The scene: You're the teacher in that Connecticut classroom and a young man with a dangerous-looking gun bursts through the door.

The action: Your amygdala sends its messages. Do you take flight or give fight?

CUT!!! the director screams before the amygdala's other message gets through your reasoning brain.

Please, no statistics.

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I'm a teacher.  Haven't always been a teacher - but I am now.  There was a time in my life that my line of work required "lethal force training" - weeks spent learning how to defend yourself (and others) in case of the gravest extreme.  

I'll tell you this - it is incredibly difficult to shoot at the human form.  "Do not aim this weapon at anything you do not wish to see destroyed" - and you want to talk about what your brain does then?  

I'd be far more ready to throw my body betwixt gunman and child than I would open fire.  

And honestly - do we really think the best thing for our children is to be caught in crossfire?  

Thank you, Timmie, for helping to free the discussion here on gun control from being solely an intellectual exercise.

My wife taught fifth grade. Though my day job was in computers I taught evening adult classes. There were very few mass shootings then; none were in schools.

Were I teaching now I would want a non-lethal, but effective, weapon to stop an armed intruder. That arming teachers with such weapons hasn't been proposed says something about today's America, or it says I missed some of the conversation.

Shooting at the human form is difficult even in war. According to military records, many front line soldiers don't shoot to kill; they fire in the direction of the enemy and rely on fellow soldiers to kill.

The prospect of being drafted into the Army and looking at the men I would have to kill was part of the reason I joined the Naval Reserve. During the Korean War I was a shipboard electrician and the closest I came to shooting was keeping gun turret electrical batteries (heavy duty automobile batteries) charged so the the turret guns could fire if the ship's generators failed.

I have for years seen voting as choosing between soft-headed liberal candidates and hard-hearted conservative candidates. Any gun control laws we get will, I suspect, seem soft-headed to some of us and hard-hearted to others of us.

Again, Timmie, thank you for your contribution to the discussion.

I was a high school teacher for 30 years and I can't imagine a gun toting teacher(s) would be anything but a tragedy waiting to happen.
1) There were many of my colleagues who couldn't be trusted with anything more lethal than a piece of chalk – many of them would be the first ones “packing heat”
2) Even an expert marksman - including police officers. -would hesitate to shoot in a crowded school environment.
3) High schools are meccas for stealing “shiny objects” and handguns are very, very shiny
4) It's the dumbest idea since “No Child Left Behind”

For every problem there is a simple and direct solution.

If the problem is a person entering a school with weaponry, then the solution is the prevention of people with weapons entering schools.

To achieve that solution you post individuals with the means of preventing the weaponized person entry to the school.  

Arming school personnel is merely a response to an armed individual already having gained access to the school.

Posting guards at schools who possess the wherewithall to keep an armed individual out is a simple and direct solution.

Currently we are pretty successful keeping gunners off planes and out of government buildings.  And once we learn how to effectively keep gunners out of our schools, we can expand that knowledge to stadiums, theaters, arenas, libraries and all public places.

If we can’t control the guns, we will be forced to learn how to control the movements of those individuals who insist upon carrying them.

At this point in time I reluctantly agree with Wayne LaPierre (NRA) about the best way to keep gun toters out of our schools.  He probably doesn’t foresee the unintended consequences of applying that idea to the rest of human activity.

Matthew, our vulnerability on planes and its many costs can be attributed to decades of American foreign policy.

Here's one severe instance of that foreign policy.

In 1953 our CIA overthrew an elected Iranian government because England didn't want to pay Iran royalties for oil as high as the US was paying Saudi Arabia. (BTW, England's Anglo-Iranian Oil Company was also treating its Iranian employees the way America's robber barons treated American workers in the late 1800s.)

We installed a tyrant and we trained his secret police. Soon after his overthrow 25 years later, America admitted him, perhaps for medical reasons. This so angered young Iranians that they took over our embassy. Religious extremists took over Iran and have since then been extracting revenge.

It can NOW be argued that, in those early years of the US/USSR Cold War, America feared a Soviet takeover of Iran and its oil, but that argument wasn't made then or in any of the histories I've read.

I agree with your remark about assholes being remembered in history, but through much of America's history, some of those assholes have been US government employees.

No, I don't believe 9/11 was an inside job. The irony you mention is a bonus; the hijackers won that point.

Asa, to a request for feelings you responded with thoughts -- LaPierre's too-simple thoughts.

Though I am an NRA life member, I fault LaPierre for talking like a more like a gun salesman than a problem solver. His failure to consider costs and consequences testifies to his irresponsibility and maybe to his desperation. He sounds like a failing salesman.

I appreciate your recognizing unintended consequences. I'm puzzled by your seeming support for a solution that's certain to have such consequences.

Have you heard anyone proposing non-lethal ways to keep armed individuals who intend harm out of schools? Provided they are effective, non-lethal means tend to cost less and have less severe consequences.

I hate to admit this, but my first reaction has always been flight.  Usually it is followed by ambush.  I can't bring myself to fight a fair fight.  I like winning too much(especially if it means living).  Unfortunately it doesn't do the kids in that classroom much good.  But it would help the ones the next classroom over.

