Want to Stop School Shooters? Stop Disarming the Teachers
She ran down the hall toward the sound of gunfire and threw herself at the shooter, trying to stop him. But Dawn Hochsprung, the 47-year-old principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School was gunned down and unable to prevent that shooter from killing 20 children and six teachers at her school.
Similarly, Aaron Feis, the 37-year-old Assistant Football Coach at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, ran down the hall toward the sound of gunfire and tried to stop the shooter. He too was mowed down by an evil individual that killed 17 people earlier this month on Valentine’s Day.
In contrast, when Assistant Principal Joel Myrick heard gunfire, he ran to retrieve his Colt .45 from his vehicle, loaded it, and then he ran toward the gunfire. The shooter, a 16-year-old student who had stabbed his mother to death that morning, used his deer rifle to murder two and wound seven more at Pearl High School near Jackson, Mississippi. But when the shooter saw Mr. Myrick point his Colt .45 at him, he stopped shooting and ran away. But Mr. Myrick prevented him from escaping. The shooter is now serving life in prison.
Why do we force the professionals who devote their lives to educating our children – the adults that we entrust with our children’s bodies and minds all day every day at school – to give up their right to bear arms when they go to work?
Forcing our faculty and teachers to disarm is not only constitutionally questionable, it’s stupid. Analyses of past mass shooters shows that they intentionally target so-called “gun free zones” because they want to be able to kill as many people as possible. These evildoers go to areas where they know the law-abiding people are disarmed. Shame on us for forcing the trusted law-abiding adults at our schools to disarm themselves.
Texas has allowed teachers to carry concealed since 2013, provided that they have a valid conceal carry permit and complete an 80-hour training course “to prevent the act of murder or serious bodily injury on school premises. More than 170 school districts have teachers involved in the program. Their identities and locations are kept confidential so that potential attackers do not know which schools do not have armed teachers.
On Friday, President Trump explained why he supports permitting teachers to carry concealed during hid speech to CPAC:
When we declare our schools to be gun-free zones, it just puts our students in far more danger. Far more danger.
Well trained, gun adept teachers and coaches and people that work in those buildings, people that were in the Marines for 20 years, and retired, people in the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Coast Guard, people that are adept, adept with weaponry, and with guns, they teach.
I mean, I don’t want to have 100 guards standing with rifles all over the school. You do a conceal carry permit. And this would be a major deterrent, because these people are inherently cowards. If they thought like if this guy thought that other people would be shooting bullets back at him, he wouldn’t have gone to that school. He wouldn’t have gone there. It is a gun-free zone. It says this is a gun-free zone. Please check your guns way far away. And what happens is they feel safe. There is nobody going to come at them. This way you may have — and, remember, if you use this school as an example, this is a very big school. With tremendous floor area and a lot of acreage, a big, big school, good school. A big, big school. You would have to have 150 real guns.
Look, you had one guard, he didn’t turn out to be too good, I will tell you that. He turned out to be not good. He was not a credit to law enforcement that I can tell you. That I can tell you. …
I don’t want a person that has never handled a gun that wouldn’t know what a gun looks like to be armed. But out of your teaching population, out of your teaching population, you have 10 percent, 20 percent, very gun adept people. Military people, law enforcement people, they teach. They teach. … These teachers love their students. And these teachers are talented with weaponry and with guns. And that’s — they feel safe. And I would rather have somebody that loves their students and wants to protect their students than somebody standing outside that doesn’t know anybody and doesn’t know the students, and frankly for whatever reason decided not to go in even though he heard lots of shots being fired inside. The teachers, and the coaches, and other people in the building, the Dean, the Assistant Dean, the Principal, they can — they love their people, they want to protect these kids. And I think we’re better with that and this may be 10 percent or 20 percent of the population of teachers, et cetera. It is not all of them. But you would have a lot and you would tell people that they’re inside, and the beauty is it is concealed. Nobody would ever see it. Unless they needed it. It is concealed.
So this crazy man, who walked in, wouldn’t even know who it is that has it. That’s good. That’s not bad. That’s good. And the teacher would have shot the hell out of him before he knew what happened. They love their students. They love those students, folks. Remember that. They love their students. And I’m telling you that would work because we need offensive capability. We can’t just say, it is a gun-free school, we’ll do it a little bit better. … I want to stop it.
We all want to prevent school shootings. And our President has the right solution. It’s time for the Missouri Legislature to allow teachers to get certified to carry concealed at school.
Jennifer Bukowsky is a constitutional and criminal defense attorney in Columbia, Missouri. She is also a regular Missouri Times columnist and a weekly guest on the Gary Nolan Show. She serves on the Missouri Supreme Court’s Task Force on Criminal Justice, on the Board of Directors of the Show-Me Institute, and on the Steering Committee of the Federalist Society–Jefferson City Lawyers Chapter.
Jennifer defended a client who was found “not guilty” of murder – the only “not guilty” on a Boone County murder in over 50 years. She also won the release of a man who was wrongfully convicted and served over 20 years – since age 14 – for a murder he did not commit. Jennifer has received numerous awards for her skills as a trial and appellate attorney.
Jennifer was a Trump delegate at the RNC in 2016. She previously served as an adjunct professor of law for the University of Missouri, and as the youngest-ever President of the Boone County Bar Association.
Jennifer received a J.D. with highest honors from the University of Missouri School of Law. She is also a CPA.