I’ve been shot in combat. And as a veteran, I’m telling you: allowing teachers to be armed is an asinine idea


After the most recent school shooting, this time at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where a 19-year old gunman was charged with killing 17 people, debate flows freely, yet again, on how to best prevent these tragedies from ever happening. Anyone with a heart can surely agree this is the overall goal. The morning after the shooting, NC State Representative Larry Pittman (R-Cabarrus County) stated that he wants to work with police to train and allow teachers to carry guns in attempt to limit the death and destruction caused during a school shooting.

“We have to get over this useless hysteria about guns and allow school personnel to have a chance to defend their lives and those of their students,” Pittman said during a meeting of the Joint Legislative Emergency Management Oversight Committee, as reported by the News & Observer.

Defending children is a must, but putting a firearm in the hands of even the most trained teacher isn’t the answer. Anyone suggesting this solution has clearly never experienced a situation like the one seen in Parkland because it oversimplifies the complexity of an active shooter situation, especially in close-quarters. It is not as easy as a “good guy with a gun stopping a bad guy with a gun.”

I ask that you take a few minutes to understand my perspective and why I feel strongly about this matter. Before recently moving to Charlotte, I served for three and half years as an Army infantryman, stationed at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska, and I deployed to Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province in 2011. By the time my tour was over, I left a place that claimed two members from my company, cost six others at least one limb, wounded over 25 percent of our total force, and left me with shrapnel in my face and a bullet hole in my left thigh. When I saw the news flash of another school shooting I couldn’t help but think of the firefights I had been involved in and how these students and teachers just encountered their own version of Afghanistan.

Make no mistake, the fear and chaos they faced is no different than what my fellow soldiers and I faced in Afghanistan—a fear and chaos that I still remember like it happened yesterday.

“Martin! MARTIN!” is still audible in my mind six and half years later. I turned and saw three members of my platoon pinned down in the field behind me. Their screams still clear as day, as they called for help. A routine patrol in the Panjwa’i District had turned into an ambush, with us taking fire from three enemy positions, some as close as 20 yards (the distance of a pitcher’s mound to home plate). I, along with some of my fellow soldiers, began to return suppressive fire. Just as the first man safely reached us, the feeling of Arnold Schwarzenegger swinging a sledgehammer into my leg rushed over my body. That’s what being shot by a high-powered assault rifle felt like to me.

Assisted by an extremely calm and poised Sergeant, I was able to move to cover in a canal, as bullets cracked and whizzed by my head and exploded in the dirt around me. The sound a bullet makes as it passes mere inches away is another sound that will forever stay with me.

Luckily, or so I thought at the time, a medic was already there to start administering aid. There was only one problem. The medic froze.

The medic, who had spent at least the last year of his life training for this exact moment, could not move. When this news made its way down the line to the other medics, they came to my location and ensured I received proper medical attention.

The bullet traveled through my left thigh, shredded my left hip flexor, moved through my left butt cheek before ultimately stopping halfway in the right one (there’s a Forest Gump joke in there somewhere). Big picture, the bullet missed my colon and spine by a half-inch and traveled over a foot inside my body.

Now, I share this story not to draw attention to my actions during this firefight or as a condemnation of the medic. I simply want to illustrate how even the best trained members of the military react differently when bullets start flying. Someone shooting at you, specifically trying to kill you, is probably the most terrifying life event a person could ever experience.

Regardless of training, you don’t know how people will respond in life and death situations until the moment comes. You don’t know how people will react when they hear gunshots. You don’t know how people will react when the person next to them is shot. You don’t know how a person will respond when their task is shooting someone they know or taught. You just don’t know.

And now we are expecting teachers, even with training, to perfectly handle this situation. I say perfectly because anything less could mean even more tragedy and death. This isn’t a movie where bullets always miss the hero. These teachers aren’t action stars. These are average people, who more likely than not, have never come close to experiencing anything like this.

Martin comes on the C5 Podcast to respond to your comments

After having this article viewed more than 1.8 million times and commented on close to 500 times, Martin decided to come on the CharlotteFive podcast to answer some of the questions posed in this article’s comments section. He responds to comments on gun-free zones, guns in schools being a deterrent, potential unintended consequences of bringing guns into schools, hiring veterans to protect schools and more.

Few people actually run towards gunfire. Most search for cover. Some can’t function. Fight or flight. Adrenaline floods your body. Time doesn’t exist. Your heart beats outside of your chest. Fine motor skills stop working. People urinate and defecate themselves. Good luck holding steady aim at a moving target. Even the simplest of tasks, such as reloading can become difficult. Your hands shake for hours afterward. It’s chaotic on a level that is beyond comprehension until you experience it.

This what I want you to consider when the discussion moves toward Rep. Pittman’s assumption that allowing teachers to arm themselves is the proper action to take.

“There is barely enough time in the school year to train teachers on basic lesson planning and data use,” a friend who currently works for CMS told me. “So adding weaponry is just so absurd.”

Members of the military and police spend hours, days and weeks at a time training with their weapons. They train on close quarter tactics with partners, teams, squads and platoons. Safety and awareness is ingrained in you from day one. Dry runs are the norm. You practice and train methodically, going door by door, hallway to hallway, communicating and marking cleared rooms as you pass.

You do this over, and over and over. Why? Because no two professions better understand the devastation of a gun when things go wrong. No two professions better understand the actual stress of being shot at and the absolute need to remember and implement the months and years of training for these exact types of situations. The margin for error in close quarters combat, such as a school environment, is razor thin. There is a reason it’s already part of a profession that involves life and death decision making and not placed in the skillset of a high school math teacher.

The only responsibility a teacher should have during a school shooting is ensuring the safety of the students in their classroom. Period. They should be barricading doors to ensure the shooter can’t enter and leading the students by example as they implement active shooter lockdown procedures.

Further, Rep. Pittman totally disregards that a person or teacher with a gun, even with the best intentions, can create a tragedy on their own. There are what ifs on top of what ifs. What if during the chaos of an active shooter situation a teacher shoots an innocent student? Are we willing to accept this as a society? What if the teacher is shot (a very likely scenario)? What if the shooter knows exactly who the armed teachers on campus are? What if on a regular day a teacher goes to break up a fight in the hallway and the firearm is accidentally discharged?

According to an FBI study about active shooter situations, police officers who engaged the shooter were wounded or killed in 46.7 percent of the incidents. We’re talking about individuals who are specifically trained to respond to these situations and not teachers trained over the the weekend or during summer break.

The potential collateral damage is not worth it. There are just too many possible negative outcomes and risks that so severely outweigh the small chance that they stop an active shooter threat, where most of the death and destruction is carried out in the first few minutes. If you don’t believe me, watch here to see what can happen in this exact situation.

This piece is not meant as a knock against teachers, nor am I by any means questioning their bravery in these situations. God knows our country has seen example after example of teachers and students shielding others from gunfire. Heroic doesn’t begin to fully explain the bravery of the person behind those actions. I’m completely certain there are teachers willing to volunteer for this role and almost positive that some have already secretly brought a firearm into school. I don’t question a teacher’s commitment toward protecting their students.

My goal here is to bring the reality of the situation to the forefront. Politicians who are blasé about the complexity and rigorous training required for these types of engagements and who underestimate the physical, physiological and psychological toll a combat environment brings to those involved, should be forced to place themselves in these types of simulations.

Ultimately, I’m saddened by the fact that we’ve reached a point where people in this country want teachers to arm themselves as moonlight deputies. I don’t have all the answers, but I’m confident that arming teachers isn’t the answer—now or ever.

Photo: Rich Pedroncelli – AP


  1. Sgt. Matt Martin, thank you for your for your service. You are a brave soldier and you make Americans proud. We understand war is hell and each person will respond to the horrors differently. However, not knowing how our soldiers will respond does not deter us from training, preparing and deploying. I for one would rather have a fighting chance (whether I took it or not) than not have any chance at all. Gun free zones are target rich environments. School shooters and terrorists are COWARDS in my book; targeting the unarmed. Schools, movie theaters, military compounds (military compounds!) are target rich environments for the cowards who want to commit mass murder. Put a gun somewhere in a school, in the hand of a teacher, a law enforcement officer, etc, and you will do much to DETER the coward. If the COWARD enters the building with bad intent, he/she will exit the building in a body bag.

      • “An”, one guard ( I haven’t read he was armed – but regardless) for an entire school? Really? What the author is missing is that the simple knowledge that 10-20 teachers may be armed, could be enough deterrent in itself. There are millions of civilians carrying and ‘yes’ many do not train and go through the extensive situation, specific classes that law enforcement goes through, but the “unknown if armed” factor DOES work. I can also tell you that it is human nature (self-survival instinct) if someone was sitting outside two businesses – wanting to rob them, and one business was known to have armed employees and the other had a “No Guns Allowed” sign in the window; they would attack the second one. This is the problem with “Gun Free Zones”! There is NEVER enough protection in these areas, outside of Government buildings, banks, etc. I haven’t gone back to our Mall since they went Gun Free! Their Security carries a walkie-talkie and pepper-spray. When you start making a place “Gun Free’ or anti-Constitutional, you should be 100% liable for any loss of life or injury caused on that property. A Security Guard or two, even armed, is not a deterrent in a large venue. The thought that there are dozens of possible armed people – IS! So the teachers that he is so worried about because they weren’t trained like he was, may not ever even have to unholster their weapon… but in the event that they had to – their chances are still 50/50. They were “ZERO’ in this and most other similar shooting. I respect the author’s duty (my father put 20 years in and fought in 3 wars/conflicts); I respect his right to his opinion and Freedom of Speech, but I do not in anyway think his premise has been completely thought out.

        • Schools aren’t chosen by other kids sometimes class mates because they are soft targets. It’s because they’re angry at those students or the school. They plan to die so more guns is no detergent.
          Also notoriety… it is the one place that we care about everybody…we don’t decide which students matter…we care about all of them so it will always make the news when it happens. Learn about the motive and prevent the means and this will stop!

          • May not be a deterrent. But more likely the assailant goes out in a body bag and lives are saved. And this scenario has played out just like that many a time… not that the media has any interest in covering those stories.

          • i agree…most of the shooters are on a suicide/homicide mission … bullying…ostracism … lack of capacity to deal with troubled kids…unbridled anger …all are factors … daunting and no perfect answers to prevent or address once the trigger/s are pulled

          • Then arm all of the schools. Why are you all so against teachers protecting themselves and their students. Why all the hate?

          • It’s because they’re e kids, who happen to be angry; usually not because of other children/the school, but instead something deeper from home.
            Their fellow students & school being pretty much the entirety of a kids whole world, they bring their issue or dysfunction into school with them and become overwhelmed, unable to process the complicated feelings between their personal issues, their social issues and both sets of problems combined.

          • @joel TEACHERS DON’T WANT TO BE ARMED. Your sick gun obsession has nothing to do with protecting kids!
            If, god forbid, there was an active shooter situation at my school, my job is to stay with my kids, not run off trying to be Rambo! And if someone breaks open that door, and I’ve got a gin in my hands, I have LESS than a 50-50 shot, because I am not NEARLY as well trained as police, and also, I damn care about killing someone, and the shooter doesn’t! What if the person breaking the door open is SWAT? I have to identify the shooter before I shoot, and the shooter doesn’t care about that. And if it is SWAT, do you think they’ll ask me nicely to put down my gun? In an active shooter situation, anyone with a gun is going to immediately be perceived as a threat.
            That it’s IF there was an active shooter situation– as sadly common as shootings have become in America, that’s statistically still very unlikely. Odds are that I would never be in that situation, and yet you have still would want teachers to carry guns…as if the guns can’t do any possible harm. Well, here’s the thing. No matter how responsible people are, they tend to slip up eventually. Ever heard the phrase “comfort breeds complacency”? The more comfortable a teacher gets with taking their weapon to work, and the more time passes without incident, the more complacent they are likely to get. In Idaho, a professor shot himself in the foot during class with his concealed carry weapon. In Utah, another teacher accidentally shot herself in the leg while using the school bathroom. Also in Utah, an elementary teacher set down a loaded gun in the bathroom and forget about it– didn’t miss it at all until a kid found it and reported it. These are SERIOUS incidents that could have killed a child (or teacher). And you want to take that situation and replicate it across thousands of classrooms all over the country?

          • Ur an udiot … schools are chosen by fkn cowards precisely because they are no gun zones … I can’t remember ever hearing about a police station being attacked by one of these fucking liberal piece of shit.

        • The problems are not gun free zones. It’s the wildly varied gun culture combined with numerous, wildly varied issues with north american culture in general. There are problems with law, crime, culture and mentally unhealthy people.

          Also, maybe armed maybe not doesny mean squat to most people willing to open fire in a school. They got screws loose that just dont give a hoot.

          Armed teaches do open the door to extra risk. Shots fired in the hallway, someone comes barging through the door seeking safety and gets shot because someone in that room is armed and scared shitless. There are a whole slew of issues that simply make it risky. Is it worth it? I have a hard time accepting that risk across thousands of schools.

          • But, that makes no sense! At least having the ability to defend themselves from someone with a gun is better than just hiding and taking the bullet without a choice!!
            Trained to shoot accurately is all that is needed, they don’t need police and military training to defend themselves and the students…wow, so the concept of what if, maybe, and this could happen if, has no bearing on the right to defend oneself from another person with a gun…I would rather have a fighting chance than lay there in the floor and stare up at him and just take the bullet….makes sense to me

          • “Also, maybe armed maybe not doesny mean squat to most people willing to open fire in a school. They got screws loose that just dont give a hoot.”

            Several of the last shooters explicitly writing about targeting poorly-defended locations is a pretty hard contradiction for this. On top of this all except 2 successful public mass shootings in the last 30 years have been in gun-free zones.

          • Sian.
            If you could provide your sources for the shooters writing explicitly about targeting gun free zones.

            As for your other comment that all but 2 public shootings over the last 30 years were in gun free zones.
            A Stanford database on mass shootings (defined as three or more shooting victims injured or killed, not including the shooter). Shootings that are gang- or drug-related are not included.

            The dataset includes 153 incidents going back to the beginning of 2002.
            Of the 54 incidents that fit the criteria, the shooter chose locations where guns were banned 37 times. Shootings occurred where guns were legally allowed 17 times. So that refutes your statement.
            You may be thinking of Lt Gov Dan Patrick of Texas comments (which probably came from Lott’s study) or John Lott Jr’s study. But both said. “every one of the mass shootings except two in America since 1950 have been” in “gun-free zones,”
            Lott’s study had a very restrictive definition of mass shootings which caused the study to be skewed. The numbers change when you use the the more standard definition of mass shootings.


        • Your premise hasn’t been well thought out. In fact, you’re missing the obvious- that armed teachers/staff would NOT be a deterrent in these situations. All these school shooters are on suicidal vendettas and expect to die, either at the hands of law enforcement or by killing themselves.

          • This is not true. Some shooters, like the FL shooter, have no intention of dying. He shot the place up very quickly and then he ran.

            32 people were shot dead at Virginia Tech; 17 wounded. How many would have been killed had even 10% of the teachers been armed? Would the shooter have even entered the building?

          • You are completely wrong about the Parkland killer…he left his gun and walked out with the students, stopped at a McDonald’s for a snack; and was a mile or more away before he was spotted by the police. Doesn’t sound very suicidal to me.

        • Your premise hasn’t been well thought out. You’re missing the obvious- that armed teachers/staff would NOT be a deterrent in these situations. All these school shooters are on suicidal vendettas and expect to die, either at the hands of law enforcement or by killing themselves. A deterrent assumes the behavior of a rational response from a person acting in their own self-interest. These people intend to die, not survive.

          • When carjacking became “fashionable” among inner-city gangs, a few states passed “shoot the carjacker” laws allowing carjacking victims to shoot back without criminal or civil recourse. Carjackings in those states dropped to zero or near-zero overnight.

            Not every mass shooter is on a suicide mission, and the possibility of an armed victim universally leads them to a softer target. Even a shooter who is on a suicide mission will choose a target where they can do more damage before they die.

          • @Jason, that’s not evidence. That’s your opinion and perceptions with no facts or data or statistics, and even if you had any data to back up your claims, a school shooter isn’t comparable to a car-jacker. Car-jackers are stealing and hoping to get away with their prize and get some money or something out of it. School shooters are just killing because they want to kill, and just because some have escaped alive, doesn’t mean they were afraid to die, or didn’t expect they would be probably be shot.

        • He was armed, and he was right outside the building, and maybe he could have stopped the shooter. He has been suspended, and now resigned. Here’s the video of him standing outside doing nothing. If an armed guard froze, just the way this experienced military veteran describes in the article, what do you expect teachers to do, for god’s sakes? We’re not trained to kill people! We’re trained to help them grow up! https://www.cbsnews.com/news/florida-school-shooting-nikolas-cruz-scot-peterson-armed-security-officer/

          • Experienced military veteran?
            Uh, I guess, technically. But stil just a kid… and green. He was what, 19? 20?.
            Colin Powell is an experienced military veteran.
            The 40something private contractors hired by the military to do what those in uniform often lack courage to, are also experienced military veterans.

          • The SRO had no skin in the game. He would be safe so long as he stayed away from the shooting.

            Meanwhile the teachers could be fighting for their very lives, and the lives of the students they value over their own.

            You can be damn sure they’ll fight back if given the tools.

        • Tim the frequent fact in these situations is that the killer doesn’t care if he lives or dies. In fact they often commit suicide as part of the massacre. They want to die and they want to take a bunch of innocent people with them. They’re not rational, they’re very, very sick. They wouldn’t react rationally to a sign saying there may be guns here so watch out!. It’s a stupid, stupid idea. Read the article again with an open mind, instead of the NRA-fueled knee jerk reaction you just had.

          • So, your argument is, having unarmed teachers and “gun free” schools then? Please provide your statistical evidence of this winning combination b/c current news and recent stats are not with you. Someone who doesn’t care if they die will NOT get a gun, tool, or object if had better laws? The phrase you you level with is: “CRAZY FINDS A WAY”. Prepare accordingly.

          • Nope. Wrong. “Gun control” (whatever that means) isn’t going to happen no matter how much you leftist loons dream about it.

        • Many mass murderers take their own lives before capture. I don’t believe a school shooter will care much which bullet, his or a teacher’s (should said teacher be lucky enough to hit the target), takes him down. So, NOT a deterrent, by my way of thinking.

          • Cho from VA Tech didn’t, Nikolas Cruz didn’t, Dylan Roof didn’t…..SOME take their own lives some don’t. The key is to respond quickly and minimize the killing. Any teacher opting to be armed would have to qualify, so I’m not sure about being lucky. It’s all about training. I think it might be a deterrent, but I’m not completely sold on arming teachers. I’m leaning towards having armed security at all entry/exit points and let the teachers teach.

          • It’s a deterrent because these shooters are driven by the rabid media to try to achieve a noteworthy score, and they can’t do this if they take the room temperature challenge the moment after they start shooting.

          • so rather than the possibility of a school employee shooting the attacker and ending the attack sooner.. you advocate for allowing the rampage to go on until the authorities to arrive.. giving the shooter another 5 to 10 minutes to kill innocent children.

        • And even if we were to arm everyone, it’s still treating the symptom and not the cause. People with mental deficiencies will find ways to stir up trouble, regardless if it comes at the cost of their own lives.

          What we need is dialogue to help those with mental illness cope and to end the stigma. Pushing people away will only serve to drive them to these acts which will only perpetuate the need for even a further need for guns.

          • In other developed countries, there are mental illness patients as well. Mental illness is global, it doesn’t care. Yet, the U.S. leads all the other developed countries when it comes to firearms deaths, and definitely in mass shootings. The difference between Australia + several European nations, and the U.S. isn’t the rate of mental illness, it’s that people in those countries have far less access to guns. In other words, gun control laws. They still have mental illness, but they don’t have access to guns as we do. That’s what we need.

            As for the cause, I’m all for better funded mental health programs for people of all socioeconomic levels, including the homeless. That’s something all countries have to deal with, and that’s not gonna change. However, access to guns is something that we *can* change.

        • “and a map on the school’s website, more than a dozen smaller buildings comprise the school’s 45-acre campus, which is home to more than 3,100 students.” http://abc13DOTKOM

        • These crazies assume they will probably be taken out or they take their own life… l don’t think more guns would be a deterrent, in fact these idiots would look at it as a challenge…so now you got two sides shooting back n forth at each other! Ingenious!

          • Laptops, phones, belt buckles, soda cans, thermos bottles, braces all metal.

            Nope, can’t see any problem with your plan at all.

        • I’m a teacher. When I hear THE MAIN solution to mass shooting is to arm teachers, that tells me you are expecting, and accepting, that mass shootings will continue to happen. That is NOT an acceptable solution! An unmodified AR-15 can fire on average what? 40-45 rounds in a minute? So I’m in my class, its midway into our block so my students are in three smaller groups. One group is working on technology one group is reading independently, and I’m teaching a lesson to the last group on main idea – because teaching is actually what I am supposed to be doing. Suddenly I hear gunshots. By the time I am able to even process what is happening, lots of people will already be dead. If my room is the first target, I might be dead before realizing what is going on. Having a gun won’t help me in that scenario. But say I’m not the first target; I have a concealed gun and a room full of terrified students. Can we escape safely? If so protocol says we should escape. Do I, the teacher with a gun, go with my students to make sure they get away safely or do I stay behind with my little handgun and try to engage the shooter, who has an assault rifle? Or maybe escape is not possible so we are supposed deny the shooter entry/barricade and stay out of sight. Do I stay in the secured and barricaded classroom and stay out of sight with my students or am I supposed unlock/unbarricade the door, leave the room (lock myself out? leave it unlocked so I can quickly get back in?), and try to engage the shooter who has an assault rifle? When the cops show up am I going to be a target and be shot before the cops realize I was a “good guy with a gun”? I mean come on people, for F^@k’s sake, we can’t have THE MAIN PLAN be –let the teacher handle it with a pistol when the shooter with an assault rifle reaches the kids in the classroom — that is NOT an acceptable solution! And I haven’t even addressed all the potential problems that can arise by having guns in a school on a daily basis. And arming teachers won’t do anything about mass shootings in night clubs, movie theaters, outdoor concerts, churches, shopping malls, etc. But just addressing the school environment; The solution needs to make sure that guns, and assault rifles, and high capacity magazines never reach a classroom where a teacher needs to fire a gun. Anything less than that is just simply unacceptable.

          • “I’m a teacher. When I hear THE MAIN solution to mass shooting is to arm teachers, that tells me you are expecting, and accepting, that mass shootings will continue to happen”

            That’s the point, Michelle. They will continue to happen. The deadliest school shooting was done with pistols and restricted magazines. So the ONLY solution to completely stop mass shootings is to DISARM THE ENTIRE COUNTRY, a process which will likely take at least 200 years. (and they’ll still happen, because demand for weapons among criminals will cause the Mexican cartels to smuggle in hundreds of thousands of overseas guns, REAL weapons of war, not the civilian rifles you’re seeing today, along with the drugs they’re already bringing in) This is something that will never, ever happen, so yes. The next best thing is to stop thinking that signs will keep schools from being soft targets. Is letting teachers who wish to, be armed, the solution you want? No. But it’s the one that’s going to actually make a difference, given that we are not going to stop school shootings overnight, or even in the next 50 years.

          • Sian.
            Please cite your sources that arming teachers is the only solution to deterring school shootings? Shouldn’t we be looking at ALL possible solutions? Why aren’t their mass shootings at the US Capital? That’s gun free. Maybe it has to do with the number of armed law enforcement that patrol in and around the building. Do you think Congress would go for a situation where the Capital has one resource officer and then all congressmen and congresswomen can carry a firearm? Maybe we need more law enforcement at schools?
            The argument has been made that banks are more secure than schools. Is it because the tellers are armed or because they have an armed guard in the building? Remember, the size of a bank is much smaller than a school and the ratio of armed guard to people in the building is quite different between a school and a bank.
            So we really have to stop the narrative that there is only one solution. There are many potential solutions and ALL should be tried.

        • You’re really eager to see a bunch of kids killed as collateral damage, aren’t you, just to prove the NRA’s assertion about good guys with guns, etc. I think people like you with cowboy mentalities are out of touch with reality. In America, every SOB is Rambo until proven otherwise.

        • Again, NOT a deterrent, no shooter’s motivation has ever had anything to do with a school being “gun free” you are just telling lies now.
          It’s nice that you, random guy on the internet tells us “unknown if armed” works, but I’ll go with REALITY proven by actual data and statistics over your fantasy world that you tell us is true. Since the vast majority of mass shootings do not even take place in gun free zones, your argument is clearly hogwash.

          • It seems to me, based on the military base shootings we’ve had, guns in the hands of teachers would not be a deterrent. After all, who is more armed and trained than military personnel?

        • To all the people talking about “arming teachers,” I say forbid the sale of assault weapons of war. NRA rules our country, not democracy.

        • James Bush and others who see nothing wrong with arming teachers etc., might I ask you exactly what messages we’re really sending those (especially youngsters) coming behind us, when almost every situation is now coming down to “guns ARE the solution”?
          I am grieved in my soul that mixed up humanity has now come to this deadly horrific ‘choice’, which WILL ULTIMATELY seal our fate, by finally pushing us over that cliff quite sadly. NO REAL solutions, ways of prevention, and so on just “use a gun and let that solve the problem”. This IS what America now stands for going forward is what you’re telling us right?
          What about the folks who can’t arm themselves because of their circumstances, what then becomes of them? Lord help us should this ‘idea’ become the ‘norm’, in the not to distant future.
          PLEASE come QUICKLY Lord Jesus, before we totally finish off the human race?

          • Jennithib March 1, 2018 at 7:27 pm
            It seems to me, based on the military base shootings we’ve had, guns in the hands of teachers would not be a deterrent. After all, who is more armed and trained than military personnel?
            Please at least try to know the facts when making statements about something.. Military personnel in their day to day duties on base ARE NOT ALLOWED TO CARRY WEAPONS!

        • Scot Peterson, a sheriff’s deputy assigned to the school, “was absolutely on campus through this entire event. He was armed, he was in uniform,” Israel said.

          • Point made, 1 armed person on campus. He didn’t bring harm to innocent victims, leave him out of it. Not being a hero doesn’t make him a coward. He should have had backup.

          • And had the option to flee. Teachers don’t have that option inside a locked classroom. But they have plenty of time(and incentive) to change their mind about using a gun in the lockbox on the wall(if they had the option).
            All teachers get training, all classrooms have a weapon lockbox…
            The cost? I’m sure they’d get THOUSANDS of donations to arm a classroom to protect children. I’m also sure they would get a ridiculously great deal on training the teachers to use them. Then, if teachers want to be a shield, they can, but if they want to stop the gunman, they’d have the means to do so.

          • He also refused to go into the school during the entire incident which is why you might as well have said they had no armed security there.

          • …and video cameras showed him cowering in the parking lot outside the building. He has been relieved of his duties.

          • The deputy stood there and did nothing during the first 3-4 minutes of the shooting spree. He has since resign. He has now requested protection for his family and self due to death threats.

