To Hate the Gun: Why Blaming the Weapon Does Nothing to Stop the Killing

Updated on April 22, 2018
Leland Johnson profile image

Leland is a life long student of history, politics, and current events. He wishes to respectfully engage readers on those focus points.

Our Most Precious Assets, Our Worst Fears

Can We Agree?

Can we agree on one thing? No one wants to see the continuation of gun violence in our schools; isn't that true? Regardless of whether you are liberal or conservative, Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian, I think it is safe to say that all reasonable people wish to see gun violence brought to an end. What we can't agree upon is how to make that wish a reality. I submit for your consideration the possibility that a solution, at least a minimization of gun violence, is closer than we may realize. The first step towards a solution is to come together on common ground. People from opposite ends of the political spectrum may never agree when it comes to taxes or social programs, but we need to find common ground on this issue because it is this issue that determines all others. Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, and that among them are "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Note the order: "Life" comes first. If we do not have life there is little point in discussing our positions as to the meanings of "liberty" and the "pursuit of happiness."

I have found, as I'm sure you have as well, that discussion of this subject evokes passionate emotions. The problem here is that more often than not discussions quickly turn into arguments. Accusations are made, insults are hurled. While such behaviors may serve as a cathartic they do nothing to advance the discussion. So let us begin by agreeing that we are all reasonable, that we all care, and that we are all looking for answers to this heinous plague on our society. While we bicker, while you read this article, a shooter is somewhere planning an attack. What can be done to stop him?

Would Arming Teachers Solve The Problem?

Task Force Officer's Position On Arming Teachers

I recently attended a safety/security meeting at a local high school. The meeting was hosted by the school superintendent along with the chief of police and an interesting law enforcement officer I will call "Tom." Tom heads up a special task force in a tri-city community serving some 90,000 people. The meeting began by allowing audience members to pose questions to school and law enforcement officials. I would like to share some of the highlights of that meeting with you. I think it is important that we consult experts in the field, of which, Tom was one. I was fortunate enough to ask the first question.

"Officer Tom, I have thought a lot about arming teachers and the problem I have is that I believe teachers should teach. I don't think they should have the burden of also being responsible for security. I think there should be some kind of special security detachment to handle security issues. What are your thoughts?"

Tom responds: "There are a number of problems with arming teachers. For one thing lets say we (the police) get a call that there is a shooter in the building. We enter the building and see a teacher holding a weapon. We may think he is the suspect and take him out. Also, what if a shooter runs behind students while the armed teacher is drawing a bead on him- the teacher fires and shoots a student, or worse multiple students."

I found myself agreeing with Tom for reasons I hadn't considered. At that point other audience members began shouting spirited remarks such as, "I have my CPL, why can't I go into the school? I'd protect the kids! I've had training!"

Tom responded patiently, "I think it should be left to professionals. Officers can be sent for special training to the Air Marshal academy. These officers are specially trained to take down assailants. They are the best marksmen (and women) in law enforcement because they train to shoot in close quarters. I know some of you have had training, but let me share some statistics with you."

Air Marshalls

Sobering Statistics

Tom Continued. "Remember the Boston Marathon bombers?"

Heads nodded.

"19 police officers were wounded in the search and eventual capture of one assailant and killing of the other. Most of the wounds were a result of friendly fire. In the chaos and adrenaline even the professionals struggle to make the right shots."

"Here's another example. Columbine, 1999. The shooters, Klebold and Harris had been dead for 14 minutes. S.W.A.T. enters the building. 61 shots are fired. Let me repeat that: 61 shots are fired after the shooters had killed themselves. S.W.A.T. team members got confused once inside the building and began firing at each other. Now folks this happened to well trained professionals. How much better do you think you would react in a similar situation? You've never had the training they've had. You've never been shot at or had to shoot at someone else. Do you really think you could do better than S.W.A.T.?"

The audience seemed to settle down after Tom asked those questions. I think he makes excellent points.

Air Marshall News Report

Air Marshalls Patrolling Our Schools

Tom continued sharing his reasons for believing the Air Marshall program may hold the solution.

