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It's Time to Arm Teachers

AP Photo/ Rick Bowmer

There’s been a lot of things that we’ve seen or heard over the past few days that would shock and infuriate anyone, but one of the things we learned recently is that while the shooting was going on, witnesses reported that officers waited outside and refused to enter.

(Witnesses: Police Refused to Enter School as Uvalde Shooter Rampaged, Subdued Parents Begging Them to Act)

We’ve seen this before. One of the officers on duty during the Parkland shooting also sat and hid while innocent students were killed left and right.

To be clear, I’m a huge proponent of more law enforcement officers being stationed at schools. While the officers in these stories didn’t do their jobs when the people needed them most, the vast majority of our officers in this nation are brave men and women who would put their lives in danger for the sake of others and have a very good track record of doing so.

But this does show us that even when police are present, it doesn’t always guarantee that the innocent will be protected, especially in schools.

Yes, we can add officers, come up with contingencies, and lockdown entries into the building, but there’s one surefire solution that would stop a shooter in their tracks, and that’s armed teachers.

The truth about mass shooters is that they typically take the path of least resistance and it’s not hard to understand why. A shooter looking to do the maximum amount of damage will go to where they won’t be interfered with and where people don’t have the opportunity to fight back as effectively as the shooter can kill. This strategy was recently admitted to by the mass shooter in Buffalo, New York.

It’s hard for a shooter to shoot when multiple people are shooting back at him, and any teacher with a will to protect their students and their own life will likely be willing to do what’s necessary to accomplish that. Death would come quickly for a school shooter, or at the very least, it would come far faster than the police.

It’s not like teachers aren’t willing to sign up for this. Back in 2013, over 1,000 teachers applied for armed training after the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting. In 2018, Vice did an HBO special where they went to a school filled with armed teachers and even trained students who know what’s best to do in the event of a shooter, and even know how to take the shooter down with teamwork if need be.

Pastor Larry Allen, superintendent of the New Life Baptist Academy made it clear that this isn’t for show.

“I’m not carrying guns, doing security, and all just to be a tough guy,” Allen told Vice. “The reason why we’re armed is you see what’s happening out there.”

“I’m not paranoid, I’m ready,” he added.

The reality is that school shooters are a thing and schools need to be as prepared for them as they are for fires. If you want to do real damage, you aim for the children. The brutal truth is that across the nation, children are easy targets. We’re not taking school safety seriously.

While there is a myriad of ways we can prevent any further school shootings, arming and training teachers is definitely one of them. The thin blue line is all well and good, but it’s not the only line. Others can be created, and there are definitely teachers out there willing to create it.

It’s time to allow teachers to have the same capabilities to defend themselves like everyone else, and where the defense would count the most.