What Will an Armed School Look Like?
There are a number of misconceptions about how an armed school will function. Many of these are cast about by people who disagree with the possession of weapons by anyone other than a policeman or a congressman’s bodyguards. They fear some kind of out-of-control situation when guns are allowed in the school, in the hands of teachers and staff, and that the result would be accidents and bloodshed continuously. This point of view is much the same as the point of view propagandized in the news media whenever concealed carry is introduced in most states. The news media, which usually takes a liberal bent, jumps on-board with the anti-gun propagandists and communicates the idea that there will be “blood running in the streets” if common people are allowed to carry weapons. Of course none of this comes true because it is based on scare tactics and not facts.
Now that there is an effort to arm teachers in public schools we hear the same kind of silly, misinformed opinions. So let’s take a look at one example of how an armed school might actually function, keeping in mind that there may be variants of this scenario that would also work.
Let’s begin by being clear that allowing teachers to keep a gun on their desk, in a purse or briefcase, or in a drawer in the classroom is not acceptable. How a weapon might be safely maintained in the schools is summarized in the example that follows. As your local school district begins to prepare to arm the school staff, these thoughts may be modified and the best plan for your schools will emerge.
1. Students will not be allowed to possess firearms on campus (except for college students who have qualified for a concealed carry permit. These folks are just as safe as a policeman or armed teacher and should be allowed to concealed carry.) Teachers will qualify for a concealed carry permit, and will carry firearms in the school using approved holsters in a way that conceals their weapon and renders it tamper proof.
2. A school with no threats on campus we will call a school in “condition green.”
3. A school where a threat is on campus, or a gun has been discharged, we will call a school in “condition red.” “Code Red”, or some other phrase, becomes the PA system warning to teachers and staff that a threat is on campus. The sound of gunfire can also signal “code red.”
4. When the PA system says, “Attention, code red, code red,” all teachers will know what to do from training given to them. If they have time they will immediately put on brightly colored arm bands or a vest identifying them as staff. They will direct the students into the safest location and position the classroom allows; generally this means students will lie prone on the floor so that they are not hit by rounds fired by either the killer or defending teachers. The “code red” authorizes teachers to uncover their weapons, place those weapons in the “hot” condition, and to take a defensive position in the room, watching the door and listening, always exercising gun safety as they were taught. These are a subgroup of teachers we will call passive protectors. Another subset of the teachers, with a bent toward action, we will call the assertive protectors. They can be teachers without students that period, or teachers in a classroom near the threat. Some of them will be ex-military, or ex-police, hunters, or rifle/pistol club members. They are to listen, and look down the hallways, and attempt to locate the perpetrator. They will be expected to move toward gunfire and attempt to engage the individual to stop the killing as quick as possible. These armed teachers will be saving lives minutes ahead of the police.
5. Within moments the entire school is poised and ready. It has been transformed into a lethal zone for any murderer who ventures in. No slaughterer in this school will have time to walk casually from classroom to classroom killing and maiming students.
6. Remember that this is all about protecting children against harm from a killer in the school. The teachers’ weapons will not be allowed out of concealment when school is in session for any reason, except when the school is in a “code red” condition.
The bottom line is that an armed school will look just like an unarmed school, with students studying, teachers presenting lessons, band practice, gym, athletics, buses, etc., until someone begins to harm kids... and then it will suddenly change.