With recent, and not so recent, tragedies involving shootings on campuses around the country, Americans have found themselves dividing and subdividing over who has the right to protect themselves and how. A bill is currently in the process of becoming a law or being vetoed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry to remove the restriction of concealed carry (handguns) on a college or university campus. We do not believe this will solve the problem of shootings on school campuses. However it seems that Texans are already preparing for guns on campuses.
“I’m not a betting man, but if I were, I would bet the bill passes,” said KCPD Chief Martin Pessink. He also added that the Kilgore Police Department is already preparing to provide training for teachers. “Just having the license does not mean one has the training in how to operate the weapon, let alone the judgment making skills,” Pessink noted. This refers to the difficulty in shooting and possibly killing another human.
If an armed student or teacher draws a gun to defend himself, Pessink says it would also be difficult to determine who the assailant really is, and that police officers are trained “to respond to a drawn weapon.”
Our society does not teach us how to cope with murder in self-defense like we are taught to deal with anger or depression, so why should we expect our teachers to face the responsibilities of owning and operating a tool that was designed to kill or maim a living organism?
Bolstering already trained individuals around our nation’s colleges may be the best overall option instead of obligating academic-minded teachers to become the first line of defense. More officers of the law could be hired and strategically placed in buildings to make sure security measures are kept in line.
Guns are designed to stop, injure and/or kill. They don’t have personalities or motives. They are tools, and like any other tool, they are to be used by people to accomplish tasks. Unfortunately, the tasks for which they are intended come with many stipulations. Using a gun for anything besides responsible recreation usually comes with a felony charge and perhaps even injury or death.
The first option should be to rely on the campus police that are already trained and on campus.
Another idea is to find alternative, non-lethal, solutions to classroom security.
Letting teachers carry close or medium-range tazers, which require a minimum amount of training, could stop someone without the fear of killing him. Wasp or pepper spray is easy to use and a large percentage of the population already carries it.
No one wants to walk through a metal detector at every entrance of every building, and no one wants to have his personal identification card checked multiple times during the day, but as American citizens we must ask ourselves: How far are we willing to go to allow anyone to obtain a firearm? Does violence not beget violence?
It seems certain that desperate times will always call for desperate measures.