          • @skubafreakk
            Now it’s every teacher and every classroom?? Good luck with that when 78% of teachers are not in favor of any teacher being allowed to bring a gun to school.

      • That’s one person. Exactly why every teacher should have one. Like a fire extinguisher, would you just have one in the building or one in every room?

        • Who will those teachers be? A bunch of psychos who want to turn schools into armed camps. You folks are loony tunes longing for an American dystopia. Good think you’re a lunatic fringe.

        • He stood outside while the shooter was still in the school. He never entered the school. He resigned from his job immediately as he was being questioned about his actions, or lack of.

        • You would be surprised by how many people forget there are extinguishers available, misuse them or simply too afraid to get close enough for the extinguisher to be effective.

          • Have you ever been in an emergency and how serious and fast things can happen. As an RN I’ve been in many emergencies. Do you really believe that if a shooter came into the school that someone will grab a fire extinguisher and stop the shooter? You’re dreaming and not in reality. What experiences have you had??? I’ve been thru a major earthquake (Northridge) and all the drills didn’t help very much. We all ran outside as fast as we could. The streets were filled with people. If someone came at you with a military grade weapon I don’t think you’re going to walk across the room to get the fire extinguisher.

        • Fire extinguishers cannot, generally speaking, kill people.

          A house with a fire extinguisher is generally safer than a house without.
          A house with a gun is measurably less safe than one without.

          • Just because a fire extinguisher’s primary purpose isn’t to kill people doesn’t mean it can’t be used as a weapon.. And kill… I believe all teachers should be trained either in weapons or guerrilla tactics for defense (i.e. the aforementioned fire extinguisher). And yes…NO ONE knows how they will respond to the barrel of a gun. I know the experience first hand…what it’s like to have gun pulled on you when you are unarmed.
            Every situation is different and a gun isn’t ALWAYS the answer. But, if teachers are willing to be PROPERLY trained… God bless them…they are probably the ones who would have “taken the bullet” otherwise…

          • That’s odd, I have two pistols and a mean scary AR-15 death machine in my house. The only person or persons in danger is anyone who comes through my door wishing to do harm… the notion that my house is any more dangerous because it has guns, than a house without guns for that reason alone is asanine.

          • Josh, I’m sure you truly believe what you are saying. But the statistics are quite clear. Having guns in your house makes you and yours more, not less, likely to die of a gunshot than the average household.

          • Dave, I know the surveys you are talking about, and they include households with members engaged in criminal activity, and in suicides. One can judge, on an individual basis, if there is risk of either of these in a house. It’s not for the government to say.

            Also of course you’re more likely to be shot with a gun in the home when compared to households without one. you’re more likely to be cut with a knife in the home, and more likely to die in a traffic accident with a car in the home. But what does that even say? Just that having a thing makes it more likely to have an accident with that thing, than if you don’t have a thing. (because you can’t be hurt by it if you don’t own it!) Life is risk management.

          • Sian.
            So what you’re saying if you don’t own it you can’t get hurt from it.
            “Just that having a thing makes it more likely to have an accident with that thing, than if you don’t have a thing. (because you can’t be hurt by it if you don’t own it!)”
            So staying with that logic…
            If no one has/owns a military style assault weapon then no one would get killed or injured. Or, more drastically, if no one owns any firearms then no one will be killed or injured.
            Is that what you’re suggesting?

        • Aren’t you the romantic. A bloke who has been there and done that tells you that the course you espouse is a load of sheep shit and you’d still rather parrot the lines of a political lobby group. Three in ten soldiers return fire. That’s less than 1/3 of highly trained, skilled people being threatened with death unless they act, manage to return fire. How many half trained teachers would manage? If I were such a COWARD I’d take those odds, especially if I were not a coward and did not feel I had anything left to lose. How many school shooters leave in a bodybag now? Most of them. The bulk do not expect to survive. Your deterrent turns out to be part of the challenge.

          • it would take only one to return fire and end the whole event. Half trained is not the recommendation-trained volunteers (and yes you would get them). It would only take one effective pull of the trigger to stop the slaughter. I respect the young man’s service and experience but he is wrong, barricading doors did not save babies at Sandy Hook.

          • Yep Kandahar ambushes are exactly like an active shooter situation in a school. The class is scouting through shrub land and the shooter jumps out and…oh wait…no the shooter assaults the school kicks in doors or pulls a fire alarm and starts shooting. Yeah nothing in This guys history says he’s qualified to be an expert on this. Instructor zero now he’s someone I’d listen to on this.

          • Perhaps because he does not know the situations in schools. He suggested that a teacher breaking up a fight in the hallway could have his gun taken away from him by a student and used. That is ludicrous! The teachers wouldn’t walk around with sidearms strapped to them. The guns would be locked away and NO ONE would know which teachers have guns. I’d rather someone at least attempt to save my child’s life rather than just sit there cowering in a classroom waiting to be shot.

          • @seeker
            Yeah, if you completely ignore everything that could go wrong, a tiny chance sounds good, but refusing to acknowledge that high probability of the teacher shooting the wrong kid, getting shot, or having some type of firearm related accident when carrying their weapon around crowds of children every day is just unrealistic.
            You’re saying you will take a minuscule chance that some teacher is going to get the world’s luckiest shot in and somehow take out a shooter is worth the much higher risk of accidentally killing or injuring any of many innocent kids in the crossfire, accidentally killing or injuring responding law enforcement officers, and having firearm related accidents in classrooms all over America on a daily basis (currently in states where teachers are allowed to carry, there’s plenty of incidents on record of teachers leaving their gun lying around or accidentally shooting themselves in the foot).

        • Well you still got in a car accident and may have died, i wonder if it was because someone who shouldnt have been driving was. Maybe they should have had a more rigorous driving test or had their license revoked because of past driving habits. Maybe the air bag should have tested and inspected more thoroughly? Making analogies is great when you don’t like to confront the nuance and details of situations. Regardless of having armed protection people are still going to die especially if the one shooting has anything like an assault rifle. Increasing the defense of a school is less effective than removing the threat or minimizing it’s destructive capability.

        • In this analogy, there’s no reason to say the airbag didn’t deploy. The airbag DID deploy, in the form of an armed guard doing exactly what they should have been doing. They simply couldn’t respond in time. I don’t agree an armed guard is useless in all situations, but it didn’t help in this one.

        • A mechanical device that doesn’t deploy doesn’t crap itself.

          A human will, no matter how well trained.
          What is next Sparta, Greece as the culture we live in?

        • Sorry Clark Kent, but it is not like that at all.

          The safety of airbags has been tested and proven through hundreds of thousands of hours of controlled testing at car manufacturers.

          There is no empirical evidence that having an armed Samaritan nearby will impact the casualty rate of these mass shooting events. Sutherland Springs resulted in 26 deaths and another 20 wounded and there was an armed citizen OUTSIDE.

          Not to mention the fact that there is a pretty clear distinction between an airbag deploying and expecting someone whose profession is to teach small children how to read to hunt down and incapacitate an assailant armed with an AR-15.

          • Isreal has armed and trained it’s teachers to respond to shooters ever since a school shooting in 1974. They have had two shootings since then , both ended with a teacher killing the shooter.

            So you are incorrect.

          • @Phirc86 Israel is has compulsory military service and strict gun control. Only about 60% of people who apply for carry permits in Israel are approved- meaning that even if you’ve done the extensive training that comes with military service they may well not be allowed to carry a gun as a civilian.
            Only a minuscule percentage of teachers in the US have any military training, so it’s idiotic to expect the average teacher in the US could just gun down a shooter. The US is not comparable to Israel. We have 3.2 million teachers, most of whom are completely unwilling to go along with this absurd idea of arming teachers. Oh, and even with 3.2 million teachers, the US is facing a nationwide shortage of teachers, and more people leave the career each year than enter it, so that shortage will only get worse. Good luck forcing teachers to carry guns. Many would quit first, and you don’t have anyone to replace them.

        • And armed guards might not react the way you think they should or are supposed to. What if a student gets hold of one of those guns? What if a teacher forgets where they left it and a student picks it up? That’s a lot of teachers and students and guns in a school.

        • Well, if your airbags didn’t deploy when they should have, they were useless, were they not? Of course, maybe it was a side impact which is why the front airbags did not deploy, or maybe they did, but you got injured anyway because the front airbag wasn’t designed to protect you from impacts from other directions. There are sooo many variables in any given situation, and it is simply not possible to prepare for all contingencies. Given a change of circumstances, maybe the armed guard could have been helpful. But under the circumstances as they played out, he was not. To imply anything else is overly simplistic and ludicrous. No cigar for you, either. Looking at all your comments, I’m beginning to think you’re a Russian troll. You’re being an a$$ just to be an a$$. Go away.

      • One armed guard for that enormous campus was ludicrous lack of coverage. That’s the reason was allowing armed and trained teachers makes so much sense. And I believe that concerned teachers will go through the training on their own time, and the NRA will provide the training at little or no cost to the school district under their National School Shield program. You see, while all the anti-gun nuts have been screaming “Do Something”, the NRA has been doing something. Since December 2012 they have focussed on improving school security to reduce the carnage in “gun-free” zones where our kids are easy targets for the bad guys. But they don’t get the publicity by the anti-gun nuts in the media.
        One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different outcome. That epitomizes the call for gun bans and gun-free zones.

        • Gee. You want tax cuts rather than educating our children, but you (and every other American, I suppose) can pony up to have a squad of soldiers patrolling every school.
          I assume you will include sharpshooters. How about serpentine wire and mnes? RPGs?

        • Ah yes, I remember reading something recently about how NRA supports school programs: https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/437njm/parkland-school-shooter-honed-skills-on-a-team-supported-by-the-nra
          “The NRA Foundation, the gun lobby’s charitable arm, gave more than $10,000 worth of assistance to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s rifle marksmanship team in 2016, the Associated Press reported Friday. Cruz, who was a member of the team, reportedly excelled despite ongoing violent outbursts that saw him expelled from the school for “disciplinary reasons” in early 2017.”

        • Why should any school need an armed guard? We don’t have them in the U.K. Yet somehow we seem to have less gun crime in our schools than the USA. Can any of you guess why that may be? And in case you were wondering we don’t arm our teachers.

          • I agree with you Andrew. From what l understand, the idea is to arm some/all teachers with a handgun –
            they would be dead before it was out of the holster when faced by the type of weaponry used in the mass shootings.

        • Ok. So the NRA pays to train and retrain teachers. Because the profession of arms is a perishable one. But who insures the school and the teachers? What if during a shooter situation a teacher misses and hits another child. What if they are unable to act? Who’s responsible? When these teachers deal with the psychological fallout of killing a child, who supports them medically? We hardly pay our teachers now. Expecting them to just volunteer is silly, as this training and retraining will take a lot of time and commitment, if we suddenly expect them to be public defenders should they not receive compensation related to their new position? If they remain a volunteer it would be hard to maintain accountability. Just a few of the thoughts that come to mind. I’m not trying to say that something shouldn’t be done. But this is way to simple of a solution to propose without diving into the deeper details.

        • The NRA, sponsored by gun manufacturers, who benefit from fear, offers to help schools buy guns from those gun manufacturers. In every school in the USA.

          Good deal for those gun manufacturers I feel.

          The additional benefits of making Americans even more afraid of each other and more likely to buy more guns and kill each other more and buy more guns. Priceless.

      • From the news not even close and the officer on duty was not even on the premise. So no cigar comrade. Unlike before now they seem to be putting real security in place. Also their advance security was foiled by the shooter just pulling on the fire alarm complete failure at every level. Only reason to arm teachers is because they want the teacher to take even more responsibility they should not need to take.

        We have people that can be hired to do specific jobs but the systems are to cheap to do it.

      • Also the armed guard happened to not even be around when the shooting started, so yeah. I’d advocate for having at least 2, maybe more guards per school, depending on size. That way if the killer targets security first, they have less of a chance of succeeding.

      • School resource deputy Scot Peterson was placed under investigation by Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel but then decided to resign his post after a review found he sat outside for four minutes during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead. Israel said Thursday surveillance footage captured Peterson responding to the building where the shooting was unfolding. He said the deputy got there within a minute and a half of when the gunfire started. He positioned himself outside the building but never went in, Israel said.

      • The Parkland school deputy, Scott Peterson was useless because he was derelict in his duties and has been suspended without pay pending an internal investigation. And since this cowardly s.o.b. had spent the necessary time with the Broward County Sheriff’s Department to meet the retirement requirements he was able to submit his resignation and retire. Sounds like the Broward County Sheriff’s dept resourced a fuck up on a cozy detail and a nap.


      • It is unbelievable to think that it is better to let an armed person kick in the door of your classroom and riddle you and your students with bullets rather than protecting yourself with a gun. Getting mistaken for an active shooter or having to shoot one of your students is a weak argument for not protecting yourself and your students. Lock the door, load your weapon, and if a shooter enters your classroom with the intent of killing you and your students, please defend yourself with sufficient force to save you and your student’s life. Why do some people believe that is wrong? It is the moral and right thing to do.

        • It is so much better to have an effective firearm and the training to use it and not need to use this capability than to not have an effective firearm and the training to use it when you D@MN WELL NEED TO USE this capability…

      • HE was useless–a coward, who had taken an oath to serve and protect, (up to and including it) being in peril of his own life.Dereliction of duty forsn’t even cover this slimeball, who GUARANTEED the execution of those Innocents.

      • That goes to show you, that training for situations like this is not the only answer. I really like why the school in Indiana has done. We might not be able to go all the way, like they have done but in between. We already have cameras in hallways, so being able to see the intruder and smoking him out is a smart way to go. I don’t believe parents would be upset if there children inhale a sleeping gas or plain smoke to make it hard for the shooter can’t see. At the same time be able to lock the doors in the area he is in to trap him. We live in a world of technology and spying, which brings me back to the school in Indiana, we might not have the $400,000 dollars system they have but we do have cameras in place already. We have students and parents that volunteers in the school office everyday, so when can have a room with live cameras so they can see the intruder and push the alarm for active stranger in building, lock doors. Right away call 911 for backup. And if they notice a gun be able to seal the person in the area and release a gas so he can not see.

      • Teacher who already know, are well trained already and know how to use weapons should be allowed to carry their own weapon. Arming teachers for the sake of arming, that are not trained, have no knowledge of proper use, gone to no practice ranges nor grew up on a farm should NOT be given a weapon. That’s craziness! Look what happened to the deputy that was trained! Just because someone is trained doesn’t mean they will have what it takes if the time comes.
        Also if a teacher is trained & certified for concealed carry, the teacher should be allowed to conceal carry and not be required to announce they are carrying. That way if there is a 65 year old teacher grew up on a farm, that goes to the practice range regularly, she can carry without drawing attention to herself.

      • Armed? I guess it appeared so.
        The detail officer on duty that day ; an| older gentleman of retirement age, was there/ was hired to help keep general order among students, break up a scuffle here n there and file the occasional report.
        Yes he had a service pistol for his school detail shift…but he prolly hadn’t fired it in the l.o.d. in 16 years.
        Who knows if it was even loaded.?
        He was there to help keep the peace /general order, as outlined in his contract
        Everyone wants to hate this guy, but he was probably just following procedure. He can tell an AR report- He didn’t t have sight of the shooter – you don’t just get up and charge in there blindly, revolver-a-blazing, hoping for the best.
        U should maintain a defensive position nearby, try to interpret everything you hear n see to Dispatch and wait for the Calvary to arrive

      • So is their Sheriff and that is why imbedded armed individuals are needed. If you were in a classroom with 25 students and no place to hide when the shooter breaks down the door would you want to be armed with a chance to defend the students or be at the mercy of a crazed shooter?

      • Aaron Fries, one of the teachers killed in the shooting, was that security guard. However, since Parkland is a gun free zone, he was not allowed to be armed. Had he been allowed to carry a firearm, which most security guards do, there would be a completely different outcome. Also, in your article, you state “That’s what being shot by a high powered assault rifle felt like to me.” I want to say thank you for your service to our country, and in no way am I minimizing your experience, but high powered assault rifles are not available to civilians. The AR-15 (Armalite rifle model 15), which is the model used in this shooting, is not an assault rifle. Your article is well written and I want to reiterate; I mean no disrespect to you, Mr. Stanfield, but some of your information is incorrect. I am terrified that our Second Amendment rights are in jeopardy, and your article seems to indicate you may be in favor of reform. If I am wrong, please accept my sincere apology. I am the child of a Vietnam vet, so I have an idea of what you suffer. I also value my freedom and never want to see my constitutional rights taken away, or tampered with in any way. That said, I think you underestimate our teachers. I say arm them, our children deserve to be safe.

      • Oh, you mean the 4 coward cops. You know, the ones you all put your lives in the hands of, give me a teacher protecting his/her flock anyday.

      • In order for the “good guy with a gun” to be effective, you need a good guy.

        Parkland in this case was found lacking.

      • If you have a gun you will almost certainly be killed. If you don’t you may be left alone.
        You all think you are little Rambos. The reality is that you would pee in your pants, hesitate, be shaking too much to hit a bus.

        • So instead of having a chance at defending yourself and your students,you would rather just watch him shoot you and them down? Maybe left alone??? Well what’s the possibility of that?? Good grief, I want to at least have the opportunity to be ablr to defend myself and those around me!

      • No, your suggestion is SIMPLISTIC.

        You just read a firsthand account by a combat veteran who pointed out that EVEN WHEN ARMED AND TRAINED, they don’t always react like you who perpetuate the Rambo myth would like.

        You also, conveniently, ignore that this means teachers/staff must have the firearm with them AT ALL TIMES.

        150,000 students have been affected by school shootings.
        There are 50.7 MILLION K-12 students in the US.
        That means 0.3% have been impacted by this.

        You want to armed teachers in every single school in America for something that happens to less than 1 in 100 students. This means there are now guns floating around every school, every day and you can’t imagine the potential for accidents?

        • So as a “school board member” you’re official response is that these students are an acceptable loss, since it is such a low percentage? I wonder if you would have the same opinion if YOUR child was among the victims? Shame on you! That point could’ve been made without devaluing/minimizing the lives of dead students.

        • Have you never heard of a rapid-access gun safe?

          While deployed in the Middle East, we frequently used rapid access safes in countries that did not want open carry by US personnel. They’re effective, secure and allow for a properly trained person to rapidly access a firearm to protect themselves and others.

      • First, Thank you sincerely for your service to this country. Secondly, what is your solution? Would it be the answer to leave our children as sitting ducks? There are many questions to be asked and we must seek to find the right answers.

      • Did you read the artical? Even when armed and trained it’s still difficult. That being said by a person with months or years of experience. Do you really want kids to be around a shooter and an untrained civilian with a gun?

      • But their advantage over you is the element of surprise. There is NO good argument for putting guns in schools and PLENTY of reasons to ban guns and stop all the trigger-happy idiots in this country. I have a nephew who was gunned down after returning to his residence after mid-term exams at Ohio State. You have NO CLUE the devastation caused to people. His shooter was never caught. The gun was stolen from a resident on another street. Even IF my nephew had a gun on him, a shooter sneaking up on him in the dark had the definite advantage. NO ONE can predict when there’s a shooter, and you’d be stuck with nothing in your hands at that precise moment.

        • Ban guns? Really? So once we ban guns the criminals will never be able to carryout their misdeeds right? I mean afterall criminals are law abiding citizens.

          • Why do conservatives keep saying liberals want to ban guns? Wrong wrong wrong! Also the idea that the government will take your guns when they are legal is crazy. If you want to own a gun why shouldn’t you be held responsible for what happens with that weapon. How can Banning automatic weapons be a violation of your rights when they did not exist when the Bill of Rights was created, I don’t care if you want to carry around a Gatling gun. And last, the argument that if somebody wants to kill they’re going to kill with or without an automatic weapon is the stupidest of all arguments. By this logic we should legalize murder because if people want to kill they will whether it’s legal or not. Common sense is becoming very uncommon.

        • froom the parked car? is it the case that was shortly an news item then dropped because who knows why? oh yes- THAT Reason. My true condolences.

        • The only reason that worked in Australia is that people that do this on the spear of the moment cant get a gun..But if you plan for it there is always a way to get a gun just ask the guy in prison from England who built a sub machine gun from parts at a hardware store to protest the gun ban in England…But he did’nt use his gun to kill people only to make the point..

          • All it takes to build a FULLY automatic 9mm submachine gun is the plains available off the internet, about $200 worth of plumbing parts, the proper sized steel spring and the WILL to construct the device.

            The GENIE is out of the bottle on the making of firearms. An illiterate Pakistani arms maker can create a fully functioning copy of an AK-47 using nothing more high tech than a foot powered drill press, an anvil, a rat tailed file, and a couple of ball peen hammers. What could a liberty-minded well educated home machine shop owner construct in the privacy of his own residence??? …The mind BOGGLES!!!!

      • How about taking it at the root and taking all the measures possible not to be confronted by someone with a gun in the first place? Works very well here.

      • I think there is a difference between deciding to carry a weapon for your personal safety and being charged by your school district to use a gun to protect your classroom. That is what I think is most missing from the conversations on this issue. Simply removing the gun-free status from schools so that teachers who so desire can carry a gun is one thing. Making a formal policy expecting them to carry one is another.

        • “If you have a gun you will almost certainly be killed. If you don’t you may be left alone.”

          I never thought I’d read something dumber than the wall of text from this article. I bet you’d have given the Columbine killers tips on where to find more victims, too.

      • 1. Teachers only use guns as a last resort when barricading failed. I have no idea why this veteran wants to take away the teacher’s last chance. That does not make sense.
        2. School shooter did not expect any challenge. If every room he goes into is a fire fight, the shooter will shake as much as the teacher. 50:50 is still better than 0:100. Think about it.

      • In this situation, as I would be dead LONG before I could reach my gun, and as a shooting is statistically unlikely, and carrying the gun (which I would be dead before I could possibly use) would mean putting a dangerous object in my classroom on a daily basis, likely for years before a shooting every happened (if it ever did), putting my students at risk, I would rather not have the guns. More children would have been safer through me not having one, and I would have been able to better do my job for the many students. I am in close contact with kids for 7 hours every day. How can I possibly do that with a firearm, and be focused fully on my job, and not constantly worried about the deadly weapon I’m carrying? In my short teaching career, I’ve already had to break up several fights. How can I do that, with a gun on me?

    • Yes it’s true what you say however some of these people commit these acts with the intention of killing themselves at end of it which means they will still attack knowing they are gonna get killed

    • Did you even read the article? He covers this. Soldiers and police offers train constantly, over and over and over. A teacher barely has time to keep up with grading and schools lack the money for basic needs like pencils and computers. So how do you propose to “train, prepare, and deploy” elementary teachers? The idea is beyond ludicrous. This isn’t a Bruce Willis movie. It’s real life.

    • Soldiers are trained and prepared to fight despite the uncertainty because that is their job. Literally the reason they are there. Are you suggesting we give teachers full military training? Even though they’re already criminally underpaid?

      We’re also assuming a teacher is automatically a Good Person. In just about every shooting recently, it comes out that the guns were purchased legally. If these “crazies” (a dangerous and dismissive label) can slip through the cracks, then so can a dangerous teacher. I wouldn’t want to be the one responsible for putting a gun into the hand of someone like that. But that WILL happen if we start trying to fight fire with fire. (And I’m not just talking about potential mass murders. I’m also thinking of pedophiles and other abusive people who will use their government-sanctioned gun to terrorize individual students.)

      Also, most of these shooters do intend to leave in body bags in the first place. That’s no deterrent. I think the only reasonable point here is decreasing response time, but the risks far outweigh the theoretical benefits.

    • The assailant with a gun always has tactical advantage. Let’s say the NRA advice is heeded, and ALL students and staff carry guns in all schools, keeping them on their person in open-carry. Next thing is, a class of kids is studying Geography, and a gunman bursts into the room firing as he enters, killing the teacher and all 25 students in less than 30 seconds. How are the kids going to have time to reach into their desks or their pockets or wherever else they keep their guns, and open fire on the gunman? The gunman always has the advantage of surprise.

      In the Orlando mass shooting at a gay club, for the patrons to defend themselves, they’d have had to be dancing with gun holsters around their waists, in a constant state of alert in case a gunman should at any moment burst into the club and open fire with an automatic weapon.

      No gun massacre has ever been stopped by an armed civilian. They’re CAUSED by armed civilians.  Gun control via background checks and needs based assessment is the only solution. No 19 year old school kid needs an assault rifle that can kill 60 people in 30 seconds.

    • Hello Anthony, so you are sugesting to fortify our schools!?! Make them look like a military compounds!?!? Send kinds to school with bullet vests!?!? C’mon…. arming the teachers with guns… this is insane. This is equivalent to trying to put out a fire with gasoline.Sgt. Matt Martin did a good job explaining why this is a bad idea. What is next we wake up in the morning and put bullet vest instate of shirts. We take our guns instate of my lunch boxes.We dodge few bullets walking from your house to the car. We hop in our armor cars going to work. Going to any public place you have to go through security like what we have at the airports now , yes imagine security check points everywhere like the nightmare airports are this days. Is that the world you and your kids want to live in?

    • Why does everyone (including the King Idiot of America) suddenly think that these mass shooters will be deterred by the knowledge that someone in the school has a gun?? They were all prepared to die or take their own lives already. I thought the argument was that they’re mostly mentally unstable and just needed help that no one provided them….if that’s the case, why would they suddenly act rationally enough to say “better not try it here, I might get shot!” ? Sgt Martin’s point is that the chances of an armed teacher actually saving anyone versus the additional risks created by having MORE weapons on school premises just isn’t worth it.

    • According to an FBI study about active shooter situations, police officers who engaged the shooter were wounded or killed in 46.7 percent of the incidents. We’re talking about individuals who are specifically trained to respond to these situations and not teachers trained over the the weekend or during summer break.

      i guess people either can’t read, won’t read.. or they believe that their delusional fantasies are more accurate than FBI research. ok, the earth is flat and moon is made of cheese.

      • I’ve looked up similar statistics about mass shootings. AGAIN FACTS!!!

        Less than 4% of mass shootings end by an armed civilian.
        I know the first negative response to this post will say that if more people were armed this number would go up.
        I get it. Guns are fun. They go bang! And for those of you too lazy to get in shape and learn how to truly protect yourselves, they give you a false sense of security.

        I can buy you a cap gun that will go bang, but not kill children.

    • Totally agree. As a two times combat veteran, I feel that a few armed teachers is the solution. The goal is safety of students. Anybody would rather target a soft target, than a place where people will be armed. A potential shooter will most likely pick a different place than a school with armed personnel.

      • These school shotters aren’t picking their school because it’s easy. Their picking their schools because they have a grudge that they want to settle. It’s my beliefs that we need teachers and staff that are trained to see the warning signs and a program to help theses kids move past their anger and suicidel impulses. Because most of these school shooters already know they aren’t comming out alive they usually take their own lives before the police can get to them.
        This country puts a stigma on mental health issues. If we focused more on the mental health of these kids and less on the gun control issue I think that we would see a significant difference.

