Becky Pringle, defense in depth, evil exists, Gun Free Zones, Lauren Robert, narrative-based reality, President Biden, Secret Service, Steny Hoyer, Teachers carrying concealed, Uvalde Texas, Vanity Fair
Among the most rational and grounded purveyors of actual reality are the members of the Secret Service Presidential Protection Detail. They know if someone truly wants to kill the President, and is willing to die in the attempt, they’re likely to succeed. What does this piece of real reality have to do with school attackers? As I’ve previously written, they’re difficult to detect and stop because there is no single set of sure, trip wire, warning signs. However, we do know:
1) They are determined to kill as many children and teachers as possible.
2) They are attacking “gun free,” free fire zones, not hard targets with an unknown number of people present who can and will shoot back or shoot first.
3) They usually intend to die, either by suicide or by the guns of the police, who will never show up in time to prevent as many murders as attackers want to commit.
The most important concept for those actually interested in securing schools to grasp is a clear-eyed understanding of ultimate reality: the existence of evil. Those who construct their own reality and demand everyone else live in it must deny the existence of evil. Such people commonly reject God, because nothing and no one can be greater than the self-imagined elite and their political reality. Therefore, their version of evil, divorced from the spiritual and religious, is opposition to their intellectually and morally superior policies. Their reality consists of inventing a narrative and making up whatever is necessary to support it. They do this with rhetoric and feelings, which is why “gun free” zone signs make them feel safe.
Those who live in the real world, the world God created, have no doubt of the existence of evil. They didn’t create it, but they have an obligation to fight it. Since they didn’t create it, they know there is no political solution. Evil doesn’t obey the law. Evil will always exist, thus reality-based steps must be taken to deter, and when necessary, destroy, evil. They use evidence and logically based action to address threats, not feelings. Their solutions allow people to the greatest possible degree, to be rather than feel safe.
Let us, gentle readers, examine the evidence:
On Wednesday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) pushed back against the notion that arming teachers would help prevent future mass school shootings.
‘CNN Newsroom’ host Jim Sciutto asked Hoyer about the value of the House passing symbolic gun legislation, knowing there would not be enough support in the Senate to get it passed into law.
Hoyer bemoaned that they had not figured out a message yet, ‘other than turning our schools into armed fortresses.’ He decried the arming of teachers, saying it would not make schools safer.
‘We haven’t found what those messages are yet, other than turning our schools into armed fortresses,’ Hoyer replied.
‘Now, look, I’m for having security officers in schools to keep our schools safe. I’m for keeping doors locked. But the theory that if we just give more and more people armed, whether they’re teachers, employees of the school, if we just give more and more people arms, somehow we’re going to be safer, that is absolutely not the case,’ he added. ‘It’s not the fact. And this happens nowhere else in the world. Not in big countries, not in democratic countries, not in dictatorships — no other country in the world has the gun violence that America has.’
Hoyer hasn’t “figured out a message yet.” No one is suggesting turning schools into “armed fortresses,” and other countries such as Israel have had great success in saving lives with armed school staff. Surely President Biden is reality based? Not so much:
Speaking at a Democratic donor event, Biden told the audience that while he owns two shotguns, he does not believe the Second Amendment covers all forms of firearms.
Additionally, Biden told donors at the fundraising event that the idea of armed school staff was severely misguided. He pointed to the rigor of military training as evidence that it is not easy to ‘blow someone’s brains out.’
‘The idea we’re going to provide – the way to deal with gun safety is to provide teachers with guns in classrooms?’ Biden said at the event. ‘There’s a reason why the military takes so long to train somebody. It’s not easy to pick up a rifle or a gun and blow somebody’s brains out.’