  1. "Marshals would be a better fit than a police/school liason officer. What happens in the latter is that the officer and staff tend to get familiar and casual over the school year and let their guards down."
  2. "The marshal is in civilian clothes so you'd never know who he is. A shooter couldn't target the marshal."
  3. "Multiple agents could serve the school district and go from school to school on a daily basis."
  4. "Air Marshals are federal agents. It would be a federal program initiative."
  5. "Air Marshals are trained in special hand-to-hand combat, tactics specific to aggressor take-downs, and reacting as safely as possible in crowd situations. They are the best tactical shooters in law enforcement."
  6. "No defense can be 100% effective, but an Air Marshal program would reduce the risk of active shooter situations and increase security in our schools."

How To Stop/Reduce Gun Violence In Our Schools

Which Choice Do You Think Would Best Reduce Gun Violence In Our Schools?

See results

Students Speak Out Regarding Officers Lack Of Response

Get Involved

More questions were put to the police chief regarding security and response of the police in the event of an active shooter. The chief gave some very sound assurances.

"What happened in Parkland, Florida will not happen here. Our officers are trained to enter the building and engage the shooter no matter what. You won't see our guys waiting around outside while the shooter is inside the building. It won't happen."

Audience member: "Chief, what about the fact that the police in Broward County were called some 40 times regarding the dangerous nature of Nick Cruz (Parkland gunman)? What is your department's procedure if you get a call about a potential threat.?"

Chief: "We have received calls on students, some of whom are now in jail or juvenile detention. If we get a tip about a kid who made a threat on the school we go immediately to his house. We detain him. If we can confirm that he made a threat via any social media we got him. We do not wait around for a potential threat to do something. We check it out and, as I said, if the situation merits it we make an arrest."

I encourage parents and community members to attend meetings like the one in my town. If one has not been set up by your school superintendent I recommend calling him/her and requesting a meeting as soon as possible.

Now is not the time to talk about gun control/confiscation. First lets secure our schools. Then we can talk about the more controversial issues of gun control and mental health; issues that definitely need addressing, but first things first. Blaming the NRA and demanding gun control will do nothing to safeguard our children. I recently watched a man angrily berating Marco Rubio and insisting he do something to work with the community, presumably enforcing gun control measures. The man was well received by the audience and applauded him for "telling off" a U.S. senator, but what good did his outburst really do? People have been talking about gun control for two decades now: Paduka, Columbine, Sandy Hook, Parkland. All the banter only serves to buy future shooters more time to plan. We need to secure our schools. The politicians know this. Their children are never the victims of school shootings. The reason is that the schools they attend are guarded, secured, protected. Why don't our children deserve the same protection as the children of our politicians? Ever enter a city courthouse? Metal detectors, guards, x-ray scanners- I think our children deserve as much protection as attorneys at our local court houses, don't you?

There is a short term solution to school shootings. The solution is the securing of our schools. Failing to appreciate that is to miss the point. It is a costly error, one that depends upon our citizens mistaking good intentions for right actions. It is an error that finds contentment, not in solving the problem, but rather in hating the gun.

Air Marshal In Training

It Takes A Good Guy With A Gun To Stop A Bad Guy With A Gun
It Takes A Good Guy With A Gun To Stop A Bad Guy With A Gun

Guns Are Used To Protect...

We Defend Our President....With Guns

We Defend Our Politicians...With Guns

We Defend Our Banks, Jewelry Stores, Factories, Warehouses,

Court Rooms, Celebrities, And Professional Athletes...With Guns.

We Defend Our Children With A Sign That Reads "Gun Free Zone" Then Call Someone With A Gun If There's An Emergency.

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Leland Johnson

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      • Leland Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

        Leland Johnson 

        7 months ago from Midland MI

        Thanks WillStarr. I appreciate the cudo and look forward to our continued mutual support. God bless!

      • WillStarr profile image

        WillStarr 

        7 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

        Well done, Leland!