    • Sorry, I’m not sure you actually read his piece. He gave very exacting, accurate and compelling reasons why the scenario you outlined isn’t what will happen. Ever. You want a fighting chance…to do what, exactly? To accidentally hurt or kill even more people? Because that’s exactly what would happen. That’s if one of these teachers doesnt’ accidentally shoot themselves. A thousand things can/will go wrong. It’s practically a certainty.
      Incidentally, I was active Army for 24 years myself, with 2 tours in Iraq, and been shot at as well (luckily never wounded). Sergeant Martin’s description of the perils, impossibilities and sheer absurdity of arming teachers is dead-on. It’s dumb–surpassingly, mind-numbingly dumb.

    • They had deterrence with a guard. IT DID NOT WORK. That is not why such targets are chosen anyway. How about acknowledging the truth that easy gun access is the problem versus it’s everybody else’s problem?

    • Exactly! Let’s let the staff decide for themselves. Nobody is talking about compelling someone to do something they aren’t comfortable with. But let’s allow school staff who are practiced, proficient and comfortable with their weapon to use that weapon should the unthinkable happen.

      • It’s disturbing to me that after 6 years of training and tests and studying and practicing, it doesn’t matter how practiced, proficient and comfortable I am (and have proven myself to be over and over) with teaching, I’m still not trusted with curriculum planning, and get ordered around by politicians and lobbyists who know nothing about it. Meanwhile as long as I am practiced and proficient and comfortable with firearms-(and who’s actually going to check?)- I can try to be an action hero with virtually no training at all.

    • School shooters may be sociopaths, they may be amoral, they may be mentally ill, but they are not cowards. Many go into these situations fully expecting to die (and often do). They don’t care about their own health, their sole goal is to inflict as much damage as possible on those they perceive to have wronged them before they are killed or incapacitated. So there is no deterrence effect. The fact that a number of incidents have taken place at military facilities here in the US and abroad should make that clear.

      On the other hand, these events are very, very rare. Putting dozens/hundreds/thousands of guns in to the hands of teachers now creates significant new risks. Those guns could be stolen and used by students. Teachers could misuse those weapons and kill students or other teachers. And there is little to no evidence that these marginally-trained teachers would be in any way effective at stopping the active shooter situations they were armed for in the first place.

      • The sociopaths who wish to engage in mass murder at a school or other “gun free” environment WANT to rack up as big a body count as possible before their freedom of action is compromised to the extent they can no longer perform acts of lethal violence. If they are confronted with armed resistance, these poor fools often eat one of their own bullets because they no longer can continue racking up a higher body count. And the armed resistance does not HAVE to come from the police or SWAT…who, with the best will in the world, typically arrive after the shooter has finished his/her lethal task.

        It is a far, far better thing to have a firearm and not need to use it than it is to need a firearm and not have it…

      • The Author is a cowardice leftist that is seizing an opportunity to get some fame.

        As a Marine Infantry Vet with 2 tours to Iraq in 04 and 05 which experienced MOUT operations that this soldier did not, I can say without any doubt in my mind that i would MUCH rather have armed teachers behind locked doors protecting MY child with a gun than a school full of neutered targets waiting for the slaughter.

        As evidence of the COWARDICE of law enforcement in FL, I would MUCH prefer a teacher inside the school who is facing the threat have the opportunity to defend themselves and the lives of the children they most certainly would protect than expect some saving grave with a badge come deliver them.

    • Evidence from past shootings makes it clear: most assailants have no intention of surviving. The threat of death is no deterrent. Having /more/ shooters present inside a closed space filled with children is simply insane.

      Did you read the account from Parkland where police had to break down a door to get to the teacher and kids because the authorities couldn’t convince them it wasn’t a trick? Now arm the teacher in this situation. Maybe insane is inadequate to describe this idea.

      • Its insane? The author is also leaving out the part where most states and counties that have went into great detail about it will NOT be a requirement for all teachers to be armed in said states/counties that teachers/staff can volunteer for the trainning. Training that teaches and drills into your head like not to draw your gun unless your prepared to kill or defend you or others. Never put your finger on the trigger unless your ready to destroy your target. Always check safety on and if it is loaded and to always check if the chamber has 1 same training concealed carry holders. Otherwise they dont get to. And even you just stated “FBI statistics show the shooter has no intent on leaving alive.” So what we wait til he runs out of ammo or hope he just takes his own life after a few kids and teachers die? Or hope that the police department didnt get their training at the same the parkland police academy did! When a teacher carrying a handgun could give what the shooter is wanting (death) while simultaneously saving even 1 kid saving 1 mom or dad or family from being destroyed. He is right on 1 thing no one knows how the teacher would react if he froze well he froze shooter gonna do what he was gonna do anyway kill innocents but what if he don’t 1 armed teacher with 1 gun could save a whole classroom while the shooter could have many on him. The author is also misleading you all into thinking these teachers will be carrying around military grade rifles/full-auto rifles and even most are so simple minded sheep they are probably thinking they will be carrying around grenades! Omg no wonder CNN loves liberals you’re so easy to manipulate! XD I haven’t even seen many actually questioning this guys logic, granted most dems dont let alone liberals, but by his logic we should’ve kindly asked the germans japs koreans Vietcong to plz lay down your guns because more guns just cause so many problems!!! Like oh idk Kennesaw, GA where each household has to own 1 firearm or sign a waiver and why they are exempting themselves from that law, but I thought more guns cause more problems? Well no actually not in the hands of law abiding citizens because the population of kennesaw compared to other size and population is the same have a much higher overall crime rate, and much higher homicide rate! Yet guns are bad they have a evil soul. XD in fact kennesaw has 1 of the lowest crime and homicide rates in the u.s. best part no life saving “gun free zones” or how bout Sweden if in not mistaken where is mandatory have the lowest homicide rates in the world the WHOLE country has years where they dont even have 1 homicide. Yet banning all guns worked great for the u.k. oh wait no it didn’t it didnt do anything to deter homicides far less homicides by guns but hammers knives took its place. Fun fact tho the deaths by guns CNN and msnbc tell you the u.s. has each year also counts suicide by guns. Homicides is actually far less and that is provided by FBI and homeland 😀

    • Excellent point. Some chance is better than no chance at all. Having teachers armed can serve as a deterrent. In Israel all their teachers are armed. It’s seens to work well for them. I don’t see why it couldn’t work here.

    • As a teacher I can guarantee the fear and confusion we go through with just a practice drill. Children having mental breakdowns and needing us to be strong and I can guarantee pulling out a gun in this situation is not going to be a safe situation for anyone and the chances of children being hurt is worse. Arming trained individuals like he suggests is a much better answer. Building bullet proof walls at the entrance of each school to keep people out would be a much better use of our time and money. If they can’t enter the school in the first place then maybe this can change.

    • If you know or suspect teachers to be armed, and you are determined to run amok in a school, you simply shoot tha teacher first. The teacher is in position of reacting to situations, and is not a clair voyant. You are making teachers a first target with no chance for defense.

    • I’m a Vietnam Vet. Matt is absolutely correct. If you’ve never been in combat or even been in the service for at least two years you have no clue what kind of carnage a weapon can do in experienced hands let alone inexperienced hands where there are multiples of other people around.

    • Thanks Anthony. Many Are distorting this suggestion. They are not saying all teachers are armed, nor are they saying teachers go out to pursue the gunman nor do they intervene in fistfights/students with a gun. They are saying SOME receive training, And not have to sit and wait in a classroom full of children for the gunman to cone in and get them, too. You and your students holed up in a room frightened, hearing screams and shots, And just sit there to get yours? Please.

    • What if he is poised & determined?
      What if he is not the coward you’re hoping he is?
      What say you?
      I say: Barricade, protect yourself and the students. More importantly I say, reinforce school security & weapons/metal detection measures/equipments/surveillance systems.
      I say, empower school officials, teachers, to take harsh disciplinary measures, up to suspension and expulsions of students behaving as bullies, making verbal threats, xenophobic/homophobic/racist rants as well, & empower peers to whistleblow anonymously on them for investigation by the authorities.
      I say for city & state legislatures to write new laws to address this not so new phenomenon anymore.
      I say for new laws be written to harshly punish parents who are gun owners and whose teens were somehow, which is no excuse, able to get a hold of their gun(s)!
      About that for a start?

    • Mass shooters aren’t cowards; they are people who have been traumatized over and over and over again and see no other way out of a hellish life. Most, if not all, are living with a ton of emotional pain and anguish and have likely been crying out for help in the form of self-destructive behaviors for years . . . Yet no one pays attention! Look around you – you may know someone in that situation. What will you choose to do? Will you genuinely care about him or her or will you turn yet another blind eye?
      -Foster Parent, Fairfax County, VA

      • Maybe but alot of kids are told and taught from day 1 they are special and always will be and always willbe a winner so those parents are literally setting those kids up for failure just like participation trophies where everybody wins and for tht I refuse to let my oldest to do any league that that does that hes old enough to start learning u will lose at life probably a good bit but u will also win big and I tell him in sports the only time u really lose is when u let losing win and u give up and life is the same dont let it win cause you can learn adapt and overcome anything and if it gets too hard that I’m always here that I wont hold his hand through it but I’ll pick him back up but only he can achieve his dreams and too many parents in todays world are getting on drugs or acting out when they feel like they are the burden for being alive and when they yell course mommy and daddy gonna take him to the docs and throw a pill at it y not its only the most over diagnosed condition(s) a.d.d. or a.d.h.d. so lets throw a highly addictive pill at em that can kill em when or if they dont have insurance when they get over 18 since its affecting the mind for so many years but hey it beats spending time with ur kids something that would help more probably even mend the already fragile mind more than any pill would but it’s easier for mom and dad lets just worry bout his health once hes already free falling off a cliff and ur wondering what is wrong with them cuz nothing can possibly be wrong with the parents beside lazy negligent ass hats lets not think of the parents who would give anything to spend just 5 more mins with their kid but cant

    • Sorry to inform you that the school’s resource officer managed to stay outside the building door four of the six minutes of gunfire and not engage the shooter. This was the respo se of a deputy sheriff officer who was a thirty plus year veteran and twenty five years in that very position.

    • A teacher carrying a gun will be the first target of a disgruntled bitter student or ex-student – a clear example of the power dynamic that the student likely resents, and of course the first person you need to kill in a massacre.

      The student will also likely be better trained, more prepared and much more likely to be able to point a gun at someone and actually kill them. The student came to school with a plan to kill, the teacher did not.

    • A gun in the hands of a deputy, trained and paid to stop such carnage? Just like there was in Florida? Oh, never mind, ignorant people never learn. Mostly because they never listen.

    • This article brings up some great points especially that arming all teachers is a silver bullet answer. I would like to see the restrictions against teachers who are willing & able to receive training & arm themselves be lifted though. Also, he makes it sound as though police officers are constantly training with their firearms & this is absolutely untrue. Elite units like SWAT, yes. However, most departments only require their officers to qualify with their duty weapon once a year! A department requiring their officers to qualify just twice a year is considered progressive. Most officers do not train with their weapons beyond the week or 2 leading up to their qualification shoot. This is not true of all but any officer who trains seriously will be the first to tell you how disgusted he or she is by how little the other officers on their department train with their weapons. My point is this, if a teacher is willing & passes the legal requirements to carry concealed outside of school, why should we prohibit them from carry concealed within their classroom? Will disarming them make them LESS likely to be killed should the unthinkable happen in their school? I don’t think so.

      • Carrying firearms in rooms crowded full of children is a bad idea. People may be “responsible gun owners” they always claim to be, and they are— until one day they are not. Until one day, they put a loaded gun down in the bathroom of an elementary school, shoot themselves in the leg while using the restroom, or shoot themselves in the foot during class. All of these things have actually happened on school campuses where teachers with concealed carry permits and gun safety classes were allowed to carry their weapons. So, no the gun may not put them in more danger in the event of a shooter (even that’s debatable though) but it definitely puts the teacher and all the children in the class at risk on a daily basis int he more more likely event that that teacher never has to face a school shooter.

    • Sir, your response assumes far too much about the motivations of a shooter. They’re cowards in your book because that’s the only way you can see to separate yourself from them. They may make some cowardly decisions but coward or not, they have a gun in their hands that can inflict mass death in seconds. At that point it doesn’t much matter whether they’re scared or brave; they aren’t thinking straight regardless! But they still have an advantage; in all likelihood, they’ve spent some time planning and the usual responders (law enforcement) have spent time training to respond but generally the victims have not. You can’t train potential victims (everyone else besides perps and law enforcement) for the proper (much less “perfect”) response to every potential scenario. Furthermore, you assume the shooter will be deterred by knowledge that a gun (or several) awaits them in response…just let that sink in for a minute…and maybe take another minute to review what you yourself just said…I don’t think I have enough time to go into detail about all the flaws in that assumption! Plus, you contradicted yourself when you said (“even just one person”, LOL!!!, with…) a “gun would DETER” a shooter…and yet you mentioned (indeed, factually) that even military bases have been attacked by lone gunmen. And are persons intent on mass killings using logic? Are they in their right minds? Are they interested so much in preserving their own life? Ummmm…in many cases it has been determined or proven the shooter had a death wish or at least complete disregard for their own life or safety. Often they hope to carry out as much bloodshed as possible before taking their own life or offering themselves up as a target for “suicide by police”. I don’t know that they care enough about WHO takes their life to be DETERRED to the extent you expect, simply with the knowledge that one or more persons inside may have a gun. Again, we’ve had mass shootings at other places that don’t necessarily come with the expectation of being “gun free”. Schools aren’t targeted because they’re “practically advertised as gun-free zones”!!!! They are targeted because they are rightly or wrongly perceived as the source of many young, mentally ill shooter’s pain and angst and conveniently contain a large percentage of t people with whom the shooter may take issue/wish revenge upon. We’ve had active shooters wandering public streets, picking people off at random; we’ve had active shooters storm corporate offices, post offices, coffee shops, movie theaters, churches, municipal/government buildings…all of which may have had persons with concealed weapons or video surveillance or even robust security! If a person with a gun is mentally ill; NO LOGIC WILL STOP THEM!!! That is mental illness in a nutshell. No sane person is ever compelled to inflict mass random death. The only thing that will keep them from doing mass harm is to keep personal weapons of mass destruction out of their reach, AND, making sure to identify these troubled citizens in time to administer effective treatment and/or containment. In short; there is one thing about your theory you can presume for certain: gunmen (“bad guys”) will NOT be deterred by a gun (with the “good guys”) in the crowd upon which they intend to fire and therefore we WILL see what happens, over and over again, when gunmen now start entering schools which are “armed”. The results, guaranteed, will not be any better. And will most likely be worse. But let’s go ahead and see, shall we? Sure, tell the gunmen they’ll be leaving in a body bag…it may just be music to their ears! Or, they’re so deluded they think they can win and escape. It hasn’t deterred them yet. It NEVER will!

    • According to the FBI statistics on mass shootings (mass shootings being defined by 3 or more casualties not including the shooter) only 13% of mass shootings occur in gun-free zones, furthermore, school shooter already exit in a body bag the vast majority of the time. They are cowards for preying on children, but they aren’t afraid of being shot.
      No investigation into any of these shootings have ever found that “gun-free zone” was a factor in the shooter’s choice of target. There shooters don’t go out and shoot up random schools, they target the schools they attended, because they have a connection to that place, or some type of sick grudge. If there’s a school that’s gun-free and a school where the math teacher carries a gun, you know which one the shooter will target? The one he attended!! The shooter doesn’t care about who has guns in what school.

      • School shooters are SO afraid of being shot, they commit suicide, 9 out of 10 times when they discover police have arrived on scene…

        There is nothing more documented, than shooters choosing gun free zones on purpose. It makes that feel as if they have an advantage… And you celebrating them as if they are some kind of celebrity is sickening.

    • Yes and Sgt Martin, this is a military situation and not an ambush situation where hundreds of bullets are firing all at once. This has worked in Israel for 40 years and will work here. Burn the damn GUN FREE ZONE signs and put up HEAVILY ARMED SCHOOL signs. We’ve not tried it in America, I have no idea why, but lets try it and see what happens. Can’t be any worse than it is now.

    • When seconds counted, Sheriff Scott Israel and his Deputies will waited outside until the shooter ran out of ammo.

      Then blamed the NRA, Guns, and Conservatives for their cowardice.

      Nothing to see here folks. That’s just how cowardly Libs roll. Now move along.

      Like President Trump, I would trust an armed, trained, and motivated teacher to do the right thing more than I would a police force full of gutless libs who weaseled their way into law enforcement through political favors.

    • Absolutely, Sorry Sgt. I dont agree with it can only get worse bs, that makes no sense, at all. Dont protect yourself you might die is your expert advice? Yeah, I think Ill go another way. Thank you for your service Sir, I think you should have just a little more faith in American balls.

    • That is simply not true. It is the thinking of someone who had not lived in that situation. Really read what he is saying. He is saying that because of the uncertainty in that most chaotic, terrifying of situations is why we train soldiers, etc. for YEARS for the situation. it’s the difference between training to be a doctor vs. really good training in COR and first aid.

      Thinking about or having a gun when we imagine a situation like a school shooting makes you, me, most people FEEL safer; FEEL like we have a better chance with than without. But the statistics do not back it up. And neither does the person experience of Sgr Martin. We all say we reflect and are grateful for the service of folks like hi – but I’d we really do respect it, we must honor it by really and truly believing them when they tell us that our imagination and emotions about such a charge topic are simply not realistic.

    • You sir, are a smart, articulate man. Thank you for your level head, and knowledgeable opinion. As a police officer, I couldn’t agree more with your well said logic. At the police academy, we are taught not to wait for backup at a school shooting. On average, seven people are shot every minute. You can bet that officers (who are not part of a left wing sheriffs department) are going to ruin on alone, outgunned, and ready to bring the fight to a spineless coward who is killing children. However, that’s a lot of minutes that can go by before we even arrive!

      Police departments need to work with our schools and train them to be able to defend themselves. SRO’s are available to work with the teachers present. Guns save lives, more than lives being lost anyway. Just the knowledge that teachers are armed, will send these cowards the message that there is a risk to their stupidity.

      I appreciate every soldier and their service… But you cannot compare Afghanistan to a school shooting. Some soldiers either deploy with, or return from deployment with a fear that is closer to their hearts than logic. Conflict is scary, it is horrible, but it is not a reason to hide and cower behind leftist ideologies.

      Protect teachers, by allowing them to protect themselves.

    • I totally agree with everything you are saying. Cowards prey on the helpless. We all need to remember that when we are faced with any life threatening situation. ‘Fight for your life!’ There is no time to think about what to do. You have to act ‘instantly!’

  2. Thanks! Well written and your point is extremely well made! My son and his wife – both are teachers in Pennsylvania – share your thoughts 100% … As do I.
    As much as I think I could and would protect my family, friends or nearby students, I’m not so sure that I could pull a trigger and take someone’s life. That split second of indecicion would not bode well for me or the people I’d like to protect. Nor do I think I’d want my son to be placed in a similar situation.
    I totally agree with your position.

    • Dan D, I will say I truly respect the fact that you are honest with yourself about this situation. You are spot on, if you are unsure that you can use a gun to protect yourself and others, you should never have one on you in a time of crisis. There is a saying, those that run live the longest. Very few people are fit to be sheep dogs and there is no dishonor in not being sure if you can take a life to save a life. Myself on the other hand, I have had years of training, I have trained in pressure situations and STILL I am concerned about an active shooter situation, but make no mistake sir, I am prepared to defend myself, my family, and those that cannot defend themselves and will not hesitate to put anyone down to neutralize a threat. If you are not prepared to take a life, never pull a gun on someone, ever.

      • keep in mind that in many if not most cases the shooter will also be one of your students. Probably a difficult one; one you’ve had trouble connecting with, although there have beeb moments when you got through to him. But still and all, one of your students. You’ve spoken to the principal and counseler about him. You remember talking to his mom, who was worried sick. And now— you’re just gonna kill him? At what point— after he’s opened fire? Before, when you’re not even sure he’s going to go through with this, and maybe he isn’t either? When you spot him holding something that may or may not be a weapon? What if it turns out that you were wrong— would the public and the courts be as generous with a teacher who shoots an unarmed teen as they are with police officers

        • Honestly good teachers develop an instinct for protecting their students that is similar to what parents feel (no, I am not arguing it’s the same, but it is similar). Consider, Mitch Rapp, whether you would be equally certain of being able to take that shot if the person threatening you or your family WAS one of your family members.

      • Appreciate both the article and the authors service. I believe your words would carry more weight if you tell that you have been in those types of situations. He was trained. The medic was trained. Still chaos. Airports have metal detectors and you cannot get on the plane w/o going through and passing. There is no other way out to the plane legally (we know criminals always find a way). That single portal could go far in making schools safer imho. Still trained staff and a very Fort Knox secure firearms safe in a school might simply dissuade a shooter to look for easier prey. But not the children.

      • With the greatest respect Mitch, until you find yourself in that situation you have no idea how you’re going to react. Plenty of well trained people fail to react, whilst untrained civilians can perform great acts of courage.

  3. Thank you Mat for your passionate, well reasoned and well written response. I, too, am a veteran (Vietnam). My experiences were not nearly as harrowing as yours (I was on a ship!) but I know this: you are correct in everything you say. Thank you again.

  4. Very well written!! You story gives me chills. Never in a million years would I imagine comparing the safety of our children in schools to a war zone. Very compelling.

  5. Matt makes some very good points, However, there are other non-lethal methods that the school authorities can be equipped with that would serve as a deterrent, a stun gun, tear gas, Blinding Strobe Lighting, etc. It is a mistake for schools to be “GUN FREE ZONES”, that’s the same as putting a sign on the door stating “good place for a terror attack”. Other measures would include only one entrance to facility with metal detector, and requiring ID, locked during class, many one way exits. The “ban the gun zealots” haven’t learned the lesson from the history of “ban the alcohol” “war on Drugs” I personally believe that most Laws are no longer followed in America because the punishment is not a deterrent, so “legalize and attempt to control” or “Ban and LOSE all control”

    • There certainly are non-lethal methods of discipline, defense, etc. that could certainly be introduced into the conversation. But our rep here in Concord, Larry Pittman, isn’t talking about anything like that. Thus, the entire point of the article. Rep. Pittman isn’t the least bit interested in the point your are making, other than the cliche’ of “GUN FREE ZONE” equating a ripe target for a terrorist attack. Makes me wonder… Why hasn’t CMC NorthEast Hospital in Concord been “hit” yet?

      • Sam Vimes? Of the night watch?

        My favorite quote of yours:
        “Odd thing, ain’t it… you meet people one at a time, they seem decent, they got brains that work, and then they get together and you hear the voice of the people. And it snarls.”

        Seems applicable to this thread.

    • In fact, laws have improved safety in our society quite a bit. If you are really concerned about our children, please do some research into what has proved effective. Don’t we want to get this right?

    • Most people want gun regulations. Like with you’re car. Guy used the same easily accessible semi auto rifle the pulse shooter used. Could have bought it at Wal-Mart with a lisence, a gun show without a licence or secretly from a some guy. There is no proper oversite. Have you seen how many kids have been shot in their own homes when guns were carelessly left sitting around? Even withyears of proper training, close quarters shooting is still difficult; impossible if your gun isn’t already aiming. What good is a gun in a house if it’s locked away? How safe is your family if it’s left sitting around? ‘Gun free zones’ and schools with armed guards are just as likely to be shot at equally. Parkland had an armed guard. There are open carry schools where students can carry pistols like they don’t kill people. Some of those schools are also greatly threatened by silicone dildos. Some of those schools carry a 500$ fine for sex toys but allow weapons that are designed to kill people to be carried freely. Those schools also have problems with burglery, rape and sometimes murder. The no gun zone campuses are more for student to student safty. Everyone should own a gun and everyone should expect to be treated equally in open carry states under the law. How many African-Americans have been murdered for legally carrying? Or appearing to be? Where was the nra when that guy was murdered by cops in his car for legally carrying in an open carry state? Or the guy that was murdered by police for legally buying an airsoft rifle? Or the decades long imprisonment of a black florida woman for shooting 2 rounds inside her home when someone tried to assault her?
      But more to the point. The proposed action was not to use these deterrents but to put more guns in schools, more guards or armed teachers. though deterrents would be a great idea it’s not the direction law makers are trying to take. Why strawman gun regulation as a gun ban everytime it’s proposed? Guns arent being made illegal. If gun owners continue to purchase guns after gun regulations are put into place they are no better than the criminals they say will illegally purchase weapons after gun laws are put into place. If anything, this threat of not following regulation would keep gun markets open for the next mass shooter to purchase weapons.

    • WHY should schools and other buildings have to be turned into prisons just so the white males in this country can all keep their stash of guns? You call that “quality of life?’

      • Do you really believe that it’s only “white males” that own guns? I am a white male, and I do not own a gun. In fact I have more female friends and acquaintances that own guns then male friends who do.

    • I don’t understand with all the technology we have why can’t surveillance cameras be installed by all the exits with alarm locks on the doors and on all sides of the building while an armed security person observes the cameras. If someone opens a door you would have them on tape. The standard you set would have to be followed without exceptions. Teachers could teach without being strapped down.

    • Every school was a “Gun Free Zone” before these deadly-accurate and easy-to-use weapons were widely-available in all fifty states but two following Sandy Hook. An ounce of prevention is worth way more than a ton of untrained cure in our schools. Taking certain weapons out of circulation or making them much more difficult to obtain and own will save lives. There is literally an entire library of data confirming this to be true. Regulation doesn’t mean banning guns. Hell, even the “assault weapons ban” didn’t mean banning all guns. Gun control advocates aren’t the ones making this a binary discussion.

  6. I appreciate your insight and agree that arming teachers is not the answer. As a veteran, I’d be curious to hear your thoughts of putting veterans or those transitioning out of the military in schools as armed security guards? I don’t know where schools would get the budget for this (probably the same place they’d get the budget to arm teachers… nowhere) but I think having trained shooters in schools to deter and address any attacks could be a good solution.

    • Yet I would be willing to bett many retired vets would donate their time to 1st and gaurd and spend time watching and protecting schools if just asked. (Are people to lazy or scared to ask thwm?) “GUN FREE ZONE” Advertising and signs CREATE potential “KILLING FIELDS ” without a doubt. How many of these shooting have stopped just because the cowardly gunman thought they were in danger themselves because they heard just ONE shot the thought might be coming their way???

    • They’d volunteer for no pay. Prior service military and police would line up ten deep to save children. The NRA should offer free gun safety programs to anyone who wants one for free.

  7. For me, the idea that arming teachers could be considered a satisfactory response is just asinine. That’s not to say that there aren’t some teachers who might respond effectively. I’m sure there are. But if that plan is the best we can do, we might as well just admit that we’re okay with school shootings, if the potentially-effective responses involve even the slightest sacrifice.

    • Most anything worthwhile involves sacrifice. What is truly asinine is to allow schools to remain gun free zones. Sgt. Martin and others have no right to judge the potential future actions of others. Stick to predicting lottery numbers; you will have more luck.