Reply to Tom Sarbeck

Believe me, I am the first to be reluctant to admit to having similar “thoughts” as LaPierre, but if I responded with “feelings” I wouldn’t be a good rational logical atheist . . . which I have observed to be a goal here at A/N. 

ThatBeingSaid, I have tried to discipline myself to solve problems in the most effective and immediate manner.  Then I can turn my attention to long term solutions.

Right now, if you don’t want people with guns in a school, you prevent people with guns from entering the school.

We can do that.  Now.

I perceive that the “failing salesman” pitch is the one that advocates arming school personnel with more guns to react to a gunman who has already gained access to the school.  That’s not really solving the problem, but it would sell more guns.

The "unintended consequences" of which I spoke, would be LaPierre’s policy applied to all public places. . . like malls, theaters, stadiums etc.  Pretty soon the gun toters would find themselves without access to shopping, movies, concerts, athletic events . . . “You check your gun at the door or leave it at home, ‘cause you ain’t getting in here with that Glock in your armpit” . . . I’m sure an "unintended consequence" to Mr. LaPierre, but one with which I  would be comfortable.

And no, I know of no “non-lethal means” of keeping a heavily armed determined individual out, who is bent on getting in.

If you are committed to saving children’s lives, cost considerations are way down the list.


"...if you don’t want people with guns in a school, you prevent people with guns from entering the school. We can do that. Now."

You supported your remedy as poorly as LaPierre supported his.

School buildings have multiple entrances and many individual classrooms have two doors to the outside. So in what way(s) and at what cost can we do that now?

Please don't ask "How much is a child's life worth?" It's a question.

If you know of no non-lethal means, you've done your "homework" as poorly as LaPierre. Are you trolling?

Tom Sarbeck quotes me:

"...if you don’t want people with guns in a school, you prevent people with guns from entering the school. We can do that. Now."

and then criticizes:

“You supported your remedy as poorly as LaPierre supported his.”


We’re keeping people with guns off planes, and out of government buildings, and we are doing that now.  Why do you think that I need to support this remedy with more evidence than  you  or anybody else can go and observe for themselves?  What’s wrong with you?


“School buildings have multiple entrances and many individual classrooms have two doors to the outside. So in what way(s) and at what cost can we do that now?

Please don't ask "How much is a child's life worth?" It's a question.”

The school two blocks from me has one way to get in during the school day, but if you have multiple entrances that cannot be secured, then you have to hire multiple guards.  This isn’t rocket science.

America is the richest damn country in the world and you can’t get past obsessing about a few bucks??


“If you know of no non-lethal means, you've done your "homework" as poorly as LaPierre.”

Homework?  This needs more research? What more information do you require to help you grasp this simple idea?  Why is this so difficult for you to understand?  Is it too simple for you to accept??

There are dozens of Corporations that specialize in security, and that know how to keep unwanted people out of buildings. 


“If you know of no non-lethal means, you've done your "homework" as poorly as LaPierre.”

Non-lethal like a “gun free zone” sign, or should the guard wag his finger at the guy with an AR-15 and say “ no, no, no, you can’t come in here?  Maybe he could kick him, or slap him?  If you’re so smart, how would you keep a determined, well armed nut case from entering the school down the street??


Are you trolling?

And no, I am not a troll, and you don’t have to resort to insults because you fail to understand a simple idea. . . . besides missing the whole point of my post which was glaringly critical of LaPierre.

Asa, your words support my conclusion that you do have feelings on this subject. However, people who would remedy problems, such as legislators, need more than feelings.

Preventing people with guns from entering schools requires legislation, people, and money.

Your plan does have benefits. They include huge employment increases for guards, their managers and their trainers, huge sales for gun manufacturers and returns for their owners, and another place for China and other lenders to park their excess money.

Your plan also has costs. America is not the richest damn country in the world. If I can trust the news, America is the most indebted country in the world. Your "few bucks" will increase to many hundreds of millions. When you have decided how many guards you will post, you can begin to estimate the cash costs.

There are certain to be "friendly fire" consequences. They will cost more than just money.

That is some of the homework that neither LaPierre nor you did.

BTW, I asked "Are you trolling?"

Had I said "You are trolling" you could have correctly said I drew a wrong conclusion or insulted you.

I don’t mean to deflect from the subject of this forum, but it is such a common argument against almost any improvement to the common good that I must point it out that when you say:

“America is not the richest damn country in the world. America is the most indebted country in the world.”

I would argue the fact that America can indebt itself so greatly is only because of the almost incomprehensible assets that America possesses.

If you have $1.00 to your name, you will be laughed at if you ask to borrow $1,000.00.

America’s debt is a spit in the ocean when compared to the value of its assets.  That’s why other countries are so willing to “loan”  America money (actually invest), even at today’s low interest rates, and why America should be borrowing more, now, to invest in its infrastructure instead of worrying about its “debt”. 

Your argument that it would be somehow too expensive to guard our schools is without merit.

Oh, and BTW back to you:

"BTW, I asked "Are you trolling?"

Had I said "You are trolling" you could have correctly said I drew a wrong conclusion or insulted you."

That you “asked” has implications.  

What implications would you draw were I to ask: “Are you an idiot?”

Just askin’ . . . not insulting.


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