There are more than 300 million guns in America. Think about that for just a moment. 300 million guns and that’s just a guess because there could be more. Either way there are more guns today than there have ever been in this nation and more citizens own guns than at any time in our history. Simply put, America is an armed camp. So when I hear people shoot down the idea of protecting schools with police officers, armed guards or volunteers with concealed carry permits because they claim “we don’t want our kids going to school in armed camps,” you have to ask why they would have such a strange view of security. These comments have been all over the left leaning national media ever since the attack in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead, including 14 students and 3 faculty members. It is clearly a position without merit or common sense.
It is also worth noting that many of us plus the National Rifle Association and some brave politicians have been suggesting such measures for many years but routinely get savaged by the anti-gun left and summarily dismissed as “too radical” or “completely out of touch” with ordinary Americans. The left is wrong on both fronts. In fact they are so far off the mark you’d have to wonder what their motive really is in debating school shootings. One would have to ask if outright confiscation is all they’ll really accept. You also have to ask why they are perfectly ok with cops and guns in inner city schools but not in the suburbs. Seems our elitist friends may be tipping their hands about what they really want and what they really think.
Cities like Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore and Los Angeles have all had armed guards, metal detectors and tight security for decades. It is very important to note that not one of these schools, located in America’s most violent cities has ever experienced a mass shooting like the recent attack in Florida or those in Newtown, Columbine or Pearl Mississippi. The bottom line is that schools protected by professional police officers have never been the target of a school shooter bent on killing kids and destroying lives.
Of all schools that have implemented comprehensive professional security strategies, Detroit may be the best of all. That may surprise you but Detroit, which is often listed among the most dangerous cities in The United States and the world, is a place where school kids can go to class with little concern about violence affecting them while they are learning. Detroit should be a role model in school security.
Let’s start with the fact that many years ago the Detroit Public Schools created something all new, its own full service police department. The force has patrol officers, detectives, campus officers and k-9 units. The department operates from a state of the art, 23,000 square foot command center built in 2011 and provides around the clock surveillance and security to make sure that everyone in and around the public schools knows that safety and security are very serious priorities.
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According to the Detroit Public Schools website; the department has nearly 80 officers on patrol around the clock plus more than 40 officers that are assigned directly to schools throughout the district. In addition to those full-time officers, DPS contracts with a private company to provide additional security to every school in the district.
According to the website Detroit Public Schools are also on the cutting edge of technology when it comes to making sure all students are safe while they attend classes. The high-tech tools in place include a state-of-the-art Concealed Weapons Detector that use advanced magnetic technology to detect firearms, knives or other potential threats to the staff and students. Upgraded camera and monitoring systems are in place across the district so those in the command center can monitor each building and respond quickly to any threat. There is also a new badge system that includes cameras, driver’s license reader and printing for credentials to be on campus.
One other factor may be one of the keys to keeping the schools safe for everyone there and that’s volunteers that patrol neighborhoods around the buildings. Volunteer Vehicle Patrols are on the job covering three shifts each day, on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary or anyone that might pose a threat. The volunteers are trained and asked to sign up for one year at a time. This is an ideal way to get community members involved for the sake of everyone concerned with making sure our kids are learning good lessons and not fearing for their own well being.
All of this effort and technology comes at a cost but Detroit’s Public Schools have not had to pay an infinitely higher price; the agony following a school shooting like the ones we have witnessed far too often in this nation.
In other districts across the nation where administrators have invested heavily in security, many at the mercy of loud vocal critics of such policies, they too have avoided the kind of wanton slaughter of Newtown or Parkland.
According to the Huffington Post, New York City puts more than 200 officers in the schools everyday plus another 5,000 school safety agents. Los Angeles has more than 400 police officers patrolling the schools plus nearly another 150 school safety officers. Chicago has roughly 1,500 officers and agents providing security for the schools. Miami puts nearly 2,000 officers and guards in its schools. In fact the same is true all over America from Houston to Hawaii, police offcers and armed guards are on the job every day protecting schools from this kind of heinous attack.
An additional benefit is these officers can also curb the sale of illegal drugs like the opioids that are rampant on the streets, provide a positive role model for students in the schools and become an active and engaged member of the community.
You would think that these are all things we could agree on across the country. Sadly they are not. Detractors say it will turn our schools into “armed camps.” Others say there just aren’t enough officers to go around and even if there were the cost would be far too high. I dare you to try any of these excuses on the families and friends of those lost in school shootings. Just try to tell them it isn’t worth the price.
For the record not one of the districts listed here has been the target of a mass school shooting. Not one. That should give you a clear indication that even on the local level peace through strength is a powerful, undeniable truth. Conversely, gun-free zones are open to anyone mindful of creating a mindless bloodbath until someone can show up to stop them.
Again lets be clear, America is an armed camp and our love affair with guns will not end anytime soon, nor will the Constitution omit the Second Amendment in my lifetime so we need to focus on what will in fact work and skip the political rhetoric we are inundated with each time we face a tragedy of this magnitude.
For smaller districts however the cost could be an honest obstacle to placing police officers or guards in the schools. If that is the case then I suggest volunteers from the faculty and staff that are comfortable with carrying concealed should be allowed to do so. Those that are willing to tackle that responsibility could undergo much more in depth background checks and be required to pass state mandated training courses before they begin.
I am sure those that will use the trite retort of “what we don’t need is more guns in school” will also attack this common sense idea. They will rely on the simplistic and totally inaccurate suggestion that somehow police and teachers carrying weapons will make them afraid of school. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is time that we once again taught kids that police are the good guys but only because it is the truth for the most part.
Kids are not afraid when they have to go through security at the airport and see guards on patrol are they? No, of course not but the left will try to use this red herring anyway. Kids are usually not frightened when they see a police car and therefore seeing officers in the halls of school will be no different. When kids are searched on their way into Disneyworld I have never seen one that is afraid of having a guard search their things.
So, please lets stop with the non-sense arguments about turning our country into a police state. There are far more people from the government carrying guns and enforcing laws here than at any time in my life. The IRS, USDA, Postal Service and National Park Service along with dozens of other federal and state agencies all carry guns, big ones, lots of them and they can arrest any one of us if they see fit. Make no mistake, America is already a police state, you just have to take time and look.
The big false flag here is that somehow “common sense guns laws” will change any of that. No, they won’t, at least not for the better. First of all they will not be common sense and second of all if you take away citizens rights while expanding the law enforcement powers of dozens of agencies you have by definition expanded the police state.
It is time for a comprehensive plan to protect every single school in America from this kind of avoidable tragedy. Put police officers and metal detectors wherever you can afford them. Put guards and security pinch points in other schools. Allow staff and faculty to volunteer to carry guns to protect our children where cost is a limiting factor. Make sure that when someone does see something and they say something that something actually gets done.
It is time to move past partisan anti-gun politics and understand we will always have guns in America, whether you like it or not. The only question left is whether or not you are ready to pursue a multi-faceted solution so we can stop seeing these kinds of gut wrenching events on such a regular basis.
Who’s with me?