Even if we ban guns today, in any realistic situation, there would still be tens of millions of guns in circulation. This fact means that in order to give teachers a real fighting chance,we must be trained and armed. As a teacher at the college level right now all I can legally do is be a human shield. Professors and teachers are the true FIRST* responders in an active shooting situation at a school. We are the only ones who are expected to go into a potentially dangerous situation completely unprotected other than with the armor of our title and the supposed power of our position.
According to the best statistics available there are approximately 300 million guns in the United States 1. Most are owned by a relative minority who are licensed, and at least minimally trained. If a realistic gun ban, with buy back, was passed at the federal level, even if it made possession of a gun a felony after a couple years, at least 10% of the guns would remain.
That means roguhly 30 million unregistered black market guns in a post gun ban America.
Understand that. Even if we had a realistic gun ban right now the guns won't just evaporate.
If someone is truly deranged and wants to shoot up a room they will. They will pay the black market price and they will have free reign to shoot and murder on a college campus.
This is how Laurence Lurio a friend of mine and Professor at my Alma Matter, Northern Illinois University puts it.
STEP 1 Would probably stop not only school shootings but any other violence.
When that happens what should I do?
This is what the department of homeland security recommends right now in summary. It is a virtual training tool. Which runs us through various scenarios in a very ... Grand Theft Auto IV or V like environment. It is very through and talks about all first responders. Which includes teachers for this situation according to DHS*. 2 3
According to that training as this video shows this is basically what I should do.
Play dead! That's the big plan right now.
Then wait for the big strong heroic police or firemen to rescue me. Isnt' that just yummy! Gaaaggg me.
When that happens what would I do?
For me that would be the last option. Option one would be to get my students out of that school alive even at the expense of my own life by any means necessary. Right now, unarmed, that is a combination of running, hiding, and physically tackling someone with a gun for what little that would be worth. That too would be a last option. Option one is get my students THEN myself the hell out of there.
I know I can do this type of thing. I live in an area more dangerous than average. The near western suburbs of Chicago. Maywood, Bellwood, Melrose Park and so on. I know I can react when shooting happens around me at random without loosing my head. (God willing, not literally, so far.)
If armed what would or could I do?
Right now I am licensed to own firearms in the state of Illinois. I had to have a background check to get that. Not to mention I have had background checks up the yin yang to become part time faculty at three community colleges.
I have been accused of things in the past. I am after all a multiple minority, that's part of our lives. I have never been convicted of anything because in our system, in the end, truth and fairness win out. What is true is indestructible no matter how much falsehood it is buried under. I believe in the fundamentals of our system and that background checks can be done fairly and not for confiscatory purposes.
I would pass any background check. Then go through whatever training it takes and get licensed and permitted to carry a gun at school for the defense of my students. As such my being armed would have to be known to school security and local police. They would have to know of any and all armed teachers.
I would MOSTLY do what the government training video above says. BUT if laying down and playing dead does not work*. There would be the LAST DITCH OPTION of shooting whoever it is right in their f..ing head.
I KNOW I know that has not happened in one of these situations yet. We haven't had armed teachers who could do such a thing yet. Instead all we have are moving memorials about how brave they were as they got shot to save their students.
Even if all that happens is we slow the shooter down a bit, distract them a bit more, while more of our students flee. By presenting a more credible obstacle to their rampage armed teachers can be an assert IF this is done right. Let those of us who want the tools, and are qualified to have the tools, use them to protect those who we do in fact serve, educate and evaluate.
Nobody messes with my students... except me! I may complain about my students disrespect some times when I get home but I would lay down my life for them in a heartbeat!
1 Scott Horsley, Guns In America, By The Numbers, NPR (https://www.npr.org/2016/01/05/462017461/guns-in-america-by-the-numbers) January 5th 2016
2 Valerie Strauss, And now, online teacher training for active shooters in schools, courtesy of the Department of Homeland Security (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2018/02/05/and-now-o...)
3 Department of Homeland Security, EDGE Virtual Training Revisited (https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/edge-virtual-training-revisit...)
4 Screen grab of a government video posted on YouTube. As a derivative of a non copywrightable government work this also cannot be copywrighted. Otherwise one could make a photocopy of a government publication and copywright that.
*No disrespect to the police meant. But if an active shooter situation starts the teachers are right there and what we do will be the difference between the number of deaths.