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Massad Ayoob on Guns

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Archive for December 18th, 2012

Massad Ayoob

BEYOND SYMBOLISM: PROTECTING THE CHILDREN

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

There is precedent for arming school personnel in the United States, seen here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/12/14/4486104/texas-school-where-teachers-carry.html

As discussed in the blog entry below this one, there is certainly precedent for arming school personnel elsewhere in the world, with successful results, as seen here: http://www.examiner.com/article/arming-teachers-worked-for-israel-and-thailand?cid=rss , and as elaborated on here most authoritatively by Dr. David Schiller: http://jpfo.org/filegen-n-z/school.htm

There were brave teachers who died in the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, according to the British press, as seen here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9747832/Teachers-tried-to-stop-killer-to-protect-pupils.html . Unfortunately, against a man with a gun who’s not within physical reach, even such great courage is fatally futile, as we saw in the instant case.  One lawmaker has had the courage to say so publicly: according to this source, http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/School-Shooting-Gun-Control/2012/12/17/id/468035#ixzz2FM5wfuAu ,”Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, was the sole representative of gun rights’ activists on the various Sunday talk shows. In an interview on ‘Fox News Sunday,’ Gohmert defended the sale of assault weapons and said that the principal at Sandy Hook Elementary School, who authorities say died trying to overtake the shooter, should herself have been armed. I wish to God she had had an M-4 in her office, locked up so when she heard gunfire, she pulls it out and she didn’t have to lunge heroically with nothing in her hands. But she takes him (the shooter) out, takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids,’ Gohmert said.”


Would schoolteachers balk at this new role? Certainly, perhaps a majority. But there would be some – ex-cops, ex-armed services personnel, and those with a strong instinct to be the sheepdog protecting the lamb from the wolf, who would volunteer, and it WOULD have to be a voluntary thing. Remember that the Israeli model also encompasses parents, grandparents, and other community volunteers to serve in this guardian mode, including currently sworn off-duty police officers.

Consider the analogy of the commercial pilot.  In the early days of commercial flight in the USA, many pilots were routinely armed. Even into the 1980s, many airlines allowed pilots to carry personally owned handguns, and they were known to save the aircraft at least a couple of times. The practice faded away…but after 9/11, pilots demanded to be armed, and the FFDO (Federal Flight Deck Officer) program was born.  The pilots who joined the program were trained at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, and issued .40 caliber HK pistols which they’ve carried in cockpits ever since. The program was publicized…and the horror of 9/11 has never even been seriously attempted in all the years since. Those pilots went through the training “on their own time and dime” out of a strong sense of duty. I think you would see the same among a sufficient number of our teachers and school administrators.

Our readers have had many good suggestions, some of which came to me at my personal email.  One recommended a “school marshal” program, to be taught with certification at state and local level police academies.  Another suggested modeling it on Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps, to be called the “Children’s Conservation Corps,” that would draw from retired military and police personnel as well as private citizens with concealed carry permits, to perform a similar protective function in schools.

From Prohibition to the 1994-2004 Clinton Assault Weapons Ban, history shows us that meaningless symbolism fails to protect the innocent from violent crime. I respectfully submit that it is time to try solutions that HAVE been proven to work…such as putting armed good people on the scene where they can stop armed bad people in time to prevent the mass murder of children.

Your thoughts?

 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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