To many folks, encouraging or allowing teachers to be armed in the classroom is in an alarming idea, However Ed Kardauskas, a former police captain and current security expert, makes a particularly strong case for allowing teachers to arm themselves.
When you think about it, we face a similar challenge with fires and medical emergencies, but we approach those emergencies with much cooler heads and sound reasoning. We know that a small fire can grow into a very large and dangerous one in the short time it takes for the fire department to respond, and we recognize that immediate action can limit losses and save lives. We install sprinkler systems, place fire extinguishers throughout our buildings, and train some of our people to suppress the flames until professional help can arrive. In medical mergencies, we know that someone whose heart or respiration have stopped will almost certainly die if we just wait for professional responders. We purchase first aid kits and AED’s, and train some of our personnel to stabilize and support injured and ill people until the paramedics can get to the scene. When it comes to defending our school children from violence, we seem to have a collective blind spot. The fact is that we lose far more children each year to school shootings than we do to fires, yet very few institutions have an effective mitigation plan for the people most affected – those in immediate contact with the attacker. Not surprisingly, active shooters have historically been very successful in killing and injuring large numbers of victims in virtually every school they strike.
Unless we start doing something differently, we can expect this shameful state of affairs to continue. This should be a matter for deep concern for administrators, faculty, parents, campus police and security officers, and students alike. Mr. Borsch’s research showed that about half the successful interventions were by unarmed persons at the scene when the incident began. They limited casualties because their counterattacks were applied right away by people who were already there. As you might expect, not all such courageous actions were successful since an unarmed defender must close to contact distance in order to affect the attacker, while the armed killer can deliver deadly force rapidly and at a distance. However, in the majority of such instances, these courageous individuals who took action on their individual initiative alone were far more effective in stopping attacks than the emergency plan elements that were in place at the time.
We do a lot of planning and spend a lot of money planning for safety in our schools. Whether it be protection against a crazy man or a full blown terrorist action, armed teachers in the classroom, might be the best first response we have to offer to our children.