Skip to comments.VICTORIA SOTO’S FREEDOM OF CHOICE
Posted on 12/22/2012 6:30:10 AM PST by Bill Russell
On December 14, 2012, when Victoria Soto stood in her classroom and heard the gunshots taking the lives of the school administration staff and the students in another classroom, she had very little freedom of choice. Her contractual responsibilities as a teacher required her to safeguard the lives and health of the students she taught. But it was her love for her students required her to stand between them and the evil coming through the doorway. She had very limited options in accomplishing her duty and calling.
Perhaps she could have tried to save herself by squeezing into a closet with some of her students. But that would have left the shooter to start opening closets and cabinets, or to randomly shoot through the doors. Instead, she hid her students, and stood in her room to face a perpetrator of pure evil, completely at his mercy. When he demanded to know where her students were, she told him they were in the gym. Then he killed her. It was only her wits that saved her students and caused her killer to move down the hall, at the cost of her own life. Hers was a very special kind of bravery.
In the aftermath of the horror and selfless sacrifice on the part of the teachers and administrators at Sandy Hook Elementary School, there has been a constant barrage of calls for further gun control. These range from a reintroduction of the assault weapons ban to those who insist on repealing the 2nd Amendment. This knee jerk reaction is highly misguided. At best, it will not work. At worst, it threatens to set up a violent confrontation between an overpowering federal bureaucracy and an armed citizenry who view this as another attempt by the Obama Administration to disarm them and further infringe on their rights.
But for discussions sake, lets assume a complete and total gun ban is successfully implemented. Instead of shooting his way in, Adam Lanza could have simply driven his car through the front door of the school and started his handiwork against an unarmed staff with a samurai sword, long knife, machete, bush axe, chain saw, roofing hammer, or any other assortment of yard or industrial tools. He still would have had at least 12 minutes to perpetrate his crimes against unarmed victims before armed police arrived.
On the other end of this spectrum, there are states like Utah, where concealed carry laws extend to classrooms and public buildings. Teachers, administrators, and parents who have concealed carry permits, carry weapons in the schools on a regular basis. Oddly enough, there have been no mass school shootings in Utah.
Perhaps the most digestible type of program for most people would be a Guardian program like the one in Harold, Texas. Teachers with concealed carry permits, after receiving additional training, are authorized by the school to carry weapons on the job.
Lets assume Victoria Soto had a choice to be a participant in a Guardian program. She and any other teacher would have had the means to end the spree seconds after it was initiated. After hiding her students, she could have taken a protected shooting position covering the door way, from where she could accurately engage anyone coming through the door to harm her kids. She would have had the power and means to stop the shooter dead.
There are many details we have yet to learn about the Sandy Hook shooting. But the one thing we do know is that a 27 year old teacher exhibited great courage and poise when facing death. That same sense of responsibility she showed in facing an armed assailant would also have made her highly responsible in carrying and using a firearm in the presence of children.
Whatever Victoria Sotos feelings about guns were, she should have had the choice on whether or not to carry one.
Liberals love to talk about a womans right to choose. But they would continue to deny the Victoria Sotos of the world the freedom of choice on how to protect themselves and the lives and health of the students they love.
William T Russell is a former Republican Congressional Candidate in the 12th Congressional District of Pennsylvania. He is an internationally published columnist and has been a featured guest on a number of national television and radio news shows. He is a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the US Army and has served in Desert Storm, the Iraq War, and the Balkans. He and his wife, Kasia, were both in the Pentagon on 9/11. www.williamrussell.net
Another great read on the topic:
The most sensible thing to do, that would be fiscally responsible, and in keeping with the best American traditions, is to allow the teachers the chance to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights. Only an armed person at the point of contact with the enemy can solve what at that point has become a tactical problem.
Obama should declare an EO that schools and hospitals are fire free zones and ban the presence of extinguishers. Only professional firefighters are qualified to engage an outbreak.
