As schools search for ways to bolster security, many teachers have expressed a fear that they wouldn’t be able to protect their students in the event of a school shooting. However, one sheriff has offered a solution free of charge.
While schools drop millions of dollars on sports stadiums, many still have outdated or faulty security systems in place. Of course, even the most secure school buildings face the threat of an active shooter. However, Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones has an answer that costs next to nothing.
Sheriff Jones has repeatedly made headlines for his blunt and politically-incorrect responses to prominent crimes. In an effort to prevent school shootings, he once again came forward with what he believes is a foolproof remedy that would statistically reduce deaths — and he’s offering it for free.
According to WLWT, Sheriff Richard Jones announced that he is offering free firearm training to all teachers who want to arm themselves to protect their classrooms. He said he will be holding Conceal Carry permit classes without charge for anyone associated with a school in his county.
“We’re going to make offers, like we did a few years ago, we’re going to offer all the school personnel in our county that want to have concealed carry classes,” Sheriff Jones said. “We’re going to do that at no cost to you. We’re going to train you.”
Of course, Sheriff Jones knows that the idea isn’t popular with everyone in the district, despite data suggesting the effectiveness of arming teachers.
“I’m encouraging school board to put armed school personnel in the school plus teachers, not every teacher, it can be a janitor. It can be somebody that works in the school,” Sheriff Jones explained, according to WXIX. “It’s up to the school boards. Every time we bring this up, the school boards go silent and they just hope it goes away.”
Sheriff Jones explained that the goal of these training courses is to make teachers feel more comfortable with firearms and to know how to proactively respond in the event of a shooting.
“You can’t be like an ostrich and have your head in the sand,” Sheriff Jones explained. “You’ve got to be able to know what gunfire sounds like. If guns are in schools, they need to understand what they look like, sound like and what they can do.”
The sheriff also demanded that schools ramp up security to prevent deadly scenarios. He called for people to put their political disputes and preconceptions aside and simply look at the facts.
“We’ve got to stand up and we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do to protect the kids in school. What we’re doing now is not enough and we need to be on the same page. It doesn’t matter what political party you belong to or don’t belong to. You’ve gotta make these schools safe.”
A study surveying school shootings concluded that there hasn’t been a single mass shooting in any school that allows its teachers and staff members to legally carry firearms. The study also quells other fears associated with guns in schools, stating that there has only been one accidental discharge by a permit holder in school and that there has not been any instance of a student getting hold of a faculty member’s gun.
In an interview with more than 450,000 law enforcement officials, 86-percent of officers believe that casualties in mass public shootings would have been reduced or entirely prevented if one or more citizens were legally-armed.
Lastly, arming teachers is far less expensive than hiring armed security. Additionally, officers are the first targets in shootings because attackers know that if they kill the armed security, they will be unhindered in going after their intended victims. Having teachers who also carry makes it impossible for attackers to know who is unarmed and who isn’t, giving staff the advantage.
Although having guns in schools doesn’t produce warm and fuzzy feelings, the fact of the matter is that a gun in the hands of a teacher may have prevented the vast majority of the school shootings that have made national headlines. Those facts should carry more weight than our feelings if we truly care about protecting children.