Guest column: Security without sacrificing liberty

In the school shooting epidemic, we should protect kids by arming a percentage of teachers, effectively making them ‘hidden’ bodyguards, writes M. Ray Johnson.

Another school shooting. Another call for legislation that will protect our kids and prevent this from “ever happening again.” We already know what the left will say: Take away the guns. But inevitably their legislative solutions take away our freedoms as well. So, once again, let’s look at the options:

Make it illegal to possess firearms: Aside from the obvious problem of destroying the Constitution, remember that the shooter has no regard for what is or is not legal.

Erect a big school sign that says “Gun free zone. Firearms prohibited”: An open invitation to a shooter who wants to kill without interference from other people with guns.

Bigger police departments: Probably won’t affect response times, and by the time they arrive, set up perimeters, determine the overall situation, etc., we’ve already lost many kids.

Hire school security guards: Cost $100,000 per year for each one and, if the shooter has any intelligence, the guard (hired or volunteer) will be well known either by reputation or by his uniform, and will be targeted to be the first one killed.

There is another option that the left refuses to discuss. The latest attack was at a school with 3,200 kids. How many faculty and staff were right there with them, all through the school day? Maybe 250? What if only ten percent of those had been licensed to carry concealed (CCW)?

In the first place, when a shooter appears it is very likely that one of these CCW adults will be in direct contact almost immediately and have an opportunity to stop the shooter. We already know that was surely the case in this latest incident. In the second place, the shooter, not knowing who the CCWs are, is not likely to pick a venue in which his killing spree might be interrupted by someone else with a gun. Bottom line: we, the people, are best able to protect ourselves.

This, my friends, is the best way to secure our kids. It costs the school nothing to have these hidden security guards on site all day long. They might even consider paying for the training and licensing fees for the faculty and staff willing to take on this responsibility.

As our nation’s moral values decay things will get worse. There are bad people in our world and bad things are going to happen. But we can minimize the damage without sacrificing our liberty.

What to do about preventing our young people from becoming killers? That’s a subject for another day. But as a start toward that topic John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

And Benjamin Franklin said, “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” We had better think about changing our moral compass or consider what our government may become.


Johnson is a retired electrical engineer and engineering professor.


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