Mr. Biden obviously has no idea of the purpose and realities of military training, which is why our military is now fighting the war on climate, fighting for “trans rights,” and being indoctrinated into the mysteries of CRT and Wokeness generally. This is easy, because he is surrounded by some of the finest personal protection specialists in the world, armed with the weapons he would deny Normal Americans. Fortunately, millions upon millions of Americans, including teachers, recognize reality: when a deranged killer is about to kill them or the children under their care, it is morally and intellectually necessary they die, rather than the innocents they intend to kill. Let’s visit the media:
A Vanity Fair essay published on Tuesday — penned by politics correspondent Bess Levin and titled ‘Ohio Enacts Batshit Crazy Law Arming Teachers in the Classroom’ — began by accusing Republicans of doing little to prevent mass shootings while being ‘gung ho’ in offering ‘ridiculous ‘solutions’ that fail to address the actual issue.’
This is made up, narrative-based reality. In this view, the solution is laws that infringe on the Second Amendment, laws that would not have stopped any past school attacker, nor will they stop any in the future. Reality: people planning the mass murder of children, will not obey any lesser law. But what about teacher’s unions?
On Tuesday’s ‘PBS NewsHour,’ National Education Association President Becky Pringle argued that allowing qualified teachers to carry guns in school ‘puts more guns into schools, we know more guns equals more violence,’ and will put ‘pressure’ on teachers ‘that the society believes that they are the ones that should be defending our kids with guns.’ And also ‘won’t do anything’ because teachers won’t take up the option to carry guns.
Gentle readers, as I’ve been writing—the SMM Uvalde archive is here—the made up reality community doesn’t even want armed police officers in schools. But is Pringle right? Are teachers such universally meek souls they would prefer to be unarmed and helpless in the face of slaughter? They would truly prefer to die rather than admit their made-up reality is a lie? Not so much:
A growing number of Colorado educators have taken on the responsibility of arming themselves against a potential school shooter. More than 250 teachers and school staff members have completed the Faculty Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response (FASTER) program since its inception in 2017. The trainees represent 37 different school districts around the state.
‘The training is very intense,’ explained Laura Carno, Executive Director of FASTER Colorado. ‘All of our instructors are active duty law enforcement. They’re teaching these school staffers the same thing that they teach law enforcement in the academy on how to stop an active killer.’
Participants must already have a concealed weapons permit. The training lasts three days.
‘This is a matter of seconds and minutes until children could lose their lives and nobody wants that to happen,’ Carno said.
Demand to enroll in the program typically jumps in the days and weeks after a mass shooting. However, Carno said the demand since the mass school shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas is 10 times greater than anything she’s experienced before.
‘I think because of the horrific details that happened in Uvalde with law enforcement not going in, I think more and more parents and, frankly, folks in schools are saying we are our own first responders,’ she said.
This, gentle readers, is the real reality-based mindset. The Colorado experience is not unique. Across the nation, when teachers have the opportunity to learn and to carry concealed handguns on the job, they overwhelmingly respond.
A Brief, Model Policy: Teachers, like police officers, are among the most stringently vetted people in civilian life. Entry into their jobs requires records checks, background checks, fingerprinting, and extensive interviewing. We trust teachers with the safety of our children, yet as I’ve demonstrated, the self-imagined, made-up reality based elite would deny them the ultimate means of ensuring that safety.
As of 2020 there were nearly 131,000 public K-12 schools in America. There are surely more today—so many undefended targets. I’ll not go into all of the means of hardening schools. I’m very much an “all of the above” advocate. We must, however, keep in mind we cannot “harden” schools to the point they can’t function as schools. We can, however, ensure defense in depth, which begins with deterrence.
To date, most American schools have relied on thin sheet metal “gun free school zone” signs for deterrence. They have been a miserable failure. In fact, most mass shooting attacks—defined as four or more victims wounded or killed—have occurred in gun free zones. That’s real reality. Here’s more.
