If I told a kid we used to practice protecting ourselves in school from a nuclear blast, he might react: Are you kidding? That’s bizarre! Were you really worried about a nuclear attack? Really?
I have a similar reaction, today, knowing that school children have drills to practice protecting themselves from terrorist attacks or mass murderers. It’s beyond bizarre; it’s just unthinkable.
I work in a school, now, and recently we had a drill that eerily reminded me of those air raid drills from my childhood. As I hid in the bathroom with co-workers and students behind a locked door, I had a thought; I wouldn’t want to die in here without putting up a fight. I said, out loud, “I want a gun in here”.
Yes, having access to a gun would have made me feel safer and more secure. My thoughts of being defenseless against an armed attacker were disturbing.
Upon reflection, though, I’m not sure having a gun available in case of an emergency, like a fire extinguisher, is the best idea. A fire extinguisher, for example, is only useful when a fire is small, before it gets out of control. Only a fool would try to use a fire extinguisher on an out-of-control fire. And by the time a situation becomes a mass shooting, it is already out of control. Would it be wise for teachers, who likely have no military or law enforcement training, to open fire in the middle of such chaos? Even professional law enforcement officers have been known to get confused when bullets start flying (see this two part video from ABC News: http://ow.ly/gpyuv and http://ow.ly/gpyJA).
Or what if a student gets hold of a school gun and thinks it is a toy? Innocent people get shot accidentally that way.
On the other hand, guns could be kept securely in schools, so that only authorized people would have access to them. But what about me and the others hiding behind those locked doors in our potential death traps? I’m sorry, but by the time the proper authorities decide when and how and who is going to use a gun, we could all be dead.
Nevertheless, if I am ever trapped in that bathroom, facing a life-or-death confrontation with an armed and violent attacker then, yes, I would prefer to have a gun available to defend myself. I would be a fool, though, to think that a gun will prevent insane or violent behavior and will shield me from all harm.
- School Shootings: How Do We Prevent Them? (education.com)
- The forgotten victims of gun violence (cnn.com)