Columbine High School is known to people as where two boys shot 12 students and one teacher dead, and wounded 23. After Michael Moore’s blockbuster documentary Bowling for Columbine came out three years after the massacre, the tragical story of the little Colorado town became even more famous.
“We’ve had a disturbing trend of school shootings in the US. It’s my belief this is caused by making schools gun-free zones.”
As it seems, David Thweatt superintendent at a school in Harrold Texas, knows why such things happens.
He has decided that when the semester begins teachers at his school will be permitted to carry weapons when being on duty in the classroom. Teachers who wish to carry a weapon to be able to protect themselves and the children from uninvited guests will need a license and go through crisis training.
“‘We have a lock-down situation, we have cameras, but the question we have to answer is, What if somebody gets in? What are we going to do?’ he said ‘It’sjust common sense.'”
In Thweatt’s mind it’s common sense to carry a weapon to make sure of personal safety in case of an emergency. The fact that the nearest police station is a 30-minute drive away is a big concern. The other aspect is that the school is located right next to a busy highway. And who would know what lunatics are travelling on that highway?
“How long do you think it would take to kill all 150 of us? It would be a bloodbath.”
Yes, David it probably would. If someone have a gun in the car, feel like killing around 150 children and teachers and then just happens to be driving on that particular highway that goes pass David Thweatt’s school.
“I’d much rather be calling a parent to tell them that their child is OK because we were able to protect them.”
Of course you do David. Who wouldn’t. Nobody would want to make that other phone call.
According to Reuters the Harrod school is the first US school to allow their staff to carry weapons. However, readers have commented on a UK Telegraph article on the subject and pointed out that that’s wrong. The State of Utah “has long had this same law”. And it hasn’t resulted in a single gunfight says this writer.
“When you have good guys with guns, the bad guys do less damage”, says Thweatt, and, “The naysayers think (a shooting) won’t happen here”.
So, apparently it’s naive not to be prepared for a catastrophe like a school shooting – because it could happen just anywhere. Only make sure that reliable people also have weapons.
Should every teacher in every school around the US carry a weapon? Or only a few at every school? Or only teachers in schools very far from a police station? I believe that someone with similar purpose to the Columbine boys’ wouldn’t be put of by a few armed teachers. They would be planning to die anyway.
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has over 1.4 million members. That’s quite an armed force. The AFT, on the other hand, are working on introducing a policy of expelling pupils that take weapons to school.
American teachers don’t seem to agree about whether weapons in schools is a good thing or not. Although it’s understandable that a group of 1.4 million people consist of 1.4 million individual with diferent opinions.
However, I can’t accept that the western ‘civilized’ part of the world would need to take such actions. My mind tells me that weapons and children need to be kept as far away from each other as possible. Letting weapons become a natural part in children’s lives is to me completely insane.
“When you have good guys with guns, the bad guys do less damage” is not common sense to me, as it is to David Thweatt. Good guys don’t have guns. Bad guys have guns. If the bad guys force the good guys to become bad guys too, there won’t be any good guys left. Let us not find out what that would be like.