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A Thought Experiment Related to School Shootings
The Volokh Conspiracy ^ | 14 December, 2012 | Eugene Volokh

Posted on 12/15/2012 6:37:47 AM PST by marktwain

Imagine that you ran a school district, and some rich foundation, worried about school shootings, gave you the following offer: We’ll hire armed security guards for you, who could try to do something about the school shooter. These aren’t going to be highly trained police officers, just typical security guards, given some modest training and subjected to basic background checks. It’s not like they’re highly skilled; security guards rarely are. But they have a basic understanding of how to shoot, and when to shoot.

They wouldn’t deal with ordinary trespassing, vandalism, and the like, nor would they be at all guaranteed to be effective in the event of a school shooting (who can offer such a guarantee?). But they’d provide someone on the ground who could try to interrupt a killing spree. And the foundation is paying, so it’s virtually no cost to the district. Would you say yes?

I imagine that you probably would. You probably wouldn’t much worry, for instance, that the guard would go crazy and himself start shooting — theoretically possible, to be sure, but unlikely. You’d figure that someone who can defend the school with a gun during an attack (as opposed to the police, who will come in many precious minutes after the attack begins) is better than no-one.

Nor would you object in principles about there being a gun in school, since it’s in the right hands. Just like people who have money often to pay for armed neighborhood-wide security patrols, and don’t insist on the unarmed kind or no patrol at all, you’d probably think that this free security guard would probably be helpful.

But wait! The foundation has just learned that its investment portfolio has done very badly, and the grant doesn’t go through. But someone else suggests: Instead of hiring special-purpose security guards, why not take some of your existing employees — teachers, administrators, and the like — and offer them a deal: They’d go through some modest training and subjected to basic background checks, and in exchange they’d be given the right to carry the same guns that the security guards would have had.

Indeed, this way you could have not just one security guard but several (if several staff members sign up). And you might get people to do this even without paying them, since they might value the ability to defend themselves and to not be sitting ducks should the worst happen. (If there’s some union contract or labor law that precludes that, that can of course be changed, if people think this is a good idea.) Maybe Assistant Principal Joel Myrick, who confronted the Pearl, Mississippi high school shooter with a gun, after Myrick went to the car to get it, might have participated in such a program if it had existed, and had let him keep the gun in school.

And no need to call the licenses given to those who participate in the program “concealed carry” licenses, just in case some parents and others don’t like the concept. Just call them “volunteer security guard” licenses, though you might expect that most people who sign up for this will also have licenses to concealed carry on the street. Of course, if a killer does show up, maybe some of these volunteer security guards will just cower in the corner rather than trying to defend the students, or attack the killer. But it seems more likely that someone will confront and try to stop the killer if that someone is armed then if that person is disarmed.

What’s your answer to that? Is there some reason why the armed security guard is safe and helpful, but the armed teacher, administrator, or staffer — er, the teacher with a volunteer security guard license — would be useless and a menace?


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: banglist; guncontrol; massshooting; sandyhook; school; secondamendment
This is what the Israelis did when faced with terrorists shooting of schools. It worked. They armed older students as well.
1 posted on 12/15/2012 6:37:56 AM PST by marktwain
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To: marktwain
This proposal makes too much sense.

And for that reason, liberals will "see right through it," and reject it.

2 posted on 12/15/2012 6:42:29 AM PST by Flycatcher (God speaks to us, through the supernal lightness of birds, in a special type of poetry.)
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To: marktwain

Decades ago, in the USA, in the country some high school boys would stow hunting rifles away in their lockers, to go hunting on the way home, and nobody thought ill of it.

I wonder if there are so many cowards in school today, both growing and grown up, that nobody would get near a g-g-gun let alone use it to bring down a rampaging loon?


3 posted on 12/15/2012 6:45:18 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: marktwain

Make the kids wear bullet proof vests and helmets. Lock the classroom door.


4 posted on 12/15/2012 6:46:05 AM PST by Paladin2
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To: Flycatcher
This proposal makes too much sense.

I was going to make the same comment... it makes too much sense to be accepted by liberals.

5 posted on 12/15/2012 6:53:22 AM PST by GOPJ (Detroit should be renamed 'Michael Mooresville'...)
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To: marktwain

Selected teachers could have pistols in their classrooms in quick-opening pistol safes. Punch in 3 digits, grab the pistol. Ready when you need it, totally safe when you don’t.


6 posted on 12/15/2012 6:53:57 AM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

That was as recent as 1986. I was one of those kids. We’d keep the rifles in our lockers, the ammo was in the administration office, or our parents would have it with them when they picked us up. I also recall that the first day of hunting season was a legitimate reason to call in sick. :)

It never would’ve occurred to me, or my fellow hunters, to start blowing away our schoolmates.


