Arizona State Representative Andrew Sherwood, D-Tempe, says teachers should not be armed in defense of the children in their care because “there is no proof guns in schools make it safer” (Payson Roundup, March 4).
In at least nine instances, starting with 16-year-old Pearl Mississippi High School student Luke Woodham murdering two students and wounding seven others in 1997 and ending with the San Antonio Theater shooting two days after the horrific Newtown, Conn. massacre, armed citizens, sometimes off-duty police officers and sometimes not, halted massacres in progress.
Detractors who claim these shootings don’t count because sometimes the intervener was a “trained police officer” or “Army Reservist” carefully ignore the fact that a great many armed citizens, who go to the range regularly, are better trained than either police officers, who train once or twice a year, or military reservists who haven’t trained for a decade or more.
Furthermore, if there is no proof guns in schools make it safe, why do school districts put prohibitively-expensive armed resource officers on school grounds whenever they can afford the cost?
Lastly, some may believe there is no proof guns in schools make it safe, but there is certainly proof that “Gun Free Zones” attract murderers: They never commit their massacres where they know guns are carried.
The only reason there aren’t more massacres stopped by armed citizens, and the only reason why school massacres occur in the first place, is because hoplophobic politicians like Andrew Sherwood refuse to allow teachers and other personnel the tools they need to meet their responsibility to protect our children.
Donald L. Cline