Five Things That Won’t Stop School Shootings and the One That Will

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Five Things That Won’t Stop School Shootings and the One That Will

First published 5/21/18 at Townhall.com. (Joy Overbeck) As the horrific events at Santa Fe High school unfolded, all the usual experts popped up on TV panels and interviews once again recycling their “never again” and “we’ve-gotta-do-something” solutions. These are respected authorities like former DOJ special agents, sheriffs, former NYPD detectives, and parents of children killed in previous school shootings.   And not one single thing they recommended to stop school massacres will work.

  • More gun laws. Every state has literally volumes of gun laws. Killers, usually not old enough to legally buy a gun, have proved themselves very resourceful in obtaining one despite all the laws. At Columbine, the teen killers were too young to buy firearms so they got them from an older friend. The Sandy Hook kid killed his Mom with her own gun, took her gun and murdered six teachers and 20 little first graders. Nikolas Cruz, a notorious local psycho, though reported many times to the FBI and the Parkland FL police, was still able to pass a background check. And the latest crazy teen shot up his Santa Fe, Texas, school using his dad’s guns. The only thing that these school massacres have actually taught us – that a determined killer will always be able to get a gun despite all the gun laws – is stubbornly ignored by the gun-grabber left.
  • Single point of entry. This bright idea requires 500 to 2500 or so middle school and high school kids to enter their school through a single door. Kind of like a wedding planner recommending one little pot of fondue for 1000 wedding guests.
  • Metal detector at this single entrance. Can we posit a scenario here? A violent teen with lethal firearm under trench coat will: a. Wait patiently in line with 1,000 or 2,000 fellow students or b. Blow the metal detector guy away before storming the school in a hail of bullets.
  • Red flag laws and monitoring students for mental health problems. Parkland, FL mass shooter Nikolas Cruz was a veritable parade of red flags for years. Twice the FBI failed to follow up on alarming tips – such as vowing on social media “to be a professional school shooter.” The local police made 39 trips to his Parkland home because of his violent and erratic behavior.

His schoolmates knew he was nuts. Yet over a year ago the 19-year-old  somehow passed “background checks” and legally purchased the rifle he used to kill 15 students, a teacher and a coach at the school from which he had been expelled. In response to their failure, the FBI has promised to “take corrective actions.” And the Florida legislature passed a law that you must be 21 to buy a firearm.  Yeah that’ll help.

In a larger context, most of the privacy laws in the nation would need to be erased in order to access an individual’s medical or psychological records. And, honestly, is there a teenager who doesn’t have mental health problems? These are young people in the emotional maelstrom years. Exacerbating their immaturity, confusion and psycho drama, they often smoke weed which is six or seven times as strong as their parents’ weed and hardly conducive to metal stability. These kids eat Tide detergent pods and steal their parents’ meds. They are tossed and tormented by their chaos-inciting hormones. They play video games that give them instructive practical target practice in annihilating enemies – rehearsal for real life school massacres. And good luck with the entertainment industry scaling back video or film violence out of the goodness of their hearts.

None of these fixes have worked in the past, and none of them will work in the future. It takes but a minimum of common sense to realize the only way to stop a murderer shooting school-kids is another shooter who threatens or kills the murder. The timeline is quick; most often the killing is over before law enforcement can respond. It takes only moments to kill lots of people. The average time of these lethal events is 3 to 4 minutes – it took the Parkland shooter under seven minutes to take 17 human lives. And since the killing takes place inside the school, it only makes sense that’s where the defenders must be.

The only intelligent, sane voice was Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick who said on the Friday of the shooting he and Governor Abbott visited the wounded and their parents and classmates who “all to a person said ‘our teachers should be armed.’” Patrick speculated that an ex-Marine who taught in the classroom adjacent to the one the killer shot up may have been able to stop the shooter had he been armed. Though there were two armed officers on the campus, Patrick pointed out “four or five guns to one” is preferable to one or two.