      • Natalie Frank profile image

        Natalie Frank 

        8 months ago from Chicago, IL

        I was living in DC during and after 9/11 and flew a great deal. It was amazing how the Air Marshals fit in (though you knew there were at least two up in the bulkhead row though you didn't know where they others were exactly). I once thanked two for their service (feeling that if anything went wrong they were the only ones to make sure we landed safely with everyone unhurt - it's not like they could call for backups!) and they didn't know exactly what to say. We had landed so I didn't think I was blowing their cover (and everyone had seen it on the news) but they kind of blushed and mumbled thank you. It was definitely interesting. I heard every U.S. flight had 4-8 marshals aboard after 9/11 for over 2 years then it was cut back to 2. I'm not sure how many there are now or if every flight has one or two - if there's only 3000 I guess that would mean it would be hard to get even one aboard every flight (I don't know how many flights per day there are in the U.S.). Makes me wonder. Thanks for the interesting, thought provoking article.

      • Leland Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

        Leland Johnson 

        8 months ago from Midland MI

        Natalie- I loved your two cents! Thank you so much for your comments and insights, and for the kind word about me not being over emotional regarding the issue. It's a very sensitive topic and everyone's emotions seem to be brimming like lava in a volcano. Calm and rational is what I was hoping to achieve. Your comments give me hope that I came close.

        I was intrigued by the air marshal idea as well. I learned that prior to 911 there were less than 40 in the US. Now, there are over 3,000. I'm not sure if I included that in the article, but I think it's relevant because we don't have airline attacks on a constant basis- intermittent at best, and the same is true of the school shootings. Maybe the same solution fits. Thanks again, Natalie. :)

      • Natalie Frank profile image

        Natalie Frank 

        8 months ago from Chicago, IL

        There are so many issues related to this and you do a great job of covering them. I agree that arming teachers or civilian is not the answer. Given how many times trained police forces get confused and shoot in inappropriate situations thinking there is someone aiming at them or someone on their side is the enemy I don't think teachers would be a good choice. It seems they would either fire too quickly possibly mistaking a situation or freeze and not ever take the gun out in time - both situations that could themselves and their students killed. As for securing the schools and making sure no one unauthorized can get in - a couple of problems here. A parent may have permission to be at the school at one time but perhaps due to a bad divorce or other situation, the parent may become unstable and for whatever reason take it out at the school. With college admission even more competitive the importance of grades and extra curricular activities are crucial. A parent who feels their child's grades should be higher or they should have been accepted into an activity they weren't may - if they already have some problems they also could become unstable and make a bad choice. Although rare - we see these kinds of things from time to time - the mother who attacks the parent of a cheerleader who took a slot on the team she though her child should have, mobs of parents who attack a coach because the team lost and they thought it would affect their child's chance of getting an athletic scholarship, an estranged parent who shoots a guidance counselor for testifying in a way he feels hurt his chances of getting custody of his child in a divorce etc. While these incidents may involve a single individual how quickly can things get out of hand if there are others in the school who start shooting inappropriately? Kids, teachers, parents, volunteers, coaches, and other staff can all get hurt or killed, and that's before the police even show up and attempt to defuse an out of control situation. There is also the issue that kids find ways to smuggle weapons into schools if they want to - I heard of a case where some kids came to the school in the middle of the night and buried weapons near the football field. They left them there so nothing was found during routine locker searches and when they decided to handle a bullying situation with the guns, luckily they were caught before anything could happen. So even with securing the schools - some potential problem people may already be inside the schools or be able to get inside the schools.

        Air Marshals are the best trained for this type of problem especially the ones who may now be retiring who were trained to patrol flights after 9/11. They had to always be alert, never knowing if there could be someone on the flight they would have to take down to keep the plane and everyone on it safe. They don't mess around. I saw two occasions where there passengers were belligerent, refusing to sit down when told and insisting on getting something from the overhead when they weren't supposed to. Once the flight attendants told them to sit down twice and leave their things where they were, in one case the man also shoved the flight attendant, the marshals moved so quickly and had them on the ground so they couldn't move before any of us really knew what was happening. It was amazing and I know I felt much safer flying after I saw what they could do. So they are trained to do whatever is necessary but I think they are also trained to try to prevent loss of life if at all possible. If they can't however I think they are trained similar to sharpshooters and can make a shot in a difficult situation quickly and accurately. They also go through much more involved psychological testing to assess not just mental health issues but personality and related areas to see if their temperament is a good match for the job. Anyway, that's my two cents. Keeping schools safe is a difficult propositions. When there are no problems for a long time it all seems like overkill. But when there's an incident it seems like it takes more luck than anything to keep the kids and staff safe since there are so many variables involved. Thanks for the article. I'm impressed by how you present it without being overly emotional but also in an accessible manner that speaks to everyone.

