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View Diary: On the issue of arming people in schools (103 comments)

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  •  Agree - fewer guns and more community policing (7+ / 0-)

    These are much more effective at preventing violence than armed guards in schools and on the streets. As you note, random shooters are rarely the problem. It's much more likely to be someone inside who has some type of grievance.

    OTOH, several years ago, we had an incident at my school with a random outsider. I was leaving a few minutes early for an appointment, when I heard sirens as I was about to pull out of the teachers' parking lot. Two police cars flew down the road and stopped right in front of me. A young man stood there in the road. Our principal and school resource officer, walking across the schoolyard and followed by several of male teachers, yelled to the police and pointed at the man.

    The police were out of their cars and one of them drew his weapon on the man, while I sat in my car, trying to make sense of this. The policeman shouted something and I saw the man throw something into the street.

    It was a knife.

    The teenager had walked up to where the kids were getting on the buses. An alert bus driver spotted him, decided he didn't look quite right, saw the knife, and told a teacher who told the resource officer. The officer and the principal confronted him. He threatened them, threatened to burn down the school.

    Later our SRO told me he was afraid he was going to have to draw his own weapon and shoot the young man "in front of all these kids." Fortunately, he said, instead of heading toward the building or the buses, he turned back toward the road, with the guys following him from a safe distance.

    The arrest was a short blurb in the local paper. No distraught families. No memorials. No real trauma. But I look back at that incident in the light of Sandy Hook Elementary and can't help but think how differently that would have turned out, had that disturbed young man been armed with even a simple handgun.

    So, yes, if it's not guns, it may well be a knife or a baseball bat. But it's not going to look like the tragedy in Newtown.

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