Immediately after the tragedy, I began receiving memes on Facebook indicating that gun violence can only be stopped by an armed public. One friend posted a meme indicating that warning signs should be posted at schools that indicate all trespassers on school property would be shot by an armed staff, instead of the usual warning that guns are illegal on school property. How many teachers do you know are capable of handling firearms? We already don't pay teachers enough, now we should expect them to also provide armed security on school grounds? It is important to note however, that arming teachers with handguns would not have stopped the lunatic that shot 20 children plus school staff with a semi-automatic .223 caliber "Bushmaster" loaded with ammunition designed for "maximum damage." According to the autopsies performed, the children were not just shot and killed, they were slaughtered, each having as many as 11 rounds blasted into their small bodies.
Sounds gruesome? Want to avoid depictions of death and destruction? Want to put our collective heads into the sand? If everyone has an assault weapon, who would we be protecting ourselves from? Isn't it possible the problem would lead to having a society based upon nothing but paranoia, always looking for the "bad guy" instead of living without fear?
After the Aurora, Colorado tragedy, I spoke with our school's Resource Officer ("SRO"). For those unfamiliar, the SRO is an Sheriff's deputy trained in defending assaults on schools. The SRO's are armed and uniformed. Unfortunately, our schools have only ONE SRO on each campus. Yes, our schools are located on campuses, with multiple buildings. I asked him about the idea of arming teachers to prevent a mass assault by an intruder. His response? "I would have no problem with teachers being armed!" Somewhat surprised by his response, I asked if it would really make a difference? He said "only if the teacher was well qualified in the use of fire arms and only if the fire arm was used in defense of their immediate surroundings, (ie., classroom)." He indicated that in the event of a "Code Red" (intruder armed and dangerous on campus), we are expected to lock down our classrooms and take a defensive position. Being on the third floor of a large academic building, trying to exit the building would not be a wise move considering the confusion and panic that would set in should a Code Red be triggered. Students would be safer inside a locked down school than potentially running into an assault gun toting lunatic hell-bent on "hosing" them with bullets as they exited the building or a SWAT team attempting to comprehend the threat underway.
But our SRO then made a chilling statement to me that I believe all those arguing for more guns should know. He told me, "As the only officer on campus, I am to draw the shooter's attention so that enough time is bought for SWAT to arrive. I am to confront the intruder to draw him away from students. By engaging in the intruder, I am expected to give my life to buy that needed time. My chances of surviving such a scenario is 5%." FIVE PERCENT? What if there is more than one armed intruder? We only have one SRO to deal with any of these scenarios. Does that mean according to some of argument for more guns, teachers should engage in shootouts with intruders too? If an officer trained in defending assaults has a life expectancy of 5%, what should we expect the teachers' expectations to survive to be? As we have seen time and time again, the shooters intending to inflict massive killing know they are engaging in a suicide mission. Should it be the teachers' responsibility to also engage in a suicide mission too?
But where does this "discussion" lead us? More guns are NOT the answer. Building security walls should not be the answer either. Will we now have to build walls surrounding our communities as well? Where do we draw the line when it comes to gun violence? We need to STOP arguing about the problem as if it is not real and instead start discussing why these massacres happen and how those that perpetrate them get there hands on firearms. We need to discuss why citizens really need assault rifles that are designed solely to inflict maximum destruction. Consider the fact that a star ballplayer, Evan Longoria had his apartment burglarized during Spring Training last Spring. Among the items stolen from his apartment? An AK47! Can anyone please tell me (seriously) why Mr. Longoria needed to possess an AK 47? And can anyone tell me where that assault rifle is today? How many legally obtained guns wind up in the hands of the criminal or the insane? It's time to stop debating, to stop arguing and start admitting, we have a problem!