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Massad Ayoob on Guns

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.

Massad Ayoob


Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

There is precedent for arming school personnel in the United States, seen here:

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: , and as elaborated on here most authoritatively by Dr. David Schiller:

There were brave teachers who died in the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, according to the British press, as seen here: . 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, ,”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?


  1. Michael Moody Says:


    What Paul Hogan said. I wish you would go on the big networks and show them your reasoning. We need you to debate Piers Morgan desperately.

  2. Hanza Says:

    Earlier in comments I said that the Cheaper Than Dirt web site said they would no longer be selling firearms. It was a blanket no.

    This afternoon I received an email from them that said they would once again be selling firearms and shipping to FFLs as “soon as they review their policies”.

    I’m wondering how much their change in stance had to do with people such as myself writing?

  3. Sian Says:

    I’m amazed by what I’ve seen in this ‘debate’.

    So many people don’t know that an autoloading rifle is not the same thing as a machine gun. They honestly believe, because of the media’s deliberate misleading, that the general public can buy machineguns without a permit or a background check. No wonder they get frothy! I don’t know what can be done to educate the public, but something needs to be done.

    Then there’s the focus on ‘assault weapons’. How much damage do these weapons designed to kill as many people as quickly and indiscriminately as possible?

    Something on the order of 385 people have been killed by ‘assault weapons’ since the ban expired in 2004. Assuming it’s distributed evenly, that’s about 50 a year (rounded up for generosity)

    put in perspective: (all numbers approx but generally accurate)
    50 a year are killed by ‘assault rifles’ (rounded up.)
    90 people are killed in traffic accidents every day.
    500 a year by ingestion of objects
    500 a year from electric shock
    62 a year by lightning
    53 a year by bees and wasps


  4. atm Says:

    This article is exactly what I pointed out to my representatives in Washington – look to our response to 9/11 for an effective way to protect our children. I suggest everyone else contact their reps to do the same.

    As a country we feel the need to do something right now, and we need an option other than what the anti-gun media is pushing.

  5. AixSponsa Says:

    “While most of America mourns for the Newtown victims, others are rushing to place blame everywhere except on the person who did it. There are calls for a ban on automatic weapons in the wake of the latest school shooting….Some blame violent video games or movies, … Maybe it’s the culture. Before we threw out the moral sanctions against seeing violence as entertainment, it was easier to spot the warped people, because back then, not “everybody was doing it.” Those who were, you knew you had to watch. And maybe the news media deserve a share of blame for making these shooters famous. John Hinderaker at the Powerline blog has a suggestion: how about if every video game maker, Hollywood studio and news outlet that profits off graphic violence made a contribution to cover the cost of putting armed guards in our schools?” Mike Huckabee Newsletter 12-20-12

  6. AixSponsa Says:

    Remembering the Jonesboro AR sniper shooting, as a result an armed officer was placed in the school. No shooting since. Does ONE armed guard make that possible? NO. What if shots were fired at the opposite end of the building. Getting there takes time. The only answer is multiple staff carrying handguns. Guns do not upset kids if they are taught what they are and how to handle them. I started my children and grandchildren at age 8 on S&W 10, and they have always had a healthy respect for all weapons.

  7. roscoe king Says:

    When I was in the military, I feared my government more than I did the enemy. I knew the enemy would try to kill me and I had a 50-50 chance of killing him or him killing me. Our leaders have so much power and money, that nothing satisfies them anymore. It’s control they now seek. Control of every move or decision you make. They arm themselves or have body guards, but want us to go unprotected. They no longer have or display a common sense approached to anything. The guns used to kill those children should have been in a gun safe and away from this unstable person. Children today are taught the evil things of life in our schools. The good is forbidden and the evil is promoted and a government without God, is a government to be feared. If you don’t believe in God so be it, now sit down and let those that do, teach our children in our schools, the bilblical principles of morality, and maybe then the violence in our society will subside. What you see today is the lack of morality and the mentality of our youth being acted out. The gun powder and guns are not the problem. I submit that the largest standing army in the world is the American gun owner. Try and take away the 2nd admendment instead of teaching the children respect for others, manners, Godly principles, love, how to deal with real life situations, or fail to provide a security system such as the one in proven to work- as in Israel, will only perpetuate the violence of a society on the edge of rebellion. Gun control and government is not the answer, the American public has a choice to make-Good or Evil, and God Bless those children and their families. A tragic time during a beautiful season,

  8. Wade Says:

    My daughter, an elementary school music teacher, told me on Tuesday that there is no question, that she would be prepared to pull that trigger. “Those are my kids!”

