As residents of Newtown, Conn., began burying the 20 children and six adults killed in Friday's school shooting, a South Dakota legislator is drafting a bill that would allow teachers, administrators and even janitors to bring guns to school.
Rep. Betty Olson, R-Prairie City, told The Associated Press on Monday that she believes armed school personnel could have mitigated the Newtown massacre.
"Those children and teachers, that was like shooting fish in a barrel," Olson said.
The bill wouldn't require school personnel to be armed, she said, but it would allow those who have concealed weapons permits to bring their firearms into the building [Amber Hunt, "Conn. Deaths to Spark Gun Debate in SD Legislature," AP via Mitchell Daily Republic, 2012.12.17].
Rep. Olson faces many challenges. She'll need to figure out how to repeal federal law from Pierre. She'll answer whether in the event of a shooting, she really wants every janitor and myopic French teacher drawing into a crossfire (an issue we discussed in 2008 in the context of that year's guns-on-campus bill).
Oh, wait: Rep. Olson already has an answer:
In a scenario described by Olson, armed school personnel could have felled Lanza with a lethal shot by waiting for him to reload or turn his head. Olson dismissed the idea that people attempting to intervene could injure others in the crossfire or become victims themselves.
"They're going to be dead regardless, the way I see it, so (being armed) is the only chance they've got," she said [Hunt/AP, 2012.12.17].
You kids are dead anyway, so at least let some John-Wayne fantasists go out in a blaze of glory.
I'll start working on my testimony to House State Affairs. But let me say this: allow people to carry guns in my school, and I will feel less secure, not more. Guns will not solve my students' practical, daily problems. As a teacher, a parent, and a believer in democracy, I have an obligation to embody to my children the belief that in America, we solve problems with communication and cooperation, not with force. If I bring a gun to my classroom, I signal to my students that democracy and civilization don't work.
Related: I have mistakenly told people that Israeli teachers carry weapons. They do not. You can't carry a gun into an Israeli school. Israel has tougher gun control laws than the United States. It also has fewer school shootings.
Also Related: Steve Sibson and Pat Powers are both desperately trying to keep guns out of the debate. Sibson wants to blame the banning of the Bible (which hasn't happened) and violent video games (which I'll agree may have a desensitizing effect). Powers wants to talk, a little more sensibly, about properly treating mental illness... which will require increasing public health expenses to take the burden of caring for the mentally ill off parents.