Jun 09

gun zone

Idaho School Arms Its Teachers As Defense Against Violent Criminals (ZeroHedge, June 9, 2015):

In the aftermath of the 2012 Shady Hook elementary school shooting, the Obama administration did everything in its power to impose even further Second Amendment limitations on general principles. It failed. Instead, what has happened over the past year is a documented series of lethal (and in many cases brutal) gun violence by those tasked to uphold and preserve the law, and who have been specifically instructed how to use weapons: the US police force.

And in a world in which violence is constantly on the rise yet the police can not be relied on to “protect and to defend”, one Idaho school has decided to take matters into its own hands.

According to the Guardian, the small Garden Valley School district in Idaho has purchased firearms and trained a handful of staff to use them should the same school shooting rampage that has occurred across the country take place.

The stated reason for this decision, which will surely infuriate anti-gun activists, is that the school is far removed from law enforcement, that it takes the police at least 45 minutes to reach the school district. Furthermore, due to limited funds, the school is unable to afford hiring police officers to patrol the building during school hours.

The solution: the school board approved this month purchasing guns to remain locked inside the school and trained six employees to use the weapons in an emergency. A school board member said that the school has spent roughly $3,500 to purchase ammunition and train six school employees to handle the weapons while the rest of the arsenal was donated by the community.

Truly a novel concept: being prepared for violence instead of leaving your fate in the hands of some (potentially irresponsible) other person, and since the mere preparation will be a sufficient enough deterrent once it is public knowledge – the very same principle behind the concept of Mutual Assured Destruction – the probability of an armed assailant breaching the sanctity of the Garden Valley School district is virtually nil.

“I hope we never have to use them,” said Alan Ward, a school board member who has been discussing this option with the school for two years. “But in the event something did happen, we wanted to be prepared.”

The surprising move has been long coming: in 2013, an eastern Idaho school district approved installing gun safes in its high schools and middle schools in order for school resource officers to have easy access to rifles if needed – the same year the Idaho School Board Association rejected a plan to set up gun training for education staff and teachers. In 2014, state lawmakers approved allowing guns on college campuses.

So far it has worked: according to the Idaho department of education, school districts statewide reported less than 10 weapon-related incidents over the past two years. This includes reports about guns, knives and explosives to schools.

And yet, despite the Idaho’s track record of school violence, there are those who promptly brought up hypothetical strawman arguments against the school’s chosen path:

Even with training, there is no guarantee teachers and staff will prevent fatalities in a high-stakes situation, said Allison Anderman, a staff attorney with Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a nonprofit opposed to arming teachers.

She added that housing guns in schools could create a chilling effect for students who may be less inclined to speak out knowing that the teacher could be armed. “Just having people armed doesn’t make a school safer,” Anderman said.

Judging by empirical evidence, it does, as does the whole concept of “defense” because knowing one may be potentially met with lethal force will make one far less willing to engage in lethal threats in the first place. It is called deterrence for a reason.

As for students not speaking up over fears of being shot, questions emerge about what traumatic events may have defined Ms. Anderman own personal upbringing.

We conclude with a summary by John Vibes, whose recent takes on guns and school violence has been spot on:

As many of you who follow my regular work are already aware, I am an advocate of unschooling and homeschooling. I feel that the kind of schooling that we have today is counterproductive and oppressive, so I don’t feel that children should be forced to go to public school to begin with.

There may be a lot of great teachers out there, who care about what they do and have very good intentions, like the world famous educator John Taylor Gatto. But even he found the top down structure of the school system and the curriculum provided is very damaging to the minds of children.

He left public schools by writing his resignation letter in the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal, starting the letter off by saying that he “refuses to continue hurting children.” He then went on to start an incredible career in writing, researching and speaking out about the dangers of compulsory schooling.

This element is important because the public school system combined with other forms of child abuse has worked to create the kind of violent and angry culture that we see today. When you treat people like prisoners and second class citizens for the most vital developmental years of their lives, you are going to create confused, bitter and deranged people. There is still value in group learning settings, and there is still value in teachers, but what we have today is indoctrination, not education.

With that being said, whether we are talking about a place of voluntary group learning in a free society or the compulsory public schools that we see today, the administrators should be armed. A convenience store clerk protects his store with a gun, and by the same logic a teacher or administrator should be able to protect the lives of children with a gun as well.

Which makes sense, and which probably explains why the administration will fight too and nail to prevent the case study of the Garden Valley School district from going national.

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