This is an interesting twist on arming teachers.
Tennessee has emerged this week as a center of the “the answer is more guns in schools” sentiment following the Newtown, Conn. elementary school shooting.
A member of the Republican-controlled legislature plans during its upcoming session to introduce a bill that would allow the state to pay for secretly armed teachers in classrooms so, the sponsor told TPM, potential shooters don’t know who has a gun and who doesn’t.[….]
School resource officers are paid jointly by the local sheriff’s department and the school district. Niceley’s bill would allow schools to pay for background checks and firearms training for teachers that woud allow them to be armed as well. Asked if the guns for the trained teachers would also be part of the taxpayer expense, Niceley laughed.
“Well, that’s a minor detail in Tennessee,” he said. “We hoped the teachers would have them already.”
I can think of a few teachers who would have shot me if they were armed.
I guess their plan is to turn liberals into proponents of private schools?
pseudonymous in nc
State legislator says something really fucking stupid, film at 11.
Yes, because mass shooters never commit suicide with a gun. They all surrender to the police instantly. Man, once they see that gun pointed at them, it’s all over!
Just Some Fuckhead
I think they need to explain how this solves anything in light of the fact that there was a would-be hero with multiple high-powered weapons and firearms training and expertise available to save the day. It was the shooter’s mother, his first victim and the person from whom the guns were obtained that were used to kill 20 little kids.
Was just complaining in thread below about my home state of MS. Left there and ended up here in…TN. Clearly I’m an idiot, especially because I married a guy from MA and he moved here instead of me moving there.
I could have Elizabeth Warren as a Senator, and instead I’m surrounded by these assholes. That’s what I get for being too worried about nice weather.
These people won’t be happy until American society degenerates to the point where we are all in a war with one another, silently viewing each other with hostility where MAD becomes the governing principle and we engage in a personal arms race with one another.
So, wait, the teachers are supposed to supply their own handguns?
Yeah, that won’t be a clusterfuck the first time a kid accidentally gets hold of the gun and shoots himself or another kid and the school board tries to claim they don’t have any liability because it was the teacher’s personal gun.
Heck, let’s cut out the middleman and send the kids to school with guns. If the students are armed, there’s no way an armed gunman will try to kill them! Problem solved.
(Yes, I’m pimping the hell out of that story.)
1. Have they factored in the liability insurance?
2. My wife–a public school teacher–works with an ex-cop. The ex-cop says she would not carry in school, even if it were legal. (Even the school police are not armed in Philly.)
Seriousy, I can all too easily imagine a teacher-on-student shooting in a tense classroom confrontation. Or a teacher, maybe going through a stressful time in his personal life, taking his class hostage. I have trouble believing a sane person would suggest this monstrous idea. Let alone that he would expect teachers to bring their own guns to class, to spare the school board’s budget.
J. Michael Neal
Keep going in the same direction. You’ll reach civilization eventually.
Cris (without an H)
Some kid in Tennessee is going to kill himself with his teacher’s secret handgun, and I’m going to be too busy crying to say “told you so.”
We heard a lot about the murderer in China who stabbed 22 people. Its was an example of how we cant stop a person who wants to hurt others. Turns out, the stabber was a member of a Chinese doomsday cult called the Almightly God Christians.
Maybe we are lucky that it all ends Friday…
And I wonder what the response will be the first time a child is killed by a teacher’s weapon? Be it self-inflicted, a child stealing and using it, or a friendly-fire incident.
What then? What fucking excuse will they have next?
Around here they’re talking about taking exactly the path Chris Hayes warned us about this weekend- add permanent police security details, metal detectors and surveillance to every school. Might as well get our little first graders used to prison life early on. How’s that for a big load of freedom? Plus, someone will make money from it, so there’s that too.
@nemesis: Even more to the point, NOBODY DIED. The damn dirty liars on the Right keep pushing that story as if all 22 kids were killed. NONE OF THEM WERE! The 22 kids who were stabbed are alive. The 20 kids who were shot are DEAD…that’s the huge difference that the gun cultists are either missing or hiding.
Short Bus Bully
Can I be any more clear about this? I have three kids, aged 7, 6, and 3.
