Having more firearms in schools could do more harm than good.
The views expressed in this Op-Ed do not necessarily reflect those of Loop 21.
The tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., Friday has left America teary-eyed as 27 people, including 20 children, were gunned down by an obviously troubled man. Unfortunately, this isn't the first, second or even third time a mass shooting has happened on a school campus in the last 42 years.
Of those, six of the gunmen were apprehended and arrested after their killing sprees. The other four committed suicide when they were done.
While the arrests, even suicide, may evoke some sense of justice, no matter the gunmen's fates, the dozens of lives taken in their fits of rage will never be returned.
What to do? The subject of school safety is usually brought up in the context of protecting students from each other, but what about intruders from the outside?
In the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, at least two lawmakers have come forward to suggest that schools be allowed to protect themselves from such harm. While such suggestions may seem common-sense, they are not good ideas.
From Nevada, State Assemblywoman Michele Fiore says that she may introduce a bill to permit teachers and administrators in public schools in her state to carry firearms. She also wants to have gun laws in place mandating that there be at least one armed employee on staff at elementary and high schools. At the college level, Fiore wants to arm school officials on campuses, in addition to current campus police officers. She'd like to see college students who have concealed weapon permits be allowed carry firearms on campus as well to protect themselves from attackers and rapists if campus security isn't around.
“In our communities today the bad guys have guns and the good guys obey the law, and sometimes because of our firearm laws us good guys are put in a compromising position,” she said in a statement. “That is not OK. I will not hesitate to protect myself with my handguns. If I have to make a choice between saving my children’s lives or my own life or letting a scum bag take our lives, I’ll choose to take the culprit out.”