Leftists who refuse to allow willing and well-trained teachers to protect their students reveal to all that their compassion is nothing but hollow hypocrisy. What parent in the world wouldn’t rather their child have a chance against a killer instead of being shot dead cowering in a closet, like those poor kids in Texas.

Teachers are already protecting their kids with their bodies and dying along with them – two at Santa Fe High School, two at Parkland, and six at Sandy Hook. Yet their union leaders like American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten are more than willing to sacrifice the lives of the 1.7 million educators the AFT represents to gun-hating liberal mythology.

Following President Trump’s proposal to arm teachers after Parkland, this woman said she spoke to 60,000 educators in a telephone town hall. “The response was universal,” she insisted, “even from educators who are gun owners. Teachers don’t want to be armed…we would never have the expertise to be sharp shooters…”  And her preposterous drivel continues: “would kindergarten teachers be carrying guns in holsters? When you have seconds to act…is a teacher supposed to use those seconds getting her gun instead of getting her students to safety?”

But when a school suddenly becomes a war zone, there is no safety except behind a teacher or staff member with a gun. And Weingarten is wrong about teachers being unwilling to defend their students and themselves; they’re not nearly as suicidal as their union boss thinks. In a March 5-8 poll Gallup found that about one in five teachers would take their school district’s required training and carry a firearm in their schools. One-quarter of all the teachers currently own a gun, and unsurprisingly they were four times more likely than those who don’t to volunteer to be trained to carry in school. While the left promotes the lie that teachers just are too incompetent to defend their charges, two-thirds of those who want to carry said they are very confident they would be effective in a shooter situation, while one-quarter are somewhat confident. Since they already own guns, some for many years, they’re not self-defense newbies nor are they likely to believe leftist anti-gun propaganda and prejudice. Think: If one in five classrooms has an armed teacher, the odds for students’ survival dramatically improve.

In another March Gallup poll, the number of people who thought arming teachers and other school officials would be effective in stopping school shootings (47%) were exactly even with those who didn’t (53%) when accounting for the 3% margin of error.

Despite the media’s mocking and belittling arming teachers as dangerous and foolhardy, those who have actually dealt with these tragedies rejected leftist irrationality when the Parkland victims’ family members all signed a statement supporting the Florida bill that, among other things, provides millions for training and arming teachers.

The terrible irony is that since 2012 Texas has been one of the 30 states allowing trained and willing teachers to carry firearms in their schools. Yet only about 170 school districts out of the over 1,000 in the state have authorized these programs. And Santa Fe isn’t one of them.

Joy Overbeck is a Colorado journalist, author and Townhall columnist who has also contributed to The Washington Times, The Daily Caller, American Thinker, BarbWire and elsewhere. More columns: https://www.facebook.com/JoyOverbeckColumnist Follow her on Twitter @JoyOverbeck1

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  29. Joy Overbeck June 12, 2018 at 11:28 am - Reply
  30. James Sayler June 7, 2018 at 9:57 pm - Reply

    Most school shooters are students or former students of a secondary school who felt bullied, jilted or simply unknown by any school adult. The shooter knows that the school is a soft target because the adults of the school are weak. In fact, in most of our large public high schools, the quality of adulthood has disappeared.

    The teachers and the parents are strangers! But from now on, the principal gets the mothers to the school for a fun fitness activity and afterward leads the teachers and the parents together. These adults decide and uphold school-wide rules of good discipline: no hats or coats (which fanned the flames of cliques at Columbine), park cell phones all day at school, no kissing or touching or profanity or food or drink or candy or gum, be in your seat with your study equipment ready at the bell, and stand to greet the teacher.

    The principal also leads the teachers and the parents in deciding and upholding good school-wide adult procedures: the principal is in the hallways and the classrooms all day leading good discipline, each student has a home room teacher who keeps in close touch with the student’s parents, and for any student who is unexcused absent a parent is reached immediately.

