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Retired FBI Official Michael Mason: Arming Teachers? Dumbest Idea Ever Proposed

Michael Mason is a retired Executive Assistant Director of the FBI.

Mike Mason/fbi photo

By Michael Mason
For ticklethewire.com

The recent mass shooting in Connecticut was an act of incomprehensible evil.

However, in the wake of this tragedy we need to ensure we come together to present thoughtful and effective ideas to reduce the probability of such an act ever occurring again. Arming teachers is categorically not a recommendation that should enjoy any consideration at all.

The probability of having an active shooter incident at any particular school is infinitesimally small. The ridiculous suggestion of arming teachers would actually increase that probability simply by virtue of putting thousands of guns in schools which today have none.

There is a huge difference between handing someone a gun and ensuring they receive the proper training to effectively engage that gun when required to do so.

Training is not a once and done endeavor, it must be continuous, and be required.  It is difficult enough to hit a paper target that is not shooting back at you.

Imagine the average teacher having to use that gun under the most adverse circumstances imaginable. We expect Ms. Jones, a great, compassionate, effective teacher, to now become an extension of the police department’s SWAT team?

We expect her to run to the sound of gun fire, through all the chaos and noise and effectively use that gun that has been locked in her drawer for the past 11 years? Really, can there be a more absurd notion circulating around the country.

Owning a gun and genuinely being prepared, psychologically and physically, to use it are two entirely different concepts.

I carried a gun for 23 years and in that time only experience one occasion during which I thought I was going to have to shoot another man. I did not think, “Go ahead…make my day.”

I clearly remember thinking, “Please don’t make me shoot you.” Although I was committed to doing so, I remain grateful to this day I did not have to shoot that individual. My point is that the concept of going from teacher one moment to effectively deploying deadly force in the next moment goes far beyond simply having access to a firearm.

The mass shooting in Connecticut absolutely demands that we address the issue of gun control. It is equally important that we not simply react, but rather engage in intelligent, thoughtful discussions to develop solutions that will genuinely impact this horrendous situation. Arming teachers is simply a dumb idea which deserves not a second more of serious consideration.

 

 


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