      • Nope. What is truly asinine—and deadly—is allowing weapons designed for maximum lethality loose among our civilian population. They are lousy for home defense—shotguns and pistols with ammunition not designed to penetrate walls and continue through a neighborhood are far more useful and far less likely to maim the family three houses down, so if you think need an AR-15 for defense, you are too stupid to use any gun, ever. Hunters are better off with accurate rifles that hold four rounds or fewer, or, depending on the game, with shotguns. Who the hell needs 30 round magazines to take down game? If you want an AR-15 because you think you will need it when the government comes for you, I have no sympathy for you whatever, and you should consider moving to a country whose government suits you better. Maybe Russia, which wouldn’t let you near an assault rifle? Or Somalia, where you’d probably have use for it?

        You display unbounded ignorance. Good luck with that.

      • Because, clearly, more guns has always solved the problem. Oh wait. Every year there are more guns in the hands of the public and the amount of mass shootings keeps increasing.

          • Sweden has a much lower violent crime rate than the US. People who are apparently incapable of doing a little reading about how statistics are reported like to scream about Sweden’s rape rate. Sweden’s rape rate appears high because each country gets to define what “rape” is, and in the US, States even differ in their definitions about “rape.” Sweden calls any sexual acts without consent rape, whereas the US calls very little rape, categorizing most as “sexual assault.”

      • Sacrificing other people’s children…I have to ask if you are insane. This is the ultimate problem with gun crazies, it’s always about someone else sacrificing everything for them to have their ‘rights’. And They’ve normalized mass murder in schools of everyone’s children except of course their own. At what point are you finally going to say NO to people like this?

      • Clark, maybe you’re really Superman, but most people are not. You’ve missed the whole point of this article. And, despite the looks of responses here, your views are in the minority. How about we try to prevent school shootings–and all mass shootings–in the first place? Obviously you are OK with accepting that such things will continue to happen. Most Americans are not. But after all, you’re the man of steal and the bullets will just bounce off of your chest. But do you know that for sure? Have YOU ever been in a fire fight? How do you know you won’t freeze up like some well-trained soldiers do? More guns are NOT the answer. It’s time YOU put up or shut up, Kent. Better yet, just do the latter.

  8. It is better than doing nothing. The majority of the gun problems in this country are due to law enforcement not doing its’ job. Typical government. union member, civil service employees. Useless.

      • The FBI was aware of the shooter’s threat to be a school shooter and did nothing, the police were aware of the shooter’s problems and did nothing. the school allegedly told their security to never let Cruz in the school if he had a backpack, his rifle was in a bag, not a backpack, but larger.

        Bottom line is it was their job to do something and they FAILED and people died that probably (I’m a fatalist) should not have. The author, being ex military and combat experienced, should understand that better than most civilians.

        • Actually they had been to his house repeatedly. He had done nothing ILLEGAL! There are factions that wants you to believe the FBI and other law enforcement agencies are ineffective. They work very hard and risk their lives every day. So don’t believe everything you read.

        • Every other country has all sorts of people with mental health issues, and all sorts of people who can be potentially violent. Only America has frequent mass shootings and school shootings. America is on the way to being a failed state — thr only developed nation to hold that distinction. Good luck!

    • Yes, let’s ‘do something’ and ban assault weapons in the United States.

      If that upsets you we’ll send you some thoughts and prayers, which should make it all better.

  9. Sgt: Thank you for your service, but your argument is disengenuous. It’s akin to saying that your platoon should not have had weapons because the medic froze and that might have endangered others.
    Moreover, you were ambushed. You did not know the terrain or layout. I suspect you had not cleared the dwellings – or, at the very least, know the layout as well as a teacher would know the layout of his school.

    Waiting for law enforcement in these situations is nothing more than allowing a greater body count. Indeed, the shooter in this recent shootin gwas over and done and walked out right past the cops rushing in.

    As for shootings in critical incidents, the armed teacher takes on a bigger risk than the cops, or students, as he/she is more likely to be mistakenly shot by a first responder – but, speaking as one who has run towards danger – I’d rather go that way after dropping the bad guy than dying by cowering in a corner waiting to be slaughtered.

    And I would stack up the shooting skills of a “gun enthusiast” over most cops’ marksmanship every damn day of the week – even with the adrenal rush.

    In closing, there were 3,000 students at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School. My high school had 1,500 kids in my freshman year and the halls during dismissal and/or between classes were a sea of people. Properly rushed, a gunman would have no chance of continuing his carnage.
    Would some kids get killed? Injured? Yep. But kids were already getting killed and injured while few rushed him and many ran and hid.

    In closing, let me share one discussion of a really good friend of mine from the high school I graduated from. That school had all of 450 kids – – and we know if someone came on campus with such intent, we sure as hell would have gone after him.

    Arming teachers?

      • I suspect Bob has a valid point. I hope a CMPD patrolman will inform us what recurring firearms training they must successfully accomplish on a annual basis. I would also like to know if CMPD allows their armed officers to use their duty weapons in sanctioned International Defensive Pistol or United States Practical Shooting Association matches on non-duty time. Frequent firearms practice is paramount.

        • Gary: Wanna be scared? IN my career, you wouldn’t want to know how many cops have NEVER drawn or fired their weapon – even at the range.
          I know one cop, in a town near me, who carries a wheel gun. (For those out of the know, look that one up.) He carries it still because he’s never, ever, pulled it from his holster. And the leather has actually fused to the weapon. He CAN’T draw it. But he does keep the exposed port portions clean and shiny. (And, by the way, yes, there are old, live rounds still in each chamber.)

          But I’m no expert.

          • I tried to leave a response yesterday but for some reason, it has not appeared.
            For the last 20 years, I have supplied forced entry equipment and training to law enforcement and other first responders via Fenrir. Perhaps it was my URL that bounced the posting.

            Does that make me expert? I don’t know. But having more than 65,000 officers in my personal contact database … having met hundreds of SWAT teams … well, I can say I have had a lot of exposure and have seen tons of data published by folks like NSA, IACP, FBI, etc.

            Does that make me qualified to comment? You’re call. But it does make me confident in my reply.

            Self defense is a personal right. Use it, or, lose it. And, by the way, an element of Self-defense includes defense of others.

            And, while I’m at it, more than a few of those 65,000 contacts do NOT routinely go to the range. Hell, I knew one officer in a town near me who has never withdrawn his wheel gun from its holster. He can’t – – it’s been in the holster so long that the leather has fused to the metal of the weapon. Yes. It’s stuck in place. But he keeps the exposed parts really shiny. And, Yes – there is an old, live round in each cylinder.
            And, when he goes for his annual, or bi-annual range re-qualification – he actually borrows a Glock from a fellow officer.

            Now, folks, one last point: That very infrequent range re-qual for most cops is them sitting at a counter shooting paper down range. It does NOT necessarily include any simulation for a real-life, active shooter.

            And, to drive that point home – remember, Majory Stoneman Douglas was trying to schedule an active shooter drill. That’s for the kids AND the cops. No practice there, folks.

            I like the idea of trained, in place teachers/adminstrators. I just heard one district that has it in place where the weapons are locked. and the academic “first responders” are trained volunteers.

            Short of that, I like the idea of secured doorways. Couldn’t get into my kids’ high schools without presenting myself to a camera and then to a person directly inside the door. (Not that beats an armed response.)

            So, still thanks Mr. Martin for his service. God Bless him always. But I also still disagree with his thesis.

            Good Enough for you, Clark?

          • @Bob, so you can say a lot about how you don’t think cops are well trained, but clearly know absolutely nothing about NOTHING about teachers.
            According to a survey by the National Association of Educators, only 22% of teachers believe that teachers should be allowed to have guns at work. This is not 22% who actually want to carry guns, that’s the percentage that think teachers should have the right to.
            Many of those 22% are actually not going to want the insane liability, when it comes down to it, or they simply aren’t physically able to handle the duty.
            Of the remaining teachers, how many are really going to be that diligent about training?
            Oh, and incidentally, lots of teachers would quit if this program were put in, so that’s an issue you would have to deal with too. Now, say you do have 6-7 armed teachers in a school. Almost all the deaths in this shooting (and most others) occurred in the first minute or two after Cruz started shooting. How do you propose that the volunteer weapons handling teachers run out of their classrooms (abandoning those students!) to the places where their weapons are secured and hunt down the shooter?
            That’s absurd. He’s already shot up that room and moved down the hallways. There are not one-room school-houses. In the chaos, the armed teachers would be very lucky to identify the shooter correctly and then, in that chaotic environment, what are the odd of a clear shot? It’s preposterous to think that would work.

        • I don’t live in the Charlotte area, so cannot speak for CMPD training. I have researched police training levels nationally. Based on reports of surveys of police training academies, recruits receive on average 70 hours of firearms training, with most of the firing being at static targets, although some moving target-moving shooter training is done by many academies. Continuing firearms training looks to be about twice a year for a total of 15 hours on average. But that is only when police department budgets are good. When budgets get cut, ongoing training is one of the first areas that get reduced. The reports I’ve seen in my research indicate many police departments now do official formal firearms training and re-qualification once a year. Some do it only once every two years. Officers assigned to SWAT type units seem to do a lot more official formal training than the general police patrol officers.

          As Sgt. Martin states, that level of training is not adequate to be effective. It is just the minimum to keep up appearances of being qualified. I think many police officers do additional firearms training on their own, but that is time consuming and expensive for the officers. No way to know how many do the extra training or how effective their training programs are. If it is simply firing more rounds at static targets, it would not be that effective.

    • That is a ridiculous thing to say, Bob. Saying that CHILDREN should throw away their lives…seriously? They are freaking CHILDREN. How dare you. How dare you even suggest that someone’s baby put themselves in the position of an adult. Your response has me so furious that my fingers are shaking while I write this response. CHILDREN, Bob, CHILDREN. The whole point of this discussion is to AVOID unnecessary killing. And, sorry, for all of you red-blooded, NRA loving gun pushers, but ADDING guns to the situation is NOT the solution. I am sorry to say that I feel that until guns themselves have been outlawed, these types of massacres will never end. I know this is a pipe-dream, but the answer is NOT MORE GUNS. Seriously, Bob? Seriously? If you have a child, Bob, would you really want YOUR baby throwing him/herself in front of a gunman? No? Didn’t think so.

      • wow, she’s literally shaking. How dare you suggest kids fight back rather than be slaughtered like cattle, bob. How dare you bring up the fact that most police officers are not as well trained as people think, bob. How dare you even have an opinion that’s not based entirely in emotion in regard to how to govern 320+ million people, bob. You should be placed into an immediate re-education center.

      • The Govt, Administration, The Ones @the Top, Those Pulling The Strings, Etc – THEY do Not want children to stop being killed senselessly,.
        THEY have no problem at all wasting anybody they want, man woman child, on every part of the earth outside this country, in order to get whatever it is they want… that they believe more valuable than foreign human lubes…like oil, gold, poppies.
        You really think the Govt here cares about a few kids?
        I assure u they do not.
        In fact, they WANT mass shootings/terrorist attacks to occur… especially those performed by AR15.
        Not only do they want these attacks, love the attacks, support the attacks… BUT THEY DEPEND on these mass shootings every year for a continued increase in public support, Congressional funding and further, stricter legislation virtually guaranteeing our Inalienable Rights under the Constitution

  10. Matt, Thanks for serving, and for the pain you endured for all Americans. As a fellow Vet, I concur with your article, with one exception. A Vet such as yourself has the maturity and experience to carry and defend your students.

    Although the potential to freeze is a great reason not to arm teachers who haven’t had your training, we already know how to reduce, if not eliminate these shootings. We do not put up “gun free zone” signs and walk away from Congress, courthouses, banks, airports, and govt offices and expect the signs to be the credible deterrent. No, we harden those facilities, by limiting entrances/exits, install metal detectors, and have more than one armed person ready to respond…we not only have visible armed guards at those entrances, but we have an alert force of armed respondents. That is exactly what the Israelis did and have no problem with their schools.

    Yet for our schools and precious kids, we pass a law, tell criminals and nut cases that “no guns are here” and maybe we put one or two police officers who have other duties and may be elsewhere when events go down. After all, the people who commit these crimes generally know where the security is, and whether it is going to be able to respond in time. As you probably know as well, Matt, that officer is probably also not the very best one they have on the force. In Florida, it was one armed person, who may or may not even have been on campus, depending upon which report you read.

    It is teachers themselves who often keep more effective measures from being implemented, not wanting to work “in armed camps” and stating so very adamantly. In fact, as that one teacher said, he thought only the mentally slow or dimwits went into the military…something you and I could easily refute, but he doubled down when challenged. Suspect he feels the same way about cops…except when he needs one.

    There is a huge danger here to want to pass more laws to “do something.” As horrible as this tragedy was, another law is exactly the wrong thing right now.

    A civilian businessman does not just throw money at a problem if he wants to be successful. He figures out what needs to be done, tests it, makes sure the solution works and is both affordable and able to be done. Only then does he implement it fully. We call that the scientific method.

    In government, we pass a law, throw money at it and declare the problem solved. Until it isn’t. Then add more laws, more money, ad infinitum. There is no measure of effectiveness and no feedback whether something works, even though the public may rapidly know something is all fouled up.

    That is how we end up with 10,000 dead due to DUI’s (gee, it IS illegal to drink to excess and drive, right?), 17 dead due to opiods A DAY (gee, it is illegal to use drugs in a non-prescribed manner, isn’t it? This is 364x as bad as the shooting.), 35,000+ (probably more due to distracted/texting drivers) on the roadways (gee, is there a Constitutional right to drive?)…and so on and so on. No hue and cry to ban cars, ban all pain killers, ban ANYTHING that impairs our basic lifestyles. Yet, the first words after one of these tragedies is “BAN xxxx GUNS.”

    We need to figure out what measures of school security work, what we can afford, and test those measures, adjusting as necessary. Banning AR-15’s, just shifts the next murders to (fill in the gun here) and then the desire to ban that platform further eroding basic Constitutional rights.

    I suspect that if the folks who are in the “ban guns” crowd were to stop and insert that same logic, they could see how rapidly you can intrude on other Constitutional rights…free speech is so provoking…causes campus riots in Berkeley, so let’s ban freedom of assembly. Let’s license people who wish to lawfully assemble, and allow them in groups of no more than 10. Let’s break down the doors of those thought to be hoarding guns…don’t bother to get a warrant.

    The founding fathers were sensitive to how quickly a free society could be taken over by tyranny. That is why the Constitution and amendments.

    What they couldn’t foresee was latchkey kids or kids raising themselves with a diet of violent video first person shooter video games, movies and TV shows glorifying death and destruction, drugs readily available, legal and illegal, and the break down of society sold as “individual rights.”

    Somewhere in South Florida there are hundreds or even dozens of kids who might wonder if they had also said something about the U tube, Instagram and Facebook posts, if maybe the FBI or other law enforcement MIGHT have done more, rather than just the two who did (and were somewhat ignored). Yet those same kids probably participate in the “we need gun control” rallies, because it is a “field trip with a message” heading to Tallahassee.

    • “No, we harden those facilities, by limiting entrances/exits, install metal detectors, and have more than one armed person ready to respond…we not only have visible armed guards at those entrances, but we have an alert force of armed respondents.”

      Many schools and MOST urban schools already have a limited number of (unlocked) entrances with metal detectors and armed guards at the (usually) single unlocked entrance that must be used to enter the school during the school day.

      The problem with totally eliminating all those other (locked) doors is fire code: You must be able to evacuate the building quickly in the event of fire or other events that don’t involve a live shooter where evacuation is the right thing to do. And you can’t evacuate a school through one or two doors.

    • “There is a huge danger here to want to pass more laws to “do something.” As horrible as this tragedy was, another law is exactly the wrong thing right now.

      A civilian businessman does not just throw money at a problem if he wants to be successful. He figures out what needs to be done, tests it, makes sure the solution works and is both affordable and able to be done. Only then does he implement it fully. We call that the scientific method.”

      But thanks to the NRA, the federal government has effectively banned *studying* gun violence in this country from an epidemiological point of view: So we no scientific evidence to go on and no way to build the scientific evidence we need.

      Perhaps the first thing to do is for Congress to repeal the law that prohibits the CDC from studying gun violence as a public health problem and start funding real research into gun violence and gun safety.

    • So you’re against banning rapid fire guns and attempts to buy back those that are already out there? Yes, if a person is set on the killing they will find something else to use. But why not take away the ones that kill the most people quickly?

      And saying the rest of your constitutional rights would be under fire next does not hold water. Look how many people have died and yet any amendments to the second amendment are still ridiculously difficult to get passed.

  11. Thank you for your service. I understand your concerns and appreciate the clarity with which you express them. But the current alternative — other than providing professional armed security — is to leave both teachers and students as defenseless human targets for mad men and lunatics. And it must be said: These individual school shooters, at least historically, have been as inexperienced at shooting as many of the teachers themselves would be. Many teachers are also military or law enforcement veterans. And we a speaking of a different real-time scenario than that of a military battlefield where there are multiple enemies — shooters with fully automatic AKs — who are frequently behind barriers of various kinds. Some possibility of resistance and self defense is preferable for our schools even if less than perfect. Further, you mention police who are supposedly highly trained and still have a high incidence of being shot. That example seems to be valid at first glance, but that analogy should be probed. Many police academies only require forty hours of firearms training with the actual police departments only requiring semi-annual or annual firearms qualification. Better would be the DEA which provides 122 hours of training. Or the FBI firearm and tactical training. No one I have heard speaking of the option of arming teachers has suggested only a few hours of “Intro to Shooting 101.” Also I would assume it would be voluntary on the part of the teachers themselves to participate and that adequate training would be provided. Money spent paying teachers for 122 hours of firearm and tactical training in the Summer by the DEA or FBI would be money amazingly well spent. I would suggest they get extra pay if they carry during the academic year. I was from the Vietnam War era. The firearms training for military draftees then does not even come close to what is available today. I say, let’s make it available to teachers in our schools who wish to participate. That would be infinitely better than the status quo.

    • The OP is trying to illustrate the actuality of what happens in a real time fight-or-flight physiologic response in a real time event of having your life threatened. Most people don’t understand the difference between “training” and “experienced”. Training shows you how to pull a trigger. Experience is learning to override the initial panic and disorientation that comes from the limbic system booting up, coupled with the initial blast of neurotransmitters/hormones that make you feel superhuman: controlling your actions and decisions in matters of seconds is your priority. Training civilian teachers to pull a trigger on a student or juvenile is the most horrendous thing from an organic stance. They typically don’t have the wiring to respond properly in a situation like that unless they’ve been in a life altering event or have served in a front line assembly of sorts.

  12. Anyone who still thinks teachers should be armed, I ask you additional question: how do you think schools would pay for it? The guns themselves, the ammo, the training, the insurance, etc. Do you realize how astronomical the cost would be? Do you realize how many schools there are, and how many teachers work at each school? What about substitute teachers?

    Ok fine, that turned into a bunch of questions. But none that anyone can answer legitimately. And it’s too easy to poke holes in the other ideas suggested here (and elsewhere), but I’ll save that for another day. More guns in schools does not equal more safety. It’s a laughably terrible idea… not that anyone should be faulted for considering alternative solutions. Sometimes you throw shit at the wall and hope it sticks. God help us if this one sticks.

    • It is not a matter of ‘more guns in schools’. It is about TRAINED ARMED RESPONDERS in schools. Your lack of basic logic is what is terribly laughable. P.S. Since when do liberals care about the cost of ANYTHING?

    • As it is, we parents have to buy the freaking pencils and paper for our classrooms every year. Is my next school supply list going to include “number 2 pencils, 3 ring binders, AR-15?” Even if teachers could be trained well enough, it’s not financially feasible.

  13. Thank you for your for your service. The courage you display performing your duty to our country is something we should all aspire too.

    Having said that, an active shooter situation is not the same as a firefight in a war zone. While they are both stressful situations and the human physiological and psychological reactions will have similarities, your experience in one does not transfer to expertise in the other.

    You make the point that, “Few people actually run towards gunfire.” this is true but irrelevant. First, we know that some teachers do run toward gunfire. Accounts from Sandy Hook, Parkland, and numerous other school shootings tell of teachers moving to the shooter. Principal Dawn Hochsprung and Mary Sherlach were the first to fall at Sandy Hook as they confronted the shooter, unarmed. Scott Beigel and Aaron Feis both died at Parkland because they put themselves between the shooter and their students, again unarmed. Would teachers, who demonstrated a willingness to run towards gunfire to defend their students, not have been better served by having a firearm to defend themselves and their students?

    You also ignore the school shooting that have been stopped by armed students and teachers. An audit of mass shootings (http://dailyanarchist.com/2012/07/31/auditing-shooting-rampage-statistics/) found the averge number of people killed in shootings stopped by police to be 14.29 compared to the average number of people kiled when the shooting was stopped by a civilian 2.33. Waiting for the police means more people dead.

    One of your arguments is that, “What if during the chaos of an active shooter situation a teacher shoots an innocent student?” This is a straw argument. Guns are used defensively thousands of times a year and in the vast majority of cases it is the perpetrator who is shoot. I cannot remember a single case of an innocent being shoot despite having read hundreds of cases of defensive gun use.

    In the vast majority cases, school shooters surrender or kill themselves when confronted with armed resistance. The other factor is that almost all mass shootings take place in gun free zones, such as schools. Mass shooters are cowards and they want easy victims. If they know that schools will present armed resistance they will not even try.

    Do you know that there are already armed teachers in the country? Colorado, Utah, and Ohio are among the states that now allow armed teachers. The FASTER program started in Ohio trains teacher in Emergency Response. So far no problems and no shootings.

    There is another country that had a school shooting problem worse than ours. Israel had to deal, not with disaffected youths, but determined terrorists. Their solution, arm the teachers. The results, a dramatic drop in school shootings, and hundreds a saved lives.

    So, Mr Martin, while I honor your service, your experience does not illuminate this situation. The empirical data shows arming teachers to be an effective deterrent and a way to reduce casualties, despite your feelign to the contrary.

    • “The FASTER program started in Ohio trains teacher in Emergency Response. So far no problems and no shootings.” And I guarantee you, it’s just a matter of time before there is. For many reasons, arming teachers is utter insanity. One, is the cost. Most of America’s school districts are struggling to cover their student’s school supplies, let alone enough to provide for counselors, nurses, social workers, and pensions. And you want the property owners to be burdened with additional taxes to turn our schools into virtual prisons?? Trump and his republican Congressional buddies want to drastically cut our domestic programs. So you can count federal funding out. Most states have stretched-to-the-max funding issues. Check them off your list. Oh, let’s have a car wash and a bake sale….that’ll cover the cost! Last funding suggestion: Have the gun-loving NRA pay for all the costs, including the guns, the cc permits, AND all the specialized training. After all, this “arming teachers” was initially their idea.

    • No thoughts of prevention. False equivalence. The assailant with a gun always has tactical advantage. Let’s say the NRA advice is heeded, and ALL students and staff carry guns in all schools, keeping them on their person in open-carry. Next thing is, a class of kids is studying Geography, and a gunman bursts into the room firing as he enters, killing the teacher and all 25 students in less than 30 seconds. How are the kids going to have time to reach into their desks or their pockets or wherever else they keep their guns, and open fire on the gunman? The gunman always has the advantage of surprise.

      In the Orlando mass shooting at a gay club, for the patrons to defend themselves, they’d have had to be dancing with gun holsters around their waists, in a constant state of alert in case a gunman should at any moment burst into the club and open fire with an automatic weapon.

      No gun massacre has ever been stopped by an armed civilian. They’re CAUSED by armed civilians.  Gun control via background checks and needs based assessment is the only solution. No 19 year old school kid needs an assault rifle that can kill 60 people in 30 seconds.

    • There was an armed security guard in Parkland, and we all know how well your fantasy of more guns resulting in less gun violence worked out there. Don’t we.

  14. I appreciate your service and insight. I feel however you’ve written about a big theroetic box. The solution is out of the box thinking. Not every teacher would be trained. Only professionals with gun experience/interest would step up to volunteer. Guns would not be holstered and walked around the school. A limited number of trained teachers would have access to locked guns if/when a school shooting arose. Any other time they would be safely hidden and locked (unknown to students). Reaction is uncontrollable. But many civilizations have reacted appropriately and bravely in the face of danger. By your own static, more than half are possitive outcomes. There is danger and risk. But in a dangerous situation, stopping the situation is a risk many teachers would be willing to face. I know-how I’m a teacher

    • Reactions are controllable for EXPERIENCED individuals.

      Training is learning the routine.

      Experience happens when you actually have demonstrated under pressure and learning how to master your reactions and ability to effectively strategize without compromising your stance or your teams.

  15. OMFG…All the local armchair Sgt. Rock wannabees chiming in on how wrong Mr. Martin, a veteran who has actually been through the chaos of war is in his very reasoned and logical assessment of the pitfalls of arming teachers. They all trot out the same old tired NRA platitudes that “they would be the ones to run towards danger” and “a gun enthusiast is a better marksman than a trained LEO” when the fact of the matter is they would likely be the ones shitting themselves in a active shooter situation. The only viable solution for them is more guns, never mind that we are already a gun saturated society aided and abetted by a SC that has twisted the meaning of “well regulated” to mean the opposite of what it’s actual definition is. Their reaction to this post will be the usual ” Murrican badass” mixture of macho threats and posturing because anything that threatens their love and possession of guns also threatens their manhood – It won’t fit their Dirty Harry Super Patriot image of themselves. So come at me, you gun toting, afraid of your own shadow limpdicks, let me hear your best Wayne LaPierre vomitspeak!!

    • Well Travis, most of these folks were putting out some well reasoned thoughts and where they disagreed stating so respectfully. That’s what a civilized society does. Then there was you with the obscenities and name calling.

      I might point out that just because YOU disagree with a Supreme Court ruling, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t the law of the land. I would guess that from your comments, you thought how wonderful they were in Roe vs Wade. There are folks who disagree with that ruling, but it is the law of the land as well.

      I’ve got 3 wars and 30 yrs of military service. Never wounded, but I’ve seen a few cowards in my life, especially since the advent of the Internet. Most saying stuff that would get them poked in the nose if they said it in person. It always amazes me that people who hide behind the First amendment rights have zero problem trying to impinge on others Second amendment rights.

      Neither Mr. LaPierre or you speak for me. I can speak for myself.

    • amen, travis bickle (great profile name by the way. hahaha). so many blowhards are soooo courageous in hypothetical scenarios. in real life, cops and soldiers often fail to respond adequately, can’t hit the perpetrator, wound bystanders or kill the innocent. anyone who thinks they can pull that off should sign up for police or military training. most of the loudmouths wouldn’t pass the physical, let alone the training itself. like the NRA, irresponsible delusion that will only lead to more deaths.

  16. Like others, I commend you and thank you for your service. And for writing this piece, which clearly comes from the heart.

    I also agree that arming teachers with little or no training is not the answer. But several of the assumptions and analogies your argument is based on are misplaced.

    1. The proposal to have armed teachers is not being entertained by many as they necessarily think it through to a full-on firefight. I am admittedly not sure about Mr. Pittman’s particular stance but, ror many (most?), the issue is one of deterrence. Not necessarily anticipation of an inevitable gunfight in a populated school. There is a realistic argument that massacres like Columbine, Sandy Hook and Parkland might not have ever even been conceived of or attempted, if the perpetrator was concerned about possibly being shot, himself.

