by Jim Irvine
Saturday marks the one year anniversary since a coward murdered his mother, stole her gun and her car, then drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. There he broke a window through which he entered the school, murdered several administrators then walked down the hallway and shot teachers before killing a classroom full of children. All told he brutally murdered his mother, six school employees and 20 innocent children before committing suicide.
Buckeye Firearms Foundation recently surveyed school employees to find out what has changed in the year since the Newtown killings. The information below is from just over 300 responses taken from school teachers, administrators and other employees who signed up to be trained to carry firearms in schools.
There are at least 20 different school districts in Ohio that have authorized individuals such as teachers, administrators and parents to carry firearms in schools. The list includes rural, urban and suburban schools. It includes public, private and parochial schools. It covers small, medium and large schools and all grade levels. Those authorized include teachers, administrators and others. In short, it is a cross section of Ohio, and the United States of America.
Some of these districts took quick action and had authorized people carrying soon after the Sandy Hook killings. Others waited until the start of the current school year. Many are considering expanding their program to include more people as they realize there is great upside potential and almost no downside issues with authorizing good people to carry the tools necessary to stop an active killer.
Editor's Note: Tactical Defense Institute's John Benner rarely weighs in on issues, leaving that function to others. When John addresses an issue it is noteworthy and well worth the read. This article was originally posted on the TDI Facebook page. Republished with permission.
by John Benner
The official report from the Connecticut States Attorney's office on the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre has been released.
by Jim Irvine
Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. Even as a teenager, I recognized it might even be more enjoyable than Christmas. I would see family I had not seen in 11 months and there was no pressure about gifts. People were not all stressed out and the time was spent catching up on the year's stories over lots of good food.
As I pondered all I have to be thankful for, I thought it might be worth sharing some of them with others who may be similar things.
by Jim Irvine
Everyone wants schools to be safe, but how is that best achieved. There are many aspects to school safety, and the best approach will have multiple overlapping layers of security. They are all important, but I'm going to focus on one specific layer; armed protection.
Our President, business executives and celebrities are protected by men and women who carry guns. We do this because they are at risk and are worth real protection.
I believe that children are our most precious resource. They deserve real protection too.
by Jim Irvine
The Sidney Daily News is reporting that Sidney police chief Will Balling is not a fan of Sidney school staff carrying firearms. There is obvious tension and the issue of guns in schools remains a polarizing topic. Misinformation continues to cloud the discussion.
From the article:
Balling said he is worried because there is a 70 percent chance that a teacher would miss their target if they were firing in an active shooter situation.
The chief said if one of his officers arrived on the scene and there was a teacher standing there with a gun, and they do not know it is a teacher, he feels they should "shoot the teacher." He would expect his officers to view the teacher as "a bad guy" in a situation of uncertainty.
"We can have up to 10 officers there in two minutes," Balling said, but he worries about "four or five others" walking around the school with guns. He said it's possible a teacher could also shoot an officer.
I had a hard time believing that anyone, let alone a police chief, feels like a law enforcement responder "should 'shoot the teacher.'" I contacted the Daily News to question the reporting. The paper said, "If he hadn't said it, we wouldn't have reported that he did. We even questioned him about it to make sure he meant it the way we heard it."
I then called Chief Balling to discuss the issue with him. He claims he was misquoted, that he said his officers "could shoot the teacher." Certainly that is a possibility. Or the police could shoot the killer and save the teacher. Or the teacher could shoot the killer and save the cop, or save the 20 kids before the cop shows up two minutes too late.
The tone of the story presents a confrontational situation between the Chief Balling and school Superintendent John Scheu. After talking with both men, the paper is accurate in this regard, though both men were very professional and non-controversial with me. There are obvious differences between Balling and Scheu. It does not matter the reason for their disagreement, airing differences regarding school safety in a public setting is not a good idea.