I DON’T WANT ANYONE CARRYING A PIECE WITH LIVE ROUNDS AROUND ANY OF MY KIDS. PERIOD.
You do that around my children and I’m going to politely ask you to put your weapon down and then take you apart at the joints.
Anyone who thinks hand held WMD’s around kids is a good idea can go die in a fucking fire.
Child-sized assault weapons, presumably.
Let’s see what happens the first time The Black Teacher asks to carry a firearm into his/her classroom.
Or better yet, The Muzlum Teacher.
@Punchy: Pretty sure the law only applies to white christian teachers. Would the PE teacher need a special “sports holster” to carry her piece as she referees the dodgeball courts?
Also, too, what does this do to the school district’s liability insurance? Double it? Triple it? Who the hell would insure this?
At my kid’s school, the PTA pays for the part-time librarian, there’s no nurse, there’s only a weekend janitor and there are countless fundraisers for classroom supplies, etc.
Now we’re going to fundraise for fucking teacher weapons?
I’m waiting for the next time I’m turned away at the door of a concert because of my camera while they let some asshole with a Glock in. With a camera, I can only steal your soul.
All the right-wing suggestions seem to form a line of thought pointing towards a new TSA-like entity that would be in charge of school security.
And I wrong in assuming that if Romney had won, that is exactly what would be happening?
“If Willard had won, there’d have been no reason for that boy to do what he did and all those kids and women would be getting ready for Christmas. It’s Obama’s fault.”
It makes me sad. They’re restricting the wrong group of people. Such a profound, unfair mistake. They’re taking something from them, in order to offer others complete unfettered autonomy. That’s unjust. It’s wrong.
Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God
Just make all the schools Catholic. And re-arm the nuns with 18-inch rulers.
Have you ever been rushed by a mob of angry, bloodthirsty nuns wielding 18-inch rulers? They’re like fucking ninjas.
Job forces me to live in this shithole called Tennessee. But, I swear to Koresh, I NEVER read or even look at local or state news, as every damned day, it is just a never-ending flood of embarrassments like this.
I apologize, Nation… But, I swear it’s not my fault. These crazy bastards out-number us sane people by a factor of 8:1.
@Short Bus Bully:
My father, not the most mentally stable man, (he saw a shrink for depression my entire life) became something of a gun nut in his later years. He had a collection of about 10 weapons- barettas, that sort of thing. Although we were on pretty good terms, I would NEVER allow my kids to be in his house alone with him. Ever. Specifically because of his guns.
When he died, as we were cleaning up his house, my husband rounded up all the guns. I wouldn’t let him even bring them up our driveway — I stopped him at the bottom and asked him to take them directly to the local police station, where I requested they be disposed of. (Yes, I’m sure the cops kept them for themselves, or sold them and kept the money instead of disposing of them as we had requested. But I didn’t want that blood money on my hands. And yes, I still have the receipt from the police station with all the serial numbers, all these years later.)
All to say, I would have gone shithouse wild if there was ever even so much as a discussion in my school district about having weapons in the school while my kids were there.
Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God
All non-union labor making $9/hr, of course.
Anything else would be creeping gubbmint sosha-lism.
CW in LA
@merl: And as a teacher, I can think of a few students I might well have shot.
But really, this event, or rather the response to it, has radicalized my position on gun rights and the second amendment. Since Friday, I’ve been told that, to adapt to the right to carry deadly phallus surrogates, I must carry my own firearm and undergo combat training, or that I must accept my school coming under the benevolent protection of blustering vigilantes, I mean “volunteers”, or, now, according to Megan McArglebargle or whatever the hell her name is, that I must train my students to make a kamikaze attack on some psychotic freak who’s just exercising his rights up until the moment he starts slaughtering us.
So to hell with the second amendment. Dump that shit, and flush twice. I assume it’s second because it’s the founders’ second-biggest blunder, after slavery. Fuck guns, and fuck limp-dick gun apologists.
ETA: You might ask how it was that my father who saw a psychiatrist and was medicated for depression his entire adult life, could amass a small arsenal. I can assure you, he did it easily and legally.
As expected, they’re making a parody of themselves. The NRA is at least smart enough to keep its trap shut for a while, while they try to figure out how what to say without looking monstrous, or stupid, or monstrously stupid. Others, not so much.
@Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God:
Death, by a thousand knuckles.
This is the madness of it. Its not that the idea has some unworkable logistical details.
The entire premise destroys the fabric of society, and turns us into a Mad Max world.
As others have pointed out, reducing us to atomized individuals, fearful and isolated and clinging toour weapons is ironically the easiest way to control us and strip us of liberty.
We need to attack these ideas as fundamentally insane, and opposed to the entire concept of American society.
Here at the school I teach at in suburban TX regular city police are stationed in the HS. Basically for a HS of 2,200 students there are two full-time cops who have an office at the school and patrol, etc. in regular uniforms with regular weapons. They carry both a handgun and taser on their belts like all the other city cops. It’s actually not a bad idea to have permanent cops in the schools because they end up getting to know most of the kids (or at least the ones who merit their attention) and are always around during school events like football games. Much better situation than bringing in cops who don’t know any of the kids only when there is an incident.
As for arming teachers that is a ridiculous idea obviously. There are over 100 teachers at my school and a lot of other staff. I can’t imagine they want teachers carrying weapons openly or concealed. They aren’t trained like cops are to deal with someone who is trying to pull their sidearm and probably don’t have the same type of holsters. If firearms are going to be in schools at all (and I don’t think they should be beyond regular police officers) then they should probably be locked in a gun safe accessible only by administrators who are trained and responsible for use. Guns in purses, guns in brief cases? Guns locked in a teacher’s desk. Eventually a kid is going to steal one and then what? A teacher notices that her purse has gone missing. Do you lock down the school or evacuate all the kids until it is found? Because that kind of thing is going to happen 100-times or 1000-times more often than an actual shooter showing up.
Then there is the whole issue of what a teacher with a small handgun is going to do in the face of a shooter wearing body armor carrying an assault rifle.
This whole discussion is beyond stupid.
Forum Transmitted Disease
@monkeyfister: I believe it. I spent a night partying there in 1995 that I swear my liver, brain and soul still bear scars from. Had a great time, and they were the most generous people (as in “you wanna fuck one of those chicks? Hey, Teri, get over here and show this Yankee a Tennessee welcome!”) but damn, “uneducated, unenlightened and bigoted” doesn’t even start to cover it.
peach flavored shampoo
Easy, capitalist solution — design a camera that looks like a gun. Also, too, a whiskey container in the shape/style of a 0.38, aluminum beer cans in the form of a Magnum, and those always-banned stadium umbrellas in the color and style of an M-60. You can get all your hootch and your pics thru security, and stay dry to boot, all by claiming NRA membership and strapping it to your body.
Because, Christ knows, if you want a better society the answer is to school children in prisons with metal detectors, armed guards roaming the halls with dogs, random invasions of their privacy to make sure they’re complying with the rules, and teachers packing weapons.
Sorry to be so gloomy, but what’s going to happen while you all are pushing for saner gun laws, which I hope we get, is that our schools will be increasingly nazified. Any gains in the former will be nullified by the latter.
Mine doesn’t have an art teacher or librarian and they go to music once a week. And the next step is to get rid of PE teachers and full time nurses.
So, yeah, the very idea that the tax bill comes due and people actually vote to fund this is completely ridiculous.
We already have ‘community based’ gun carrying neighborhood protectors; gangs and militias. Why not unleash the power of the free market to handle security in our schools? Crips and Hutaree in a bid war with MS13, what could go wrong?
I don’t think this is a very good idea. Any would-be terrorist or perpetrator would know that the teacher is carrying, and therefore neutralize that risk immediately.
I think we should have a counterpart to the “air marshal” program, where selected kids in each class are trained for concealed carry. At any time, a class might have a kid in it who’s packing. But no one else will know who!
Attention Megan: must credit Quicksand.
No way. We need to take a cue from the East Germans and bring in guards from other districts so they will have no pity or remorse for when the students try to cross the wire…err, go potty without a hallpass.
I imagine the whole experiment will end like this.
@Quicksand: I suggest we stick a pistol grip pump shotgun in each room. In kind of a “break the glass” situation. That way it’s behind a locked case but when needed, Union Thug, aka lazy baby sitter, can smash the glass and become Hero Savior.
