The Corner

Politics & Policy

Arm Teachers

(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

I agree with everything my colleague David French wrote this morning about yesterday’s tragedy. We are facing a jarring rise of highly deadly mass shootings — even if such incidents remain a tiny share of our overall homicide problem — and we must remain vigilant in our communities. I further agree with Jim Geraghty that authorities must act on the information they receive. Too often when these things happen, there were warning signs that should have led to action before anyone was killed.

Also, we can make schools more secure.

As Robby Soave notes over at Reason, many schools have already taken numerous steps, such as installing metal detectors; Marjory Stoneman Douglas itself has a resource officer. There are also downsides to putting more cops in schools, such as their growing involvement in what should be mere discipline issues.

But here are two reforms that schools can make at minimal expense. First, if they have unarmed security guards, they can hire armed ones instead. And two, they can pay their teachers a little extra to become trained as armed security guards and carry guns while on the job. Per the Houston Chronicle’s Chron.com,

The amount of training required [to become an armed guard] in each state varies. In Oklahoma, for instance, applicants must complete two phases of unarmed guard training, for a total of 40 hours, and 32 hours of firearms training; Tennessee requires only four hours of unarmed guard training and eight hours of firearms training.

That’s something a teacher could easily accomplish during summer vacation, even if schools insisted on rigorous training. If a few teachers in each school did this, schools would gain a line of defense against shooters without hiring more personnel or introducing more police officers into the school environment.

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