7 posted on 12/15/2012 6:54:55 AM PST by AnAmericanAbroad (It's all bread and circuses for the future prey of the Morlocks.)
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To: marktwain

Governments at all levels mandate, fund and supply armed security guards at all government buildings EXCEPT schools. Why? A school building is just as much a government building as the courts, the museums, the political offices, etc., and deserve the same protection. Demand it!


8 posted on 12/15/2012 7:09:15 AM PST by TexasRedeye
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To: AnAmericanAbroad
In the early 80s I took a rifle marksmanship class (as a gym credit in the engineering program!) in college. Imagine, students on campus with loaded rifles! Gasp, being taught how to use them and be effective with them!

Funny, the only time we got hurt was if we mis-adjusted the sling (hey, we were new at this, that's why we were in class) and our hand went numb on the foregrip.

9 posted on 12/15/2012 7:17:25 AM PST by ThunderSleeps (Stop obama now! Stop the hussein - insane agenda!)
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To: GOPJ

Liberals are mainly concerned that while the government is growing by leaps and bounds, from 20% of GDP a few years ago, to upper 20’s today, and into the 40’s of GDP with 0’care fully implemented... with all this govt growth, TSA is sorely lacking. It is stagnant, with TSAers now in every airport frisking Americans, but no growth means no new passengers, means no new TSA employees. Enter the CT shooting. Liberals: “We need to expand TSA into every school in the land”. As airliner cockpit doors, classroom doors needs to be hardened. body scanners at every school entrance, with TSA supervisors and workers (union of course).


10 posted on 12/15/2012 7:19:39 AM PST by C210N (When people fear government there is tyranny; when government fears people there is liberty)
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To: marktwain
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
11 posted on 12/15/2012 7:21:57 AM PST by MtnMan101
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To: Paladin2

At many nursery centers/day care centers, they have a computer at the door when you walk in; you have a pin number that you punch into the computer, which unlocks the door to the center. Why don’t schools use this system vs what they use now?

The Connecticut school has a camera that takes a photo of person at door; then the office see’s the photo, unlocks the door if they can confirm identity. A shooter could have someone standing there, auth to enter the school, then walk in behind them by gun force...


12 posted on 12/15/2012 7:40:42 AM PST by Engedi
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To: Engedi

PINs are easy to share. Biometrics are better, but nothing is foolproof.


13 posted on 12/15/2012 7:48:28 AM PST by Paladin2
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To: marktwain

The principal could put out a memo, or better yet make a minor announcement during a staff meeting, that any staffers (teachers, aides, specialists, custodians, etc.) who hold a concealed carry license are asked to meet with him or her later. The excuse (a lie) could be given that the principal wants to make sure nobody is carrying in the school, especially after the most recent tragedy.

The principal would interview each staffer closely before moving on to the next step of “deputizing” them. (I believe all school employees are required to pass criminal background checks already, at least in most states.) Having completed this process, the principal would then have a “secret” security force inside the school walls, with nobody the wiser. The principal would be well-served in not saying a word about this security measure to anybody, anywhere, except perhaps the district school superintendent.

A custodian with a .45 secured in his equipment locker would be a damn sight better than nothing if the SHTF.

Most of the leftist staffers would freak out at the thought of a g-g-gun inside the school ... except for those already familiar with handling them.


14 posted on 12/15/2012 7:54:16 AM PST by DNME (Without the Constitution, there is no legitimate U.S. government. No exceptions.)
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To: GOPJ

The anti gun lobby will push this in the opposite direction. Instead of arming teachers they will turn all the children into targets who have to hide in closets hoping the killer runs out of bullets before he gets to them.


15 posted on 12/15/2012 7:56:17 AM PST by peeps36 (America is being destroyed by filthy traitors in the political establishment)
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To: Paladin2
Make the kids wear bullet proof vests and helmets. Lock the classroom door.

... Build the walls out of at least 12" thick concrete with bars on the windows, bullet proof glass, etc. Do NOT allow them to leave for an instant, even sliding their government approved trays of vegetable sludge under the door. They should all wear uniforms with numbers on them as well, preferably orange in color, for if there was an incident, one could easily identify who is the assailant and who is the inmate student. Keep them there for a minimum sentence period of 8 hours per day, for 12 years, only to be released to the yellow cans for prisoner transport home.

Do I really need a sarcasm tag?

16 posted on 12/15/2012 7:57:59 AM PST by Big Giant Head
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To: marktwain

Something else that might help is to stop giving the shooters all of the attention they get. All that does is tell homicidal loners who have given up on life that the best way to have somebody try to understand you is shoot up a school.


17 posted on 12/15/2012 8:23:58 AM PST by TruthBeforeAll (Liberals believe that if everybody lives in a sewer nobody will know that they do.)
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To: Big Giant Head

I now think of schools as a factory, but as a kid I knew they were very jail like.


