By Peter Burrows 8/10/19 firstname.lastname@example.org silvercityburro.com (Note: George Richards, a Las Cruces concealed carry instructor, is the expert referred to in this article. He can be reached at 575 373 5557.)
Texas just passed a law removing the cap on the number of school employees who can carry firearms in the school districts that allow armed personnel. This common-sense move means kids in those Texas schools have a helluva lot more protection from gun-wielding maniacs than do kids in New Mexico schools, where, essentially, no guns are allowed on campus.
Maybe that’s one reason the recent El Paso massacre was at a Walmart and not at a school. Maniacs are crazy, not stupid.
Here in Silver City, the school district has just hired five UNARMED security guards at $30,900 each. This is better than no security guards, but not much better. An expert in the field told me that a pair of eyes looking for trouble at all times can provide an early warning when trouble is spotted. Even then, a lot of damage can be done before deadly deterrence arrives on the scene. And if the trouble isn’t spotted?
That same expert told me that trying to skirt the law by requiring those unarmed guards to have weapons in their cars would open a legal can of worms. As soon as the guard grabs his weapon, he becomes a different category of guard and all sorts of liability ensues. I’m not sure if that’s precisely how it works, but the point is that in New Mexico it is just as bad, maybe worse, for the good guys to have weapons on campus as it is for the bad guys.
That doesn’t make any sense to me.
I would bet that the $154,500 we will spend per year for five unarmed guards could arm and train at least 100 volunteer school personnel who would be real deterrents to mass shootings. Liberals think this would make our schools more dangerous, but they can’t back up that claim with any supporting facts.
The Crime Prevention Research Center flatly states, “No student has ever gotten ahold of a teacher’s gun, nor has a teacher legally carrying a gun ever accidently shot someone.” These are the big concerns of the gun control crowd, and they simply haven’t materialized. Proof positive is that insurance rates haven’t gone up where teachers are allowed to carry guns.
Furthermore, The Crime Prevention Center looked at all of the school shootings in the U.S. from 2000 to 2018 and found that during that period “not one person had been wounded or killed from a shooting when armed teachers are around.” Conversely, they found that while the average number of deaths between 2009 and 2019 has tragically doubled from the average of years 2001 to 2008, the “increase has occurred entirely among schools that don’t let teachers carry guns.” (My emphasis.)
The above facts are not from some statistically insignificant sample. Most New Mexicans would probably be surprised to know there are 20 states that allow qualified teachers and staff to carry guns on school property. Three states, Utah, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, do not require any training beyond what is required for a concealed carry permit.
Yes, it would be nice to have uniformed police officers at every school, but that is both expensive and not as effective as having a “militia” of nondescript school personnel.