    She said she is grateful that at least in her room she has things she can throw, like mallets and cymbals. Didn’t make me feel much better about it though.

  9. guntotin-mama Says:

    I’ve been watching the current buying phenomenon. Seems there are a lot of Americans that don’t believe gun control will keep them safer than some ammo and their own firearm.

    The call for the AWB turns out to be a better economic stimulus than any other program. Go figure.

    And it’s doing wonders for NRA’s membership numbers, too.

  10. Chris W. Says:

    I too would volunteer to provide security for schools. I have a CCW but work for the schools and cannot keep “safe” after I leave my house to go to work (Admin building). Here is another former LEOs ideas:

  11. BHirsh Says:

    Hey, Mas –

    Since D.C. v. Heller cited U.S. v. Miller and Miller’s two-pronged test of what arms enjoy constitutional “protection”, isn’t a so-called “assault weapons” (sic) ban doomed from jumpstreet?

  12. Patrick Says:

    In the wake of the Connecticut shooting rampage, Gov. Cuomo and legislative leaders are quietly negotiating a package of tough new gun laws that they hope can be voted on within days, the Daily News has learned.

    At the center of the talks is a proposal to expand the state assault weapons ban to include all firearms with clips of more than seven bullets, sources said.

    That proposal would have outlawed at least one of the assault weapons that Adam Lanza used to kill 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday.

    Lawmakers have been told to be prepared to return to the Capitol as soon as Thursday if a deal can be pieced together, sources said.

  13. mark Says:

    Harold, what I am saying is that when you stand on the end of an extreme you end up losing every thing in between. I stand for gun rights, but I also realize that with great power comes great responsibility. My rights as a responsible gun owner are going to eventually be threatened by the irresponsible gun owners. The mother of this killer obviously made some major gun safety violations. Why was her son who had a social coping defect being taken to the gun range by his mother? Why were these guns even accessible to her son at all when they were not at the range? Do you know how many mass shootings were perpetrated by guns that were stolen from friends or parents? The gun for the mall shooting out west that took place just before this school shooting was stolen from a friend of the shooter. Do you know that Massad Ayoob recommends competency tests for people who carry firearms? There are some states that I do not have to show any competency, I can just apply for the license to carry? There is no standardization in this country. I remember being at a sporting goods store that sold guns; I seen a little old lady in her eighties being sold a pistol that she could not even pull the slide back on. This is not going to make a strong case for the right to own guns, especially when someone ends up dead. The anti gun crowd needs public opinion on there side to get traction. The pro gun masses are giving it to them more and more. I do not want my rights threatened by a lack of standardization. It is the gun owners out there that are irresponsible that are a bigger threat to my rights then any anti gunner. They are the ones that are giving a voice to the anti gun crowd. So yes, it is the wild west out there in the sense that irresponsibility with firearms is more prevalent then i need it to be to preserve my rights.

  14. Sian Says:

    I don’t know if you will read this..

    but I wonder if a teacher/administrator ever stops one of these with a CCW illegally carried in a school ‘gun free zone’ just how big of a book will be thrown at them.

  15. Hanza Says:

    @Mark: You said “Do you know that Massad Ayoob recommends competency tests for people who carry firearms?”

    Governments that don’t want people to carry firearms can make the requirements so strict and/or expensive that maybe even Mas wouldn’t be able to qualify. Chicago will probably try this now that a federal court has said that there can’t be a blanket prohibition on concealed carry.

    Governments such as New York City have serious requirements to own a firearm, let alone be able to carry. Of course that is all waived for people in favor with those that control the process.

    If the 2nd amendment can be subverted then government could feel free to control the right of free speach under the 1st. In fact there have been noises about having government control what can go on the internet.

    Do you want a government drone to have to approve your letter to the editor?

    Be careful what you wish for.

