Provocative Thoughts: Veterans not armed teachers should protect schools

source site Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of opinion pieces by Mike Zdunich, a senior communications major at UWF. Through his Provocative Thoughts column, Mike will present new and nuanced ways to think about important issues.

farmacia online viagra generico a Genova By Mike Zdunich Mass shootings are acts of terrorism, committed by our citizens on our shores.  We should not be treating young men and women who murder on a mass casualty scale as merely disturbed.  TSA protects airports.  The Port Authority and Border Patrol protect our borders.  A single uniformed officer is protecting some, but not all schools.


Why do we not value protecting our children as much as protecting our luggage, oil, cars and trade goods?

We created this monster.  Mass shootings in schools did not begin to happen en masse until the turn of the 21st Century.  Why?  Internet, cell phones and the overarching idea of helicopter parenting left children feeling the need to be coddled.  Self-reliance was no longer valued as it had been by the hard-working people of previous generations.  Failure was replaced instead with earning a trophy on the little league field.

How did we create these monsters?  We collectively did not allow them to fail.  We enabled them to act on emotions immediately via smart devices with SnapChat and Facebook.  By not teaching kids to fail and learn from the emotions and reality of failure, children did not experience the shame that then drives change and perseverance to earned, positive outcomes.  

Now, when the social media mavens say something askew, or they don’t push “like,” events have cascaded to the point where people act out violently, taking innocent lives in real time on streaming news channels. They are then noticed by their peers and momentarily immortalized for a few weeks before being forgotten, though the aftermath is catastrophic to victims, families, communities.

We can’t not rely on the Sheriff’s Office or local police departments.  They often put more senior and older officers in schools as they twilight on the way to retirement.  In the case of the Parkland shooting, the officer ran from the shooter.

The outcome of his inaction was what we have seen in the media, mass destruction of kids and the shattering of many families for untold generations.

Most school resource officers (SROs) are armed with a 0.40 caliber handgun.  They will be outgunned by a well-armed gunman in every active shooter scenario, as has been borne out in the last many shootings. The best-case scenario is an SRO spotting an active shooter event beginning to unfold before the gunman can fire. This has never happened (and been reported).  What we can do is prepare for reality.  

The reality of RUN, HIDE, FIGHT training is that the shooters know that this is exactly what students and teachers have been trained to do.  The shooters know the area and are confident those they hunt will have virtually nothing to fight with, allowing them free range to hunt at will.

The closest reactionary force is a SWAT team that must be called in by a 911 emergency call. It can take precious minutes to field a call, form a team, and respond on scene, an eternity while cowering behind a wooden desk as bullets are flying.

Make no mistake, this is not a rash of violence that will magically end.  It will continue, and we must act accordingly.  We as a society have not done so to date.  

We can offer protection that would lower the possibility of mass casualties in future situations.  

There are well over two million combat veterans living in the United States at any given time from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.

Take two veterans from combat military Military Occupation Specialties (MOSs) who pass a psychological screening and a comprehensive background check. Arm them with firearms that can effectively stop an active shooter.  

This allows enough deterrence to patrol every high, middle, and elementary school in every state.

Imagine knowing you don’t have to worry as much knowing that there are two armed, battle-hardened veterans watching your children from drop-off to pick-up.  They are tangible.  They are visible.  

They project power; they project safety; they are serving their community and they are part of their community.  

These military veteran men and women will have the sole purpose to shoot and terminate those who wish to harm the people who work and learn on school grounds.  

Additional security will no longer be needed for local sporting events with such a system in place.

Two strategically, motivated, highly armed, educated and trained veterans will fiercely guard our future.  

At the same time, America’s veterans, who have an unacceptably high unemployment rate, will be put back to work serving their communities.  They already have the requisite knowledge and training to accomplish this task.  

They have the ability to discern a person with good intentions from a person looking to do harm, and they will very acutely understand rules of engagement.  

These are men and women who do not run from danger; they have already been in situations that hardened them to the reality of such a task.  

Arming teachers is a bad idea.  Most teachers have spent their entire professional careers learning to educate and nourish a learning spirit in the children for whom they care.

It takes a hardened heart to kill and saddling teachers with the burden of gun battle is not in any way appropriately maximizing resources to be most effective.  

Though most teachers will defend themselves and defend their students, they committed to educate, not to potentially take lives.  

To those reading this article who are appalled, thinking that “there should be no guns in schools,” I agree.  

However, the sad reality is that the guns that are in schools in the hands of those who wish to harm others are going to continue being brought to schools and will be used to kill others unless there is a more powerful and more effective deterrent in place.  

Join me in asking our local, county, and national governments to allow highly trained veterans to protect our most precious assets.  

No solution is perfect. More innocent people, and tragically children, will still lose their lives because of ineffective governance. Putting veterans in schools, even the best ones, with the best equipment, will not stop all deaths in schools or all school shootings. This is merely one suggested but efficient and effective solution to a horrific epidemic.