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Opening Arguments

Carry on

Anyone want to tell me why this isn't a good idea?

HARROLD, Texas (AP) - In this tiny Texas town, children and their parents don't give much thought to safety at the community's lone school - mostly because some of the teachers are carrying concealed weapons.

In remote Harrold, the nearest sheriff's office is 30 minutes away, and people tend to know - and trust - one another. So the school board voted to let teachers bring guns to school.

"We don't have money for a security guard, but this is a better solution," Superintendent David Thweatt said. "A shooter could take out a guard or officer with a visible, holstered weapon, but our teachers have master's degrees, are older and have had extensive training. And their guns are hidden. We can protect our children."

Seems like simple common sense to me. And here's a study backing it up:

 William Landes at the University of Chicago and John Lott at Yale, conducted a massive study of multiple victim public shootings in the United States between 1977 and 1995 to see how various legal changes affected their frequency and death toll.

Landes and Lott examined many of the very policies being proposed right now in response to the Connecticut massacre: waiting periods and background checks for guns, the death penalty and increased penalties for committing a crime with a gun.

None of these policies had any effect on the frequency of, or carnage from, multiple-victim shootings . . .

Only one public policy has ever been shown to reduce the death rate from such crimes: concealed-carry laws.

Their study controlled for age, sex, race, unemployment, retirement, poverty rates, state population, murder arrest rates, violent crime rates, and on and on.

The effect of concealed-carry laws in deterring mass public shootings was even greater than the impact of such laws on the murder rate generally.

Someone planning to commit a single murder in a concealed-carry state only has to weigh the odds of one person being armed. But a criminal planning to commit murder in a public place has to worry that anyone in the entire area might have a gun.

You will notice that most multiple-victim shootings occur in "gun-free zones" -- even within states that have concealed-carry laws: public schools, churches, Sikh temples, post offices, the movie theater where James Holmes committed mass murder, and the Portland, Ore., mall where a nut starting gunning down shoppers a few weeks ago.

A lot of people are for concealed carry, when it affects them. Harry Reed in 2012: "I carried a gun with me everywhere I went." Now he wants everybody else's guns controlled. Diane Feinstein in 1998: "I carried a concealed weapon and I made the determination if somebody was going to try and take me out, I was going to take them with me.” Now she's introduced the feel-good-but-meaningfulss legislation to bring back the "assault weapons" ban.


Harl Delos
Thu, 12/20/2012 - 7:30pm

Anyone want to tell me why this isn't a good idea?  How's this for starters?

Well, you might want with an article in today's Portland Oregonian.  A 12-year-old found a Baretta when he folded down the seat in a Tillamook movie theatre.  Small town kid, good kid, had been through a hunter safety class, acted like 90% of the kids growing up in a town small enough that if a  kid cuts classes, some adult will see the kid and will call the parent before the kid is 3 blocks away from school.  That is, he did the responsible thing.  He contacted a teacher (field trip to see Hobbit, great book, but a field trip?) and asked to have the sheriff contacted so he could turn in the gun.

There was a 9mm round chambered, 8 more rounds in the clip, and the safety was off.

And the owner of the gun - a CCW holder - stopped by the theatre Wednesday night, when he missed the gun.

I don't think teachers should be packing heat.  Teachers are always losing things, including their tempers.  Maybe the math and science teachers are responsible, but you don't have to be on the college level  for coaches to have a reputation for abusing students.  It's not just Woody Hayes, Bobby Knight, and Jerry Sandusky. 

But I wouldn't object to kids who worked in the parents' business or farm, or kids who had work permits carrying handguns with limited ammo capacity.   Those are level-headed, serious kids, almost by definition,  and they have strong-enough self-images to not get into fights and prove their manhood by pulliing out a gun and hold it sideways while firing 10 or 33 rounds.

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 3:54am


Teachers have been packing heat in Harrold's school since 2007 and no dead kids yet.  Crazies have not even attempted to visit the school!  

This is a simple and quick fix to the school shooting trend. The best part is that it costs the taxpayer zip, zero, nada.

