Arizona school principals may get to kill
Tom Horne, Arizona Attorney General, joined by Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County, Sheriff Tom Sheahan of Mohave County and Sheriff Joe Dedman of Apache County, called for training principals or other designated persons at schools across the state to shoot and kill in “emergencies.” The Wild West has returned to Arizona.
Principals are school administrators and role models who devote their life to education and mentoring children. Now they may have the option of being trained in the use of firearms. Horne said in a statement: “The training would be provided by personnel of the Attorney General’s Office, and of the cooperating Sheriff’s Offices. The training would be free to the schools.”
He added, “The designated individual (no more than one per school) would then be authorized to keep a firearm locked in a secure place, and would have adequate communication to be alerted to an emergency in any part of the school.” Parents should feel relieved – no more than one per school.
Horne didn’t mention whether principals would be eligible for hazard pay. Nor was there discussion about the weapons. What type of gun should the principal have in his or her possession? An Uzi? A pistol or pop-gun? An A-K automatic? VK1-310 Smith and Wesson 76, 9 mm submachine gun? Considering how much ammo mass murders carry with them, how much should the principal have on hand?
Logically, by the time a newly deputized cowboy principal engaged with the shooter much death and destruction will have occurred. Law enforcement will probably have arrived by the time the principal or his or her designee can valiantly fulfill the role as a first responder.
Amanda Terkel of the Huffington Post pointed out Columbine High School had an armed guard at the time a deranged young man entered. Despite the added security, 15 people were still murdered and 23 wounded in 1999. Armed security did not stop the tragedy.
Putting more guns into mainstream society isn’t the solution. Based on such logic encouraging more nations to have nuclear weapons will decrease the threat of war. If North Korea has nuclear weapons, would the world be safer? Does anyone want Iran to have them?
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, “Unintentional shootings account for nearly 20 percent of all firearm-related fatalities among children ages 14 and under, compared with 3 percent for the entire U.S. population.” The media often reports how a child and his or her friend find a parent’s gun and plays with it.
Imagine a group of junior high school pranksters trying to find and get access to the principal’s gun. Suppose they decided to steal it for the amusement of watching school officials scramble. Added to the fun would be school district lawyers in a dither. It could become an annual rite of passage – find, steal, and indefinitely hide the gun. Or maybe a troubled school teen will seek it and then use it on the principal, other students, or perhaps his or her parents.
So far, gun advocates and those wanting greater restrictions are reacting. Reactions are based on emotion, not logic and common sense. There seems to be another element with some gun owners – anxiety over what they perceive as the restriction of rights. Cooler heads with the potential to offer creative, rational solutions have yet to prevail.