      • profile image

        DDE 

        8 months ago

        An important issue and really needs to be resolved. There should be more stricter control on who actually is allowed to use weapons.

      • Leland Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

        Leland Johnson 

        9 months ago from Midland MI

        Thank you for contributing Ms. Dora. I believe that the answer is ultimately in God's hands and to Him we must turn. "The plans of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD." Proverbs 16:1 NASB

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        9 months ago from The Caribbean

        Thank you for sharing your insights on this very important issue. So many pros; so many cons. You also opened up new thoughts for consideration. Praying that we eventually do what is best for the students.

      • Leland Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

        Leland Johnson 

        9 months ago from Midland MI

        I think this is an incredibly unique situation where there is room for some creativity when it comes to solving it. One of the things I wanted to include in the article is my own experience with firearms, but I thought it would make the hub too long. However, maybe here is the right place since there have been so many interesting, sincere comments. My father was a gun collector. I was given my first hand gun when I was 5 years old. We "shot" for recreation. I joined the Army and when it came time for marksmanship training with the M-16A1 rifle I fired expert on the first practice day. I shot 30 out of 31 targets, the farthest targets being 300 meters out. I also qualified with grenades and trained with L.A.W's (Light Anti-Tank Weapon). Auto and semi-auto weapons were a big part of my life. Then, in 1986, a fellow soldier was shot dead not 10 feet away from me in a training exercise. We had been on the firing range and gone through all the safety exercises and yet his weapon retained a bullet in the barrel and when he casually set the but of the weapon on the ground the charging handle slammed forward discharging the round. He was shot directly through the heart and died almost instantly. This story is a caveat. The point I would make is that despite being surrounded by professional soldiers, supervised by weapons experts, this incident occurred. I have to side with officer Tom on this one. I just don't believe that an armed teacher is able to function as both teacher and armed guard in the classroom. I know that it sounds good on paper, and I would even go so far as to say that I'm sure there are exceptions to the rule. Certainly there would be some teachers that could do it. However, I think we need to ask the questions: What if the teacher shoots a childe accidentally while trying to stop another student? What if students overpower an armed teacher and get their weapon and then inflict harm? Do we really believe that teachers who have undergone "training" can accomplish a level of proficiency necessary to handle a situation like an active shooter? I have trained with local law enforcement in an Israeli marshal art called "Krav Maga." We trained once a week in a group and daily at home on punching bags, etc. To be really good at something you have to train constantly. For a teacher to be as effective as an air marshal they would have to train as routinely as one. Is that realistic? Will teachers train in both weaponry, hand to hand combat, and assailant take down protocols to the point of being as skilled as a law enforcement officer? Again, I know it sounds like a good idea, but I don't think it takes into account the amount of time spent on training. Sometimes we talk about training in a way that is almost casual. This type of training is the opposite of casual, it is intense. The guard at Parkland that failed to enter the building really created a secondary problem by making it seem as though it makes no difference whether or not schools are policed. I would say that he was not acting in accordance to how he had been trained, or at least how he should've been trained. The police officers I trained with- they would've been in there in a second. However, I question my own ability. My eyesight isn't what it used to be and neither are my reflexes. We talk about retired military or retired policeman guarding our schools, but that's kind of the point- they're "retired." They are not as sharp as they once were. There's a reason that air marshals are between 21-37. This age span is when you're young enough to be brave and have quick reflexes and yet old enough to exercise good judgement in dangerous situations. Just imagine the ramifications of a teacher shooting a student or allowing his/her weapon to be taken. One closing thought- When I enter a sports arena or venue where I see armed police officers I feel safer. The thought of a teacher carrying a weapon make me nervous. Now I don't say that from a theoretical position. I've been a gun owner, a soldier, I've trained with professionals and this is my perspective. Of course we are all entitled to hold fast to our positions, I respect that. I guess I just compare this issue like trying to provide healthcare to yourself. If you're a nurse or a doctor, fine. If you're not, maybe you should trust your healthcare to the hands of the professionals. Love the discourse, thank you so much for keeping the conversation going! This validates the whole reason for joining Hubpages. God bless.

