It will be one month on January 14 since the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Connecticut claimed the lives of 6 teachers and 20 children ages 6 and 7 years-old. It has rustled up a lot of concern across the nation about safety in our schools.
Gun control has been an issue in our country for a long time and the hot topic of discussion by this administration. The shooting at Sandy Hook School has given the government more evidence, in their eyes, to warrant taking guns away from law-abiding citizens. They don’t see guns as a means for them to protect themselves, their families and their property as guaranteed in the Constitution. It is not in their thinking to realize that gun ownership is a basic right of every American who uses them responsibly.
Instead of punishing gun owners for living according to Constitutional law as well as their local laws, maybe they should be looking at how to make it more difficult for the wrong people to get their hands on guns and ammunition by making background checks mandatory. That should be a top priority in obtaining any kind of gun and they should be required to show proof that they have taken an approved course in gun handling. There is some digression here.
The concern that many school districts have about the safety of their students is causing some states and school districts within those states to make their own decisions about whether or not to allow teachers or other school employees to carry guns inside the school.
One case in point is the Montpelier school district in Ohio. They are planning to arm a few employees, not teachers. According to an AP article by John Seewer in The Columbus Dispatch, four employees have already agreed to take a weapons training course and carry guns inside the school. The Superintendent at Montpelier, Jamie Grime sees it as “a sign of the times.”
It has been reported by Toledo's newspaper,The Blade that the gun-packing employees may be janitors although it has not been confirmed by school officials. Is it fair to put such responsibility on school employees? What about any future liability in case of a tragedy caused by that employee’s lack of experience in handling a gun in a real shooting situation and lack of proper training?
After a call by the NRA to have an armed officer in every school this Ohio school has decided they would give several non-teachers the right to carry a gun at the school. Grime says that they want to do it properly, apparently doing what they can to make sure that there are no further incidences like the one at Sandy Hook. They want those employees to attend a two-day training course. (The Columbus Dispatch/AP)
Two days of training and they will be ready to use their guns properly if they are in a dangerous situation and be able to make a split-second decision during a shooting that will bring about the desired results?
If they want people in their schools armed with guns, don’t you think it would be wise for them to have people who have experience and have gone through a thorough training program in which they have learned how to use a gun properly? They should be able to make split-second decisions and can actually hit their target to stop them in their tracks.
Their hearts are in the right place. They want to protect their children, but are they really going about it properly as they purport to doing?
Gun control and gun safety are major issues today. Are we going to give teachers, as well as, other employees the right to carry a gun on school property? Would this really make our children feel safer? Have they thought about how that would affect the children? Have they given that any consideration?
That goes back to a previous concern. How much professional training are they actually going to get and will they be able to stay in control in a difficult and possibly very dangerous situation, like that at Sandy Hook? It wouldn’t do much good if the teacher or other employee who when faced with such a situation totally froze or hesitated too long before taking action.
If schools want armed people in their schools or on their school grounds carrying guns, perhaps they could seek the help of retired police officers or at least a few people in the neighborhood with some real gun handling experience who know what to do during a real shooting.
According to an AP article in the Washington Post, Texas is calling for teachers and administrators to receive specialized training. It would, however, be up to each school district to decide who would carry weapons and whether or not they want to take part. The training would include how to react during a shooting.
That same article mentioned that Sheriff Joe Arpaio is planning to post armed volunteers on school perimeters. Now that sounds like a good idea. There would be armed protection but the guns wouldn’t be inside the school.
It seems that other things should be in place, as well. For instance, the entrance doors should secure and gaining entrance into the building should require being buzzed in. There should be security cameras placed in strategic places, possibly with motion detection in place and they should be monitored for any unwelcome visitors. This would give the teachers time to make sure the children are safely hidden behind locked doors while police are called. These are just some alternatives to having guns inside the school. These are some of the things that are already in place at Montpelier.
All over the country states are trying to deal with the problem of keeping our children safe in school. Some are trying to limit the sale of guns and some want to place bans on assault rifles. Then, again, we also have an administration that wants to take gun rights away from everyone.
In Montpelier, they have decided against arming teachers, but feel it is okay to allow other employees to carry guns inside the school. The first priority for teachers, according to school officials, should be locking doors and protecting students.
There was a unanimous vote for the Montpelier proposal, however only three citizens attended that meeting. Others either called or e-mailed their approval.
It doesn’t seem like the safety of children in schools is a problem that is going to be solved soon or with the approval of everyone because there are different concerns and different opinions as to what to do about it.
Joel Rugola, Director of The Ohio Association of Public School Employees thinks that Montpelier schools’ decision to allow janitors or other non-teacher employees to carry guns inside the school is “a bad one.” www.nbc4i.com Check under Continuous News Desk for article "First Ohio School Board Authorizes Guns On School Property" and video of Joel Rugola. The video is not yet ready for embedding into this article.
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