The CPRC’s Nikki Goeser has a piece in the Missoulian newspaper.
I started high school back in 1991, before “active shooter” drills for students and teachers existed. Never did I imagine that we as a society would have to deal with such evil in the world and our schools would be left completely defenseless to stop that evil.
Back then, some teenagers actually went to high school with a shotgun or rifle in their vehicle because they had been hunting in the morning before classes started. Kids were not shooting up schools back then.
What has changed since 1991? Kids are not taught about morals and God like we were when I was young. Parents are not allowed to actually discipline their children like my parents did when I was young. Sure, we had Nintendo games like Mike Tyson’s Punch Out and Mortal Combat, but extreme violence was not glorified and marketed to children back when I was a kid like it is today. Kids were not diagnosed with any number of mental issues and prescribed drugs at the drop of a hat for it either. Kids were disciplined and held accountable for their actions.
Some Montanans seem to think that if we pass more gun control regulations, mass public shootings will stop (Shannon Kinsella Thomas online-only guest column, Sept. 2). They blame Republican politicians for giving in to the NRA. But even many European countries with extremely strict gun control laws, such as Russia, Finland and Norway, have much higher per capita rates of these attacks than we do.
But there is a different approach. 20 states, including some parts of Montana, currently allow teachers and staff to carry concealed guns to varying degrees on school property, so we don’t need to guess about how safe these schools are. Some states have had these rules for decades. In recent decades, only California and Rhode Island have moved to be more restrictive. The Crime Prevention Research Center, of which I am the executive director, looked at all the school shootings of any type in the United States from 2000 through 2018.
During these years, Utah, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and parts of Oregon allowed all permitted teachers and staff to carry, without any additional training requirements. Other states leave it to the discretion of the local superintendent or school board. As of December 2018, teachers carried in more than 30% of Texas school districts. Ohio teachers were carrying in over 200 school districts.
Carrying in a school is no different than in a grocery store or restaurant. Nineteen million Americans have concealed handgun permits. Nobody knows whether the person next to them might have a gun, unless it is needed.
Outside of suicides or gang violence in the wee hours of the morning, there has yet to be a single case of someone being wounded or killed from a shooting at a school that allows teachers and staff to carry guns during school hours. Indeed, the one shooting occurred at 2:20 a.m. in a parking lot when no armed teachers would have been around.
While an armed school resource officer is better than no armed protection, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to come to the conclusion that if an evil person wants to kill as many people as possible, their first course of action would be to simply shoot the SRO first and then they have free reign of the entire building.
Lockdown drills are a sad reality today, but I’d rather have a well-trained armed teacher. Assistant football coach Aaron Feis died trying to protect students with his bare hands at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. How about we give people a real fighting chance?Nikki Goeser, “A fighting chance to stop school shootings,” Missoulian, October 6, 2020.