Arming willing teachers is the only method that provides the opportunity to deter attackers, and when deterrence fails, to stop them, or to limit bloodshed. As regular readers know, even when the police are willing to act professionally, we cannot rely on them to stop an attack. Experience teaches they will virtually always be too late, not because they don’t want to save lives, but there are few of them, and time and distance are always limiting factors. At Parkland and Newtown, the killers slaughtered as long as they pleased before the police could arrive and enter. At neither place—and this is virtually without exception true—did the police have any role in stopping the killing.
Any policy must be very public. Signs announcing teachers are armed and will use deadly force must be prominently posted at all schools. This must be widely and regularly publicized. All school staff, under threat of discipline, must never tell anyone how many people are armed. Even if a given school in a school district has no armed teachers on campus, even that school will enjoy the benefits of deterrence. Ironically, if the Smithville school district embraces this policy, killers will tend to go to the unarmed Johnsonville school district next door.
Initial training must include applicable state laws, and the law regulating the use of deadly force. It is not at all necessary teachers receive the comprehensive training of police officers, only that they receive the same training in the use of deadly force, and basic tactics. Ideally, they’ll run drills on room clearing and tactics in their own schools so they can better identify cover and concealment, and the most effective tactics in protecting their own classrooms, though this training would most likely occur as part of yearly refresher training after their initial training. Teachers would draw their handguns only when there is an imminent threat of serious bodily injury to themselves or others, which is the law in and out of schools.
Participation in the program must be voluntary, and based on training results, school officials must, with the advice of trainers, be able to disqualify those who can’t meet standards. The local police may or may not be an acceptable choice for training.
In any government endeavor, the tendency to demand unrealistic rules is always present. Mandates for the same gun, ammunition, holsters, etc. would render the entire program ineffective. For this program, what matters is concealability, and that changes from person to person. A handgun/holster combination useful for 6’ tall Mr. Jones might be a disaster for 5’2” Mrs. Smith. All ammunition must be factory hollow points to limit over penetration, and caliber choices, say .380ACP to .45ACP, and everything between those choices would be realistic. Laser sights, red dot sights and other useful accessories must be allowed. What works for the individual within realistic limits must be the standard.
All weapons must be carried, concealed, on the person. The whole point of this program is that teachers have the means, when and where an attack occurs, to stop a killer. A handgun in a lockbox in their classroom is of no use to a teacher confronted in a hallway, on the playground or watching the bus pickup zone. Training would obviously include how to carry concealed, and adopting habits that would prevent accidently leaving a handgun in a bathroom and similar common mistakes. Carrying a concealed handgun requires not only changes in mindset and wardrobe, but the establishment of new and effective habits. Police officers, male and female, have to do it. Presumably teachers, who commonly have much more education than police officers, are equally adaptable.
At least 10 states, Ohio being the most recent, allow teachers to carry concealed in schools, and just as with concealed carry generally, the horror show problems anti-liberty/gun cracktivists have claimed would be inevitable have failed to materialize. All of life is a matter of balancing risks. Far more people die in vehicle accidents than by gunfire, yet we would never think of abolishing motor vehicles. Their benefits clearly outweigh the risks. The same is true with firearms. To deny teachers the means to protect the lives of their students and their own lives because a teacher might someday make a mistake is not a real reality-based decision.
I’ll get into greater detail when I update my yearly school attack series, beginning in late August, but I trust the basics of an effective policy are clear. Carrying concealed in schools, done properly, will ensure no one knows who is carrying. As I’ve also previously noted, school attacks remain rare. It’s highly likely a teacher carrying concealed will never need to use their handgun in defense of others or self, which is as it should be. This policy is meant for the worst case scenario, when all methods of defense and deterrence have failed, and seconds are the determinate of life and death.
School districts that refuse to adopt it, should an attack occur, are tacitly accepting some unknowable number of wounded and dead. In accepting that risk, they’re probably not going to see blood in the hallways of their schools, however, every parent in those school districts needs to ask whether they’re willing to allow their public employees to roll the dice with the lives of their children. When there is a low cost, effective alternative, no one need take that risk.