Monday, March 10, 2014
By Ralph K. Ginorio
LIMINGTON - As a veteran public school history teacher, I know that allowing teachers to qualify to carry concealed firearms on campus is not only feasible, it is essential.
No other safety plan has an equivalent potential to limit the harm that an aspiring mass murderer would otherwise achieve.
Our decaying public morals, unrestrictive mental health regulations, and ACLU-fettered law enforcement create a cocktail where psychopaths walk among us without fear.
Motivated by madness, fascinated by evil, baffled by existence and lacking a capacity for mercy, they cannot be wished away. They exist, awaiting the triggering event that will begin their hunt for the rest of us.
After the first murder has been committed, the murderer will go on killing until they run out of ammunition, commit suicide, or are stopped by force.
The police can almost never get to the killer before atrocity has been committed. Only well-trained and armed professionals on the scene have any chance of preventing murder from becoming mass murder.
In schools, this means teachers.
Willing teachers should be allowed to apply for a state police-administered training program. They should undergo background checks, physical examination, and psychological screening as would candidates for police service.
They should do so, at least partially at their own expense. Only those who are willing to make a serious commitment of one's own time and money should be considered serious enough to accept the responsibilities of a protector.
Those who pass through the screening phase should then engage in a weeks-long training course, administered by the State Police. This training would develop physical fitness, firearms proficiency, tactical awareness and, most of all, good judgment.
Anyone entrusted with the potential use of lethal force to protect the rest of us needs good judgment.
As the State Police trains its own candidates on the many alternatives to drawing and firing a weapon, teacher candidates would learn the complex art of crisis response. They would learn how to notice details, set priorities, adapt to sudden changes, work towards a common objective and, most of all, keep people alive whenever possible.
This includes, if possible, keeping the perpetrator alive if such a possibility exists.
However, we know that there are cases where the only way to stop atrocity is to use lethal force. Teachers, schools, parents and communities need to look unflinchingly at the reality that schools are now among the softest targets in our society, despite their housing our most precious treasure.
The type of teacher training I have described is absolutely necessary if we really want to make our children genuinely safer than they are right now.
I have described here a dictionary definition for a "well-regulated militia." It is absolutely in harmony with both liberal and conservative interpretations of the Second Amendment.
With none of the romance but with all of the urgency, our schools are now on a wild frontier. As our pioneer ancestors worked together for their mutual protection, so must we now work together for the good of our students.
I am willing to subject myself right now to any expenses, screenings and training that might be necessary for me to qualify to help protect my students. I know that I am not alone in my desire to do this within my profession.
Our very lives, and the lives of our students, are in the balance. Gun-control will not save anyone, nor will dreaming a liberal dream of peace where such ugliness can be wished away.
If someone comes into my school with murder on his mind, I want the opportunity to stop this threat. I want to do so in as safe and controlled a fashion as possible, but I want to do more than die before my kids.
I want to have the chance to stop the aggressor before he harms a hair on anyone's head. Only by being screened, trained and ar®med can I have any reasonable chance of saving innocent lives.
Ralph K. Ginorio teaches world history and chairs the history department at Sacopee Valley High School.