I didn’t expect North Dakota Representative Luke Simons’ proposal to arm teachers to get so much news coverage in the newspapers and on television, because he is not the first person or the only person saying this.
Today I watched a television news interview with Luke Simons, and unlike everybody else, Luke is coming out and saying, “In North Dakota, just because this has never happened here, does not mean that it won’t happen here. In fact, it is probably only a matter of time before this inevitably will happen in North Dakota too.”
If you really want to keep people safe in North Dakota, you have to plan for the worst, take steps, and do everything you can to plan for possible emergencies.
What most people do not know, or have forgotten, is where the idea to “arm teachers” first came about. For a long time, most states had a legal procedure where an ordinary citizen could request an application for a concealed weapons permit. The applicant would have to answer questions and provide all of their personal identifying information so that a background check could be completed, usually an FBI nationwide criminal background check, that involved taking fingerprints from all ten fingers.
In addition to a nationwide criminal background check being performed by the FBI, there was usually also a requirement for the concealed weapons permit applicant to receive training from a certified firearms training instructor. This training would include instruction on guns laws of the state, what you can and can not do, and often included passing a shooting test at a shooting range.
Way before there were school shootings in the United States, there were many ordinary citizens that had concealed weapon permits. Ordinary people obtained concealed weapon permits in the past, not just because they wanted to protect themselves or others, but because they wanted to legally posses, carry, and transport firearms without the risk of being charged with the crime of “carrying a concealed weapon”.
In other words, many of the concealed weapon permit holders in the past, were military veterans, hunters, recreational shooters, firearms instructors, farmers, or people who grew up with guns, who were not fearful of anything happening to them, or expecting that they would likely have to defend themselves or others, they just wanted to legally posses, carry, and transport their firearms.
In some states, it is legal to openly carry a firearm on your person. However, in these open carry states, now and in the past, business owners and passersby would sometimes become uncomfortable seeing someone wearing a firearm, and they would telephone the police. This problem, and other problems arise when someone openly carries a firearm, so most people prefer to carry their firearm concealed.
It was probably in the 1980s, when school districts in different states began to enact specific rules about firearms on school property which affected not only students, but teachers as well. Ever since school districts and states began to enact rules barring teachers from possessing firearms on school property, even teachers who were licensed concealed weapon permit holders, that some teachers disagreed with these policies, even before there were school shootings.
After the Columbine High School shooting in Colorado in 1999, I don’t think that teachers and school administrators were talking about arming teachers, but some were discussing the merits of allowing teachers who were already concealed weapon permit holders, to posses their firearm while on school property.
After the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, I don’t think that teachers and school administrators were talking about arming teachers, but some were discussing even more seriously the merits of allowing teachers who were already concealed weapon permit holders, to posses their firearm while on school property, and the deterrent effect that this might have.
I am discussing all of this, because I don’t think that there is a need to “Arm Teachers”. Just the connotation of this phrase, is very likely going to cause the failure of any proposed legislation to have more individuals who are armed on school property. If the phrase “Arm Teachers” is continued to be used, I adamantly believe that it is the liberal teachers and the Teachers Union who will cause the failure of any proposed legislation.
Yes, I believe that teachers and administrators who are concealed weapon permit holders should be allowed to posses their firearm on school property, but I think that this idea is going to have to be phrased as “Allowing Teachers To Be Armed”, so that it is perfectly clear to all teachers, that no one is going to make them carry a gun if they don’t want to.
In addition to having more individuals who are armed on school property, by allowing teachers and administrators who are concealed weapon permit holders to posses their firearm on school property, I believe that teachers and admins who volunteer and pass additional firearms training and become qualified, should be designated as “School Resource Officers” and receive additional pay, just to be qualified to respond in the event of an emergency.
I think that many, many teachers would respond favorably to the opportunity to receive additional training with firearms and become qualified, to be designated as a “School Resource Officer”, to be able to receive additional pay, and be able to respond in an emergency to protect themselves, their students, and other teachers.