18 posted on 12/15/2012 8:28:25 AM PST by Paladin2
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To: Big Giant Head
"..the yellow cans..."

My kids called them cheese wagons.

19 posted on 12/15/2012 8:29:35 AM PST by Paladin2
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To: ThunderSleeps

One of my kids colleges maintained a gun locker in the basement of the dorms.


20 posted on 12/15/2012 8:31:47 AM PST by Paladin2
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To: DNME

I like your idea, it’s a shame we have to be sneaks about it, but as the saying goes, “better judged by 12 than carried by 6.” I doubt given the situation, no jury would convict anybody protecting the kids.


21 posted on 12/15/2012 8:36:04 AM PST by Nowhere Man (I miss you Whitey! (4-15-2001 - 10-12-2012). Take care, pretty girl!)
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To: Paladin2

Make the kids wear bullet proof vests and helmets. Lock the classroom door.

I bet you would be one of those that would let the kids play football also.


22 posted on 12/15/2012 8:40:26 AM PST by An Old Man
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To: marktwain

Let’s add some historical data to this thought experiment.

In Washington DC EVERY public high school had a JROTC corps of very size, up until some time in the late sixties or early seventies when the JROTC program was abandoned.

EVERY DC public HS had an JROTC armory.

These armories stored M1 rifles lacking only a firing pin. They also stored demo and training 1911A pistols, BARs, M1 carbines, and a few other weapons I can’t recall at the moment.

Again lacking only a firing pin.

Every DC public HS had a JROTC rifle team which stored its .22 cal target rifles in the same armory in rifle safes as opposed to the lockable open wood racks for the M1s.

While in uniform Cadet officers and Sgt Majors carried US Army dress sabers. Our drill teams mounted chromed bayonets on their M1s.

By the early sixties only two public high schools had white student majority populations, yet there were NO shootings of any kind much less stabbings employing any of the JROTC weapons. In fact I don’t recall any one brandishing an exposed knife blade during a school fight. And plenty of us young bucks carried pocket knives daily.

The only one event causing concern came about when a new foreign student fearing a tardy citation chose to store his M1 in his hall locker rather than be late for his next class after drill. Within minutes of the regular rifle count before armory lock-up, the student whose rifle was missing was identified. In the meantime male faculty members and cadet officers had manned all the exits. The offender was lead to his locker by the principal and the reg Army JROTC advisor, a major, to recover the M1. The culprit was detained pending arrival of his father and expelled from school.

So what changes occurred between then and now?


23 posted on 12/15/2012 8:43:02 AM PST by Covenantor ("Men are ruled...by liars who refuse them news, and by fools who cannot govern." Chesterton)
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To: marktwain

It’ll never happen. There is a basic flaw in your premise: School administrators these days aren’t as interested in childrens’ safety as they are in feeling good about their own efforts. They’ll never admit they’ve been approaching this thing from entirely the wrong direction.

This doesn’t include just the issue we have here of the massacre. They still persist in implementing failed teaching policies like Whole Word learning of reading, as opposed to Phonics.

This includes administrators of many private schools.


24 posted on 12/15/2012 8:43:48 AM PST by Cyber Liberty (Obama considers the Third World morally superior to the United States.)
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To: marktwain

The flaw is overwhelming because the liberals own and dominate the school system, of course that meant the public schools, but for a private school its another matter.

We need to overhaul, boot out the gun free communists or just keep our children out of the propaganda centers. Its solely because of the liberals we have these incidents. They have invaded every aspect of our life, and they always fail taking others down with them.


25 posted on 12/15/2012 8:49:21 AM PST by Eye of Unk (A Civil Cold War in America is here, its already been declared.)
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To: An Old Man
"I bet you would be one of those that would let the kids play football also. "

I broke my arm playing neighborhood pickup football in someone's front yard as a 10-yr. old. My interest in the game forever waned.

26 posted on 12/15/2012 8:52:14 AM PST by Paladin2
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To: Covenantor
"So what changes occurred between then and now?"

Uh, the army uses M-16s?

27 posted on 12/15/2012 8:55:28 AM PST by Paladin2
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To: Travis McGee
Selected teachers could have pistols in their classrooms in quick-opening pistol safes. Punch in 3 digits, grab the pistol. Ready when you need it, totally safe when you don’t.

Common sense; therefore liberals will howl and protest that it won't work.

Imagine the country schoolhouse when this nation was a frontier west of the Mississippi. There had to be a rifle in the corner of the schoolhouse in case of bears, mountain lions, deadly snakes or bandits. Most boys and many girls over the age of 6 could shoot. Common sense.

