I have heard Elizabeth Warren express the opinion that many hold when the suggestion is made that we put armed guards in schools or that we train and arm teachers. They claim that putting guns in schools would invite more gun violence by attracting those with guns to the school. If that were the case, then shouldn’t we be seeing more violence on Capitol Hill, at the Oscar ceremony, or at our airports? If having guns increases the incidence of gun violence then we need to take guns away from the Capitol Hill police who protect our politicians, private security guards that protect celebrities, the TSA, and anywhere else armed guards exist. Most of those politicians and celebrities whining about taking away guns and not letting our children have armed security, have armed security themselves. And why are those guards carrying guns? Because they know that is the best way to protect the person they’re hired to protect. It’s the best way to keep them alive if someone else shows up to do harm. But those very same people don’t want our children to have the same level of protection.
There is a concern, a legitimate concern, that a student can take a gun from a teacher or armed security guard. A high school in Ohio has already addressed that issue. They have a number of teachers who have gone through professional training and obtained their concealed carry permits. The school has several guns placed at strategic points throughout the building. These guns are kept in gun safes that can only be opened using the fingerprint of authorized personnel. This allows any teacher or administrator who has gone through the training and been authorized to use deadly force to quickly get the gun when it is needed. The safes cannot be opened by anyone else. Interestingly, the students at that high school who were interviewed said they feel much safer knowing their teachers have the ability to get a gun and fire it if anyone trying to do them harm.
Then there is the argument that allowing teachers to be armed would turn our schools into fortresses. Why is that a bad thing? Have you seen some of the schools that our kids have been attending for the last 20 or 30 years? In many inner-city schools, they have multiple security guards. Children have to go through metal detectors and have their backpacks inspected or searched. There are bars on school windows and armed security roaming the halls during classes. The schools already look like fortresses and unfortunately it’s to protect the kids from each other. And quite frankly it’s to protect the teachers from the kids. Kids in the inner cities grow up in violent neighborhoods watching not just gun battles, but domestic violence or gang fights between people using knives or baseball bats or just their fists. It’s not the guns creating the problems that lead to violent neighborhoods or behavior, it’s society.
Watching a lot of these kids and parents who met with President Trump asking how many more children have to die before the government does something, specifically banning assault weapons or other guns, ignores the problems that need to be solved. We had laws and processes in place that should have taken this young man out of mainstream society and helped him get the assistance he needed to deal with his demons. The people that were supposed to protect those children and help Nicholas Cruz failed. We need to know why they failed in order to make sure that that doesn’t happen again. Were they afraid of being accused of picking on him or labeling him? Right now we don’t know but we need to find out.
But I think I have an idea why the teachers and administrators may have failed him. We really don’t let teachers discipline children anymore. Too often when a child is disciplined for breaking rules, the parents yell at the teacher or the administration. They will say that the teacher is picking on their poor little snowflake or that the teacher is racist or bigoted. Did we have teachers or administrators who went too far in the past? Yes, but not very many. But typically instead of dealing with those who abused their authority, we punished those who did not and now we have children running the schools because teachers don’t want to put up with the hassles of trying to discipline the kids.
How about we also go back to not only letting parents be parents but expecting them to be parents? If a parent wants to spank their kid, let them. If a parent wants to ground their child as a punishment for breaking the rules, let them. We’ve been told by a bunch of feel-good would be therapists that we can’t discipline our children harshly, rather we must put them in timeouts or reason with them or talk nicely to them. We’ve been doing that now for at least three decades and look at the results: more violence in schools, children feel entitled, more kids who break rules and laws because there are no consequences, and a severe lack of respect for authority.
These days if you spank your child or even yell at them too loudly and make them cry, somebody’s going to all Children, Youth and Families. And you’ll be investigated, have your child put in foster care for a while and maybe even have your child taken away. At the very least you’ll be sent to a therapist who will tell you that instead of raising your voice or your hand, they’ll teach you how to hold your child and hug them and sing little songs to them when they do something wrong to make them feel better about themselves, rather than punishing them or holding them accountable for their actions Funny, we didn’t have all of these violent atmospheres in schools or mass shootings when we were growing up.