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GUEST EDITORIAL: Arming teachers is best way to protect our children

August 26th, 2013 11:16 am by Steve Siebold

GUEST EDITORIAL:  Arming teachers is best way to protect our children

Editor’s note: Guest editorials may not necessarily reflect the opinion of the newspaper. The following is from Steve Siebold, an outspoken Second Amendment advocate and author of the book “Sex, Politics and Religion: How Delusional Thinking is Destroying America.” 

The Arkansas Christian Academy in Bryant is making national headlines after it announced that some staff members will be armed with guns. It’s about time we have one institution that is finally standing up and protecting our children, and hopefully it won’t be the last. 

In fact, every schoolteacher in America should be armed in the classroom.

How many more times are we going to hear about a crazed gunman walking into a school armed and ready to kill? How many more innocent children need to die before we wake up and prepare our teachers to fight back? 

The only solution is self-responsibility: arm school officials and give them a fighting chance. Besides, a gunman is less likely to target a school that can defend itself.

Every second counts in a school shooting. Calling 911 and waiting for police to arrive isn’t good enough. Sheriff Chuck Wright of Spartanburg, S.C., says, “Don’t be so naive to believe the police can be everywhere.” Then there was Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. who recently created a national uproar for urging citizens to learn how to handle firearms so they can defend themselves because, he says, “Simply calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option.” 

Arming our teachers and training them how to properly use a firearm will translate to less heinous acts taking place. It happened at Columbine; it happened at Sandy Hook; and it almost happened at a Georgia elementary school last week. The one place you can bet it will never happen: Arkansas Christian Academy. 

If we look back at Sandy Hook last year, first grade teacher and hero Victoria Soto, who was shot and killed after hiding her kids in a closet and told the gunman the kids were in gym, might still be alive had she been armed and able to defend herself. So could a lot of other children and teachers who tragically died that day. 

Then there was the Pearl High School shooting in 1997, when a student killed two classmates and injured seven others at his high school. An assistant principal, who was armed, intervened and held the shooter at gunpoint until police arrived and most probably prevented more people from being killed. 

Just last week outside Atlanta, Michael Brandon Hill allegedly walked into Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy with an AK-47 and enough ammunition to take out half the school. Luckily, Antoinette Tuff, who works in the front office of the school, was able to talk Hill down. But what if she wasn’t able to? This had the potential to be one of the worst school massacres in history.

I believe that very shortly, carrying a firearm will become a requirement for all teachers and school administrators. It’s the way it has to be, and if teachers aren’t comfortable with that, they’re going to have to find a new profession.

In a perfect world we wouldn’t need to take such measures. But until that happens, critical thinking suggests that we all exercise our Second Amendment rights, arm our teachers and school officials to ensure the safety of our children, voice our support and keep a close eye on anti-gun crusaders who want to make our decisions for us. 

A school should be a safe haven where children can learn and grow. And right now, arming teachers is the only practical solution.

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