    Word circulates quickly throughout the community that the adults of this school know each other and are united and strong. Any would-be shooter now views the school as a hard target. This school no longer breeds victims. Yes, we can even say that no child is left behind. No longer do students feel lost, bullied or unknown, for now there is a strong environment of positive adulthood in the school that knows and cares for every student. This school is no longer a soft target either for homicide or suicide.

    James Sayler
    Retired public high school teacher, Colorado Springs
    Founder, The Porch Swing of Colorado Springs–a destination for people who want to discuss–like neighbors on a porch swing–ideas to make our public schools work well and to keep our young people drug-free

  31. Christina S Carpanzano June 6, 2018 at 12:02 am - Reply

    You and your organization are really true, forever idiots. I cannot imagine how you came up with this insane idea (well, maybe I can), but TEACHERS are the wrong personality and intellectual type to buy into your bullshit. Teachers want to HELP people. They want to know WHY and WHAT and HOW they can help. They also believe that knowledge is power, not bullets or guns. Killing a person quiets a mind, and a teacher could never silence a soul. Teachers have a calling. They are professionals as they manage schedules, prioritize information, and streamline processes. You are asking the impossible of an intelligent professional group.
    Teachers are educated, refined, and polished adults who have taken on the responsibility of a classroom’s educational experience. They really shouldn’t have to deal with these issues at all. But you would rather try to force guns into the hands of teachers than remove them from the hands of the mentally ill people, who are able to get them because of you.

    The guns (and your benefactors, the NRA) have got to fold up their tents and get out of town. A child today has a greater chance of dying in a classroom than on an airplane. The NRA has done that. How do you sleep? How do you make this pathetic, weak, muddled argument that teachers should arm themselves? How stupid are you?

    • Troy Null June 6, 2018 at 7:05 am - Reply

      And protecting their students is not a part of caring for them? For such intelligent, professional people, one wouldn’t think the act of becoming trained to carry a firearm is beyond them. I think you sell them short. And while you bash others as idiots, what exactly is your proposal to stop school violence? I seem to have missed your idea and I would love to hear it! You mention that students are more likely to die in a school than on a plane. Why? Because we have security for planes. Can you explain why we are willing to go though security to get on a plane, but leave our most precious resource, our children unprotected at school?

    • Joy Overbeck June 12, 2018 at 11:08 am - Reply

      Just like a clueless lefty — all you’ve got is name-calling. I assume you are a teacher or teachers’ union operative/bot. Too bad you failed reading comprehension.
      As I make clear in this column NOBODY would FORCE guns into the hands of teachers. That is a typical lie of the left. These are volunteers in hundreds of schools in over 30 states that by LAW allow concealed carry by trained and WILLING volunteers who typically already have their conceal carry permit and have for many years. EVERY SINGLE ONE of these massacres has taken place in a “Gun Free Zone.” Do you think killers can’t read (like you) or they go into those schools KNOWING there’s nobody who can stop them? Think with your gray matter, not your anti-gun hysteria. Saving kids’ lives is not HELPING them? As Troy Null notes, AIRPLANES HAVE SECURITY and schools don’t. DUH. Government buildings have SECURITY and schools don’t. DUH. So you’re fine with our kids crouching defenseless in closets just waiting for the shooter to slaughter them, as Cruz did? Teachers are sooo intelligent but not smart enough to handle a gun and save themselves and their students? DUH. Saving kids’ lives is NOT HELPING THEM? I am truly amazed at your lack of logic and rationality. By the way even tho the Broward County police made 39 trips to the killer kid’s home and the FBI was notified twice that he was dangerous and making lethal threats, NOTHING was done and he LEGALLY obtained a firearm. And that’s the NRA’s FAULT? Obama’s policies and local government failed to red flag him so he wouldn’t be allowed to buy a weapon. WHY? This killer was protected by Barack Obama’s policy NOT to saddle dangerous kids with arrest records, but put them instead into BHO’s PROMISE program with NO discipline, NO consequences for their erratic and vicious behavior which cost 17 lives in Parkland. SO you can blame your radical lefty no-consequences, social justice hero Barack Hussein O for killing those 17 innocents.

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