      • Leland Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

        Leland Johnson 

        9 months ago from Midland MI

        Mackenzie,

        Thank you for reading and for your gracious comments. I'm glad you found the information useful and I hope that as a society we can move toward the best solution possible for this problem.

      • profile image

        A B Williams 

        9 months ago

        The trained Teacher will be where the students (aka targets) are and not outside of the building, being told by a higher authority to stand down.

        It will definitely not be for every Teacher/Staff Member/Janitor/Librarian....but rather for those desiring to go through the necessary training, ready to put themselves between the bad guy(s) and their students when and if necessary.

      • profile image

        Mackenzie 

        9 months ago

        This was a very eye-opening blog. This is a very controversial topic that we have been discussing in government class. It was interesting to read about the statistics against arming teachers and ulterior ways to combat gun violence. I agree with not arming teachers and instead securing schools and having trained officers to help keep the schools and students safe. Thank you for writing this it was very interesting and eye-opening.

      • bradmasterOCcal profile image

        Brad Masters 

        9 months ago from Orange County California BSIT BSL JD

        Leland

        Thanks for your hospitality.

      • Leland Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

        Leland Johnson 

        9 months ago from Midland MI

        AB- Thanks so much for your comments! I remember growing up and bringing our shotguns to school so we could go hunting after. My uncle told me that a friend of his once brought his rifle right in the school and took it to the machine shop to repair a section of the barrel. No one said anything and no one thought anything of it. We are certainly living in different times. I'm sure you're familiar with the term "snow flake" in reference how this generation seems unable to deal with stressors you and I took as a natural part of life. I was one of the recipients of those paddles you mentioned, and it didn't harm me. Today a teacher would be taken to court for such an action and the child would be considered battered. I'm not even saying we should go back to that, I'm just acknowledging the generational difference. Our parents were tougher than we were, theirs tougher than them. A theme I want to convey is that while there is indeed a root to the problem, I think it is more important to deal with the bitter fruit produced by that root. You're right, the root is the institutionalized disrespect directed at God. In my opinion, all the problems trace back to that point- when the 10 commandments and prayer were removed from the school. I hope we could get back to that point, but even if we can we can't do it immediately. It would take years and it may never come to fruition. Sadly,it always seems takes tragedy to turn people back to God and our culture certainly isn't short on tragedy; and yet it just seems like anti-God sentiment is getting worse. I don't know. Maybe it's just the squeaky wheels getting the grease? Regardless, something that is doable is getting our schools secured. The smallest cities zealously guard their court houses and you rarely hear a word about court houses being attacked. I'm looking at it as a "first things first" issue. Lets secure the schools first, then get into the nitty gritty of why the extra security is needed. Israel had the same problem as I'm sure you saw from the article, and they handled it pragmatically. I think we would benefit from following their protocols. I know I'd feel safer about my sons being in school if they were better protected. For now, I continue to trust the Lord to watch over them. I really appreciate your insightful comments!

      • Leland Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

        Leland Johnson 

        9 months ago from Midland MI

        Thanks Brad, I appreciate your comments and you make intelligent points for serious consideration. As I said, I look forward to reading your articles. Talk to you soon.

      • bradmasterOCcal profile image

        Brad Masters 

        9 months ago from Orange County California BSIT BSL JD

        Leland

        Of course any armed solution would require vetting and testing, but not all the veterans have ptsd. Many of them are now mercenaries in the same regions possibly where they were veterans.