We’re asking teachers to be psychologists, mentors, instructors, friends and who knows what else to students, now they are being asked to be bodyguards with sufficient handgun training to take down gunmen in body armor and armed with semi-auto weapons?
I can see if this passes in TN, suddenly that state has a massive teacher shortage caused by large numbers of them saying “oh hell no I won’t” and leaving.
This is the slippery slope the NRA is always carping about. First you give the teachers guns, then the school librarian wants a gun with a silencer, and the drivers want to practice over-the-shoulder shots using school bus mirrors. Not to mention converting the teachers lounges to firing ranges. I mean, where does it end?
@Corner Stone: I believe the crazies would fund arming the teachers or having armed security guards… it’s the liberalizing, civilizing, life-enhancing stuff that they don’t want to fund.
@Corner Stone: “tax bill comes due and people actually vote to fund this is completely ridiculous. ”
In other words, it wins in a landslide. If the people in charge are smart, they use most of the money for other, more useful, things.
A teacher packing heat would not be a secret. A teacher with a gun in a locked cabinet would have to decide between leaving students to acquire the weapon then confront the conflict and not assuring that their students are in and staying safely in a secure location.
A teacher packing heat should undergo at least as much screening, training and psych assessment as the average police officer (actually more since they are around children all day).
In short, I imagine the barriers to entry for such a policy are so high that this reactionary brain fart would be DOA.
Additionally, having been a public school teacher for 23 years it seems to me that very, very few teachers I knew would volunteer, and those that would….well….I wouldn’t be comfortable around them.
Your story about your father reminds me of one about my grandfather. He was a life-long hunter (and co-owner of a hunting club/lodge). One day, he just sort of lost it. He began hallucinating and swore up and down that there was an intruder in the house trying to take his wife (my grandmother). He grabbed his .357 and pointed it at the imaginary man who he thought was grabbing his wife. Of course, there was no man there, so he was really just pointing a gun at my grandmother, threatening to shoot. A live-in nurse was staying with them at the time (to care for my sick grandmother), and she grabbed the loaded gun out of his hands. Given the hallucinations, the nurse sent him to the hospital. He died that night. We’re still not really sure why. The next week, my mother and I flew into down to help my grandmother with his passing. I was only about 10 at the time. While helping clean out all my grandfather’s stuff, she began to slowly realize that he had come to hide about a dozen loaded pistols throughout the house. They were under mattresses, in cupboards, behind the toilet, etc. This was way out in the country so it wasn’t like she could just send me to a nearby motel. I was instructed to immediately find her whenever I found a gun, and to never touch it or try to unload it myself. I only found one (I wasn’t actively looking), which was a revolver under my bed. At the time, I thought she was being really over-dramatic, but now that I’m an adult I can’t imagine what it must have been like for her, knowingly letting her young child stay in a house with loaded guns stashed so randomly in every room.
@peach flavored shampoo: Wish I’d thought of that.
Listen, I live in Tom DeLay’s old CD. I know RWNJ. I also know the running battles we’ve had an a multitude of issues. There is no chance in hell they would say Yes to this if someone presented them the bill. None.
The most likely outcome, IMO, is they would start homeschooling or band together to do some kind of homeschooling.
They want to destroy public education, not put another single dollar into any aspect of it.
Want to know how much times have changed?
When I was in HS in rural Oregon in the late 70s we kids would actually bring our rifles to school during hunters safety training and leave them in our lockers so we could get them out and work on them after school during hunters safety class. I remember some kids who would drive trucks with gun racks in the back would leave their guns there in the school parking lot.
My Dad who went to boarding school in rural Oregon in the early 1950s says that lots of kids kept deer rifles and shotguns in their dorm rooms at school and would go out hunting on the weekends.
How times change.
Rick Snyder’s going to veto the concealed-guns-in-schools bill in Michigan. Wonder if his tanking numbers had anything to do with that (though I do think vetoing is the right thing to do).
And this is why the focus on mental health issues as a solution to gun violence is doomed to failure, and is just misdirection at this point.
