A Common Sense Proposal to Increase Safety at New Mexico’s Schools

A Common Sense Proposal to Increase Safety at New Mexico’s Schools, by Peter Burrows 3/14/18 elburropete@gmail.com –  silvercityburro.com 

Last month’s horrific shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, elicited the usual storm of hysterical cries to “do something.”  Most of the “somethings” proposed would in fact do nothing.  

Not all, however.  The common sense notion that teachers should be armed is gaining ground.  There are many who think arming teachers is anything but “common sense,” and those people are wrong.  Let’s look at some facts. 

1)  Crazy people are crazy, not stupid.  I should rewrite that at least ten times, because it is an important, crucial fact that gun control advocates just don’t get: The killers are crazy, not stupid.  

2) 98 percent of all mass shootings in the United States happen in placers that are legally designated as “gun free zones.”    

3) Almost all schools are gun free zones.  

The linkage between the above three points should be obvious.  Try to imagine you are a twisted little psychopath who wants to go out in a blaze of infamy.  You approach Stout Elementary during school hours and you notice a sign, a BIG sign, above the door that reads:  ALL EMPLOYEES IN THIS BUILDING ARE PERMITTED TO CARRY CONCEALED FIREARMS.  

I believe the typical psychopath would read that and decide to wreak mayhem elsewhere.  Maybe he’ll go down to the Silco Theater, confident that he can shoot the place up and escape out the back, undeterred and still on the rampage.  

He gets to the Silco, however, and notices a sign, another big one, that reads: LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND CONCEALED CARRY PERMIT HOLDERS –  HALF PRICE.  I’m betting he reads that and heads to Walmart, where the sign on the door says firearms are not permitted in the building.  

Yes, indeed. That’s the place to kill lots of folks, unless of course, there’s a lawbreaker on the premises who might shoot back.    

The bottom line is that it is not the psychopath who is stupid; it is the advocate of gun free zones.   

Thinking that an armed guard is going to solve the problem is also stupid.  Didn’t work in Lakeland, where the guard was either incompetent or cowardly. Doesn’t make any difference which, because any psychopath with an ounce of intelligence will know that the guard is the first and only person he has to take out to then have a risk-free killing zone.  

The beauty of having armed school personnel is that not every teacher has to be armed, maybe not any. But the psycho won’t know who’s armed.  Could be the janitor. Could be the little old lady helping to teach kindergarten. Could be the kindergarten teacher.   

You get my point, I hope.  

As a practical matter, this does not eliminate the mass-shooter problem, it merely changes the locale. True, but it does keep the kids safe, which is the objective.  

Implementing this plan would be simplicity itself: The New Mexico Legislature passes a law that requires every employee of our public schools pass the background check required to buy a handgun.  (Not a bad idea, guns or not.) If they pass, they get a concealed carry permit, good for as long as they are employed by the school, which allows the employee to carry a concealed weapon at the school, or anywhere.  

Any employee can carry a weapon, but no employee is required to.  Training should be available for those who want it, but not required, because we don’t want to identify those who may be armed in any way.  The schools could sell weapons wholesale, but on a strictly confidential basis, for the same reason. 

Even if nobody in the school was armed, something I hope would never happen, the psycho would see the sign, ALL EMPLOYEES IN THIS BUILDING ARE PERMITTED TO CARRY CONCEALED FIREARMS and go elsewhere.  

Any supervisor who objects to that sign should be fired. What that person is doing is maintaining the invisible sign, easily read by the psychopath, that reads: THIS IS A GUN FREE ZONE. NOBODY WILL STOP YOU FROM KILLING OUR CHILDREN. 

Stupid.  Really, really stupid. 


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