        Musicians unless they are very bad, don't have to worry about being shot at:)

        And the problem with teaching boxers and MMA is that they have rules, and the bad guys don't have any rules. Take a sport like JUDO, and it is a sport, but the non sport version can kill. All the judoka has to do is interrupt the fall path so that the person being thrown has his head snap on the floor. It is just a matter of technique. But in the sport that would be criminal to do.

        My point is that most police officers can go their entire career without being in a shoot out. Unless someones life is at stake how do you train someone to suppress their adrenaline which takes away their fine motor control.

        I will leave it at that.

        Thanks

      • Leland Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

        Leland Johnson 

        9 months ago from Midland MI

        Brad, in regard to the combat vets that have actually been shot at, I do have a couple of thoughts. I'm a US Army vet myself and now I'm fortunate enough to work with veterans everyday. I might get into trouble if I tell you where I work, suffice it to say I am a federal employee- I think it depends on the veteran. I have 2 hesitation points though: A lot of vets that were in combat zones suffer from PTSD as I 'm sure you know. In addition to that a fair amount of vets are medicated with anti depressants, pain killers, etc. They would have to be vetted for sure. I know it seems logical that those who've been shot at would be more cool under fire, but there are studies that challenge that. Whole units of combat veterans were held in reserve for the Normandy invasion because they knew what was coming. There were incidents when combat vets suffering from PTSD (aka shell shock at the time) were not as effective as green troops who had not had combat experience. I think it's a hard metric to gauge because combat vets will talk about a "blood lust" that can take over, a mixture of rage, fear, anger, that enabled them to accomplish incredible feats of courage and daring. Others, and I think this is brilliantly portrayed in the film "Saving Private Ryan," are paralyzed by fear. It's hard to say how anyone will react in an active shooter or combat situation. However, I do believe that muscle memory takes over concerning those things in which we have routinely trained. Boxers, Martial artists recognize this. The same is true in regard to anything we do, even music if you're a musician. Near the end of his life Glen Campbell was suffering terribly from Alzheimer's disease, couldn't carry on a conversation, but he was a master guitarist and as soon as he picked up that guitar his muscle memory took over and you'd never know he was sick. Sorry for the round about response. BTW- I was looking at your articles and I can't wait to really get into them! I love the titles alone. I'm especially interested in what you had to say about other "dignitaries" not attending Billy Graham's funeral. Seems like a lack of class especially from the Clintons- Graham had counseled Bill Clinton on numerous occasions. Thank you again for continuing the dialogue. Look for my comments soon on your pages!

      • abwilliams profile image

        A B Williams 

        9 months ago from Central Florida

        Great job on this Leland.

        I voted, 'Combination of All'. If there had been another choice, 'get to the root of the problem', that would have gotten my vote.

        We are talking all around the problem!

        Yes, we now have a huge problem which must be dealt with, but why? What is at the root of this problem?

        I have to go back to when I was in school (granted it was long ago, but well after dinosaurs roamed...just sayin')

        We did not require any of this, and yet.....guns were all around us. It was quite common to see guns on racks, in trucks everywhere (yes, even at school)

        I had a paddle-packing Principal in Elem. school, when Teacher had enough of a student behaving badly, he/she was sent outside the door. Principal 'Bellbottom' (as we called him) would roam the hallways, delivering a wallop to anyone outside the classroom.

        There wasn't a lot of bad behavior taking place, because we ALL knew the consequences.

        There were never any repeat offenders!

        Parents not only gave their Blessing to this, they'd deliver punishment as well, in addition.

        Nowadays in this P.C. world, a Teacher cannot say Boo, without being reprimanded by a Parent, because their delicate little child had their feelings hurt by the big scary, non-coddling Teacher.

        In addition to a lack of discipline, God has been booted out, praise is given when not deserved, trophies are handed out, not earned.

        Some students are encouraged to only strive for mediocrity, while other students are 'propped up' beginning in PK and continuing on through high school.

        Let us do all we can do now to keep this from happening again, but let us not continue to dismiss the root problem any longer.

      • bradmasterOCcal profile image

        Brad Masters 

        9 months ago from Orange County California BSIT BSL JD

        Leland

        Thanks for the comment on my comment. We both gave our comments, I would like to hear what you thought about the combat veterans and other that have actually been shot at. I gave some examples to complement your SWAT story.