These gun “collectors” are your typical “responsible, legal gun owners” right up until the minute they aren’t. I always phoned my dad first to let him know I was coming over. I didn’t want to surprise him at the door. And he wasn’t even really what I would characterize as “nuts.” He was just… an older fellow with some depression issues who happened to have a lot of guns stashed around.
The unintended consequence is that no one else knows who has been approved to have a gun or not. Does everyone in a given school know every teacher by sight? If not, then the local police should be prepared for calls from students, substitute teachers, teachers’ assistants, parents, visitors, or whoever: “I just saw someone with a gun in the hallway. Maybe he’s a teacher, I don’t know.”
What would you do?
@Kent: When I first moved here to teach in the Houston area, from Ohio, I was a bit taken aback by full fledged school district police folk who were essentially part of our H.S. staff. I think about ten police officers were employed by our district.
Those feelings soon went away as I saw that the district hired them with great care and these folks were highly dedicated educational professionals. To a person, they were unflappable and always in good humor. More importantly, the kids saw them as being there for them and enjoyed their company.
After my best friend’s FIL died, he and his wife cleaned out his lifetime “stuff” collection. The two biggest categories were weaponry and pr0n. After weeks of sifting through everything he called the county sheriff’s office and asked them to haul away the ammo. When the officer saw how much there was he refused, but my friend persisted and the sheriff finally agreed.
It all fit in the trunk but the cruiser’s back end was scraping as he drove up the driveway.
This is also how I came to possess a (disarmed) Italian WWII grenade. My friend thought it was some odd piece of electronics (there was a ton of that as well) but I finally sussed it out. I’ll treasure it forevah.
It’s obvious you’re a coward with the tiniest of pen!s hidden in your boxers.
This is insane. I have a friend who was in the army and has since been in law enforcement for over 20 years. She compares her gun to the egg high school students sometimes have to carry around as a sex-ed assignment to teach them about the constant attention a baby requires. She says the minute she retires, that gun is going away.
What a coinky-dinky. The exact same bill was just filed in Oklahoma! ALEC calling?
Soooooo… the idea is apparently to deter a person who for whom eventual death is part of his design by… using a threat of deadly force? Genius!
I’m hilarious at parties: “Lemme just whip this out.”
“Oh, it’s just his grenade again.”
Truthfully, it looks like a weird kitchen utensil, an aluminum egg cozy or something.
That’s probably a good minimum ratio of cops to people for any environment. I guarantee if you went to your local municipality and said, “We want to hold a crafts fair on the town green and we expect about 2000 people” they’d probably put at least two cops on it.
I’m sure the sort of teacher who wants to do this will be totally and completely the sort of person you want armed around your children and not at all an embittered cop-wannabe with an inferiority complex and elaborate fantasies about shooting bad guys
Hahahahaha, doesn’t everyone already have guns? Hahahahah!
I’m still thinking about this. A group of us once went to a big cottage together and my law-enforcement friend was there. Because she flew, she had to carry her gun. In turn, that meant she had to carry it all the time because she couldn’t leave it where someone else, a kid for instance or a neighbor, might pick it up. It was a royal pain.
So what does that mean for teachers? They’d have to carry the gun or lock it up. They couldn’t possibly leave it in their room unlocked during lunch or while they went to the bathroom.
Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God
Agnes of God, part Deus: “This time, it’s personal.”
@Comrade Dread: Matt Bors has you covered.
@CW in LA:
I want to subscribe to your newsletter. (I’ve never understood that meme, but it applies.)
So, a couple argument framing issues I would like to bounce off fellow liberals:
1. What the NRA is doing is proposing a radical restructuring of the social contract- an absolute uncontrolled guns-on-demand state.
2. They are proposing to strip American of their right to engage with guns on terms of our choosing; According to the NRA, we have no right to know who is packing weapons around our children, we have no right to decide who is allowed access to deadly weapons, whether they be mentally ill, crimninal, or not.
We need to move the window of acceptable debate on this thing and help frame things in such a way that we are not reduced to talking about strapping flak vests on toddlers.
@Liberty60: Regarding 1, The NRA is signalling that they are ready to make concessions. While I don’t think they’ll be meaningful, I’m at least willing to listen to what they will propose. It is a good opportunity to move the conversation away from absolutism.