Of course, federal funding would be cut off from any district that did not comply with the removal of fire extinguishers.
Well said. Those seeking to criminalize self defense are irrational.
At the risk of playing Monday morning quarterback, she also decided to follow the rules and not prepare herself for the defense of herself and her students.
I say this NOT as an indictment of this valorous woman, but only to point out that she was more afraid of the consequences of breaking the rules than she was of a deranged gunman.
In a sane world "the rules" would be re-ealuated so we no longer put such remarkably courageous people in this kind of position. Nobody will ever convince me that, having demonstrated the cool, decisive action she took, she would not have been able to square her sights center-of-mass on Lanza's sternum and pull the trigger as many times as it took.
WELL SAID!! Thank you.
I emailed this to everyone on my list. My hope is that it becomes viral.
re: “At the risk of playing Monday morning quarterback, she also decided to follow the rules and not prepare herself for the defense of herself and her students.
I say this NOT as an indictment of this valorous woman, but only to point out that she was more afraid of the consequences of breaking the rules than she was of a deranged gunman.”
How in the world do YOU KNOW what her thoughts and fears are/were? You say that you are not indicting her, but then you make a judgement against her by saying that she was more afraid of breaking the “rules” and not carry a gun, than she was of Lanza. You don’t know that.
Most people, when they go to work, never ever think about something as horrible as what happened in Newtown would happen to them on any given day.
I highly doubt that Victoria ever thought about or made any such choice you claim she made. The same ridiculous choice you say she abdicated on could also be said of anyone who walks out their door to go anywhere, but are unarmed with a concealed weapon. Is that what you are saying? - That everyone who goes out the door unarmed has chosen to fear “breaking the rules” more than face a possible armed murderer?
Nowhere did I say she ever wrestled with the decision of whether or not to carry. You're most likely correct that she never thought about arming herself because for many among us, breaking the rules is simply unthinkable. When normal folks go about abiding by the rules, we subconsciously choose to not break them. If the rules of having no guns in school were not there, would Victoria have chosen to carry? We have no way of knowing at this time. If on the other hand a program was in place telling the teachers that if you want to be in a position to protect yourself, here are the requirements, and here is the training, I strongly suspect (based on her actions during the attack, she'd have been at the front of the line.
I never said she abdicated on a choice. The choice was essentially made for her. When you get up to get dressed for work in the morning, do you consciously choose to not wear a leather codpiece, or do you consciously opt for something more conservative? When you drive to work, do you consciously choose to drive on the right side of the road, or do you simply do so to comply with conventionally accepted rules? If you actively did think about it, I'm sure the consequences of not doing so would figure into the process. When you get to work, do you enter through the door, or do you scale the outside of the building and climb through a second story window?
My point was and remains this. Law abiding, normal people generally follow the path of least resistance and comply with the social and legal norms in which we are immersed. We do so generally not necessarily by some agonizing conscious choice, but we also recognize at some level that there most likely would be adverse consequences for not complying. We rule out some options immediately (i.e. the leather codpiece) and never give them much thought because they seem like such clearly outlandish choices so far outside the mainstream of conventionally accepted behavior. For Victoria Soto, carrying a firearm was probably something so far outside the accepted behavior of her milieu that it rarely if ever entered her thought process; but I don't blame her.
Since gun free schools were enacted, there has been an effective conspiracy of pasty faced, pencilnecked bureacrats with narrow chests and long noses to effectively render teachers like Ms. Soto defenseless. They have done so by creating an atmosphere where teachers no more think about arming themselves than they would think about driving on the left side of the road to get to work. They have completely eliminated that option. I'm guessing that in her mind, she nevr really thought about it as a viable option, and simply complied with the rules in place...as most of us do. It was not Ms. Soto who needed to change, it is the rules that need to.
If you think I was in any way attacking Ms. Soto, well, you simply have never been more wrong about anything in your life.
Well said Bill. What good is the Right to keep and bear arms if people aren’t allowed (or unwilling) to exercise it?