Guns are poor insurance policy for schools

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Imagine, if you will, a car insurance policy that would cover you, your passengers and those in other vehicles in case of an accident.

So far, so good?

Now suppose that same insurance policy had a rider that allowed a computer to run an algorithm, on a rare, random basis, to take control of your car and cause it to swerve into the ditch, or allow a wheel to fall off, or let the engine seize up.

Not such great insurance, right?

But you have a right to buy such a policy, you insist, despite admonitions from your friends. You heard of someone, somewhere, who had their expenses covered by a policy just like yours.

Proponents of allowing teachers to carry guns in school see it as a form of insurance.

"Most people don't want to go where they know people are going to shoot back at them," said Sen. Mark Christensen, who plans to introduce such a bill during this, his last legislative session.

Christensen tried unsuccessfully to pass a similar measure three years ago, but after the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings claimed 20 children and six adults, six states, including South Dakota and Kansas, passed bills to allow teachers to be armed.

But there hasn't been a rush to arm teachers in Kansas, in part because of questions about liability insurance, a question that could derail a similar law in Nebraska.

Gov. Dave Heineman is a supporter of gun rights, but sees guns in schools as "an accident waiting to happen."

The Nebraska State Education Association, and most school officials -- even some whose schools have been the scene of shootings -- oppose the idea.

Christensen expected opposition from large school districts to his bill, which would also apply to colleges and universities.

But, it can take too long for law enforcement to respond to a school shooting situation, Christensen says, especially in the rural district he represents.

His bill would require a teacher who wants to carry a gun to get 24 hours of training from a Nebraska State Patrol-certified instructor, in addition to the eight hours already required for a concealed gun permit.

Only teachers approved by the school board would be allowed to carry concealed weapons, and identities of armed teachers would also be concealed.

It's true that response times might be slow in small, rural schools, where rifles and shotguns hanging in the rear windows of pickup trucks were common until federal laws forced young hunters to leave their weapons at home.

Guns, if they are deemed necessary, are best handled by professionals.

Unnecessarily adding romanticized, lethal weapons to the chaotic environment that sometimes exists in even the most well-ordered school, is asking for trouble.

Do you favor allowing teachers to carry guns in school?

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  • Try this theoretical analysis: Suppose you hear through the radio, television or social media that the school your child attends has been attacked by a crazy gunman. Are you praying that the teacher that is looking after your student is armed with the tools needed to protect him/her?

    History has shown that these loonatics attack the most vulnerable and when confronted, they usually end up taking their own lives thus ending more violence.

    I would be in favor of arming teachers and/or having an armed guard presence at the school. My kids are worth protecting.

    -- Posted by Husker23 on Wed, Jan 8, 2014, at 4:49 PM
  • McCook Schools have an armed School Resource Police Officer on duty

    -- Posted by dennis on Thu, Jan 9, 2014, at 7:45 AM
  • Dennis, I find that remark misleading. He can't be at all three schools at once!

    -- Posted by Shock on Thu, Jan 9, 2014, at 3:07 PM
  • Secured doors and windows with one armed officer makes a lot more sense. Or you can get your kid out of a government institution like I did.

    -- Posted by Diatheke on Thu, Jan 9, 2014, at 3:41 PM
  • Shock actually McCook has FIVE school buildings. The point was it would generally not take police very long to respond. An intruder would not know which building the armed officer would be at and the police dept is just a couple of blocks away from four of the five schools. That said, we have had Presidents of the United States killed and they have been protected by armed guards.

    -- Posted by dennis on Fri, Jan 10, 2014, at 8:35 AM
  • I believe that McCook schools are ahead of the curve in protecting our kids. That said, there are many school districts that cannot provide the same amount of protection for their students. We all seem to be in agreement with the idea that a responsible adult that is armed is a good idea in the protection of our most valuable assets, our children. Why not let the local school boards decide if this option is right for them? Obviously this is not a decision of the individual teacher. We live in a very different world than the one we all grew up in. Allow the people that we trust to educate and protect our kids have the opportunity to protect them on equal footing with those who would do them harm.

    -- Posted by quick13 on Fri, Jan 10, 2014, at 9:09 AM
  • Dennis, I'm sorry but you give our Police Dept. WAY to much credit!!!!

    -- Posted by Shock on Fri, Jan 10, 2014, at 6:16 PM
  • Mass shootings do tend to occur in "Gun free zones" so that the shooter has a higher probability to inflict the greatest casualties. Having anyone an armed person, with training, brings the likelihood of a mass shooting to zero.

    -- Posted by Hugh Jassle on Wed, Jan 15, 2014, at 7:21 AM
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