Just two weeks ago I wrote a column for the Denver Post lamenting that 20 years after the Columbine High School shooting our children are still unprotected at government schools. I was out of the country when I heard news of the STEM shooting. I saw the headline and I instantly knew the story without reading on. Again our children were left at the mercy of a “gun-free zone.” And again defenseless.
This time they were left to defend themselves, sadly with one young hero paying with his own life.
By contrast, about one in every ten commercial pilots carry weapons. That is, 10% of the time you are on a flight, the pilot is armed. He is trained as a Flight Deck Officer by the Air Marshals to respond to only one situation, a takeover of his plane. Personally I find this very comforting and effective.
And while we are comfortable letting someone who is not a police officer protect our children in the air, we rarely let school staff protect our children the same way in the classroom.
This is unforgivable.
Feel-good guns laws will never stop these shooters and the financial reality makes hiring the dozens of cops needed to fully patrol a school a pipe dream. The ONLY workable answer will be following the Air Marshals’ lead and train those willing school employees to protect our kids.
Over 30 districts in Colorado already protect students with armed staff and it is working. Many have gone through our FASTER training (Faculty and Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response) to prepare staff for such a situation. Learn more about FASTER.
And if your school district doesn’t permit trained staff to protect your children, you might want to ask them why. At some point school districts will be legally held accountable for not defending our kids with trained, armed staff. It’s good they know this before the next shooting takes place.
Are your children not worth protecting?
There may be up to 12 recall efforts against Colorado legislators this year. Most of these efforts have to do with yes votes on Colorado’s new, controversial “red flag” gun law. At first glance this seems like a great idea – temporarily take guns away from troubled people before they can hurt someone, including themselves. But when you study Colorado’s version of that law, you’ll find it lacks due process, something liberals used to say they cared about.
Our friends over at the Mountain States Legal Foundation are holding a symposium on Red Flag Laws, also called “Extreme Risk Protection Orders,” on Thursday June 6th. There will be an expert panel diving into the topic (rumors are that our own Dave Kopel might participate), and Ilya Shapiro from the CATO institute will present dinner guests with a “Review of the Supreme Court’s 2018-19 Term.” Get information and buy tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.