When seconds count

When seconds count, the police can be there in minutes.

That’s not a criticism of police. It’s a simple fact.

Between the time an armed psychopath enters a school and the time the most responsive police in the world can arrive at the scene, dozens of kids can be massacred. If the police are from Uvalde, Texas, there may be nobody left alive at all.

A left-leaning news service today actually published a balanced report about Ohio school districts that take the protection of their students seriously enough that they allow staff members to carry firearms on school grounds. Under Ohio law, that’s a decision that can be made by each school district.

I’m not going to name the news service because its report identified those school districts that allow its staff to be trained and armed. Identifying those who are armed, by omission, identifies those that aren’t.

I don’t want to make it easier for murderers to choose their targets among the sitting ducks.

“We don’t want to be in a situation where we’re considering arming our staff,” said one school superintendent who was quoted in the article. “It’s not something I think any administrator, any school board or any teacher wants to be in a position that they’re doing it, but unfortunately we just kept seeing story after story of a school shooting.”

The report quoted superintendents from four school districts. All of them said police response time factored into their decision to arm staff.

“Our philosophy is just pretty simple. We want to be able to react as soon as possible,” one superintendent said. “The quicker you counter attack or the quicker you stop the threat, the fewer lives that are lost. The [police] response time could cost lives.”

According to another superintendent, “By the time it’s recognized that something’s wrong, it’s too late. Schools are frustrated with having that lack of self-protection, and this is an option.”

In the article, the president of the Ohio Education Association [teacher’s union], spewed the typical ridiculous objection: teachers already have enough on their plates. They shouldn’t be bothered to have to save children’s lives too. Does that mean teachers should look the other way if a child is being abducted at a mall? Or drowning in a neighborhood swimming pool?

I agree that a teacher—or anybody else—who is uncomfortable carrying a gun should not carry a gun. That’s a recipe for disaster. But no school district, to my knowledge, forces anybody to carry a firearm. It’s voluntary.

And the union position is absurd.

“We also just have underlying concerns about putting teachers and other employees in a dual role where they have a primary responsibility of educating children, but then are asked to do this extra thing by carrying a gun into school to essentially serve as a security officer,” the union president said.

“This extra thing.”

In other words, protecting children from being murdered.

It isn’t like warding off active shooters is, or will become, a daily responsibility. I’m not going to do the calculations, but I would guess, and hope, that 99.9 percent of the schools in the country will never be victimized by an active shooter. Just like 99.9 percent of the houses in the country will never be burned down by an accidental fire. Yet the occupants carry insurance.

Hopefully, not very many homeowners refuse to stock a fire extinguisher or two because it’s the fire department’s job to put their house out. And besides, why should an exhausted homeowner, after a busy day at work, have to do that “extra thing” of putting out a grease fire when he’s trying to watch Netflix?

Meanwhile, Gov. Mike DeWine—speaking of psychopaths—has predictably taken the opportunity to grandstand with a “solution” to the problem: $388 million in federal money (which almost always, in some way, expands federal government control in local communities) to put a police officer in every public and private school building.

I guess one could make the argument that it’s better than doing nothing.

But mostly it’s an ineffective pacifier for concerned parents.

Is a police officer, located at one side of a 50,000- to 300,000-square foot building, going to prevent murder at the other side? Unless the intruder is considerate enough to enter the school close to where the officer is located, there is probably going to be considerable carnage before the officer knows what’s happening.

If it makes you feel better to have a cop in every school, go ahead and do it, I guess.

But I see it as a pretend “solution” that is more likely to further acclimate kids to our ever-growing police state than to actually prevent a murder.

For parents who are truly concerned about school safety, the only guaranteed solution is to not send your kids into what you feel is a dangerous situation. If you don’t want your kids to get hit by a car, it may help to ask drivers to slow down. A better solution is to prevent your kids from running into the street. If you don’t feel that your child is safe in a public or private school building, why would you send your child into that building?

Nobody wants to think that we’re living in a dangerous society where so many people feel the need to carry firearms to level the playing field against thugs and predators who want to harm them and their children. Unfortunately, we are.

“We have a very extensive safety plan in our district and this [armed staff] is just one small part of it,” one superintendent said in the article. “We feel like we should take advantage of anything that is available to us to protect our students and protect our staff.”

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