  16. Patrick Says:

    Here thing Mark I think Mas well agree to this that goverment does know what guns are best ban from general public. You well find that Mas does agree that ban magzine over ten round gone stop mass shooting. Mas know once start down road ban so called evil guns that road does end untill ever gun ban. All ready Gov. Cuomo working on ban that well make any gun holding more seven round band in state wich all out effort ban all gun in his state. You have Obama talk only about gun control nothing else. His commission on this matter is hand pick group ant gun control people. Obama made very clear he gone use his office to push through only gun control over this matter. If want keep right have gun time join Nra or lose that right. Becuase this gone way beyond assault weapons attack on are rights be owener guns. If doubts about that look what put in so called assault weapons ban. Alot what gone put in that bill is about assault weapons.

  17. Mas Says:

    Folks, let’s be careful and accurate when we attribute statements and positions to others. Patrick, your post above implies that I agree that banning magazines above ten rounds might stop mass shootings. I believe no such thing.

  18. duke Says:

    OK, some questions, are armed guards going to be enough and/or cost effective? Will they not be the first target of the gunman? Most gunman plan their crimes for months. They’ll know who the guards are. In addition, won’t the crazy’s just shoot up the bus? Will that now require armed guards on buses? What about at the bus stop? What about a crazy in a car that runs a bus off the road or into it head on?

    I’d much rather have an armed trained staff. Guards are OK, but are not going to be enough.

  19. Hanza Says:

    I read a news item today that said that Brownell’s has sold 3.5 YEARS worth of firearms magazines in the last 72 hours.

    Also on the Cheaper Than Dirt web site they are saying that they are way behind in filling orders.

  20. Ron Says:

    You all talk like you think this is about keeping the children safe. It’s about CONTROL. If it was about keeping the children safe our “leaders” would be willing to try your ideas, because they have been proven to work.

  21. .45StayAlive Says:

    Dear Mas,

    You mirror my thoughts exactly. I am 51 years old, have a CCW permit and a flawless NICS record, am proficient with arms and would be perfectly willing to donate at least a day a week protecting my local school. But I don’t see it happening in my lifetime, in this political climate. It’s very frustrating.

    Best wishes,


  22. Cassandra (of Troy) Says:


    That’s the part that ‘Mommy’ Feinstein & her anti-2A co-cultists in politics & the media are pushing as it has the appearence of being ‘reasonable’ & therefore innocuous, but what she & her allies really have in mind & don’t want the public to know about is the following.:

    Sen. Feinstein suggests national buyback of guns

    Cuomo Says He’ll Outline Gun Proposal Next Month

    Ellenville mayor sets gun control talk
    (From, must allow scripts to view)

    Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim blasts U.S. gun culture in press conference after milestone victory

    Louisville coach Pitino supports gun control

    So much for the anti-2A cult’s “NOBODY wants to take ANYONE’S guns away, that’s just a gun lobby scare tactic & simply untrue” claim. Dare we hope that those running the big pro-2A outfits will have the temerity to bring up the above in a public forum?

  23. Cassandra (of Troy) Says:


    That sounded remarkably akin to an article Jeffrey Goldberg wrote for The Atlantic, appears to say much but on closer review really doesn’t just like the slew of ‘a pox on both their houses’ pseudo-neutral remarks that are popping up on other sites.

    “One side has made America the wild west, and the other side wants America to be Europe”

    At least you got the second half right, but the claim in the first half is typical for ignorant pseudo-sophisticates who consider the representations of the American west shown in movies & on TV to be accurate.

  24. Dave B Says:

    Count me as an elementary teacher who supports the idea of having staff members armed. I’ve suggested to my state senators that the State Patrol be tasked with developing a training program for school staff. I believe having only one armed guard would make that person the initial target, so having teachers who have the training to carry concealed would be an even greater deterrent since most people wouldn’t know who was armed.

  25. Brogan Says:

    Question: How can the government “buy back” something they never owned? And with who’s money? I’d say that was an infringement. Look at the big picture… It’s not about gun control. It’s about control. The control of you and me. It’s obvious the talking points being used are designed to invoke an emotional response. The arguments for gun control are easily refuted if one really cares to look at the facts. Look at all the laws that were passed to control you. The Patriot act, military commissions act, NDAA, Free speech zones… all put into place to control you. Now they can’t very well let you have the ability to say no… Can they? It’s time to understand that they want us disarmed at any cost and will use ANY reason to accomplish it.

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