On the other hand, VP BiteMe can reinstitute the assault weapons ban and outlaw the sale of multi-bullet "clips" and then we can watch gun violence stats go up again.


Andrew J.
Fri, 12/21/2012 - 10:18am

How about posting cops in elementary schools like they do in high schools? Unless it's that "I don't want to pay more in taxes" thing.


Leo Morris
Fri, 12/21/2012 - 10:40am

That would work, but that "pay no more in taxes thing" shouldn't be dismissed so lightly -- with 31 elementary schools FWCS would find that option pretty expensive. It would be much cheaper to let teachers carry guns. That's already legal in Indiana, by the way ( http://www.jconline.com/article/20121220/NEWS04/312200037/Already-legal-... ), though it's been noted that no district yet is making use of the law. If you're interested, here's a former gun store owner and weapons instructor who makes the case for teacher carry about as well as it can be made. ( http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/an-opinion-on-gun-control/ )

Andrew J.
Fri, 12/21/2012 - 11:09am

Cops should provide security with guns, not teachers, cost notwithstanding. That's what they r trained for at a skill which is the most dangerous one around. No amount of training a teacher to shoot a gun is a substitute for the kind of training and experience a cop has. The price are the safety of children in schools and that trumps whatever tax hike on the local level or reassignment of existing police resources would be required.


Harl Delos
Fri, 12/21/2012 - 2:09pm

I still think we should be allowing responsible students to possess weapons on the school grounds. In the 1950s, there were at least 15 pickups parked by Paulding High School during squirrel season, with rifles in the back window.  Kids would go out hunting at 6 AM, and make a mad dash to be at school at 8:45.  It wasn't reasonable to drop off your rifle at the house on the way. There just wasn't time.

Teachers, even the ones with enough common sense to trust with a water pistol, have their attention divided too many ways. Businesses generally have fewer than 12 people reporting to a supervisor, but we seem to think that a teacher should be able to pay attention to 30 unruly kids and educate them as well.  Most states don't allow loaded weapons in the passenger compartment, but that's not to prevent shootouts with bank robbers; rather, it's because drivers ought not be distracted with the responsibilities of gun safety.

We really don't want armed cops in our schools. They have incredibly high divorce rates and an incredibly high rate of child abuse. Am I the only one here who remembers little Nancy Eagleson, kidnapped, and found that night about 5 miles away by coon hunters The girl was naked, with signs of having been raped.  Sheriff John Keeler said he knew who did it, but he didn't have the evidence to charge him. Of course, one of his deputies was driving a car that matched the description of the kidnapper's vehicle. And golly gee, when I saw deputy Scarborough waiting in his parked car about 3 days later, I complimented him on his attractive new seat covers. He immediately decided he needed to go somewhere, but he move his car to a different parking space less than a block away.  

Putting armed officers in our schools is like hiring a fox to watch the chicken coop.

Christopher Swing
Mon, 12/24/2012 - 4:43am

"No amount of training a teacher to shoot a gun is a substitute for the kind of training and experience a cop has."

HAHAHAHAaahahaahaaaaaa... Yeah.

You're right, a teacher might learn to be responsible in deciding when to fire, and hit their target at least half the time.

Harl Delos
Mon, 12/24/2012 - 9:12pm

The secet service has always said that if a shooter is willing to die to do it, you can't keep him from killing the president.  This ABC investigation says you can't accomplish anything unless you've had a lot of training within last 60 days.



Turns out gun don't even work when someone is using a knife.  Last week in Ohio, they caught Erik Littleton, but Josiah Galat died anyway.  "There's nothing we could have done to prevent this," said Jeff Newton, the university's police chief.  http://www.whiotv.com/ap/ap/crime/1-dead-1-hurt-in-stabbings-at-ohio-university/nTbfk/

But if the answer is to ban guns, we're gonna have to ban knives, too - and then how will we open tamper-proof packaging? 

The fact that concealed weapons don't stop crime doesn't mean we should ban guns; it just means we should stop spouting nonsense.