    2. You draw an analogy between your service experience in Afghanistan and that of the teachers and students that is unjustified, for several reasons:

    How many times in your tour of duty were you encountered by a lone, teenage gunman? The story you supplied indicates that you and your platoon were ambushed form at least three separate locations, each with presumably multiple shooters. Saying that students and teachers, facing a lone, teenage gunman is “no different than what my fellow soldiers and I faced in Afghanistan” lends a dramatic connection to your tale, but it is factually inaccurate, nevertheless.

    Your offer a description of a medic who froze after, a year of training for that very circumstance, as an example of how even those with training can often fail to rise to the call, when it does come. That is all well and good but, that possibility is not unique only to those who are on the side of right. Just as a teacher with training on defending themselves and students might ultimately freeze when actually placed in a hail of bullets, it is even MORE likely that the completely untrained shooter might freeze and be unable to complete their intended evil task.

    3. You correctly point out that “Regardless of training, you don’t know how people will respond in life and death situations until the moment comes… You just don’t know.” …and follow that immediately with “These teachers aren’t action stars. These are average people, who more likely than not, have never come close to experiencing anything like this.”

    But as others pointed out, at Sandy Hook and again at Parkland, teachers – teachers with NO TRAINING – DID, in fact, run towards the fire. So yes, you just don’t know. Pure speculation that teachers, uniquely, will not respond appropriately.

    No doubt some teachers in these situations just hid. Some likely even froze, unable to hide and attempt to protect themselves. But, in each of these situations several advanced on the shooter. Like you said, you just don’t know.

    So, pointing out that we never know if some people with training might freeze really makes no point at all, about whether armed teachers might help in this type of situation.

    4. You cite an FBI study about active shooter situations, asserting that police officers who engaged the shooter were wounded or killed in 46.7 percent of the incidents. Talking about people trained to respond to these situations. But that statistic really tells us nothing that we really need to know. it only tells us that in about half the situations where cops engage and active shooter, at least one of them gets wounded. We don’t know the type of shooters involved, ANY of the circumstances, or even the extent of the wounds reported. This statistic is meaningless in a discussion about whether teachers should be armed.

    More telling (but acknowledged as virtually impossible to accurately determine) would be statistics on say, COMPARING the number of victims in active shooter situations with no defense vs. situations with defensive activity (police or otherwise). We could even start with something like: How many victims during the period with no police presence vs. the number of victims after police presence.

    5. You summarily assert that “The potential collateral damage is not worth it. There are just TOO MANY possible negative outcomes and risks that so SEVERELY OUTWEIGH the SMALL CHANCE that they stop an active shooter threat.” You clearly do NOT know that, as a fact. Unfortunately, it is pure opinion.

    In closing, again, I thank you for your service and I agree that arming teachers, at least with the intent of having them engage in gunfights, is not a good idea.

    I just wish your article didn’t have so many poor analogies and baseless assumptions in an attempt to support the view.

  17. If it was my call…I would ask Congress to create an organization (similar to the TSA in airports) to secure schools. The government requires children to attend school. Therefore, it is incumbent on the government to protect the children and teachers in those schools. IT’S A MATTER OF FUNDING. If we can afford trillions to fight other people’s wars, surely we can fund child protection. Sharpen your pencil Mr. Trump!

    • Betsy Devos already wants to cut funding for schools that aren’t for rich kids so good luck convincing them to fund a multimillion dollar security operation for public schools, they don’t even want to educate the kids much less protect them

    • You mean the same government that runs the incompetent Department of Education, FBI, TSA, Post Office, VA, etc.? You want MORE government involvement?

  18. Someone who can legally carry should not be forced to disarm simply because they’re in a school. If I were a teacher I’d keep a firearm with me regardless. There’s no way I’d give up the ability to defend myself.
    I’m not suggesting every teacher be armed. But those who are experienced & trained shouldn’t be made helpless.

  19. I tell you what…it’s amazing that somebody could read Matt Martin’s well-reasoned and articulate explanation of what it’s really like to have somebody trying to shoot you and the way people respond in that situation, and then read the comments of people who still think that arming teachers is a good idea and think that there is much hope for America.

    Truth is, as long as Americans are going to insist on the right to own guns, we are just going to have to accept that the blood of our children is going to be the cost. Just pray that it only happens to somebody you don’t know.

    • I tell you what; it’s amazing that Israel arms teachers and does not have a problem with school shootings. There is NO HOPE for America with defeatist bed-wetters like you.

      • The statement that Israel arms teaches is a false narrative that is being distributed among right wing social media sites.

        Even the NRA in its false claims about Israeli school security after the Sandy Hook school mass shooting did not try to claim that Israel arms teachers. The Israeli government response at that time was:

        “Israel’s policy on issuing guns is restrictive, and armed guards at its schools are meant to stop terrorists, not crazed or disgruntled gunmen” and “Israel allows its people to acquire firearms only if they can prove their professions or places of residence put them in danger. The country relies on its security services, not armed citizens, to prevent terror attacks.”

      • Israel does have armed guards at schools but the teachers are not armed in the classroom. Also Israel does have many laws regulating guns.

        • In America we have a problem with psychotropic drugs causing school shootings. We also have “gun free zones” around our schools which the shooters ignore. We also believe here in America, that Firearm ownership is a God given right and a lot of us are disinclined to give up our guns. We see how well that works out at the schools. Since there is a majority of us and 300 million guns in this country. We believe that gun restriction wont work. We do have some evidence that armed teachers have a better chance of stopping a school shooting than disarmed ones.

      • No I will tell you what amazing and dumb. Amazing is not searching online to see if your idea is real or not “Conscription exists in Israel for all Israeli citizens over the age of 18 who are Jewish, Druze or Circassian; Arab citizens of Israel are not conscripted. Other exceptions are made on religious, physical or psychological grounds.” and dumb is to spout that line that made you look like an uneducated fool.

      • Ah yes, the new meme, follow Israel’s lead and arm teachers.

        But by all means, let’s follow all of Israel’s laws regarding guns. Gun ownership is far lower in Israel – out of 8.5 million about 135,000 citizens are currently licensed to own guns. If you haven’t completed military service, you can’t get a gun until you are 27. Background checks and signed bill of health from their doctor are required, and licenses have to be renewed every three years and require annual practice at a shooting range. Many requests for licenses are refused.

        Automatic rifles licenses are even more rare. And annual bullet supplies are limited to 50 per licensed individual.

        So congrats on picking the least effective portion of Israel’s gun policy and ignoring all the things that could really help!

        There is NO HOPE for America with violent gun worshippers like you.

      • Ah yes, the new meme, follow Israel’s lead and arm teachers.

        But by all means, let’s follow all of Israel’s laws regarding guns. Gun ownership is far lower in Israel – out of 8.5 million about 135,000 citizens are currently licensed to own guns. If you haven’t completed military service, you can’t get a gun until you are 27. Background checks and signed bill of health from their doctor are required, and licenses have to be renewed every three years and require annual practice at a shooting range. Many requests for licenses are refused.

        Automatic rifles licenses are even more rare. And annual bullet supplies are limited to 50 per licensed individual.

        So congrats on picking the least effective portion of Israel’s gun policy and ignoring all the things that could really help!

        There is NO HOPE for America with gun worshippers like yourself who ignore any regulatory solutions besides MORE GUNS!!

      • My research indicates that Israel does NOT arm teachers. They do however secure the perimeter of their schools and they do have very strict gun control laws.

      • Israel does not arm teachers. They may have armed security guards in the west bank but teachers aren’t armed. Israel also has way more restrictions on gun ownership. Is that what you’re suggesting? Raise the age to 27 for general civilian gun permit or younger after military service?

      • There’s no hope for America with people who won’t post using their real names either, “Clark”. Or perhaps is it “Otis” How about you get out of your Mom’s basement, put a shirt on, get in the sunshine, go talk with real people and quit spreading fake news.

        I saw armed, young soldiers in Israel at airports (both male & female) probably before you were wetting diapers and it has nothing to do with teachers and school shootings.

  20. Matt, no truer written words. I’ve served in two armies, during times of conflict. I also used to own a personal firearm, bought after my business partner was stabbed to death. I have all the reasons in the world to love guns and understand their effectiveness. However, I can’t put in words how ridiculous and absurd a concept it is that we expect teachers to react in a time of crisis and effectively operate to neutralize a threat, while not harming their own students and law enforcement. Not to mention the risk they put themselves in to be mistaken by some other weekend warrior or responder. This is not the solution and is a solution put forth by those who have never been in a crisis situation.

    • I agree, as a parent. There are too many scenarios that I see leading toward incidents of someone getting injured or shot. Children are not the only unstable people in schools. What’s to say a teacher wouldn’t snap, have a power trip and pull their gun on a child or mistake a potential assault on them and pull a gun on them. What will they do if a student tries to get their gun from them or a group of students. If the gun is stored away in a drawer, it’s still accessible, as I’ve had teachers tell me a 5th grader broke open a locked drawer and stole my son’s property from her cabinet. Too many teachers aren’t properly trained most of the time to do the job they’re doing, being able to handle children with special needs, understanding child psychology and applying it, or having the temperament to work in a classroom environment or with kids period. Texas doesn’t even require a degree for many teachers. There’s no way they would spend the money or the time to educate and train teachers in crisis situations at schools that involves them handling a gun. Then, as you said, there is the fact they themselves could be mistaken as a threat. The idea would be nice, but illogical in reality.

  21. I suspect that, for every one shooter that armed teachers get a shot at (whether they hit them or not), there will be multiple incidents where someone goes postal in the workplace. I guess the gun advocates will say we need more armed staff to fend off the armed staff…

  22. I worry how our children’s psyches are being affected by this siege mentality. Active shooter drills, proposals to arm teachers, the actual mass shootings and media coverage. It has to be adversely affecting them.

    • My son’s school on top of that is implementing a card system, so now only students and staff may enter the building. You have to go to a window they’re installing connecting the front office to the outside in order to come in. It’s becoming just like a prison.

  23. The United States really is getting threadbare in a social and ethical context. The echo-chambers of the mad have yielded up this insanity. More guns will not make things safer, merely more chaotic. The solution is sane gun control, the same as other developed countries. Look to Australia, Britain, even something as moderate with regard to gun control as Canada.

    If the U.S. fails in this, I really do think it will be as Yeats spoke of in his poem “The Second Coming”.

    “Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.”

    Those last four lines are what is happening due to guns, echo-chambers of the NRA and insane supporters of a madman in the White House. The first four lines are the chaos that is unfolding on a wider level. Unfortunately, it appears that Yeats was prescient. How truly unfortunate.

  24. Matt Martin writes, “This piece is not meant as a knock against teachers, nor am I by any means questioning their bravery in these situations.”

    As a teacher, I most certainly don’t think of this as a knock against teachers. Rather, what you have done is eloquently explained what most teachers already know in our heart of hearts: Arming teachers is a really stupid idea because teachers are not and never will be trained to deal with correctly using a loaded weapon during an active shooter situation.

    You correctly point out the necessary time to properly train someone to correctly use weapons while under fire. And how in spite of extensive training that it is unpredictable how any one individual will react the first time they are under fire. The kind of “training” that is being proposed by those who want to arm teachers simply ignores those facts altogether, and in the end, arming teachers is, in my opinion, likely to lead to multiple incidents each year where a student is accidentally shot by a teacher’s weapon accidentally discharging.

  25. An outsider’s perspective here. The last mass shooting took place in Australia in 1996. After that civilian ownership of semiautomatic weapons and large capacity magazines was made illegal and a massive gun buyback and destruction took place. The weapon of choice for mass shooters is an AR15 or equivalent with a 30 round or larger interchangeable magazine firing 5.56 mm ammunition that blasts large holes in human bodies. This was the weapon of choice at Sandy Hook, Orlando, Parkland, and with the addition of a bump stock to make a machine gun at Las Vegas. An AR15 is not a weapon for self defense, for target shooting or for hunting. it is designed to kill a lot of people at reasonably close range in a short time. An AR!5 does not server a legitimate civilian purpose. In Australia such weapons were almost totally eliminated from the community. Somebody “in the mood for a little confrontation” simply can’t get their hands on to one. Yes bad guys can still get guns but being caught with one has serious consequences. Sporting shooters, hunters and farmers can still get licenced weapons after a rigorous background check and they are required to securely stored. Yes there are still gun homicides, but at a massively lower rate than in the US. And there have been no mass shootings since 1996, and no school shootings since the invention of gunpowder.
    Marx once argued “history repeats itself firstly in tragedy and then in farce”. The farcical bloodletting in the US continues because not enough people care enough to keep weapons of mass slaughter away from the civilian population.

  26. Two points:

    TRAINING – All the people advocating for armed teachers in schools are claiming they are talking about people who are “trained”. The training requirements for firearms owners in the USA are a huge, sad, and dangerous joke. I know that a lot of firearms owners a very conscientious in making sure that they are well trained a qualified. However, I doubt that comes even close to a majority of firearms owners in the USA who are trained and qualified to the level of being sure of being effective in a live fire, active shooter environment. 26 states in the US require ZERO training to carry.

    BUDGET & COST – The politicians proposing selecting, arming, and training a few teachers in each school clearly have no idea what that means overall. Trump and Gingrich have talked in terms of an average of 6 to 8 teachers per school. There are more than 93,000 public schools in the USA. That means somewhere between 560,000 and 750,000 people that would have to be recruited as designated “protectors”. That is almost half the number of people on active duty in all branches of the US military. After winnowing out the incompetent people in order to have a group of acceptable volunteers, they have to be background checked, equipped, their weapons registered with the police department, and trained in effective shooter response. People having only static target range firing experience would not qualify (or at least should not qualify without more training). Serving as a “protector” is not the same as volunteering to be an adviser for an extracurricular activity or a part time sports coach. This is volunteering for hazardous duty and should be compensated as such. On average, teachers in the USA make about $10,000 a year less than corporate executive security bodyguards or federal air marshals. Using that difference as the hazardous duty pay and you end up with a budget of $5.6 to $7.5 billion. Then, the cost of training, testing, and equipping. Even if the teachers are expected to use their own weapons, they should be provided bullet proof vests and other protective equipment, since they will be expected to engage a shooter. Costs to train and equip could easily run $1,000 per year per “protector”, adding another $560 million to $750 million per year to the costs.

    Although this idea may be worth considering, it is clear to me that Trump, Gingrich, Pittman, and the others proposing it so far have not put any thought into what would have to be done to implement the idea. For them, it is nothing more than a feel good talking point that allows them to pander to their supporters.

  27. I’d be curious to know how many of the chest-beaters proposing arming math teachers have ever been in combat, or have been police officers in shootouts. There were 8 weapons on people in that parking lot in Tuscon when Gabby Giffords was shot by a gun nut. Eight guns. Only one person pulled his out, and only after the shooter had been wrestled to the ground by a retired Army colonel (unarmed). And when he *did* pull his handgun out, he was so rattled he almost shot a first responder.

    Everyone likes to imagine themselves as the hero in their own movie. The reality is, most of us don’t turn into heroes, and we’re more likely to wet our pants or shoot ourselves in the leg. Or freeze. Or run away. I’m talking to “Clark Kent”, who obviously has secret fantasies about Superman.

  28. I appreciate your comments, but like many others, you express you discern and not proposing a solution. What we need now is solutions and if you don’t have one then what’s the alternative?

    • Ken. I appreciate your comments, but like many others, you express your discern and not proposing a solution. What we need now is solutions and if you don’t have one then what’s the alternative?
      What’s your solution Ken? Mine is #AllOfTheAbove We need to take into consideration every recommendation and implement every one that may have a chance of stopping the murdering of our children. That includes enhanced background checks, updated databases all the way to banning all assault type weapons.

  29. Well written, and fully agree. Finally, I’d like to add, do we even want to give teachers the forced responsibility of becoming armed police officers? That alone would stop a lot of people from even want to become a teacher, and I’m pretty sure there’s a shortage already.

  30. Thank you for your service.
    I think something may have gotten lost in translation. I agree that the idea of “arming teachers” is not the right answer. They are not meant to be security guards.
    But approximately 1/3 of the people in the US legally own a gun. Legal gun owners learn to shoot their guns, on their own time for their own reasons. Federal law prohibits legal gun owners from carrying guns on school grounds (or within 1000′ feet of a school in some states).
    So basically, if a psychotic person wants to go wreak havoc before committing suicide by cop, he can go to the grocery store or library, where 1 in 3 people will shoot back, or he can go to the school, where he will have “open season” until the police arrive, because even trained, legal, gun owners are forced to leave their guns at home.

    I don’t know how many of the teachers, administrators, custodial workers, or other staff at the school in Parkland had pistol permits. In your story, the first medic froze, so other medics came in and backed him up. In Parkland, if the armed security guard froze, there was no one to back him up…

  31. The one possibly valid point in favor of arming school personnel would be the concept deterrence through target hardening. However, if we assume that school shooters are suicidal, the deterrent effect of that may be insufficient to matter. An open minded, evidence-based approach to finding multiple environmental tweaks to reduce the risk would be constructive, if only absolutists on both sides would listen more and scream less.

  32. An important difference between what soldiers or police do, and what an armed teacher or principal in a school would do, is that soldiers and police are not playing pure defense. They are tasked with seeking out and stopping the enemy/shooter. This does place them in greater danger.

    An armed teacher, otoh, in most cases would take up a defensive position and will wait for the shooter to come to her. And that armed teacher/principal might very well be a combat veteran.

    But if civilians are really so inept as to be unable to defend themselves with firearms, then I suppose the 250,000 to 2 million incidents (according to whose polls you believe) where civilians successfully did just that, must not have happened.

  33. Arming teachers doesn’t sound rational for a long term fix, but in the NOW there are millions of students, soft targets most, sitting in classrooms across America. Today something tells me that there are indeed guns in our schools, and in the right hands. Not the solution, but here and now what other alternatives are there that immediately address safety TODAY?

  34. Hire a vet! We have thousands if retired trained Veterans that would be perfect for protection our students and teachers. Problem solved.

  35. First, Thank you sincerely for your service to this country. Secondly, what is your solution? Would it be the answer to leave our children as sitting ducks? There are many questions to be asked and we must seek to find the right answers.

  36. I do t think armig teachers is the answer.Getting rid of the asult guns will help prevent our children getting killed. Every shooting that happend these guns where in volved
    Im not saying this will prevent the shooting from happening but it sure will help, and not saying to take all guns away. If you dont agree than you dont give a shit about our kids and other peoplke geeting killed.

  37. Lmao Israel where every adult must take military training. Change your name from Clark Kent to some random scared fellow. Jesus this people are so backwards thinking is sad. Quick I’m Drowning Muricans solution throw more water.

  38. A TEACHER WROTE: Are you going to pay for my training with said gun? If so, where are the funds going to come from? Right now my district is considering moving to a 4 day week because the voters have refused to approve a mill levy increase for 18 years. How much training time are you willing to pay for? Are you willing to cut my class load so i can go to the range?

    2. Are you going to pay for my time at the range to practice with said gun? Are you going to pay for my range membership, my milage, the ammo I need to practice with?.

    3. Are you going to pay for my ammo, or do I have to buy it, just like i buy copy paper and expo markers out of my own pocket?

    4. Are you going to pay for liability insurance for when a kid breaks the lock and steals the gun out of my desk and shoots another student? Are you going to provide lockboxes? Holsters? What happens if I’m down on the floor with the kinders and a student accidentally pulls the trigger. What if I am up on a ladder and the gun falls out of the holster and accidentally discharges?

    5. Are you going to pay for my attorney when i accidentally hit a kid in the crossfire, or another teacher? What happens if a kid runs into my room in a panic during a situation, and I mistake him for a threat and shoot?

    6. Will you provide me with a kevlar vest? A helmet? Full body armor?

    7.Will you give me the same salary, benefits and retirement as law enforcement officers? You want to turn me into a first responder, I should be paid like one.

    8. Will you pay to take care of my family when i am shot in the line of duty? Will you pay for my funeral expenses?

    9. Will you pay me a salary/benefits when I am left disabled from attempting to defend my classroom?

    I thought not…I am tired of old frustrated white men who force the rest of us to live with the aftermath so that they can keep a hold of their death spewing toys. We need real gun control. A total ban on military assault weapons and high capacity magazines. We need the NRA to stop buying politicians.

    What we really need are fewer guns and more funds to pay for things like meeting the mental health needs of our students, lower class sizes so we can really get to know students, materials and curriculum that engage students and make students love instead of dread school. Yes, we need more arms in schools, counselor arms, SPED arms, psychologists arms, teacher arms, coaches arms, para arms, etc. Let’s arm our schools with better funding to better meet our kids needs.

  39. Schools are “Soft” targets. We need to install metal detectors at all entrances, all entrys should stay locked all the time. Classroom doors should be locked from the inside at all times when students are present, and door should be bullet proof. Mabey a police officer present.

  40. Throughout this discussion are offers of research statistics and “data” that is then interpreted as to support or dispute a position. I wonder who here has a problem with a repeal of the 1996 Dickey Amendment that restricted the CDC from conducting research on gun violence. Even the author of the bill has since noted his objection to this action. We need research on gun violence as a public health issue similar to auto safety, substance abuse and domestic violence.

    • “none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”

      Research =/= Advocacy.
      This is not a ban on research, in fact Obama commissioned just a study during his term! It turned up results that didn’t support his position, so he quietly buried it. Look it up!

      • Sian. I took your advice and looked it up. I’m assuming you’re talking about the “Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence.” report which was published in 2013. The CDC requested the study to identify research goals after Obama issued his January 2012 executive order. And while it didn’t support his position, it did support on-going research. No one buried the report. But no one allowed to have additional on-going research.
        I read the study, all 121 pages. I suggest you do the same.
        So in summarywhat does the study say?

        It clearly makes the case for why more gun-violence research is needed.
        “By their sheer magnitude, injuries and deaths involving firearms constitute a pressing public health problem.”

        The study suggested focusing on five areas: the characteristics of firearm violence, risk and protective factors, interventions and strategies, gun safety technology and the influence of video games and other media. In the document there are examples of how little we know about the causes and consequences of gun violence (that is probably due to the 18-year-old CDC research ban).

        But I guess you (gun-rights supporters) focused on a few statements to make your case. One related to the defensive use of guns. “Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year, in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.”
        So it would appear the “good use” of guns outweighs the “bad use.” That may be true, except the study says all of those statistics are in dispute — creating, in the study authors’ eyes, a research imperative.

        The study calls the defensive use of guns by crime victims “a common occurrence, although the exact number remains disputed.” While it might be as high as 3 million defensive uses of guns each year, some research points to a much lower estimate of 108,000 times a year. “The variation in these numbers remains a controversy in the field,”

        The report also says gun ownership might be good for defensive uses, but that benefit could be canceled out by the risk of suicide or homicide that comes with gun ownership. The depth of the relationship is unknown “and this is a sufficiently important question that it merits additional, careful exploration.”

        In reading gun-rights sites on this subject another point about the report is that “the key finding the president was no doubt seeking — that more laws would result in less crime — was missing.”
        And they’re right. The key finding is missing. But that’s because we don’t know the answer — one way or the other.
        So additional research is needed and everyone should agree that it’s an issue important enough to have the CDC continue its research.

  41. Meanwhile, as this discussion goes on, all of us from countries where this doesn’t happen are wondering why it isn’t your first priority not to have people shoot at your kids in the first place. The fact that your children go through active shooter drills at school is heartbreaking.

    Why is the prevailing question how to handle school shooters as though they’re inevitable? Why is having guns and ammunition so important to you that you risk the lives of your children so that everyone is allowed to own them without requiring at least as much training and testing as you would need to drive a car?

    Your country banned kinder surprise because choking hazards can kill children. Getting shot is just considered a completely unpreventable reality of life in America I guess.

  42. Hello Anthony, so you are sugesting to fortify our schools!?! Make them look like a military compounds!?!? Send kinds to school with bullet vests!?!? C’mon…. arming the teachers with guns… this is insane. This is equivalent to trying to put out a fire with gasoline.Sgt. Matt Martin did a good job explaining why this is a bad idea. What is next we wake up in the morning and put bullet vest instate of shirts. We take our guns instate of my lunch boxes.We dodge few bullets walking from your house to the car. We hop in our armor cars going to work. Going to any public place you have to go through security like what we have at the airports now , yes imagine security check points everywhere like the nightmare airports are this days. Is that the world you and your kids want to live in?

  43. I know next to nothing about guns, but I taught for 30 years, and during that time found that getting people to spend on public education can be tough. In 2015 there were approximately 3.1 million public school teachers. Doing a quick check this morning it looks like the cost of a lower end police revolver is around 500 dollars, basic gun training looks to cost about 200 per day. Let’s figure we train for 5 days. That adds up to 1,550,000,000,000 dollars. In 2015 military spending was 598,000,000,000. I can’t imagine that the conservatives would approve of spending 2.6 times the military budget on education

  44. Thank you for your service. I, in no way, have the answer to these terrible tragedies. There are plenty of suggestions that I agree with. One thought for everyone though…most of the shooters have had AR’s and other high powered rifles, shotguns, etc. I’m guessing that the teachers and staff would be given pistols/handguns. That is not going to be much defense.

  45. There are combat veterans who voice well reasoned support for arming teachers, so playing the veteran card doesn’t hold much sway.

  46. Thought you may be interested: I shared this excellent piece on NBCs FB article on the NRA opinion in regards to this topic and it was removed as spam.

  47. When Clark Kent and Travis Bickle use their real names to leave comments, I will assign due weight to their opinions. For now, Mr. Martin, let me thank you for your post, which I find well-written, rational, relevant and well-supported by examples from your experience. The links are good, too, especially that one from the 2010 VPCVideos. I’ve excerpted your post and shared it on Facebook.

  48. This is like comparing apples to oranges. In #Afghanistan he was up against a trained and determined foe. A #mentallyill school shooter would run or take their own life if met with resistance. That’s why they choose #GunFreeZones

  49. Since when did the job of being a teacher turn into the nightmare of being required to carry or use a weapon on someone, to kill someone, to being in the line of fire, to be drafted into a war? They can’t afford to buy pencils for students, how can they afford to train teachers to be killers? And why would teachers want to do that? There’s always some macho guy that is ready to strut his stuff and be the hero in the line of fire posting his opinion on how easy it is to just arm the teachers. Their job is to educate these students, not guard them. If you won’t disarm the people who will slaughter other students, then place trained guards in each school and pay the price. I can’t think of a teacher who would volunteer to be that armed guard or should be volunteered to be that armed guard.

  50. So Anthony, what happens when a teacher engages in a shootout with a crazed gunman and inadvertently kills another student or teacher? Have you thought about that? Get real, someone going into a public place to commit mass murder is not going to notice if there is a sign on the front door says “gun free zone” or not, he is already beyond normal rational, probably on a suicide mission and doesn’t give a crap if there is someone on the other side with a gun! The shooter in Parkland was targeting the school and students and was not about to be deterred by a terrified teacher with a gun.

