Light ‘Em Up: How the Sparks Shooting Provides a Blueprint for School Safety



I have seen the light.


Due to the recent school shooting in Sparks, Nevada, I have finally come around and done something I thought I could never do:  I now agree with Wayne LaPierre.


We need more good guys with guns, especially at schools.


Now, people will argue that this most recent school shooting happened on a playground outside and that there was nothing that could be done.  That’s not true.  As Mr. LaPierre has previously suggested, we need to beef up security at schools nationwide.  Not only do we need metal detectors upon entering, but we also need trained staff who are capable of handling firearms throughout the entire school campus.  The Sparks incident has made this glaringly obvious.


So, who do we arm?


First of course are the teachers.  They are the ones who constantly have children from grades 1 through 12 enter and leave their rooms every day.  If something should happen in a classroom, if there is a good teacher with a gun that greatly diminishes the chance of the bad guy with the gun of doing something horrible.  So classroom teachers obviously get firearms and firearm training.


In addition, any aides or support staff in the classrooms should also have firearms and firearm training.  You never know when an emergency is going to arise and the regular classroom teacher might have to leave the room, leaving the aides or support staff alone, albeit momentarily, in the room.  These support staff should go through the same training as the regular classroom teachers in order to be equipped to handle their weapons should the need ever arise for them to take action and take out the bad guy with a gun.


Along those lines, school districts should also have any and all substitute teachers take gun training classes and bring their firearms to their on-site locations.  There’s a high probability that the bad guy with a gun will try and do something on a day where he knows his regularly trained classroom teacher won’t be in the classroom.  If we have a well-trained substitute in the room, ready to take action if needed, that greatly diminishes the chance the bad guy will attempt to cause pain or damage.


As well as teachers, administrators custodial staff, and cafeteria staff should also have training and firearms on them at all times.  Administrators often roam the halls as part of their daily routine, so it is important that they are visible with their firearm to any and all potential bad guys.  They should be seen as the ultimate authority and should present aura of intimidation to anybody even considering an evil act.  As for the custodial staff, by having training and a firearm handy, they immediately put themselves in a position to take out any perpetrators in restrooms, cafeterias, locker rooms, locked storage areas, and any other locale on campus where a bad guy might try to hide.  Lastly, for the cafeteria staff, having training as well as a firearm handy puts them in a position to deal with any potential bad guys should they somehow and some way make it all the way to the school cafeteria.


This essentially covers daily campus security.  However, we also need to make sure there are those in close to proximity to the school and those that occasionally use school facilities are also trained and have firearms on them at all times.  This includes crossing guards, traffic monitors, and other volunteers to help student programs before and after school.  These don’t necessarily have to be school employees, but can be anyone from the community who works with students at the school site.  Therefore, we should also train and arm any local coaches, youth group coordinators and pastors, YMCA staff, and community volunteers that use the school and its facilities at any time during the week.  We also should train and arm any members of the school’s PTA as they are involved during various meetings both during the day as well as during the evening at the school and who are closely tied to the school even though they are not part of the official school staff.


Lastly, we need to make sure those people that transport students to and from school are trained and armed in case a bad guy should appear.  Therefore, school bus drivers should be given the necessary resources to ensure student safety.  Schools should also train and provide firearms to any local charter bus drivers who might be called upon to take students to away games or on lengthy field trips with local school buses are unavailable.  We also need to ensure that student arrivals and departures are safe and secure.  We can do this by providing gun training and a firearm to all parents who either drop off their own son or daughter or parents who run a neighborhood carpool.  In addition to parents, we also should provide gun training and a firearm to anyone who might be entrusted with picking up a student.  This group includes but is not limited to grandparents, extended family, step-parents, older siblings, and family friends just to name a few.


I know what you’re thinking.  It seems like a lot of effort just for one single school.  But just think of how much overlap there will be that will help ensure the safety of other schools as well.  The substitute teacher is now armed no matter where he or she teaches.  The local ball coach is now armed no matter which school his team is practicing at this week.  The parent is now armed no matter whether he or she drops off a child at elementary, middle, or high school.  With the community having all these firearms in the hands of good people, there leaves little to no opportunity for bad guys with guns to try and cause chaos anywhere near our schools.  Not only are our schools and communities safer, but now each and every member of the community can go to bed at night knowing they safe from the bad guys with guns.


And all it takes to achieve this peace of mind is to distribute a few guns here and there.



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