Three cheers for Wisconsin state representative Frank Lasee for having the courage to suggest a real solution to the problem of school shootings: arm the teachers. The same people who recoil in horror at this proposition also object to allowing armed people on planes, but the simple fact is that guns prevent crime.
Within the past week, three school shootings have occurred in Wisconsin, Colorado, and Pennsylvania, all of which could have been prevented, or the effects of which at least diminished, if people on the scene had been armed, able to neutralize the shooter or at least defend the unarmed victims. But our society’s hypersensitivity to guns has blinded us to their utility.
It is often said that when you outlaw guns, only outlaws will carry them. Nowhere is this truth more brilliantly illustrated than in the tragic theater of a school shooting. But one shooting in particular in 1997, illustrated how sensible Representative Lasee’s proposal actually is. Joel Myrick, the assistant principal at Pearl High School in Pearl, Mississippi, ran to his car to retrieve his .45 caliber handgun *after* Luke Woodham began killing his fellow students, and then held Woodham until police arrived on the scene. Myrick’s use of an “illegal” gun prevented Woodham from executing the rest of his plan, which was to drive to the nearby Junior High and continue his shooting spree. Imagine how much better the outcome might have been had all of the school’s staff been armed on the scene. Woodham may never have gotten off a shot.
Pete Pochowski, the director of safety for Milwaukee Public Schools is quoted as saying, “We have problems in our schools, but not to the point where we need to arm our teachers and principals.” At what point do the school shootings become a severe enough problem where this option can be considered, Mr. Pochowski? Four a week? Five? Ten? Before people criticize Lasee’s plan they need to remember that not only is carrying a weapon for self-defense a natural right, it is simply a good idea.