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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Reactions to the Recent School Shootings

We all remember Columbine.  At that Colorado high school in 1999, two students shot and killed 12 of their classmates as well as a teacher, and injured 24 others.  During the last 10 years, elementary and secondary school students have opened fire on or near school property in at least 150 situations by one report, nearly always injuring if not killing some classmates and/or teachers.

Of course, we recently have seen another sad string of school shootings, prompting the President to convene yesterday's School Safety Conference.  At that conference, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings talked about the importance of schools having "crisis response plans."  School safety specialists emphasized the need for students to tell school officials about potential risks or threats of violence.  Gun control was not discussed.

At least one lawmaker concerned with this problem of school shootings is proposing a very different type of "solution": give teachers, principals, and other administrators the right to carry concealed weapons while at school.  This Wisconsin legislator plans to introduce such a bill in early 2007. 

Understandably, these tragedies may provoke sadness, anger, and a sense of extreme helplessness even in those of us without any personal connections to the events.  But, it seems fairly obvious to me that if we are trying to curb school shootings, having fewer guns in schools is a much better idea than specifically inviting more of them.

Posted by Kristi Bowman on October 11, 2006 at 12:45 PM in Law and Politics | Permalink

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Here's a possible solution

A course, called Critical Incident Response teachs some possible responses to school shooter part of it involves students throwing objects and then rushing and tackling a gunman. It might be one answer to reducing the number of deaths at least. Better than hiding under your desk waiting for the police to save you.

Read more and see the video here.
Burleson Schools Training To Defend Against Gunmen
My comments here
http://www.givemetheinfo.com/blog/blogger.html

Posted by: cbgaloot | Oct 16, 2006 4:40:35 PM

I don't understand people who say "it seems fairly obvious to me" that having older, more mature people with guns on school grounds is an invitation for more gun violence. It will deter students who think they can get away with shooting at their classmates because there will be no one armed at the school. And if students do bring guns to school and start shooting, they can be stopped long before the police arrive. This happened at the Appalachian shooting in West Virginia. Why is this so unobvious? If a teacher or administrator at Columbine had been armed, he/she could have saved lives. Do you disagree with this?

Posted by: anonymous | Oct 12, 2006 5:20:20 PM

I had a post expressing my outrage at this idea over the weekend. As I said in my comments over at VC, it gives a whole new meaning to the socratic method...

Posted by: Miriam Cherry | Oct 11, 2006 11:12:51 PM

Utah already has this as part of their general concealed handgun licensing program. Which is to say that carrying a concealed handgun with a license in Utah is not restricted from schools like it is in many states.

Posted by: billb | Oct 11, 2006 5:30:26 PM

Why just teach Summers v. Tice when you can act it out?

Posted by: Joseph Slater | Oct 11, 2006 4:33:38 PM

Because I work in the great state of Wisconsin, there's no way I'd support the proposal unless it's amended so that law professors also can have guns in class. Though I never havetaken a gun safety course nor shot anytghing more powerful than a BB gun (and even that wasn't in the past 20 years), I'm sure that everyone in the law school building would feel a lot safer if I were packing.

Posted by: Scott Moss | Oct 11, 2006 4:22:58 PM

Rep. Lasee's not the only one proposing such things. See, e.g., Dave Kopel. For some Volokh Conspiracy commentary, see here.

Posted by: Chris | Oct 11, 2006 2:30:59 PM

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