        I usually put in del if u wish

        Thanks

      • Leland Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

        Leland Johnson 

        9 months ago from Midland MI

        Brad, Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Let me respond. It's true that school shootings are more random than the media would have us believe, but I think that's because law enforcement is stopping many of them before they happen. Right here in my small town of 3,000 people police have arrested and incarcerated several students for making threats of violence against a school. As for the frequency, when is the last time you heard about a court house being attacked by a gunman? Courthouses are basically fortifications. The government can afford to protect judges, attorneys, and criminals, but not our nation's kids? As for the Air Marshal program, we may just have to disagree on that point. I listed the reasons I believe such a program would work, but to reiterate, they are highly trained in assailant take down, hand to hand combat, they are the best of the best marksmen, they are trained and equipped to fire with extreme accuracy in close quarter situations such as classrooms or crowds, and since it is a federal program the fed should pay for it. I cannot accept the idea that "there's no money" for it. Wait until the next national disaster happens and watch the fed pour billions into the affected area.

        You ask one question I would like to address in particular, regarding how many air marshals were aboard planes on 911. The air marshal program was very small. There were less than 40 agents nation wide. Now, after 911, there are over 3,000. The program works and it would transition well into the school setting. As to SWAT being confused- the two agencies would coordinate with each other. Brad, there is always risk involved. We are talking about risk reduction, not elimination. Ask any kid in highschool, "Do you know any kids you think are capable of shooting up your school?" I have found without exception the answer is "yes." Kids are worried. Lets do something about it other than saying we might as well not because nothing will work and not enough people have died yet. In Israel it happened once in 1972. They instituted a school protection policy of one armed guard per 100 students and, to my knowledge, they solved the problem. Why not take a lesson from someone who's already had success?

        PS I wouldn't dream of deleting your response. I very much appreciate the time you took to write it out as well as the time you took to read my article. Thank you so much!

      • bradmasterOCcal profile image

        Brad Masters 

        9 months ago from Orange County California BSIT BSL JD

        You made some good points here. I don't think however that the air Marshall plan is feasible. Who is going to fund this across the entire country. And when SWAT gets confused these air marshalls would be in the same way.

        On 911 do we know if any of the four planes had an air Marshall on it?

        The Air Mashalls are dealing with a plane, not a school. The details of the plane are limited and known. Schools like Parkland have 3,000 students. They also had an armed Sheriff on scene.

        Better than the air Marshall would be combat veterans, because they have lived and that is important. The problem as you are aware of is that when people are trained, and they haven't been vetted with real life and death situations their adrenaline makes their fine motor skills disappear. They are left with just the basic movements of their muscles.

        There was a case here in LA when a former policeman went on a killing spree. The police thought he was in this pickup truck and over 200 rounds were fired at the vehicle,and no one inside was hit. As it turned out, the occupants were two newspaper delivery woman. The police never identified the target, they just opened fired.

        Training is only educational, vetting is putting that training in a life and death situation.

        I thought that president had a good idea, where the teachers that would be allowed to carry weapons were people who had the requisite experience, and then they would be trained.

        In the last eighteen years, there have been 39 mass shootings, killing almost 400 people and injuring almost 400 people. Only four had been a school shooting.

        The point is that the media and the democrats jump on the school shooting, but they are more random than they would like us to believe.

        Columbine was in 1999, and what have the presidents and their congresses done to address the gun, while avoiding the person.

        Most police officers have never fired their weapon in their job, except for qualifying at the police range. And no one was shooting back at them. Makes a big difference, don't you think?

        Suicide by gun is a real killer, but that is only one way to kill yourself. Why doesn't half of the gun deaths from suicide become a major issue.

        As for the intentional use of guns to kill, there are just too many soft targets in the country, and it is impossible to protect them. That is why, as in Parkland, Cruz was known to the sheriff and the FBI. And once again the FBI failed to act on the information that they had, just like 911. So adding the very expensive Homeland Security Layer was of no help.

        One would hope that they are doing a much better job on keeping track of potential terrorists.

        del if u wish

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