Public schools hold civic duty to boost firearm training

Most Americans, regardless of which side of the political aisle they are on, agree that one of the primary roles of a government is to ensure public safety. From national defense to protection of our civil rights, there lies a proper role for the government.

What then, is the government’s role in protecting children in the school system? Schools in 33 states are bound by state laws to produce and file school safety plans. Many schools that can afford them have School Resource Officers (SROs) who are members of local law enforcement. They patrol the halls, and interact with students. These SROs are prepared to defend their students if the unthinkable, wich has become an all-too-regular occurrence, takes place.

Experience has taught us that if there is an act of violence in a school, someone eventually dials 911 and members of the local law enforcement respond, usually after injury or death has already occurred. Think Columbine and Arapahoe High School in Colorado, and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Most agree that these expenditures on school safety plans and SROs are legitimate governmental expenses needed to keep children safe.

What about those schools that have armed staff as their only means to protect their students? An increasing number of schools are arming staff so that someone can respond to a violent threat, such as an active shooter, right there on the school premises. David Kopel and Joseph Greenlee, in a previous column here, detail why students are safer when we “get more guns in the right hands.”

In schools that can’t afford an SRO, or in rural schools that are far from law enforcement backup, many have teachers and administrators who are concealed carry holders on campus. They have volunteered under Colorado law, and are now armed first responders in their schools. This responsibility comes along with a significant need for training. Part of having a gun in the right hands means making sure that person is professionally trained to stop a threat. And that means advanced training.

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