School is officially out for the year and everyone is diving head first into their summer plans. Something we wish our lawmakers and school administrators were doing during the summer months is making school shootings a thing of the past. Instead, come the start of the next school year, all we can expect to see is a bunch of plastic “Gun Free Zone” signs protecting our children from the next active shooter. Why? To be blunt, gun control politicians are using your children as active shooter bait. They know that when children’s lives are lost, they’ll be able to advance their completely unrelated and useless gun control agenda.
It’s not as if the gun control politicians don’t know any better. The inconvenient truths are out there.
- 98% of all mass shootings in the United States since 1950 have occurred in Gun Free Zones.
- The duration of most mass shooting incidents is less than the average law enforcement response time, and only after the incident has been reported.
- Gun Free Zones deny law-abiding citizens their most basic Second Amendment right to bear arms while providing absolutely no protection from predatory actors.
- Gun Free Zones provide nothing more than a false sense of security for those who enter them.
If you don’t think these politicians understand how to make an area protected and people safe, take a look at where they work. A secure perimeter where everyone has to go through weapons screening to get in. Nobody except them, select staff and their law enforcement and armed security are allowed to possess a weapon of any kind inside. They are protected and they can protect themselves.
Contrast this to the security situation at your local school. Thanks to the Gun-Free School Zones Act (GFSZA) of 1990, the public isn’t allowed to carry firearms at any public, private, and parochial elementary schools and high schools, and to non-private property OR within 1000 feet of them. The Federal law allows states and localities to grant exemptions to it, but states like California – which used to allow local school districts to decide if they would allow administrators, staff and teachers to be armed – has now completely outlawed the practice.
Even in the schools that do have law enforcement officers on duty, some school districts like Baltimore, Maryland, do not allow their sworn officers to be armed. The result is sadly predictable. Unprotected schools are targeted by psychopaths who face no opposition in carrying out their plans.
As the offices of the politicians themselves prove, this is a correctable situation. Schools can be secured, hardened against attacks and unauthorized access restricted. Armed law enforcement and security can be deployed to stop anyone who does try to harm the students and staff. As a last line of defense, volunteer administrators, staff and teachers can be vetted, trained and armed.
Before you jump on the “teachers are there to teach not shoot” bandwagon, consider a few things:
- With the exception of suicides or gang violence outside of school hours, no school that allows teachers to carry has experienced a death or injury from a shooting.
- No student has ever taken a teacher’s gun. In fact, the only accidental discharge occurred outside of school hours and resulted in minor injuries for the teacher in possession of the handgun.
- Not all teachers are interested or qualified in being armed, and nobody is going to force them to be.
I’d also like to point out the similarities between airline pilots and teachers. At one point in time, our Federal Air Marshal program was robust and had marshals on many flights in and around our country. Over time, as the threat of hijacking diminished, the bean counters decided they were too expensive and massively cut the program. Then 9/11 happened. Only AFTER the fact, did the Air Marshals get re-staffed and returned to the skies. At the same time, airline cockpits were hardened and the Federal Flight Deck Officer program started to train pilots to carry weapons and defend aircraft against criminal activity and terrorism.
Why did they do this? Because they knew from history what would, and has already happen. Once the initial shock and threat has faded, the bean counters started looking at the number of arrests the Air Marshals made and decided the program could again be scaled back. What remains is the piece that the airplane can’t do without, the pilot – and the hardened planes. The very same thing will happen with armed law enforcement and security personal in schools. Once the shock and threat has faded, budgets will be cut and they will be gone, but the teachers – and the hardened schools, will remain.
Politicians and schools know how to fix this, but they are unwilling to spend the time and money to do it. The massacre at the high school in Parkland, Florida could have been stopped before it started if not for massive incompetence by federal, state, county and local authorities. The school itself had not acted on threat assessments that could have stopped or limited the loss of life.
Instead of taking concrete steps, or allowing the school districts themselves to take concrete, proven steps to stop the violence, the gun control politicians pre-write their tweets and speeches in preparation for the inevitable next attack on soft target schools with the most vulnerable of our population waiting to become victims. They will repeat their call for laws such as universal background checks / firearms registrations, so-called assault weapons bans and myriad other useless programs that have never done and never can do anything to stop criminal or terrorist violence – or would have stopped the incident that just occurred. The ONLY impact of these gun control laws is to keep firearms out of the hands of law-abiding citizens.
If these politicians want to “do something”, they should tackle the root causes of crime like the economy, poverty, jobs and mental health in our nation. They might also want to rethink their so-called criminal justice reform efforts that release violent criminals back onto the streets with no punishment or accountability for their actions.
If you want to keep children safe in schools, stop electing gun control politicians who are willing to sacrifice children in the name of gun control.
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