  51. Great article Matt. I too deployed and have been in a firefight, sorry you caught some lead. You really explained the chaos of the moment. Its funny you talk about the handshaking hours later, the hyper-alertness, time dilation, etc. I think the part that 99% of the people commenting on this don’t understand is how people react under real conditions.

    Now I am a saying this as someone who is finishing their 20th year of service (Enlisted (5) Officer (15)) and has been both combat arms (14) and military police (6). I am old enough to have served both in peacetime (such a lifetime ago) and war. I was given my first weapon at 7 years old (farmers, they are a tool for more than people understand), own guns, buy/sell guns and train people in the business of using guns. So I do not say my words without having the experience of being on both sides of discharging firearms both in the military and as a civilian.

    As a civilian, I was shot at multiple times, once by a drunk family member in my own house, once by a 13 year old kid and once by someone shooting at someone else. All these happened between 13-19 years old. All three times it was by either scared, stupid or intoxicated people not even shooting at me. I thought I was a bullet magnet. I didn’t live in a bad place and I went to an expensive private school so I couldn’t claim it was socio-economic or geographic, I just had very bad luck. Heck one time I was home on summer break from college and got shot at twice in the same night. Might explain why I never took a break in college again, it was safer!

    First time in war I was an LT and the spread of reactions from my men truly surprised me. I could find no correlation between pre-combat and during combat reaction. Meaning until the bullets started to fly there was no way I could judge how a soldier would react. Some froze, some performed and some were downright courageous. My point is since there is no pre-combat measure for reaction adding more guns to a school is adding more possible problems to a situation without any proven result. Given these are trained soldiers at the personal, squad, section and platoon level, using everything up to live ammo exercises where you low crawl under live machine guns and they still have these reactions I cannot condone the idea of adding more issues to already overloaded teachers.

    The other issue people generally don’t understand is the issue of tunnel vision and fine motor control. My good shooters, cops, and vets know what I mean, simple human physiology, you get pumped full of adrenalin you lose fine motor control. Meaning aiming really goes to poop. That is why soldiers and cops train for hours and days and weeks and years under stress situations so you have some chance of hitting a target consistently when your heart is pounding. Even a great target shooter goes to crap when they get hit with a jolt of adrenalin. The other half is tunnel vision where you concentrate on the treat and lose everything else in the picture, this means you shoot the bad guy and also the people behind them because your so pumped you didn’t even see them there.

    Now other people brought up cost, yeah we’re talking 10’s of billions. That is a non-starter in the current Congress. So from a financial standpoint, it would make sense to kill this idea because no one is going to put the money forward for it. I’m not a pessimist just a realist.

    Next is gun control. frankly, this is the only logical solution and this is coming from a person who LOVES guns. Hunters don’t use military semi-automatic high capacity weapons, idiots do. I have hunted birds to deer. One shot, one kill. I have read all I can on the topic and the only correlation I can find on gun deaths is the total number of guns = higher gun deaths per capita. If you’re scared in your home a good 12 gauge and hunting rifle with the right skills/ammo will stop 99% of problems. Removing assault weapons/high capacity weapons may not stop every death by gun, but I believe it will lower the body count during mass shooting. We are too ingrained as a culture to see that guns are killing us and make truly logical choices like other countries. When we have over 2000 accidental shooting and 100’s of accidental deaths by firearm in 2017 and the next westernized country is counting a TOTAL (intentional and unintentional) tally in the double digits we have a serious problem. Also just to put this in perspective last year we had 344 mass shooting… we are closing on 1 mass shooting per DAY.

    I would gladly give up my military firepower for not just children, but for all my fellow Americans who I have served 20 years in defense of. If you think a gun can protect you from the “government” your wrong. Your political activism and being involved is what makes this country work. Fear of your fellow man will not save you. That gun will not save you, as I learned in the military the team saves you. Our team is our country. Our future is our children and we need to act like adults and put our childish fears away.

  52. Have you ever been a school principal tasked with insuring the safety of 300-500 five through 12 year olds, as well as 30-50 staff members? Until you have done so, your qualification to address this issue is far from complete. I have a lifetime of experience with firearms and have been in multiple crisis situations, including disarming students at my own peril. I have NEVER done anything other than rush toward danger, just as the Coach killed in Florida. Had he been armed there is a fair chance that this situation would have come to end and he would not have been anymore dead than he is now had he failed. While I appreciate your service and your right to comment, calling those who disagree “asinine” does nothing to further consideration of solutions to this problem.

  53. I’m sorry, but this is a bad argument. Your experience is applicable to this situation.

    We already have teachers armed in schools in a bunch of states (Ohio, Colorado, Texas, Utah, among others). First, there is a deterrent effect. Just the fact they are there means its less likely to be shot up, because the shoot wants to kill as many defenseless people as possible. Getting shot at or killed before they can isn’t want they want. Second, even in an attack situation, we already have people giving their lives- in Parkland the Gym Teacher and an JROTC gave their lives to save others. Imagine if they could have fired back? Many more would have been saved.

  54. You have to be one dumb SOB to think arming teachers is a good idea. They can go off just like anyone under the pressure they are under. These dumb ammosexuals think more about their guns than children,and when they lose their AR’s I will hand the tender souls a tissue

  55. As a veteran and someone who has been shot at twice and responded to open fire I can say without a shadow of a doubt this is 100% accurate. Hopefully people will realize the situation isn’t so simple. Furthermore, being proactive is better than being reactive. We need to focus on how to stop mass shooting rather than how to react when they happen.

  56. You just made 3 arguments that I do not agree with.

    1. Equating actively war torn country with United States and single shooters is ridiculous.

    People have mostly said this before. It’s false equivalency. Your entire story is built around the notion that only professionals can avoid chaos in an active shooter situation. As someone who has actually been shot twice just during my life-time I can’t even agree for a second.

    2. You argued that almost 50% of the police have been shot confronting the shooter.
    There is always a 50% chance of you getting shot. It’s the same chance if you never confront them.

    3. You argued that they have to have constant training when it only takes a small amount of hours training for someone to acclimated to firing their weapon.

    I lived in some neighborhoods where the general population were from rural areas and they could shoot their ass off. I have lived inner-city and seen people that had gun skills with no training whatsoever. Complete and total naturals. People like to discount Call of Duty and shooting games but both the police and the military actively use simulators. I have lived in high crime areas where kids had to learn to defend themselves and their family at home. Leave it to people willing to protect.

    If you have time for philosophy or religion in the middle of a firefight then you take that 50/50 chance. Let the non-combatant ‘I can’t shoot a person.’ crew run away. Maybe they’ll get into a situation where they have to defend themselves and they change their minds. Or maybe they will have something to reflect on if someone they know ends up dead over inaction. Sometimes you have to live with your choices.

    • I find it pathetic that there is a discussion about protecting our children from “shooters”. The clear point that you all miss is that if you remove the gun, you remove the “shooter”.
      Someone above used armed Israel as an example.

      First, it is NOT the same situation. Israel is a warzone every day.
      Second: And more comparable to US, Australia went after the guns. The result? ONE MASS SHOOTING IN 20 YEARS!!!

      All you responders are postulating and stating what you “think” will fix this. I prefer to look at facts. Try it sometime.

  57. well I did read each and every response and there was an underlying message in each…..those against Guns in general and those willing to try and arm and or provide electronic gear to detect weapons at one or more locations at our schools.
    one thing is for sure, nobody knows how they will act when faced with guns pointed at them or bullets flying towards or past or into them. another for sure fact is that without someone with a firearm to help protect our children and possibly end the attack, everybody is at risk of being shot or killed until police get there to find and then neutralize the attacker. and this can and has in the past taken several minutes to occur. this school in Florida did have an armed guard but this person was not even close the point of attack. no chance to end this horrible crime.
    we have all heard the comment of fight Fire with Fire. those teachers and students did not have a chance without the means of returning fire….they once again in a “no gun zone”. and the only reason there were not a bunch more students and teachers killed or wounded is because the killer stopped shooting and ran out of the school with hundreds of others. it was not because he was being fired upon.
    I say install metal detectors in every school and church and arm a certain percentage of faculty based on school size or enrollment.
    those of you that do not want faculty armed must somehow rationalize a school or church to wait until the authorities arrive to end the carnage all the while the attacker freely targets one of your family. it’s just NOT worth the wait. and lastly it is not the NRA that is your enemy…..please tell me when the last random killer was a member of the NRA.

  58. What happen if a teacher have a “BAD’ day, mad with there spouse, or student curse them out.

    Teacher have a ‘Mental Breakdown’ has a gun in there hand, kill them self in front of the kids
    Or Mistake kill a child.

    Then what???

    Gun’s in school is ‘Crazy’ Put more police officers in the school, metal detector, there are so many thing that
    can before done before talking about arming teachers…

    Your can buy a gun at 18, but you can’t drink until you are 21…NOW that law need to CHANGE

  59. Martin thanks for volunteering to defend freedom for our country and the oppressed people of Afghanistan. While I appreciate you position and an intelligent debate about school shootings, I think you are missing a vital point. Arming teachers or staff to protect our children can be a deterrent to the mentally ill people that walk into schools with guns. Unfortunately anyone with the deranged thought of shooting students realize there is no threat to them and by adding that decision into their irrational thought process you may deter more people from acting out violently. As a veteran myself, I’m sure there are plenty of veterans within our community or our law enforcement partners that would gladly stand guard to ensure our children are safe. Our state government spends thousands of dollars to protect our state representatives, what’s a few more thousand to protect our children. Innercity schools have had significant security measures to prevent gang violence let’s follow their example and fund physical security measure for our schools.

  60. I applauded those who would invest time in this serious and pervasive dilemma.

    My goal is to reduce if not eradicate further school shooting.

    It may not be a simple action. More likely it will be a variety of interlocking actions.

    Other contributors are certainly better educated than others, myself included.

    I like the idea of recruiting Vets with solid mental health, judgment and training them to protect our children. That might be a win-win.

    I recently read “to the left of bang” which I could see as a valuable training tool for teachers to spot threats before the “bang” It worked in Iraq and Afghanistan with the Marines.

    In our disagreements , let us not loose sight of why our actions matter.

  61. Ah yes, the new meme, follow Israel’s lead and arm teachers.

    But by all means, let’s follow all of Israel’s laws regarding guns. Gun ownership is far lower in Israel – out of 8.5 million about 135,000 citizens are currently licensed to own guns. If you haven’t completed military service, you can’t get a gun until you are 27. Background checks and signed bill of health from their doctor are required, and licenses have to be renewed every three years and require annual practice at a shooting range. Many requests for licenses are refused.

    Automatic rifles licenses are even more rare. And annual bullet supplies are limited to 50 per licensed individual.

    So congrats on picking the least effective portion of Israel’s gun policy and ignoring all the things that could really help!

  62. On arming teachers, first of all the vast majority of us don’t want it. But here is the point so many people are ignoring.
    A mass shooting breaks out. Law enforcement has been alerted and the police and swat team are on the way. A teacher who is strapped decides to end the bloodshed with their .40 caliber handgun. They hear gun shots in an adjacent building, and using tactics they learned in their training quickly make their way into the adjacent building. They stay close to the wall as they carefully sneak up on the shooter.
    About this time, the first of several police officers arrive on the scene, as per protocol they grab their M4 assault rifle and immediately enter the school. They hear the shooter in building #600 and immediately head towards the building.
    The teacher has made it closer to the shooter and clicks the safety off. 2 police officers who are rushing the scene close in on the gunman and open fire with their department issued M4s. The teacher slumps to the floor. The gunman keeps shooting into classrooms for 20 more seconds until they are finally killed by police.
    The armed teacher added to the body count.

  63. Thank you for the “first hand” experience. What you said about being in combat has been echoed through the centuries of battle field experiences of soldiers. The parallels you had to soldiers account of Bull Run, Wounded Knee, Stalingrad, Somme, and so many more. Personal combat leaves marks for years too. My Uncle could not re-enter the Hürtgen Forest when his Division re-visited the area 50 yrs later. My Aunt said how he would wake up screaming for most of his life till he died in his 80’s. Humans it seems are the same all over the world when it comes to the terror (and lasting impacts) of combat.

    I wonder what teacher who allows themselves to be armed could cope with the possibility that the weapon they had at school mistakenly killed or wounded a student? Even if it was not due to some minor over site? What a burden to expect them the carry! The mind set of going to war and becoming an educator could not be more different it seems. Thus the consequences more vast when involving a student and not a combatant.

    As for non-lethal protection absolutely for more reasons than gun violence. And if those things can be afforded then a re-examination of teacher compensation and time should be addressed. If there is political will to stop school shooting with weapons/non-lethal means then there is money to reimburse the educators for the additional woes. Thanks again for your insight.

  64. So Happy that I live in Australia, we dont have these problems anymore, when will you see that life is so much more special than your dam guns, So many lives lost for what? Is this the American way?

  65. Maybe all teachers should not have guns, but if they volunteer and take gun courses I think it would be good! By the way, someone said that the NRA should not let these things happen. They didn’t! The students and parents that did not stand up and say something to officials before it happened should share the blame with FBI or police that did not take action sooner. But then they get a lot of calls and some get past them. By the way, the NRA, parents, students, FBI, Governer, or President did not pull the trigger of that gun. It wqas just one person that is responsible!

    • Thank you Samual Spade. It is a shame how people use a tragedy like this to put political agendas rather than looking at the real issues and addressing them. As per the complaints and accounts, this kid was clearly troubled and no one did the proper thing to address. This is a mental health issue, not a gun issue. The gun was only a tool.

  66. Sounds great, but who’s going to pay to arm and train all these teachers in every school, kindergarten, elementary, middle, high school and university throughout the entire country? Teachers can barely afford pencils as it is, and we are talking about billions of dollars. And as Matt Martin mentioned, they will need constant re-training in order to stay battle-ready, which will be a perpetual, permanent, ongoing cost.

    The Republican-controlled government makes suggestions like this, but when are they going to put their money where their mouth is, and bring a bill to the floor of congress to fund this? They will never do it, because they don’t really care. But they will allocate trillions to fight Muslims overseas, and billions to build a huge wall to protect us from Mexicans. The biggest threat to this country right now isn’t Muslims or Mexicans, it’s unhinged American citizens slaughtering children, concert-goers, killing others and killing themselves. I’m all for arming teachers, because doing something is better than nothing. So, Mr. Trump, McConnell and Ryan, introduce a bill to pay for it, now! The NRA certainly won’t object. We don’t have time to wait. The next mass shooting could be next week. So, where’s the funding bill?

  67. I would like to first of all thank Matt Martin for his service to our country and taking the time to write this article. But I too see lot of holes in his theories. Second of all I would just like so say Clark Kent, don’t put up, just SHUT UP! I can’t tell what you are even trying to say here other than to just be argumentative to see what response you can get. Now with that being said I would like to add my opinion to this whole discussion. It will be quite lengthy as were some of the other, but if you have read everything from the beginning of this article all the way to my response, I think you might just see some insight that I bring into this conversation. I am a retired school teacher of 32 years of in the classroom experience. Both at the middle school/ jr high and high school level. This is where the majority of the the school shootings take place. Folks it has taken us 30+ years to get ourselves into this situation we are in now. There is no quick fix to get us out of it. Instead of writing what the problem is I’m just going to copy and paste a post from a teacher in Florida. In my opinion she has hit the nail onthe head and says exactly what I’ve been saying for the last 20+ years.
    Kelly Guthrie Raley wrote the following
    My apologies all I can do at this time is give you the link to her post, but please take the time to go to the linkand read what it has to say.
    Here is another link to a short video that shows what teachers have to put up with in their classrooms day in and day out. The teachers are helpless to do anything to students anymore. Please take a moment and watch this video.
    I realize this has gotten off the topic of whether or not teachers should be armed, which I think they should following most of the examples sited about. But if we are truly looking for a long term solution to this problem then we need to look no further than parenting and societal norms.
    I really hope you are able to go to the 2 links I provided. It will shed some light on the the true nature of this problem.

  68. I am grateful for your service and sacrifice. But would rather have been pinned down with NO weapon? No way to defend yourself? I taught for 18 years and after frequent active shooter/lockdown drills with NO police participation, the students didn’t feel safe at all. The only protection we had was the OLD school hollow wooden doors with windows that could be knocked out and the door simply unlocked if they didn’t feel like shooting the door open. I had to remind kids that claimed they would just climb out the window that there could easily be a second shooter outside waiting to pick them off. As someone who grew surrounded by guns, still surrounded by guns, and knows how to use them, I think my students and I would have felt safer if I’d actually been able to do more than hide them under tables. THAT’S ASININE! I grew up using guns for hunting and shooting harmful animals, rabid animals, rattle snakes, etc., so no, I’m not military combat trained. But my daddy that trained me was. Not that he needed to be because he was hunting before the age of 10. I appreciate your argument, but you can’t expect people to be sitting ducks anymore. Not until society starts teaching their kids to value life and provide help for people with mental issues. Adults have to stop bullying each other. Be better examples. Stop letting elementary school kids play Call of Duty. I remember being appalled when GTA came out and parents thought it was okay for their kids to practice stealing cars and running from the cops. If we’ve learned nothing from making practically anything illegal is that people will find a way around the law so outlawing guns or assault rifles or high capacity magazines is not going to change anything. We have to find a solution. But that’s not going to stop as long as this is political fodder for the left and the right, not to mention the media who is loving this by the way.

  69. Israel does NOT arm teachers. They do however have strong perimeter security for their schools and they do have very strict gun laws.

  70. I live outside the USA, in a part of the world that makes access to lethal firearms very difficult and does not have high levels of civilian shootings.

    The idea of children shooting other children in their schools is unthinkable – it doesn’t happen.

    The pros and cons of arming potential defenders (teachers, security guards etc.) is the main topic in this discussion but, as an outside observer (and one with a strong interest – I have family and friends in the US that I love dearly and I visit regularly), I’m really surprised at how little discussion there is about restricting access to guns in the first place.

    Compared to most of the world, it is very easy to access firearms in the US and there is a very high rate of shootings per capita. I believe there is a direct connection between the two and there lies the best opportunity to protect your children.

  71. Common sense tells you if one person with a gun starts shooting, it’s a bad idea to have two guns shooting at each other. Innocents will be caught in the crossfire and it will turn the situation into a battlefield. Whoever thought up this idea deserves the Donald Duck award for dumbness.

  72. Mr. Martin apparently has forgotten the majority of the shooting in combat is to provide cover/time. I am a Marine infantry vet and fought in Iraq. I am currently a 3rd grade teacher. I am a 6 ft tall male. Most of my students are well below 5 ft. If I encountered a gunman in say, a crowded cafeteria of elementary kids all below 6 foot, and I had a pistol, I would just hammer the wall in the area of the shooter at about 8 feet. The sound of incoming rounds and dust hitting him would most likely make him take cover/pause in his shooting. Allowing kids to exit the ambush site and me to maneuver closer. I am not trying to kill the shooter at this point. Just knock him off his comfort zone/targets. It is called covering fire and has been an infantry tactic since firearms were invented. Fire and maneuver is what an infantryman does. I knew several men who were scared after the fight but all of them followed their training during the fight. Arming QUALIFIED teachers really isn’t a terrible idea. I know how’d respond under fire because I have been under fire.

    • I don’t believe a word you have said here. Ask any cop and they will tell you that when they have to fire their guns, they shoot to kill. Shooting at the wall or even to wound the assailant only escalates the situation. And any real teacher knows that they have put their children in dire danger having a shoot out with a nut job.

      • Providing suppressive fire does not escalate situations, it is used to “put you enemies head down”. Additionally in the case of Nikolas Cruz, any kind of return fire, flying past his head would have ended the shooting spree, he is a coward, he didn’t want to die, if he was there to die he would have taken his own life. As soon as rounds started coming back he would have tucked tail and run.

        • A deranged young man is not an enemy, he’s a deranged young man. Once he acquired a gun and started shooting it’s too late. As long as our society allows these kind of weapons to be available to persons such as him turning a school into a potential OKCorral we are doomed by our own stupidity and our innocent children pay the price. Of course the gun industry are licking their chops over the profits to be made from arming all those teachers. This is a sick society IMHO.

      • There is no ‘escalating the situation’ when a gunman is actively shooting children.

        It’s already FULLY escalated. All you can do is stop it or get out of the way.

  73. What’s asinine is still demanding people just ought to die with nothing at their disposal to fight back because you assume they can’t handle it. Not only is that asinine, it’s insulting to you fellow citizens. Plenty of ordinary people save their own skin and the lives of others by acting. The coward school cop turned out to be just that. A coward. Ergo, arm “teachers”, (plural) to increase the odds of ending it and saving lives.

    Lastly, actually read the FBI study. It includes ALL shottings. It is well documented that Mass Shooters end their lives when confronted with armed resistance.

  74. From Israeli Today:
    Israel’s successful gun ownership laws both serve to make sure upstanding, brave and mentally sound citizens have access to guns, and that those who present even a minor threat are prevented from possessing one. It would be a mistake to use Israel as the poster child for more weapons in the US, as our success here is much more connected to limiting weapons and enabling strategies such as gates, fences and armed guards (not armed teachers), to protect our children. Sorry to disappoint, but the truth is important.

  75. As a public school teacher, I thank you for this insightful piece. I do not know anyone in my profession who wants to be armed; it is simply an absurd idea.

  76. It’s pretty obvious you were shot in the head to come up with this raindead horseshit.


    And, yes I’m former military myself. Got out as a captain.

    • Joe, very insightful comments. smh God help us if you are/were representative of our military. Whether you agree or not with what Mr Martin wrote at least he was able to provide a clear opinion of what he believes. You on the other hand exemplify what is wrong with this country. Making crude and repulsive comments instead of being able to having an adult conversation.

  77. “Some people freeze and fail to protect themselves, so we can’t even allow them the opportunity to protect themselves.”

    I guess since in your example, people in the military froze, there’s no point in having a military.

    The stupid. It burns.

  78. This is one of the most “asinine” articles I have read in a long time. From your army experience you write, “Someone shooting at you, specifically trying to kill you, is probably the most terrifying life event a person could ever experience.”
    “Someone shooting at you, specifically trying to kill you,” when you are unarmed, helpless and a half a dozen kids behind you who will die next is a more terrifying life event.
    Gun free zones are criminal. You rust these teachers with you children’s minds but then you take away their right to defend their lives.

  79. only the medic froze, everyone else did their job. It would be a shame if a teacher froze, but there would be other teachers like you had other members of your squad. Your also talking about a trap on the enemies turf. A school is a defendable stationary familiar location.

  80. The simulation provided https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QjZY3WiO9s&feature=youtu.be seems flawed in a couple of aspects, the invading gunman knew who had a gun in advance and also knew where he was sitting which wouldn’t necessarily be the case in a real situation, the murderer might not even have attacked that particular classroom first for example.
    It also doesn’t account for others with guns who could respond. For example while the murderer is busy shooting in one classroom others with guns in adjoining rooms could approach and ambush him when he emerges or just approach from behind and shoot him in the back of the head point blank, whatever it takes to put him out of action.
    What I’m suggesting is that armed responders in the rooms adjacent would have the best opportunity to know where the shooter was or observe which way he was facing and how far from cover he was in the shortest time frame.
    Admittedly there is another thing or two to watch out for, there is the possibility that responders could mistake each other for the shooter and open fire on the first person they see with a gun, or there might be more than one shooter, although that seems to be a rarity.
    Probably the best thing would be for responders to have some means of identifying each other in a time of stress, a red armband or headband, something that is previously arranged and is known only to those who have guns and is able to be adorned in a short space of time. If anyone has forgotten to bring that item then they remain in their classroom and assume a defensive position.
    A kneejerk reaction of banning guns only makes sure that the bad guys have guns and the majority don’t, that’s the experience here in Australia, it only makes sure murderers have a safe working environment and nothing else appears to have been achieved. The cops and various consultant anti-gun activists even got laws enacted making it illegal to be able to defend yourself on even terms with a shooter, try and figure that out if you can. If you can make sense out of it you are doing better than me. The only thing I can come up with so far is that cops (who were heavily involved in the legislation submissions) have a vested interest in criminals because they provide the cops and the entire justice system with a reason for existence therefore criminals are the focus of attention for cops. Victims have little interest for cops apparently, they are a necessary evil and therefore expendable, regular cops have proven themselves to be useless at keeping the average citizen safe. In contrast the experts in the Federal Police have done a marvellous job of detecting many would be terrorists and neutralizing them.
    Lastly there is the deterrence value to the shooter knowing he will almost certainly face armed opposition at schools where there are armed defenders, however effective that might turn out to be in practise is an unknown to the shooter, the mere fact that he will face armed resistance could possibly deter the event from taking place at that location, or at all, most likely it could cause the shooter to try to find an alternative where he wouldn’t have that obstacle to worry about.
    Ps. Despite the fact that schools in Australia are almost completely defenceless there have been no shooting massacres that I can remember, but the danger is there just the same as they are soft targets for terrorists or psychopaths and the law seems to always be reactive, hardly ever proactive. If there ever was such an event in Lefty orientated Australia gawd knows what the response would be, it certainly wouldn’t involve more guns in schools as a defensive measure, most likely it would result in more restrictions on legitimate gun ownership, i.e. the ones who aren’t responsible would get the blame (easy targets) and everyone would wind up even more defenceless than before.

  81. I don’t see why some teachers, can’t be trained as well as a police officer in the use of a gun. If it is safe to have armed police why not select teachers who are willing and able?

  82. To all the people supporting having armed teachers/guards and using terms like target rich environment and so on you’re all completely nuts. We are talking about schools, not an army base in enemy territory. Instead of just having a few armed teachers/guards let’s really go all out and build schools like prisons then we wouldn’t have this problem. We could have big thick walls, razor wire, guard towers, metal detectors, strip searches and so on. End of problem.

  83. The reality is…… times they are a changin. Time to arm the custodian, teacher, plumber, principle or whomever can return fire. This incident unfortunately was not the last. Prayers to all the victims and their families God bless.

  84. I work in an elementary school and shudder to think of armed teachers. Most of our teachers are awesome teachers but can’t be counted on to carry their keys, lock their doors when out of the room, wear an ID badge or secure their computers at night. So what are they going to do with that gun all day, put a holster over their dress? Lay it down on a desk to deal with a child’s needs? Keep it in a lock box where it would do little good when you need it NOW! No, let teachers teach and law enforcement handle the gun and protection.

    • But think of all those gun sales and profits to be made arming people who are not military and most likely don’t have the ability to be armed guards, but that’s just collateral damage. Time to move along now and don’t get in the way of all thos lucrative gun sales.

  85. Every teacher should have the choice to be the last line of defense for themselves and the children they are responsible for. Their choice not yours.

  86. As an Australian , I , and most of my country, are mystified by how the NRA gets to run your country. What do they do with all of these guns they feel the need to have?
    I also find it a shocking statement on the state of gun attitudes in the US that when the shooter was taken in by that trusting, generous family, they didn’t see it as odd that a 17 yo should possess firearms.
    John Howard was not our most popular politician, but for his very courageous stand on rifle ownership he is seen by most of us as a hero.