Today, our bandits are the mentally ill or they are jihadists (same thing). Teachers and staff just need to keep a gun handy in case one comes around. Parents need to insist on it.

28 posted on 12/15/2012 10:20:25 AM PST by Albion Wilde (Government can't redistribute talent, willpower, or intelligence, except through dictatorship.)
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To: TexasRedeye
Governments at all levels mandate, fund and supply armed security guards at all government buildings EXCEPT schools. Why? A school building is just as much a government building...

Homeland security has already bought up all the ammo schools would need for the next 1,000 years.

29 posted on 12/15/2012 10:22:22 AM PST by Albion Wilde (Government can't redistribute talent, willpower, or intelligence, except through dictatorship.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Not just guns in their lockers but guns in their unlocked vehicles in the school parking lot. There was hardly a guy sitting at his desk who didn’t have a knife in his boot.

It was maybe 8 years ago that I found a .22 shell in the boys’ restroom and the principal didn’t bat an eye. Just a couple years ago, many kids brought pictures to school of the deer and turkey they shot the evening before. I’m afraid, even pictures wouldn’t be tolerated today.


30 posted on 12/15/2012 10:26:04 AM PST by bgill (We've passed the point of no return. Welcome to Al Amerika.)
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To: Covenantor
So what changes occurred between then and now?

People protested because they couldn't get in the swimming pool at Glen Echo. /sarcasm

31 posted on 12/15/2012 10:26:49 AM PST by Albion Wilde (Government can't redistribute talent, willpower, or intelligence, except through dictatorship.)
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To: marktwain
I remember a few years ago a couple of terrorist wannabes in the UK loaded up their SUV with cans of gasoline and tanks of propane and attempted to drive it into an airport terminal. Only their ineptitude stopped this from being a major terrorist attack. Could some nut case similarly fill a vehicle with cans of gas and drive it into a school or even a hospital with horrific results? Could a more organized terrorist simply hijack a tank truck of gasoline or other highly flammable or toxic substance and drive it into a crowded shopping mall to wreak havoc on a larger scale?
32 posted on 12/15/2012 10:28:23 AM PST by The Great RJ
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To: marktwain
Some resources on school threats for consideration. (There’s some old news here, but evil, terrorism and massacres never go out of style.)

Terrorists – coming to a school near you
Police ill-equipped to defend against an American Beslan
WND
Published: 04/02/2007 at 1:00 AM

Note: Killology Research Group website does not seem to still be actively updated.

Mass Slaughter In Our Schools: The Terrorists' Chilling Plan?
By Chuck Remsberg
Senior PoliceOne Contributor

School Safety Notes and Articles About School Safety by Col. Grossman
Preventing School Violence
School Shooting Contingency Plans & Considerations
”Preparing for School Attacks" published in The Police Marksman

School Safety Notes, Articles, And Links About School Safety by Other Authors
Rise in 'shool terror attacks' - New Important Article
A School Lockdown/Emergency Drill Success Story
Rapid Response/Active Shooter Lesson Plan
Safe 2 Tell

33 posted on 12/15/2012 10:47:24 AM PST by Perseverando (Gun control? It's really not about gun control. It's about PEOPLE CONTROL!)
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To: marktwain

If I were a teacher, I’d have a gun stached in my classroom. No one would know. We, in my classroom, would not be slaughtered by a gunman who needs to enter the door of my classroom - ever. Approach my door during a situation like this, and bam! Open the door, bam, bam. Thank God, I can shoot. Thank God I have the right to self defense, but if I did not, I still would not be with children under my care and without deadly self defense.

Liberals lie. The shooter was legally denied gun ownership. If they manage to ban guns or make self defense criminal, we will have an even bigger slaughter in this country. Look to Mexico for our future if Liberals win this “moral of the story” struggle. We will be slaughtered by the sons of Obama’s liberalism.


34 posted on 12/15/2012 3:24:51 PM PST by SaraJohnson
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To: Albion Wilde

Wonder how our chicken new world would view the legend of Davy Crockett, born on a Tennessee mountain, who “killed himself a bear” as a toddler of 3? They wouldn’t get over themselves whether to be more alarmed at the boy, the bear, or the gun. The boy himself probably thinking “this is cool: that’s how you turn this monster beast into a bearskin rug!” Boys will be boys (and girls girls) if you give them the right leadership and half a chance.


35 posted on 12/15/2012 4:57:24 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Wonder how our chicken new world would view the legend of Davy Crockett, born on a Tennessee mountain, who “killed himself a bear” as a toddler of 3?

My students have always thought it was great. But how they can get clear up to jr high age and not see it is beyond me.

36 posted on 12/15/2012 5:00:33 PM PST by SCalGal (Friends don't let friends donate to H$U$, A$PCA, or PETA.)
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