientist at FICO. The CT shooters father is VP of GE Financial. Both are key witnesses vs the INTL bankers in the LIBOR case and will testify in Congress soon.

  30. A declassified CIA document dated 7 Jan 1953 [1] describes the creation of multiple personality in 19-year old girls. "These subjects have clearly demonstrated that they can pass from a fully awake state to a deep H [hypnotic] controlled state ... by telephone, by receiving written matter, or by the use of code, signal, or words and that control of those hypnotized can be passed from one individual to another without great difficulty. It has also been shown by experimentation with these girls that they can act as unwilling couriers for information purposes." BB 32

    A CIA document dated 10 Feb 1954 [4] describes an experiment on the creation of unsuspecting assassins: "Miss [deleted] was then instructed (having expressed a fear of firearms) that she would use every method at her disposal to awaken Miss [deleted] (now in a deep hypnotic sleep) and failing this, she would pick up a pistol and fire it at Miss [deleted]. She was instructed that she would not hesitate to "kill." Miss [deleted] carried out these suggestions including firing the (unloaded) gun at [deleted]. After proper suggestions were made, both were awakened. Miss [deleted] expressed absolute denial that the foregoing sequence had happened." BB 36, 37

    The concepts involved in manipulating behavior are found by many people both within and outside the Agency [CIA] to be distasteful and unethical. Nevertheless, there have been major accomplishments both in research and operational employment. Over the ten-year life of the program many additional avenues to the control of human behavior have been designated under the MKULTRA charter, including radiation, electro-shock, and harassment substances. Some activities raise questions of legality implicit in the original charter. A final phase of the testing places the rights and interests of US citizens in jeopardy.

    Technical Services Division initiated a program for covert testing of materials on unwitting US citizens in 1955. TSD has pursued a philosophy of minimum documentation in keeping with the high sensitivity of the projects. Some files contained little or no data at all. There are just two individuals in TSD who have full knowledge of the MKULTRA program. NB 108-113

  31. Just because a few rats working for "the company" ratted out aspects of their mind control program and it was supposedly de-funded by our gov doesn't mean that it wasn't simply pushed into the "black ops" ledger and funded with profits from illicit drug smuggling or hell, bailout money to the INTL bankers for that matter! Obama and Bush game them 3T bucks of our money without ANY OVERSIGHT whatsoever! Who needs to mess around smuggling drugs for a few Million here and there when you can simply get the POTUS to hand you a few TRILLION!

  32. As a native Nevadan - I know many people in Nevada LOVE their guns. The Nevada of my younger life - was a perfect place for guns because Nevada was rural. People actually ATE what they hunted. And still today, there is a real need in rural Nevada to use a gun. Not against a person but maybe a nuisance? Like a coyote or other animal causing harm to property, livestock, or pets. If you get your jollies blinding and shooting a deer - I don't see the draw - but more power to you. I'm not necessarily anti-gun. And you aren't going to take guns away from anyone in my hometown - without a war. So that is NOT even up for discussion in Nevada.

    BUT. . . I was SHOCKED at the callousness of Nevada gun owners in SCREAMING about someone trying to take away their guns. The dead children of Connecticut were not even cold and conservatives/gun enthusiasists with their vile spew were trolling guns, constitutional rights, and extolling the virtues of vigilante style protectionism. Really?

    No one outside the military serving actively. I repeat - NO ONE needs an assault rifle.

    And -- I have known some terribly crazy people who are into guns. And don't lie and say you don't know people like that. There are many people I know who shouldn't have a gun - and they probably shouldn't drive a car either. It's hard to limit these things.

    The reason I'm really responding is as a teacher.

    I will NOT carry a gun into my school. I cannot bring a weapon into my classroom. That does NOT mean that I don't think there is risk. That does not mean I don't believe in guns. Teaching school is a risk, a risk I'm willing to take. If I wanted to be safe from harm, liability, accusations, craziness, etc - I would not teach in a public school. My everyday experiences have taught me to be the light - not the troll.

    I choose to teach kids to read; I am NOT a police officer. No one should bring a gun into a public school.

  33. "No one should bring a gun into a public school." You're right. But if they do, how do you propose stopping them? A) Waiting until they run out of bullets and kill 30-40 kids B) wait until the cops arrive and they off themselves or C) Put a bullet in their head before they can kill but a few kids?

  34. You've got to hand it to the gun manufacturers and the NRA. Who else would have used the mass murder of children as a marketing opportunity?

  35. The first time a school cop shoots and kills a student, there will be another outcry. Let's look at the Shooters, past and present. Many were students, past and present. And if some of the school cops are former Metro or other LEO's, what sort of an inquest process do we accept for "accidents"?

  36. I recall a student from Minden (Nevada). Shortly after Columbine, he turned in a class mate who had plans.... The "crime-stopper" reward was a 4-year full scholarship. Seems the local cops verified the plans. ANOTHER alternative to guns in schools.

  37. Few citizens are aware that there was an armed officer on duty at Columbine during the massacre!

  38. Anyone who believes guns should be in our schools and/or teachers armed has not thought this through or is a complete idiot. Teachers, as a group, are peaceful people whose very nature and position discourages fighting, bullying, and violence of all kinds. Most have never owned a gun nor wish to own one. Yet the NRA and their thoughtless supporters want to force them to own guns and turn our schools all into "O.K. Corrals!" Have we learned nothing from history that they want to return to the lawless vigilante days of the old west? Why are we the only supposedly "civilized" country that allows guns everywhere and has the highest murder rates in the world? I would say that Canada, China, Scandinavia and many other parts of the world are doing a lot of things right that we should be learning from but it appears the NRA and our "macho" military/industrial complex is more interested in their profits and false pride.

  39. Now self defense is a "fetish."

    You Obama Idiots are dangerous.