  87. Why all one side or the other. It comes down to money. First invest in guards that are well qualified i.e. Military trained, police trained. Second not every teacher should be required to carry nor would you want that. I support guns but I have no business with one. However I have family who are well trained and are reliable with a gun. Third equip the school with safeguards. Cameras to track the shooter safe rooms in classes etc. four invest money in the school these all cost.

  88. I am just an average person. But , I have had others try to take my life three times in violent crimes!! All three times, I fought for my life!! If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be here to write this at this point in time!! Three different times I have been shot at!! Three different times I experienced the time stop and three different times I did what was needed to survive!!
    I grew up with guns. I have used one on a daily basis my whole life. How ridiculous it is that you say armed teachers wouldn’t help!! If just one in a school does what’s needed, the threat will be neutralized!! On too of that, the fact that a gunman would know that he’s going to be shot at if he attempts to do a school shooting is enough to deter most shooters!!
    Thank you for your service good sir but your views are wrong!!

    • Sometimes i think you gun people bring it on yourselves with all that fear-based thinking you have. You mentally prepare yourself for a situation, sure enough, you’ll be in that situation.

  89. There is a big difference between those who sign up to fight battles in the armed services, and those who sign up to teach children. We are not killers. This author is right that it would be very difficult for most if not all of us to know what to do when we start hearing bullets ringing down the school hallways. Do we try to gather up our kids or do we go get our gun and try to hunt down the killer? Would we be able to shoot one of our own students? Would we be such excellent snipers that we wouldn’t end up shooting innocent kids who are running toward us and clutching at us? Schools aren’t battlefields; they are chock full of children who are panicking and running in every direction. School hallways are lines of doors and corners; you can’t tell if there’s one shooter or many or where they are coming from. Teachers are generally quite meek people; if not, we’d be running businesses and etc. It’s a woman-dominated profession and women don’t grow up playing gun games. We’re playing with dolls. That’s reality. Just stop with the semi-automatic weapons and make it tough for those who are buying guns with the intent to slaughter mass numbers of fellow human beings. Why fight this sickness? By the way, the armed guard was standing right outside the building, knew there was an active shooter outside, and did nothing–probably froze, just like this author said. Here’s the video of the guard doing nothing: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/florida-school-shooting-nikolas-cruz-scot-peterson-armed-security-officer/

  90. I have a suggestion. We divide the country in two, although I suspect that does not actually represent public opinion. We spend the money we were going to spend on the wall between us and Mexico to build an impenetrable wall between the two halves. All laws remain in place except: The one half has a mandatory gun carrying law. Everyone older than ??? has to carry a weapon and get mandatory training in order to be able to properly handle guns and themselves in combat. This should lead to a complete end to mass shootings since there will always be an overwhelming majority of good guys ready to fight back and die a hero’s death if the situation calls for it. Of course if they want, that half of the country can also spend hundreds of billions of dollars to “fortify” public places for additional deterrence. The other half of the country would ban all guns except for hunting and recreational shooting. Hunters would be able to own single shot rifles only. A hunting license that requires extensive training on how to handle the weapon as well as game management, in addition to regular mandatory mental health checks and minimum skill requirements would be the law. Weapons for recreational shooting would only be available for rent at shooting ranges, where they must be kept under lock and key. This would also be the law. Anyone who breaks a gun law is automatically sent to the other half of the country. With their gun of course so that they will be safe there. All citizens that are old enough to own a gun can choose which half they wish to live in. You only get to choose once. Of course you have to take your children with you. If the parents cannot agree the mother chooses for her children. So dear fellow commentators, which half would you choose?

  91. I believe he is missing the main point… remember back in the 80’s when Reagan pushed for a stronger military, even publicly promoted the “Star Wars” program to defend the United States against ICBMs?

    This acceleration of our military strength and the “Star Wars” program (though it could never work with the technology of the day… but the Soviets didn’t know that), forced the Soviet Union to attempt to keep up with these programs, which ultimately led to the collapse of their government.

    The same logic applies here. If we have qualified individuals, who are willing to go through the training and retraining required, then tell me what percentage of potential school shooters are going to risk invading a school that have armed individuals who are willing to protect their students?

    Nearly all schools are called “soft targets” for a reason… because no one is their to stop them and they know they have between 5 to 10 minutes before the police can arrive on scene.

  92. As a teacher of 23 years, I totally agree with Mr. Martin. When a school goes into “lock down”, the teacher already has a role and responsibilities. I’m so sorry for the violence students are facing in schools and desperately want to make changes to make schools safe, but I know I don’t want to fire a gun. Teacher enrollment in college programs is already drastically down. The number of requirements and certifications to be a teacher is increasing along with the number of hours for professional development and paperwork. Getting qualified and talented teachers to actually teach is a huge problem let alone asking them to learn how to handle and operate a weapon. When we start to problem solve these issues, there’s so many that it’s overwhelming to even begin, and then we feel like throwing some random solution at it. Working with the students and watching their struggles, communities need to care about all kids from the students who excel, to the super star athletes and to students not showing up to class. All of these kids will grow up in our communities. When students don’t do well in school or drop out, they’re still going to be living in the community. Then what? I’d like to see less individuals, schools, communities and businesses saying that’s not my problem and start thinking about how to make things better. Show kindness and interest in the students and young people in the communities. Be a mentor. Help tutor a struggling student. Donate books. The number of needs in school is so great, there simply aren’t enough hands to help all that need it.

  93. I am fully convinced that 99% of the commentators here who disagree with the views in this article have never had a shot fired at them, certainly never been in combat. They might have served in the military, but probably most have not done so. The most difficult thing they experienced was something like Trump’s bone spurs.
    What they do have, however, is an excess of testosterone. They need to grow up.

  94. Carrying a firearm by an individual isn’t to go out and play cop & robbers. A side arm, like one law enforcement has is used to protect ones own life. So if a person decides to pack and has some training or none the option is when a situation arises the use of that firearm will be a one on one exchange. I.E. your being robbed up close. If you have the opportunity to get out of a firefight then by all means do so. If your are forced into a situation you need to protect yourself. When a person is shooting at you, coming at you with a weapon it’s not like you have to identify,think on it for a spell that that person is coming at YOU. There is a vast difference from military training actual combat front line duty and state side law enforcement. Even though we had plenty of police who want to play military dress up who never were military.

    Having mortars rain in over head isn’t a comparison to one active shooter. Stop and access the situation for a minuet OK , 6 minutes Nah especially a trained SRO.

    I’m stating one person with a firearm could have saved lives. The SRO that was at the school has resigned prior to being fired. He stood in position outside a door for 6 minutes while the shooting took place.

    It is a personal choice you do or you don’t . A simple decision for some that value their life.

  95. To the trigger happy hoards out there. Look at any other similar economically developed countries with strict gun controls. Does it happen as often as in the US, well the answer is a simple NO, in many cases NEVER. Why should one be forced to get a drivers license, 3rd party insurance to drive a car? If caught they get penalised and perhaps thrown in jail. Driving under the influence of alcohol is also not allowed. Why put in these checks, controls, rules? In order to save lives. Now there is a thing called the second amendment that is totally irrelevant in today’s society. However, the NRA subsidized government can easily work with the 2nd, and STILL tighten up controls. Why not make unlicensed firearms ILLEGAL. Nothing should stop a lawful citizen applying, and training for a licensed sidearm. 2nd amendment not violated. Lunatics have a hard time getting a weapon of mass killing. Random killing reduced.

  96. Guns are never going away , period! Lets be real folks, gun confiscation would create a civil war. So then the question is how do we protect our children? We have metal detectors at stadiums, courthouses, concerts, government buildings etc. We have security at all those places. Yet for some reason we can’t bare to stomach armed guards and metal detectors at our schools. 98% of all mass shootings occur in gun free zones (FACT). Shame on all of you who think that leaving them. Unprotected is the answer. Shame on you!

  97. It’s a bullshit argument. There are no stats on the outcome of a armed guard, willing to act, at a school shooting. Soldiers not reacting as trained is a red herring. We don’t abolish the miltitary. W The military continues to train. Arming teachers may not be the answer but this mindless mewing to “do something” is nothing more than a call for AUS style confiscation.

  98. There are a lot of opinions out there as to what and who did what . In the first place we were not there. We don’t know why this officer didn’t go in . the man that did the shooting pulled the fire alarm. he threw down smoke grenades. Did this deter the officer from going in. I don’t know. Do you. I appreciate and applaud thi s soldier for his service. But let me point out that a lot of police officers don’t get extensive training at all. Once they leave the academy some of them only fire their weapon once a year to qualify. What people are talking about is there is about twenty percent of the teacher population in schools all over america. These are the ones that should be armed and if you ask them they would gladly do it. There are also thousands of retired police and military that would gladly do it some for free. And I would bet a lot of them have grand children in schools. I do. I’m retired and served in the military and have handled weapons all my life. I would gladly take any extra training that they deem necessary to protect students. You know it’s very easy to say i would have done this or that. But you can’t until it actually happens to you. I carry all the time and God willing I will never have to use it.

  99. I agree. Teachers should not be armed. They should do what they are paid (although in many cases not nearly enough) to do, teach. This, like all others, is a tragedy, but does not warrant such extreme, knee-jerk, remedies. Most schools in America are not war zones, nor are they dangerous. This kid who did this had clear signs (as per the numerous reports, and should have been evaluated more closely and/or sent to a facility where he could have been properly treated. Unlike a lot of the other incidents like this, this once truly could have been, in my opinion, prevented.

    As the saying goes, ‘when someone shows you who they are, believe them’. Anyone else who was showing off his/her guns and saying they were going to kill people, should have been investigated, and dealt with properly. Medication, obviously, isn’t enough. My heart goes out to all the victims. Even the child (19 is still a kid and the brain isn’t fully developed) who caused this.

  100. What happens when the a med teacher is black and a load of cops show up to reports of an active shooter in a school and, on seeing a black guy with a gun, shoot first and ask questions later?

    The simple fact is countries with tough gun control have way less mass shootings. The only reason America doesn’t have tougher gun control is because politicians are funded by the NRA and there are enough self centred morons who believe murdered kids are an acceptable price to pay for their owning guns they don’t need.

  101. I believe anyone interested in starting to think about the difficulty in coming up with a solution would be helped by getting educated on this age old problem. I can suggest three author, Dr John A Parrish, SLA Marshall, and David Hackworth, while none are without prejudice and controversy. They are a good start in the process and will lead an interested person to more information.

  102. I completely disagree. And I am a combat veteran, too.

    In the United States the simple fact of the Second Amendment should make it the individual choice of the teacher whether they arm themselves in the classroom or not.

    And this ridiculous opinion article creates an over-the-top scenario which isn’t realistic: packs of armed teachers performing room-to-room urban warfare clearing operations.

    Shame on those who give any credence to this strawman.

    The real situation is for teachers to be able to provide last line of defense protection. The clear-the-building ops would rightly be left to law enforcement.

    The very fact we have numerous cases at colleges and general public locations where armed citizens have stopped active shooters without killing bystanders proves that the oped writer’s premise is total BS.

    Shame on him and anyone who buys into what he is selling.

  103. To be a liberal you have to willingly vacate rational logical thought. You have to bend into gymnastic twisting circular reasoning to attempt to refute common sense. Very tough position to be in, good luck.

  104. The point isn’t really to force, or even allow, teachers to handle active shooter situations on their own.

    It doesn’t have to be teachers that we arm. But if any teachers *want* to be armed, we should be encouraging them to do so.

    The point is to promote a disincentive for shooters to pick those soft targets. They are picking schools for a reason: the guarantee, under a 1990 federal law, that those zones will be “gun free” (thanks, Joe Biden!)

    Very few shooters will continue to elect to shoot up schools once it becomes known, or even suspected, that there are armed personnel on the premises.

    The point is deterrence. And it DOES work. Israeli teachers are armed. And their schools are entirely violence-free, despite the carnage that often goes on around them.

  105. I believe having armed teachers/guards in the school is a good idea. The school in my town had a gun scare where there was an attempted shooting almost 10 years ago and ever since then they have had a sheriff deputy along with an armed security guard and nobody has attempted as much as a fight at the school, so yes i do believe having people there to protect the kids is a very good idea!

  106. While I have no doubt that those students experience a fear that is similar to the fear I experienced the first time that rounds snapped over my head, this article is comparing to completely different situations and trying to make them the same. You cannot compare one man with a semi-automatic AR-15, which has a rate of fire of about 45-60 rounds per minute (not the 700-900 rounds per minute as some have suggested, see question 26 in link, https://www.armystudyguide.com/content/army_board_study_guide_topics/m4/m4-study-guide.shtml) is completely different than receiving fully automatic AK and RPK fire from 3 different positions at 20 yards. These are not even close to the same situation and cannot be compared. I’ve heard many people say that a pistol against an AR-15 is useless, but it is intact not useless. A handgun is a tool that is plenty effective in a close quarters combat situation, most school classrooms or hallways would require a teacher to have to shoot no more that 10-20 yards (in the case of Nikolas Cruz’s case, rounds flying past his head would have been enough to deter him. He clearly didn’t want to die, evident in the fact that he didn’t take his own life afterwards. Any resistance would have stopped the event immediately).

    In the case of training teacher, teachers do not need to be trained by the school district in which they work for. If they want to carry they should have to complete the training and classes and provide “proof” of their training to the school district and they should have to show proof of continuous training. They should then be allowed to carry concealed as they please, no one needs to know that they have a gun, except for the administration and possibly others who have chosen to carry as well. Non-carrying teachers, students, and parents do not need to know who has a gun (although, parents should be informed that the school district does allow teachers to carry only because I don’t think the government should presume to dictate to parents what is best for their individual children).

    Anyone who has every worked with their hands will tell you that there is nothing like having the right tool for the job. Schools are supposed to give teachers the tools that they need to help their students succeed. Guns in the hands of people who wish to do good and protect the lives of those around them are tools. Not only are they tools they are the right tools for stopping a hostile threat.

  107. That veteran’s opinion is just another opinion… no more valuable than any other. Those being attacked have nothing to lose in being able to fight back. Give them at least a fighting chance. This does not mean you arm every teacher. You let those do it who have the skills and interest. You also do not need to let them bring their own guns into the school. There are so many coordinated ways to do something between them having no weapons or them having full blown weapon access all the time. The smartest access to weapons would be that only those with proper credentials could get access to weapons via a biometric safe that is alarmed to alert the school or authorities if it is opened. Spending money on guards is FAR most costly and as the FL situation shows, the guard might freeze up… OR the attack simply starts with the guard and renders them out from the beginning. Instead of spending money on labor… spend it on materials. You have fire extinguishers all over large complexes… you should have some biometric safes all over too in various locations. In there provide tasers, tear gas, and guns… pick the tool for the need… or combine their usage. I think had tear gas been available to Sandy Hook they could have stopped or slowed the attack with it. A gun may not be necessary to stop a situation… but it should be available if it proves necessary. Again, you are not just giving these to every teacher or administrator there, you are giving them to those that have been proven capable and have had some training. That does not mean they will be perfect… but it gives them and the school a fighting chance and the greater potential to stop something quicker and save lives. It is stupid NOT to give them that chance.

  108. This is far too complex of an issue to have a 1 step solution. First, we need better gun laws, and better enforcement of the ones we currently have. We need more thorough background checks ones that include checking a persons social media, affiliations, and mental well being. However that’s not going to stop someone from obtaining a gun on the black market. We also need better security in our schools, churches, malls, and places where large crowds of people gather. Allowing teachers who chose so to be armed would be a deterrent, as would having multiple armed guards would. In this last case, they had 1 armed guard who chickened out. Then you had a teacher that willingly died to protect his students. You can’t predict how someone will react in this sort of situation, but you can at least give them a chance.

  109. FROM THE STUDY QUOTED BY THE AUTHOR: “The 39 incidents that occurred in educational environments (27 schools, 12 IHEs)…No law enforcement offcers were killed or wounded in school incidents, and no offcers were killed in incidents at IHEs. One offcer was wounded in 1 incident at an IHE, however, it occurred at a medical facility on the campus and not in a campus residence or classroom (https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/active-shooter-study-2000-2013-1.pdf, p. 15).

    So in school active shooter situations, trained personnel don’t actually take casualties.

  110. It’s really quite simple. If you are in school, trapped in a classroom with other students, and you hear gunfire in the hallway, and you know that the shooter can enter your classroom at any second and kill you, would you rather have a teacher in the room with you with a concealed weapon or not?

    For me, at that moment, I don’t care how much training that teacher has had, I want them to have their gun drawn and aimed at the door. If they see someone with a gun, they shoot, if not, they don’t. That’s not a fire fight ambush in Afghanistan as our hero retired soldier described. A totally different situation. So for me, YES for teachers who want to participate, and go through rigorous training (obviously helping them to avoid killing innocent students)…and yes while there is the possibility for an accident. The death toll would be much less than 17 dead and 17 wounded! God have mercy on us for the godlessness and hopelessness that has brought these young people to this angry place to kill their fellow students!

  111. It’s hard to credit the convolutions that american gun nuts will go through to justify keeping their toys. As the bodies pile higher and higher their only solution is more guns and more killing.

    Your constitution is out of date. Personal gun ownership in the USA should be banned and weapons confiscated and destroyed. Guns are the province of the armed forces and no-one else. Anyone who wishes to own a gun is clearly insane and should be automatically be barred from owning one.

    America, and it’s gun loons, are sick. you are lovers of death and should hold your heads in shame.

  112. The very fact that you are even debating whether to arm teachers or not is a sad reflection on your society and values. Values which prize more highly the right to have your banging toys than the lives of your citizens, especially children. Facts speak for themselves, gun deaths in the USA accounted for 30,000 + lives last year, no other country in the world has this problem, only America. Your gun laws and the ease with which guns can be bought are the root problem, along with your gun and action move hero culture. You will never solve this problem by throwing more guns at it, look at Vietnam, didn’t work there did it. The USA needs to wake up to itself and ask why it has this problem in the first place. And btw, NYPD figures for hitting a target in a live firefight are just over 18% . Arming teachers, arming teachers in schools, listen to yourselves what kind of society are you when it comes to this – lunacy of the highest order. I will repeat again, only the USA has this problem, no other country, because most civilised places have strict gun control laws and there is no argument that can deny this, period.

  113. Matt Martin to say a teacher should not be armed because they might not function is a bit ludicrous, if you have 10 teachers in a school who have a gun and 5 freeze and do nothing . That still leaves with 5 who will and even if it gets down to one, just one that is still far better then none

  114. Our schools will become military based creating fear and anxiety in what is supposed to be a relaxed learning environment. Ban the assault guns now!

  115. “You just don’t know….” Having been in a gun fight myself I know exactly what you mean. It’s freakin’ terrifying and you simply do not know how you are going to handle it.


  116. I’m still trying to unravel the logic that having been shot somehow qualifies the author to make universal judgements about the capabilities of 3.2 million people (the number of full-time teachers in America) to effectively engage a threat. I strongly suspect that among those 3.2 million teachers there are many veterans, including some who may possess equal or greater training and experience — and a different point of view — than someone who states they spent 3 1/2 years as an infantryman.

  117. Timothy, I agree with you. Matt Martin has some experience and no one wants a gun fight but the deturant is tremendous if a large number of faculity and staff are armed. The possibility of a shooting will drop sharply and if it should happen the number of lives saved will probably greatly surpass the damages to human life and mental issues to follow. Thanks for speaking up!

  118. There are a number of teachers that are FORMER members of the military, and have been in the same situation as Matt Martin and have seen active duty. Would the training they received in the Military be beneficial and could they create a database with the names, military experience, education to draw from to fill positions at various schools. With their experiences and skills we could put them at the head of the line for openings they would fit into with a pay hike for the extra duties they would be performing.

    Personally I think the thought of the teachers possibly being armed at the location may be enough of a deterrent that the shooter would opt for a different target due to the risk they may be stopped or even killed.

  119. The suggestion that teachers should be armed has me laughing all day—especially for the strange notion that schools are full of retired military who would be naturals for both teaching and protection. I keep thinking about 4-star General Kelly teaching high school with all his military skill—especially when I think about how the kids in his care would not be trained in chain of command or the need to take orders. Our leaders seem to be performing a comedy routine—except they are serious.

    I remember the retired Air Force officer who taught economics at our school in addition to teaching Jr ROTC. He would leave the room with the order to
    “carry on” and “carry on” some of us did. He seemed to be clueless that we interpreted his order differently than he intended.

  120. 16 children and a teacher were killed in March 1996 in Dunblane, Scotland after which all handguns, semiautomatic or not, were banned in the UK. Semiautomatic rifles had already been banned after a previous killing in Hungerford, England. Since then it has been extremely difficult to legally obtain firearms of any kind and there have been no massacres involving guns. Sure, we have had terrorist incidents but they have not involved guns, unless you count the Troubles in Northern Ireland which was effectively a low level civil war. Americans have a choice: keep the right to possess and use semiautomatic weapons or live in a country where these killings stop.

  121. I understand all of your concerns about the possible problems with having an armed teacher in a school, and to some degree I agree with you. However, I am still waiting to hear an alternative proposal that affords some degree of possible protection. The other option CANNOT be to simply keep doing what we’ve been doing. Surely it is better to have someone on hand that has the possibility to neutralize the threat than to have no other choice but to be a helpless victim. That is completely unacceptable.

  122. I was a teacher, assistant football and track coach, guidance counselor and administrator during my 34 year career in secondary education. Prior to that I served two years in the US Army in Germany(1959-61). Three other administrators in the High School where I worked for 26 years were also veterans as follows. One was a veteran of the US Army (Korean War Veteran), one was a US Navy veteran (6 years service) and one was a Marine veteran. We also had a few Vietnam veterans who were classroom teachers. I think we could have handled being armed.
    However the first 8 years I worked in two different schools and there were only a few veterans, but we did have two teachers that worked as Highway Patrol officers. My point is that there are teachers who are qualified to handle firearms.

  123. Thank you for a really well put forward perspective. Your insights as someone that has experienced these terrifying and terrible conditions I think are invaluable in this and your understanding of the reactions of trained and untrained persons in chaotic and dangerous situations I think is important.
    I don’t live in America, I have visited many times your beautiful and amazing country and have some dear friends live there. I can tell you that where I live in Australia we are keeping you in our prayers as you are being called to account by your youth for your inaction on gun control. We are all praying that this peaceful revolution by your youth will help to shift the mentality that a gun is an answer to anything, let alone to keeping kids safe in school.

  124. Hate will not make this country great.
    Guns duties added to an extremely overcrowded list of jpb dutieshardly seems appropriaye. The lives of children must not be as important as a basketball game or having an ass kissing military parade to fulfill someones ego. Since Collgeg BB or FB coaches are often tbe highest state employee….they aren’t being asked to have gun dutie. the athletes say we get paid so much because one injury could end their career. Well folks on accusattion from a student could end a teachers. Npw lets put them on the front line against well stocked shooter, but be one of the least paid groups in our contry

  125. Armed guards would be worthless like the infantry (11B?) guy said. Even if it occasionally saved one or two kids lives what’s the point? I mean, they have armed guards at bank’s and look at all the mass shootings they have there and that’s only protecting a bunch of cash. Courthouses too. Senseless. Although I’ve always attributed this to poor sign placement and if they just increased the size and placement mechanics of the notification banning these guns on premises it’s likely that over 100% of these tragedies would be averted. OVER 100%. (See how that caught yer eye? POW! Placement mechanics.) Saving lives one font at a time.

  126. Frankly just because you personally had a problem handling a combat situation doesn’t mean you have the right to take away the right of others to fight. I’ve handled a combat situation before (not as a soldier, but I did have three people trying to kill me), I stopped them from murdering me, and I could have just as easily stopped them from murdering someone else. All you’ve proven here is that military and police can be every bit as incompetent as ordinary citizens, which if anything, seems to rather UNDERMINE the opinion that we should restrict such activity to them.

  127. SGT Martin is absolutely right. Arming teachers and staff members is a terrible idea. I can think of a number of dangerous or fatal scenarios involving guns in classrooms not even during an intruder alert/attack–concealed carry, locked up, or any other protocol.
    I am a teacher. I would never carry a gun into a school. I would quit first, and my children or grandchildren would not be in a school with guns either.

  128. Guns guns & more guns Republican, NRA and artillery fanatics. are delusional. i’d rather try to survive a men with a knife 1000 times than face a men who has set his mind on killing people and that even if I had a gun. The only solution is total ban on guns, you’ll have a occasional knife, baseball bat, crossbow, sword etc attack by some lunatics but the casualties will be reduced immensely and you will have a better chance at escaping, surviving or fighting back.

  129. Thank you for this article – it’s so important to consider the full implications of what “just arm the teachers” actually means, and how different people could react to being in such a high-stress situation.

    In those lines, something that very few people seem to consider is that most school shooters are current or former students at the school they are targeting. If you arm teachers and ask them to take out “the bad guy,” that bad guy may very easily be one of their own students. At the very least, it would likely be a child that they know. Talk about a situation that would make anyone freeze up!

    It would be better, in that situation, to make sure teachers have de-escalation training. If they do know the shooter and are put in a situation where they actually have to come face-to-face, de-escalation may be more effective than a firearm.

  130. Good Guys with Guns, the myth, the body count.

    An Army psychiatrist who opened fire at Fort Hood, Texas, killing 12 people and wounding 31 others, was shot but captured alive

    PARKLAND, Wash. — One of four police officers killed in an ambush at a coffee house Sunday fought with the gunman and may have wounded him before the officer died just outside the doorway, a sheriff’s spokesman said. Troyer said investigators believe two of the officers were shot dead while sitting in the shop, and a third was killed after standing up. The fourth apparently struggled with the gunman out the doorway and “gave up a good fight,” getting off a few shots before he was either shot there or succumbed to earlier wounds.

    Colorado police officer shot dead and four others wounded in ‘ambush-style attack…“I do know that all of them were shot very, very quickly. They all went down almost within seconds of each other, so it was more of an ambush-type of attack on our officers,” Spurlock said. “He knew we were coming and we obviously let him know that we were there.” “The wounded deputies tried to pull the officer, identified as Zack Parrish, out of the line of further gunfire but were unable to because of their own injuries and were obliged to “crawl to safety”

  131. For all you gun crazy nuts arguing that a school should be defended you need to get your heads out of your patriotic second amendment bum holes. School shootings are not “normal”. Here in New Zealand we have NEVER had a single shooting at a school. Why? Because we have tight gun control.

    A school here is a place where the future of our country, our children, go without fear. To learn and form friendships. The idea that a school should ever need defending points to a far bigger problem.

    Your country has an unhealthy relationship with weapons made to kill. That is where you need to start.

  132. My thoughts on preventing or minimizing school-shootings (or any public shootings) long-term would be this:

    Firstly, our constitution states we have the right to bear arms, and we should. However, this also creates a loophole that allows malignant uses of said decree. So, if we are failing to keep firearms out of the wrong hands, be it murderers, traffickers, criminals, or mentally deranged people, how do we reconcile this? The waiting periods and background checks never seems to deter the committed and the black market is not going anywhere anytime soon. No matter what, they will still get them.

