State lawmaker, Rep. Larry Pittman from Cabarrus County wants teachers to have guns. He doesn’t specify what kind of guns, so I would like to offer the following:
The weapon used in virtually all the school massacres is an AR-15 Assault rifle. It has roughly the same semi-automatic killing capacity as the U.S. military’s M-16. This is a combat-grade weapon. Teachers have to be able to repel that level of firepower with equivalent deterrence. They should all be trained in the use of this weapon and equipped with one.
But our teachers’ main job is in the classroom. So I propose that armed patrols of three or four security personnel make regular rounds in the school halls.
Metal detectors at the school doors are all fine and good, but they don’t go far enough in preventing a heavily armed malcontent from forcing his way into the building once he is that close. Check points need to be pushed farther out. (The AR-15 uses high-velocity ammunition and the ballistics have a killing range of 550 meters or 600 yards).
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To accomplish that, demilitarized zones should be set up on the perimeters of every school and razor-wire fences erected. Furthermore a military checkpoint and road block should be established at the entrance to every school property, possibly manned by rotating National Guard units that would check every car and person entering the grounds for weapons and other ordinance. It’s not a fail-proof measure, as has been seen in Baghdad and Kabul, but it would stop most of the armed subjects who try to enter. An assault rifle of this kind would be easily detectable.
As for the students themselves, I propose the following: because we’re dealing with what is essentially a combat-grade weapon, the state legislature should budget funds immediately to provide every North Carolina school child with Kevlar bullet-proof flack jackets, and helmets. Furthermore, every child should undergo a rigorous psychological work-up at the start and end of each school year in order to detect disturbing signals and signs of possible, future dangerous behavior.
If we really love our children and want to protect them there should be no limit to the amount of money we’re willing to spend, nor should there be a limit to the measures we employ, in order to do that.
We only need to pause and think more seriously about what it will take to provide adequate protection for our children and grandchildren against these powerful, semi-automatic, large magazine rifles, and to enact laws that will do just that.
I wish there were simpler solutions. Does anyone have a good idea? Anyone?
From a military family, Joe Moran has lived and traveled in militarized zones in Central America and Pakistan. He has grandchildren in N.C. schools. His brother, a retired police officer, manages security for his township’s pubic schools.