Luke Simons’ And Others’ Proposals To Arm Teachers

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.

6 thoughts on “Luke Simons’ And Others’ Proposals To Arm Teachers

  1. I am not a fan of arming teachers. Those with concealed weapons permits, perhaps. But under no circumstances should a teacher be required to wear or carry a firearm in school. Why wouldn’t a shooter simply take out any teacher he suspected was armed? They would be his first target. Teachers are there to teach, not to be cops. Most do not have that training, and don’t desire to have it.
    Even cops during the panic and pandemonium of firefights hit their target only 15%-20% of the time. Most their rounds miss the target. And they have had at least as much training as teachers would presumably receive. Some of those missed rounds, either from cops or armed teachers, may strike innocent students or others caught in the crossfire. BAD IDEA.
    I favor more cops on schoolyards, if it comes to that. But I philosophically think it deplorable. That our nation has come to this? I am a(dreaded, disgusting, unamerican)”liberal” on many issues, yet is it not the right-wing that so opposes a strong government intruding into the lives of the people? What the hell are lots of cops in schools, if not govt intrusion(leaving aside the issue that most our schools are public schools…teachers/staff are govt employees)?
    I have a concealed weapons permit issued from Florida. I did not have to undergo any training by virtue of my having been in the army, or my history in customs. I think the former…can’t honestly say which the state decided was adequate for my permit. Have extended my permit a few times. It is good for 4 or 5 years.
    I am not a gun enthusiast. I have a few pistols, but for protection in unlikely event of home invasion.
    I favor laws regulating firearms.
    The reasons many gun “fanatics” are so strident in their beliefs are twofold.
    1) Some fear certain groups, races of people. i think we all know what that is about.
    Periodic riots in cities, reports of violent crime in local media, the changing demographic breakdown of our nation…all conspire to make the older white demographic scared…and angry.
    2) Some Americans view the 2nd Amendment as almost sacred. Their view is our Framers conceived this amendment for the explicit purpose of allowing for the arming of the white male populace at the time to wage war against a tyrannical federal or national government. Many white nationalist groups adhere to this belief. They practice military maneuvers in anticipation of this event. The government is the enemy…especially the federal government. They believe this strongly.
    Our nation is unique among the civilized nations of the world on gun homicides, suicides. Right-wingers blame “mental illness”, not easy access to guns, for this carnage in America. Guns are much less available in Australia, Europe, Japan, etc.
    Their murder rates from guns are a small fraction of ours. So if, according to right-wingers, mental illness is the culprit here, and not guns, does their argument inescapably lead to the conclusion Americans suffer from mental illness at far higher rates than other civilized peoples? After all, they dismiss easy access to guns as irrelevant…”guns are not the problem”, they rail, “people are”. I am not a logician.
    But that is my take on it. And if it is valid, I don’t think they would want to accept the implications of that argument.


    1. John,
      Regarding the personal ownership of firearms in the United States, I believe that elderly men, elderly women, handicapped men or women, small weak men, small weak women, have the right to be safe in their home, on their property, on their boat, in their vehicle, in their place of business, or walking on public streets.

      In the United States there are people that have decided from an early age, that they are going to hurt other people, to mug other people, to rob other people, to assault other people, to rape other people, to carjack other people, to rob businesses, to conduct home invasions, to kidnap people, to murder people. Possible reasons for this are mental illness, being physically abused themselves, growing up in poverty, only knowing how to survive by crime, or having an ideology that makes them feel this is what they should do. In many cases, the fact that what they are doing is illegal, there is a criminal penalty for what they are doing, they will eventually be caught and go to jail, this has very little deterrent affect on them.

      For some criminals or bad people in the United States, the only thing that stops them from victimizing smaller, weaker, handicapped, or older people, are solid locked doors, mean vicious dogs, or a person with a firearm. There are many circumstances and situations where it is unlikely for a victim to be able to telephone the police, or the police to be able to respond in time, when a person is attacked in the United States.

      There are several things that contribute to the amount of crime and violence that we have in the United States. There are people that are very affluent, or people that are moderately successful, with nice homes, multiple vehicles, nice clothes and jewelry, plenty of food to eat, who live within one mile of people who have absolutely nothing and who are desperately poor, who don’t even have money to buy food. How can we not see that this is bound to cause conflict, or where some people will try to forcibly take from others?

      In the United States, we have men and women who enjoy recreating by going to remote beaches, by hiking on remote trails, by jogging and bicycling on country roads, enjoying the outdoors, enjoying the peace, and thinking about other things. Meanwhile in the United States, we have people who enjoy hurting others, abducting others, raping others, and killing others, and they seek out the opportunity to victimize people who are alone on beaches, hiking trails, or country roads, who have no where to escape.

      The common denominator here, is that here in the United States we have maybe 1% to 10% of the population that want to hurt, take from, or victimize other people. We have maybe 1 person in 10, who would harm someone else if they had the opportunity.


  2. The way that people purposely misconstrue the concealed carry on school grounds argument is disgusting. If a teacher has a concealed carry permit, and they are able to carry in other public places where all types of people to include children are present, they wouldn’t have to go to jail for possessing a firearm at a school. That’s it. That’s all we want.


    1. Rusty,

      Yes, I know, I have had a concealed weapon permit for ten years, and you end up having your weapon on your person wherever you go throughout the day, and in ten years, I have not ever had to draw a firearm on anyone, like most concealed weapon permit holders have not ever had to. Just because a teacher has a concealed weapon permit, does not mean that if this teacher had his firearm at school, he would be any more likely to shoot anyone or his students.


  3. People like to ask “Why do you NEED to do that?”. I reply “Why do I NEED to go to jail for doing it?”. The second question is the more appropriate test for a free society.


    1. Rusty,

      In my response to your previous comment, I said that in ten years I have never had to draw my concealed firearm. However, three times in Dickinson I have been downtown when someone went berserk, and began attacking people. In one of these cases in a restaurant, the person acted like they wanted to hurt people, women staff and customers included, and become involved in a serious fight to injure and harm people who were eating. I telephoned the Dickinson Police dispatcher, and the dispatcher could tell from the location and the description of the person, that the Police had already been called about this person tonight as he was being kicked out of another establishment. It took about four or five minutes for the Police to arrive, because they responded with about five Police cars arriving simultaneously. Meanwhile, this person who acted like they had recently been released from prison and wanted to hurt people and go back to prison, was temporarily distracted by “Steve”, who was 6′-5″ and 380 lbs, but had it not been for “Steve”, and had he started to physically really hurt the waitresses, women customers, and others, I thought that I might have to shoot this guy. Yes, “Myself and others were in danger of serious bodily injury or death from this attacking person.”

      If someone begins physically attacking yourself or others, you don’t have to standby and wait for them to beat someone to death, choke them to death, or break someone’s neck.


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