    I don’t know exactly if this is feasible but what if the government mandated that all weapons manufacturers had to change the design to include a microchip sensor that would set off an invisible-fence, type-of-signal, if close to the perimeter of a school or mall or whatnot. It could initiate a instant lockdown response, keeping the gun wielder out and the innocent safe. Also, the design would have to include a disablement feature if the sensor/chip is disengaged or tampered with. There would still be the “illegal” guns out there but as law enforcement collects them in confiscations, they could be decommissioned or upgraded. Surely this would be expensive, but at what point are we as a society going to take the power back and let good prevail?

    Eh, food for thought…

  133. I really appreciate this article as unlike many of these going around it’s written by someone with some relevant knowledge and experience.
    However the argument the author gives is a fallacious appeal to ignorance. He argues that there is a large amount of uncertainty in firefights and so we don’t know what will happen if teachers are armed. But the knife of an appeal to ignorance cuts both ways. If we don’t know what will happen, then we can’t know if it will be a good or bad. Uncertainty can go either way in the unknown things can be good or bad. Thus he can’t use this to reasonably argue that it’s a bad idea to arm teachers because his whole point is that it’s uncertain what will happen. The argument requires him to be agnostic about if arming teachers is a good or bad idea. If the proponents of arming teachers cannot know that it’s a good idea, then he cannot know that it’s a bad idea. Skeptical arguments like this almost always cut both ways.

  134. Thank you for your sharing your experience and insight on this American problem. I to am an a combat veteran from The Vietnam War. It’s been 50 years sense I laid in the mud scared shitless trying to keep my head lower than my ass. I agree with you 100 percent I have been saying the same thing whenever someone asks for my opinion on arming teachers. I would add only that we all have ( including our draft dodging commander and chief) fantasy’s of how we would react when in combat or in a situation were we might be able to take out a shooter! Thanks to a lot of propaganda and the movies, after all we have an all volunteer service we need to support with a lot of bodies. The only way you will know how you will respond in these situations is go through it. People do all kinds of stupid things that when looked back on are impossible to explain. No one but that officer knows why he did not go inside at that moment. But that’s how people react it’s not a action hero movie. During combat soldiers respond differently. Friendly fire is a real outcome of a fire fight trained soldiers have shot each other and themselves. We don’t need more guns in our country. That’s just a fantasy. If you want to shoot an AR or an automatic join the service bring back the band.

  135. Matt, first, thank you for your service. I happen to agree that “all” teachers should not be put in the position to defend others. However, as you don’t appear to be one, at least of K-12 kids, I would pose this question, had you decided to teach, with your background, would you want to at least have the opportunity to bear arms in the event you were ever in a position to defend yourself or your kids (troops)?

    Now, take that same use case and apply it to every other teacher out there. If they, of their own volition, choose to go through rigorous (or not) gun handling courses, to become trained, would you still deny them of that decision to, heaven forbid, protect themselves and kids?

    Guns aren’t for everyone, but they are for some, and we should not disallow those who are able (and actually capable) to defend our kids, families, etc. from doing so.

    Something to consider.

  136. I guess it’s better for them to just stand there, defenseless, blubbering for their lives and use their bodies as human shields until the attacker runs out of bullets! I bet the training to learn how to take 100 rounds without falling down and dying is a bitch!

  137. I’m astounded that author Matt Martin thinks teachers are so incompetent with firearms. He concludes that he has no solutions, but arming people in schools isn’t one. That’s fairly evidence free thinking.

    Here’s how the Isralies do it. They are surrounded and infiltrated by potential enemies, so they have to be a lot more determined than a grunt who rolls in on the offensive with superior firepower and laser designators, B1 bombers armed with JDAM orbiting overhead and artillery nearby. Oooh, that must be scary!

  138. I find it astounding that conservative types will justify arms under just about any situation, including as a solution to gun violence in school. Talk about disingenuous.

    I applaud Mr. Martin’s service and his honesty in talking about this subject. His words ring true. There are a lot of pompous blowhards who think they would be heroes in this kind of situation, but they’ve never been close to being there. I do not have such pretensions. As a school bus driver, I do not support arming school personnel; I think the idea is ludicrous.

    There are many conservatives (and some liberals I presume) who buy into the Clint Eastwood hero mythology. The reality is, as Mr. Martin said, panic and confusion would take hold of many people in the chaos of the moment, particularly those who are not trained on a regular basis to be in such situations, i.e., teachers and other school personnel.

    The correct and logical solution is to stop the proliferation of guns. It has worked in every country that has applied strict gun regulation. But this reality does not fit into the narrative of the NRA – who’s real intention is to stoke fear in order to push gun sales. And most conservatives are all too easily manipulated through a combination of paranoia and anger into believing this twisted alternative reality.

    By the way, the 2nd Amendment argument is false; another technique of manipulation by the powers of greed.



  139. Thank you for your for your service Sgt. Matt Martin. I appreciate your comments on combat. Nonetheless, I disagree with your conclusion. It’s true that an evaluation of any particularly school system may conclude that no teacher on staff should be armed even if they volunteer and are experienced pistol shooters. Nevertheless, this option should be studied with an open mind. It might be determined that one or more administrators should have access to firearms (perhaps stored in safes). There may be unintended pernicious consequences to allowing even qualified school staff access to guns on school grounds. But until we can stop these shootings: leaving our students and school staff defenseless without reviewing all options is not a moral strategy.
    Thank you again for protecting your fellow citizens including myself and my family.

  140. you miss the point, If you know that in a school random teacher are armed and could possibly stop you at the front door you move on to the next soft target. Not having armed teacher are not working. When I spent time in Honduros and we rode by a bank with a 15 year old solider at the door with a fully auto weapon I thought well I wouldn’t try that bank even knowing the guy was 15 years old its not a soft target. Why would I take a chance. Now for the mentaly challeneged people who want to die it diesn’t matter that they are armed what matters is how many they take out before they are killed thats why if even one teach with a weapon stops him before he kills another. Thank you for you service but it doen’t make you an expert in this and I call BS.

    • Rick. You miss the point. Your example of the 15 year-old doesn’t work. Was he a bank teller? The bank manager? Probably the answer to both questions is No. So if you’re suggesting that schools employee more armed guards I’m OK with that as long as they are in law-enforcement. Although we saw how effective that was in FL – and actually gives support to Mr Martin’s story about a medic freezing in the line of fire.
      I don’t think Mr Martin claimed he was an expert. So on that I call BS on you.
      So if the biggest concern is that there’s a sign in front of the school saying “Gun Free School” how about we just take the signs down? How about if we ban all military style weapons (or any weapon that can be converted to automatic or semi-automatic)? Use some of the military budget to get them off the street. Pass laws that give long mandatory sentences to anyone purchasing a gun for someone else. There are dozens of options and they all should be implemented. You want armed teachers? Fine. But lets have a fairer fight. Pistols vs pistols. Questions came up that nothing would have prevented Sandy Hook because he stole is mothers gun, which she purchased legally. Well if we go on the NRA premise that he was mentally ill then maybe we need address that situation also. Anyone that cares for or has a dependent that is deemed mentally unfit (you’d still need to define what that would entail) then maybe we need to restrict the number of, and the types of, guns the care giver can posses.
      Lets make sure that all of the children are safe and do whatever we can to accomplish it instead of having this political

  141. False dichotomy: “I’m saddened by the fact that we’ve reached a point where people in this country want teachers to arm themselves as moonlight deputies.”
    NObody is advocating whole-sale arming of teachers who don’t deliberately volunteer and successfully complete training certification.
    Mr. Martin knows that. And so do the DNC.

    What a load of Bolshevik. I’m embarrassed that he’s using his combat veteran’s status to legitimize a deliberate logical fallacy.
    When you hear the supersonic crack of a bullet’s passage and realize that it has already gone by, and that more are coming toward you, the degree of stress and danger are incredible. The stress and danger are even more incredible if you have no way to defend yourself or your buddies.

    PS I’m retired, combat-served vet, too.

    • Green Eyed. Mr Martin didn’t advocate whole-sale arming of of teachers. He just points out his thoughts on arming teachers.
      And for you saying that you’re embarrassed that he’s using his combat veteran’s status to legitimize a deliberate logical fallacy. Which fallacy are you speaking of? The one regarding stress and danger? I believe he made his point with the medic. But you seem to feel that a teacher who deliberately volunteers and successfully completes a training certification will react just fine under those stressful and dangerous situations. Remember, we’re only discussing teachers, not vets that would help guard the school.

  142. 98% of mass shootings, since 1956 have been in “Gun Free Zone.'”Why didn’t the shooter target the Sheriffs department? Because it isn’t a “Gun Free Zone.”

    • Yeah, Even I Agree with you. All the Shootings have been done on “Gun Free Zone”. One of the best examples is Latest Shooting in Las Vegas.

  143. Now, think back to Afghanistan and imagine what it would be like to be in the same situation but have no weapons; all you could do was close a door and hope no hostile opened it. Pretty crazy, right? yet, that is what you just said you want for our students and teachers. Funny how when a sheriff offered free gun training to teachers in Ohio, he has over 300 teachers request the training in an hour. You have a right to your opinion; you do not have a right to force us to live in a defenseless state.

  144. If most or all teachers are trained with a gun and armed, then the shooter will die much sooner and kill less children than if no teachers have guns. This argument is so simple but many are incapable of simple logic. So even if 2/3rds of the teachers hide, 1/3 will stand and fight the gunman long before the police ever arrive.

  145. The veteran who wrote this piece described very accurately physical reactions experienced in combat. I too was an infantryman in Vietnam. Politicians would do well to heed his advice. Perhaps our president equals active shooter situations as a doctor might regard bone spurs. 🙂

  146. Metal detectors only cost $500 each. Coupled with a police officer or two should be a fool proof way to deter any shooters. The officer(s) would only have to be there for the short time the students are entering and exiting schools. With such a minimal cost to each community, why hasn’t this been implemented?!? Some schools already have this implemented and have had no issues since.

  147. …and yet, if a few, like you, willingly volunteered…
    …and their weapons were a unique color only known to local officials, so they were not confused for shooters themselves…
    As a teacher who may have to face this one day, I would rather face it to stop it, just like I teach every day to prevent it.

  148. “you don’t know how people will respond in life and death situations until the moment comes.”

    Yet this yahoo claims to know how individual teachers will react. As reported in news available to him, some acted admirably.

    I really don’t like people who need the opportunity to tell their story about how they were shot. Look at me, look at me!


  149. Why suggest kids fight back?
    Because kids today are deadly beasts when it comes to tactical shooter scenarios. If one can get to a weapon safely and has the drop on that fool hurting everyone, more power to him.
    Many kids today have lightning precision, die to all the early/advance simulator training their parents have provided an easily remove emotions n from the situation & are actually more qualified in theory, to handily engage some of the most complex multiple enemy multiple good guy close qtr combat shit ive seen..
    Wha…kids R innocent? Ya, Rite… not in this country.
    As kids we witness acts of extreme violence and murder on TV, in movies, games, etc – many thousands and thousands of times… before we even reach 10 years of age. The majority of these violent scenarios conclude with ‘THE BAD GUY’ being killed..by what can only naturally be THE GOOD GUY.
    Now the bad guy did some murdering and violent foolishness too, but since hes bad we don’t like him killing.
    If u kill someone u r bad.
    But if you kill someone who killed someone u r good
    Am I the only one who thinks that the message here might be a lil confusing to certain individuals

  150. So let me get this straight. We taxpayers paid for your weapon and training, and now you want to tell us what weapon and training we can and can’t have. I don’t care where you were shot, or where you served. You are an OathBreaker. Get bent, you piece of trash communist. I’ll not give up my rights for you, or anyone else.

  151. Here’s the problem with the Army vs Classroom

    In the Army, you enlist to fight a war against terror, which you justify in your mind as fighting evil somewhere else so that it doesn’t reach our shores ever again—and you’d be right…insofar as this is conceptually accurate.

    In school, teachers sign up to do society’s greatest work- teaching young, impressionable minds how to reason, how to perform basic deductions and operational tasks, and how to socially interact with others of similar ages and experiences. In essence, they are secondary parents to our children, and tend to instictively react that way when confronted with evil. They shield their students with their bodies and do their beat to keep their students safe through shelter, escape and evasion. HOWEVER…
    If you give a teacher the power, the training and the tools to fight evil more effectively, they will.

    Have you ever seen a mother fight off an attacker twice her size to save her child? Have you ever seen a woman bite the head off of a strange man for staring at her daighter, or having an illicit conversation with her son? I think we all have, at one point, witnessed this bravery and courage that erupts like a volcano in the soul of every parent, relative, and even teachers. This is what gives me the confidence to arm every teacher in the nation: the knowledge that a gun is simply a tool, and can be used or abused, just like a curriculum.

    So, no; arming teachers is not a bad idea. Jn fact, it is probably the best idea. It is a good idea, as we can infer from cities like Chicago, where guns are practically illegal at any time, and is overrun by criminals of all sorts and crime of every nature. Compare that yk some of the most gun-centric communities in the US, where crime drops significantly due to the natural fear it instills in criminals.

  152. No one is suggesting that ALL teachers be armed or be required to be armed. But there is no reason why teachers who are already skilled shooters should be prevented from defending both themselves and their students should the need arise. Making schools “Gun-Free Zones” renders that impossible.

  153. I think we might be narrowing our focus a little too much. School shootings are horrible, so they grab our attention and we (I think we all are on the same page), collectively, want to see an end to them. I should say ‘mass shootings’ instead of school shootings, schools aren’t the only soft targets. Kids being shot is horrible, but really, anyone losing their life to a gun is bad, IMHO. Mass shooting deaths are a small fraction of gun deaths. Suicides, accidental deaths, homicides and justified homicides all take their toll, with suicides far outweighing any of the others.

    So, what do we do. This is america, we are a gun society in this moment. Maybe that will change in the future. I’m a left leaning, progressive (I know, my family just collectively spit out their coffee), but I don’t want to give up my guns either. Though, I have to be honest, it doesn’t feel like a good idea to arm teachers. It may be we have to go through this to find out if it is or isn’t a good idea. That’s great thing about coming together to solve problems. It doesn’t have to be one side or the other. We have an idea, we try it out, if doesn’t work we try something new until we get it right. (I wish congress could do this). We have to come together. Taking away all the guns isn’t an option. Neither is arming the entire nation.

    So, instead of gun control, let’s look at gun safety instead. There are so many things that could work to reduce the irresponsible use of firearms. Look at how we regulate driving for instance. So many people die because of cars, we’re not talking about banning them are we? So what do we do? We put people who want to drive through training and evaluation. They are entered into a system to be kept track of. All kinds of driving laws, and some vary from state to state, but for the most part very standard. When you reach the driving age and you show you can handle it, you get a license. Where do you get a license to drive? Not at the supermarket, or at car show. You go to the department of Motor Vehicles. Then what happens? You are good to go.

    Until you mess up.
    Drunk driving, lot’s of wrecks, tickets, endangerment. You just might lose your right to be behind the wheel.
    So why don’t we have a standardized system for gun ownership? Seems simple enough of an idea, we already have a good template to use. National laws instead of a hodgepodge of state laws, background checks are good as long as we add mental health checks to that(serious ones). A state issued licensing system for buyers and sellers. I can’t sell hard liquor in my state without approval and license, maybe the same should be true for guns? Technology? I can’t even begin to imagine the creative things, we as Americans, could come up with. Guns that won’t fire unless the owner is the one using, I don’t know. Lot’s of possibilities there I think. I do know that I want to walk down the street and when I see somebody with open carry, I want to have at least the same level of trust in that person to be responsible with his/her firearm that I have for somebody who is driving down the street next to me.

    Coming together as a nation is the only way to solve any of our issues. Not screaming at each other from across the isle, or the street, or the internet. Look at what we did when we came together in WWII, or when we decided to go to the moon. We got together and made it happen. What do I see standing in our way of coming together? What would want us to keep screaming at each other from across the isle or street? To widen this rift in our nation? That keeps us divided on so many issues. Drugs, Guns, War, Net Neutrality, Immigration, Abortion, Healthcare, Pepsi/Coke……


    So simple really. When you read the newspaper and you see a controversial story that’s impassioned, maybe with violence between groups. I challenge you. Look for the money. It doesn’t take much reading between the lines to deduce who’s making it or who’s at risk of losing it, usually that will shed a huge light on the real nature of what’s going on. This is not a new or radical idea.

    So. Us self-described rational, caring, well meaning citizens want to engage in a “healthy conversation about gun safety” to find ways to protect the innocents, defend the weak while retaining our constitutional rights. Well of course we do! But who would want to keep us from doing that? Who would rather see us yelling at each other, divided and making no progress for the common good? The ones making money, lots of money. The ones making lots of money if they keep things as they are now. I’d wager that list is a lot longer than I think, but the top of the list, for me, would definitely start with the NRA and gun manufacturers. This is big money. If we’ve learned anything from the giants of Corporate America it’s that us small guys and gals don’t matter when compared to the bottom line, why should children and the mentally ill? Today’s NRA isn’t the Charleston Heston’s NRA that my Grandfather and I belonged to when I was growing up. It’s the NRA that has it hands deep in the money pot. From my circle of friends, online reading, etc. I’m getting the impression that a lot of gun owners are unhappy/leaving the NRA, dissatisfied with it’s changed goals. Is this true? If so I encourage the millions of responsible, caring, rational gun owners to create a new Association. One that can defend the 2nd Amendment and what it stands for, instead of hiding behind it for monetary gain. To my fellow ‘Libtards’, let’s try not to be so completely lost in a black and white, idealistic world that we can’t join with our ‘Gun nut’ brothers and sisters and be the great nation we can be.

    Look, let’s do this. Life is messy, but let’s try to make the best of it. Guns=Gun deaths. Cars=Car deaths. No matter how many laws, nor their quality will make deaths = 0. But we can try to make it as close to 0 as possible. That’s a worthy goal.

    Thanks for listening. I really needed to get all of that out.

    • Duke. Show us where in Mr Martin’s post that he “…believes that any citizen being armed is an asinine idea.” ? His post was strictly about arming teachers.
      Either you didn’t read the article or you lack reading comprehension. This is an example of why there’s such a big divide in this country, because people like you are more concerned about spewing your talking point(s) than taking the time to share a thoughtful response.
      So instead of being part of the problem, try being part of the solution.
      Just let that sink in.


  154. SGT. the point you make is very valid and for that reason alone, we should arm teachers and school staff who want to be armed and feel they have the mental and emotional capability to fight back. You yourself said when one is being shot at, it changes your mode of operation. That is the reason we need bullets to push back and create an environment where an evil perp cannot kill innocent people who don’t have a chance to fight back. If there were bullets flying counter to the shooter, the shooter himself will be off center. Lastly, it only takes one well placed bullet from an unsuspecting teacher to stop this evil. The worse thing that happens, the schools are highlighted as “NOT SAFE GUN ZONES as we know through history, mass shooters never hit hardened targets!

  155. I don’t think we can afford to overlook all available resources in protecting innocent children during their school day. There are already many school staff members who have gone through private training to become “licensed to carry” and who will willingly agree to arm themselves with a concealed weapon at school. Yes, we need already existing lock-down/out drills, school-provided safety training for staff and students. We need every security officer paid and trained by their school district. And if a teacher/staff member willingly trains to be more than a “sitting duck” when charged with protecting young lives from an active shooter, we need to support and applaud them.

    • Chris, but yet you overlook the banning of military style assault weapons and accessories like bump stocks.
      Lets see….No assault weapons, additional armed school guards, teacher’s volunteer to be armed, metal detectors, improved background checks, better education for law enforcement and government employees on identifying and dealing with possible mental health situations.etc. The list goes on, but if we are serious, we need to do all of them to ensure our children are safe. Not just cherry-pick the ones that meet ones political or social views.

  156. This, for the most part, has been a good discussion. I can only speak from my own experience serving 2 tours in Vietnam as an Army Pathfinder. Even with the best training it is very hard, if not impossible, to predict every time what someone would do in any given situation. And that same person may not respond the same way twice. I just do not think adding more guns to a very quickly changing situation is the answer. In a chaotic situation imagine being one of the first officers to arrive and now have to be aware of armed persons not wearing any type of identification who may or may not be a “good guy”. For my own peace of mind I do not have any guns in our house. I have had my fill of pop-up shoot back targets. I keep a couple of machetes around the house and other forms of defense. Machetes are more up close and personal. I have never heard of whacking someone’s arm off and using the excuse “I didn’t know it was sharp”. Unless you can say unequivocally that you are willing to take a life without hesitation and accept whatever consequences may arise you should not be carrying a gun.

  157. The author did not mention the deterrent value of a potential shooter knowing he is contemplating an attack against a target tnat can shoot back. That just alone, is worth the program.

  158. How does being a veteran who has been shot qualify you to have a more valid opinion on how to protect kids from school mass shooters? I mean, I agree with you, but you getting shot and being a veteran has nothing to do with school mass shooters and if teachers should be armed.

  159. Congratulations, you found the one and only Democrat to ever serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. However, 99% of America’s veterans would adamantly disagree with you… including this one.

    -Sgt Lewis

    • Sgt Lewis. Do you have any facts to back up your ridiculously stupid comment? Probably not. Only 1 democrat has served in the US armed forces? 99% of America’s veterans disagree with him? Wow, those two comments that just sent the needle right off the Stupid Scale.

  160. Solution? Gun free zones make no sense to me. In my opinion, a teacher, janitor, or other school staff should be allowed to carry ( concealed) during school hours if they have been specially trained, in coordination with local police, and assessed to be mentally stable. I do not under any circumstance believe there should be mandatory carry for teachers. That would be a big mistake. As you know serving over seas, Some run to the trouble, others ( majority) run away. This would need to be addressed with anyone armed in a school.

  161. I’ve frequently heard police officers call members of the the public ‘civilians’ although they aren’t military police. Technically, if you check the definition, the LEO’s are correct in their usage but I hate their condescending use of this term when they refuse to enter a school to perform what is supposedly their duty, to protect and serve, because they prioritize their own safety over that of the public, even children. Such people have no business wearing the uniform or carrying the badge and have no justification for being entrusted with a firearm.

    After terrorist bomb attacks on the London Underground, the police hung back for an hour or more while ‘civilians’ lay injured and dying in the shattered carriages. They prioritized their own safety knowing Islamic terrorists have sometimes used secondary bombers who wait to target the emergency responders, although so far there has been no use of such tactics in the UK or USA as far as I am aware. The paramedics wanted to do their job, regardless of any personal risk, but were held back by the police while ‘civilians’ lay dying in agony for want of prompt treatment. Police officers claimed compensation for the trauma they suffered witnessing the effects when they finally decided they’d waited long enough for the scene to have been ‘secured’ and let the paramedics do their jobs.

    If you sign up for the armed forces or an emergency service, you should know that you are possibly going to witness some gruesome injuries. And if you can’t face potential danger to save the lives of the ‘civilians’ who pay your wages, demanding compensation for PTSD caused by seeing their bodies, stop condescendingly referring to the general public as ‘civilians’. because you are merely civilian police, not the true military who have to march toward the sound of gunfire.

  162. So, because some people can freeze in combat, it means that nobody should have a tool to fight back?
    That because a trained soldier (out of hundreds) can’t handle the chaos, that NO teachers can?

    That’s a lot of asinine assumptions there.

  163. Thank you for your service. So what your saying if you were a teacher, you should not be allowed to carry a gun to protect the children. Second so becoming a teacher stops you from carrying a gun to protect yourself and the children. Most shootings in civilian life last just a few minutes, it takes law enforcement 6-10 minutes to get on scene.

  164. As a Veteran myself I have to ask the author of this tripe if he had a choice. Face a shooter barehanded or with a firearm in your hand. You ready to cower in a corner or have a small chance you can take “him” before he takes you? As for me, I would want the option to try. Let those teachers that wish to and are qualified be able to protect themselves and perhaps their students. Nobody is forcing a teacher to pack but those that are willing and able give them the freedom to do so.

  165. M. MARTIN…
    You Soldier, are spot on not to mention diligent in your thought and theory process. I too am a Soldier, a career Soldier and combat veteran OIF 2004-’06. 1st Cav….
    Simply put, those who are responding in opposition to your article, are either hungry for the value of machismo, have a need for the adrenaline rush to validate their purpose, or are puppets of special interest.
    You validate your article by stating the obvious, that there are numerous scenarios not known, that guns in a school are reactive, and the consequence will be the same or possibly worse. Training, command and control, professional mindset, and skill are not learned in a,week month or year, but a lifetime however brief the leadup.
    I am pro 2A, but absolutely anti-NRA or any special interest gun group. Most importantly, I am a republican of family and patriotic values.
    The assignment of security should be taken on by veterans and law enforcement. The only SKILL SET qialified to do the job. Not rent a cops, not teachers, and not mercenary wannabes.
    To groups like the NRA, comprehend the following: this is not about 2A, but about national security for Americans, young and old. NRA avoids and defies efforts of national security on a domestic scale. NRA and gun groups exploit laws pertaining to guns, or weapons in general. When guns of any caliber are are fired from, and mounted in the doors of helicopters to murder and slaughter animals, the 2A is exploited. When the NRA does not approve of No Fly Lists, registration and training, it approves of islamic terrorism as well as domestic attacks.
    Ar 15’s AK 47’s, and all heavy weapons should not be allowed into the hands of civilians, plain and simple. There could be and should be a protocol for these weapons.
    As for the argument about whether or not Martin speaks fact based upon truth, Follow Him……..

  166. Ex-POTUS Obama signed a $10 million Gun Violence study done in 2013 by CDC. One of the results is that, EVERY year, 500,000 to 3 million people used a firearm to defend themselves, loves ones or other people from
    bad guys. Look it up!

  167. […] Within just a few seconds of attack detection (or stress becoming extreme) the prefrontal cortex can be massively impaired, even effectively taken offline. That’s why the military and police repeatedly train and drill. When they come under attack and their “rational brains” go out the window, habits and reflexes are all that’s left. So their training must burn in effective habits they can access later (although even the best training is no guarantee). […]

  168. that’s like saying allowing troops to arm themselves in the middle of a confusing situation when being fired upon is insane. why should you have guns to protect yourselves in the middle of chaos and teachers and staff not have the same right to defend themselves. pat tillman was killed so they say by friendly fire. shit happens. so should we all protest and take the guns away from the infantry men out on the front lines.

    that’s absurd.

  169. You were in an ambush, one of the most, if not the most difficult and traumatic situations a soldier can face. The comparison to an active shooter situation is not valid. The easiest evolutions a soldier can face are assault (which is what the shooter does, and against unarmed targets it has elements of an ambush as well), and defense of a fixed position. What arming teachers proponents are proposing is in effect creating a hardened fixed position defense and ambush against an active shooter. It’s not perfect, the teachers are not perfect, but it a simple evolution and it a lot better than standing around hoping the door hold while a mad man with a gun tries to kill you. And it’s also a lot better than allowing tyrannical actors gut the 2nd amendment even more than they already have.