Wow, Rethugs are so smart! Brilliant plan. Not only are teachers underpaid (and probably not allowed to unionize in TN), but now they have to do the job of police officers too. Great.
‘… allow the state to pay for secretly armed teachers in classrooms so, the sponsor told TPM, potential shooters don’t know who has a gun and who doesn’t.’ Got it!! Tennessee Roulette!!
I suppose that this guarantees that any gunman who enters a classroom will be sure to shoot the teacher first.
Can anyone imagine the liability if a teacher shoots a student with a school-issued gun? Some parents just got the deed to some valuable real estate …
Honestly, I’m perfectly happy to have this experiment take place in Tennessee, i.e., someplace I don’t live.
Do you know any teachers who can AFFORD to own their own firearms? Much less own their own homes/cars/cheap furniture?
This is how stupid these pols are. They don’t comprehend the facts that 1) most teachers haven’t gotten pay raises in YEARS and 2) most teachers can’t afford their own lunches. The wingnuts seem to think anyone in a union gets a six-figure income or something. /headdesk
@nemesis: He’s not a murderer – to date no one has died from his attack.
I’m also not completely sure I would trust state run media about this guy’s affiliation. Just sayin’.
My Tennessee cousin is calling on all parents to pull their kids out of public and private schools alike, homeschool them, and stock up on semi-automatics and ammo.
My younger brother saw the Facebook post first and responded a lot more graciously than I would have.
My brother’s response is the only one. It’s stood for about eight hours now, so maybe the cousin has been talked down.
@gypsy howell: Couldn’t agree more. The police state they so dread and fear is going to start in kindergarten, because they can’t give up 30 clip assault rifles, designed solely to kill human beings. It’s like some twisted self-fulfilling prophecy.
Hope no teacher ever has a bad day!
Someone earlier posted a link to an ABC News story from 2009 I think, where they ran a test as to whether having someone armed in a lecture room would help in the event of the shooting. Pretty much all of their armed “students” got killed before they could even get their gun out when a shooter rushed in and surprised everyone. Couldn’t find the link right away, so if anyone has it, post it. Must see TV.
Phoenician in a time of Romans
@Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God:
All non-union labor making $9/hr, of course.
Private contractors, with their well-connected, white, male CEO making a seven figure salary.
Paid for by reducing welfare benefits.
I had to step away from FB. So many people I knew in high school were tut-tutting about all of this happening because “we took God out of our schools!”–complete with little gifs of sad Jesus.
I responded to a few: do you think God is so weak that He can be tossed out of a building by a law? This isn’t a vampire who needs a freaking invitation, is it?
Or do you think God gets so pissed about not getting enough public acclaim that He demands blood sacrifices of innocents?
But most importantly, I asked them: my children go to parochial school. They pray every day, take religion classes, and go to church twice a week with their classmates. Do you think they are more deserving of protection or safety than those poor little ones in CT? Fuck no. Completely offensive.
And these are the same people who are all about their gun rights, and also the same people who a week ago wouldn’t shut up about keeping Christ in Christmas.
How about we remove the metal detectors and guards from our state and national legislatures and allow everyone to carry? If the legislators don’t like it, let them carry their own weapons and defend themselves.
My maternal grandmother was born in the Northeast of Brazil at the turn of century. She lived there for some years and then moved away — forever. As lovely as that part of Brazil is, she told me that the day she left with her mother and sister was “the happiest day of my life.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about her and the culture she left behind. Never did I imagine as a young girl that I would live to see the Governor of my state, Virginia, advocating for the arming of teachers and school authorities — This is something so irresponsible and idiotic that the mind freezes. The very suggestion of such a maneuver places all of our students in danger — right now, today. Who are these people? Surely they must have children of their own.
The folks calling for this kind of insanity as a solution to anything, anything at all, would have felt right at home in Alagoas, circa 1897. Horses, guns, so-called Colonels running feudal estates.
This is a national disgrace. I’m happy to see Mark Warner come to his senses. I only wish I could send Bob McDonnell a cangaceiro hat.
So, in Tennessee at least, the teachers will be the first targets of these assholes. And secondarily targeted by their school administration if they don’t want to carry a gun. Nice.
I guess they want to make sure and go after teachers’ pay and benefits and union representation before they arm them.