It’s not just President Trump, some conservative allies in CPAC, and the NRA who want some teachers armed, notes public interest law professor John Banzhaf, who is being quoted in favor of allowing teachers who are already licensed to carry concealed weapons to do so in schools, but to use only bullets which cannot ricochet or penetrate walls, and to likewise permit those unwilling to use guns to carry Mace-like defensive sprays, especially in the most compelling circumstances.
He points out that many rural schools may be located 20, 30, or even more minutes away from the nearest sheriff or other armed responder, and that even 10 minutes would permit a single student shooter armed with perfectly legal firearms to kill literally hundreds of students and teachers free from any armed opposition. This is far too long to expect students to be hiding under desks, or hoping that teachers can effectively attack an armed shooter with blackboard pointers or computer cables, he suggests.
Fortunately, it is at schools in rural areas where a significant number of teachers are likely to already have concealed weapons training and permits, so that simply no longer requiring them to give up their weapons while on school property could be done easily and quickly. Citizens in such rural communities are also more likely to be comfortable with guns than those living in cities, and to appreciate the risk when the nearest armed help is often so far away.
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Banzhaf notes that, unlike Trumps idea of having 20%-40% of teachers armed, it might take only a few who are armed but anonymous to provide some armed response (at least as many as a 1- or 2-man sheriff’s car) if a shooter strikes.
Even more important is that knowledge that some teachers are armed could provide enough deterrence to avoid many potential school shootings. Although some shooters may willing to die in what they might see as a blaze of glory fighting police, there appears to be little “honor” in being shot down by a middle-age teacher.
As the Washington Examiner reported this morning in “EXPERT: ARMED TEACHERS WOULD STOP SHOOTERS, EVEN WITH MACE”:
“President Trump’s idea of training and arming a small percentage of teachers is not only an effective potential deterrent but is the least schools should consider since trying to identify future attackers isn’t feasible, according to a well-known legal expert.”
“What’s more, said George Washington University law professor John Banzhaf, it could work even if the weapon is mace and not a gun. John Banzhaf is a public interest law professor known for his victories regarding smoking, obesity, discrimination, safety, and environmental protection.”
“‘While most would agree that even a small, light, and easily concealed handgun is many times more likely to stop a student shooter, a highly irritating chemical able to stop a grizzly and capable of being sprayed 20 or more feet is far more effective than attacking an armed shooter with chairs, backpacks, or even computer cables as some have suggested,’ he wrote in a memo Friday.”
“Banzhaf said that considering [permitting some teachers to remain armed] is the least communities can do and that Trump’s idea should be on the table. . . . I’m also making the point to many who almost re-flexibly oppose Trump and everything he says that this general concept may have some merit and may deserve some kind of trial.” [Banzhaf is regarded by many as a liberal rather than as a conservative or a gun enthusiast]
“Trump called for a larger group of teachers to be armed than Banzhaf who reasoned that the trick is more in the mystery of who is armed. That, he said, would help to scare away some potential killers.”
“‘Allowing a small unidentified minority of willing teachers to carry concealed weapons might provide sufficient deterrence that many shootings would be prevented, rather than simply ended more quickly once they begin,’ he wrote.”
Banzhaf notes that 8 states currently allow teachers to carry guns on K-12 school grounds, including Kansas, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming.
Also, so far in 2018, at least six states – Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, Maryland, and Oklahoma – have introduced legislation that would make it easier to have personnel in schools carry firearms on school property