SHOULD SCHOOL TEACHERS BE ARMED? THE UFT DOESN’T THINK SO, BUT ONE EFFECTIVE ALTERNATIVE WOULD BE TAXING TO TAX PAYERS.
CO-FOUNDER OF ARBALEST GROUP, LLC., RESPONDS TO UFT OPINION PIECE CONCERNING THE ARMING OF NEW YORK’S SCHOOL TEACHERS
The “United Federation of Teachers (UFT”), a New York City affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, posted an article in its publication, Teacher, titled, “Gun Fight.” The article appeared in the May 5, 2016 edition of Teacher. The editorial takes aim at the notion that arming teachers to protect students is a bad idea.
Stephen L. D’Andrilli, one of three founders of the weblog, the Arbalest Quarrel, was a licensed New York teacher and receives the UFT publication, Teacher.
After reading the UFT Op-Ed, Stephen felt a need to respond and did so. Stephen’s response to the Op-Ed was published in the June 2, 2016 edition of Teacher, under the Editor’s title, “Editorial shoots blanks.”
Stephen’s response to the UFT editorial appears, in full, below:
“I am responding to your recent editorial (“Gunfight”). The question posed is whether allowing educators to bring firearms to K-12 schools in New York would protect students against gun violence. The editorial considers the question from the standpoint of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.
In arguing that arming educators is a bad idea, a few hypothetical situations involving armed educators are presented; outcomes are postulated; and a tacit conclusion is drawn: educators should not be allowed to bring firearms to school.
The scenarios are typical straw man arguments. Nothing substantive can be deduced from them. One may argue just as readily that an armed educator would likely successfully protect the lives of his or her students from an armed aggressor. The editorial’s hypotheticals amount to straw man arguments. Straw man arguments obfuscate. They do not elucidate. Any possibility follows from a false antecedent in a counterfactual.
The editorial concludes by discussing another matter entirely: the need to provide adequate mental health care for deeply disturbed individuals is no more than a stopgap. The point does not address deeply disturbed individuals who slip through the cracks; nor does it address the issue of criminals and terrorists that threaten soft targets like schools.
So, if the invasion of schools by armed lunatics, terrorists, or assorted criminals cannot be contained and, through time, becomes pervasive and, if educators are not armed, what is the alternative? There is one we can think of: an armed contingent of police officers, peace officers, or private armed security to protect students, faculty, and administrators in schools. That will work, but, what will it cost? One armed guard, as the editorial staff of New York Teacher admits, will, arguably, never be enough.”
STEPHEN D’ANDRILLI’S BIO
Stephen was President and CEO of two security consulting and criminological research firms. He was also a business partner in a New York City licensed indoor gun range. Stephen is a decorated veteran police officer of the New York City Police Department. While employed with the N.Y.P.D., Stephen earned three University degrees from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Stephen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Police Science, a Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice Administration and a Master in Public Administration degree.
Later, Stephen served as an Adjunct Professor/Lecturer of Police Science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Stephen then served as a high school Social Studies Teacher for the New York City Department of Education and served as Dean and Athletic Coach for the Department. He is an expert in personal and corporate security.
Stephen is a National Rifle Association Certified Firearms Instructor (pistol, rifle and shotgun) and Training Counselor, and is an active member of the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors. He has testified on firearms, crime, and self-defense before governmental committees and at governmental hearings, on many occasions.
Stephen has written many articles on these subjects and has appeared on television and radio. Major national and international newspapers, magazines and professional journals have profiled Stephen. Stephen is passionate about the Constitution and passionate about the Bill of Rights, the cornerstone of the Republic. Stephen is aware the Bill of Rights is under attack. Stephen understands that Americans must defend the Bill of Rights if they are to protect and preserve their heritage.Copyright © 2016 Stephen L. D’Andrilli (Publius) All Rights Reserved.
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I recently read a very cogent aphorism somewhere, perhaps on the Buckeye Firearms Association site, to wit:
“A gunfight is always preferable to a massacre.”
I think this addresses most of the common arguments against arming teachers. I have to wonder, with all the rhetoric I hear from teachers and their organizations about how much teachers love, and sacrifice for, their students, why they would resist being able to ACTUALLY save their students from physical harm in the case of an armed attack on the school. Even the mere fact that schools were taking the step of arming some of their teachers and administrators could be expected to take them off the list of “unusually soft targets” for terrorists. It reportedly worked quite well in Israel in the 1970s.
The answer is really simple. School districts from coast to coast and border to border are on tight budgets and to provide real security means at least five armed “guards” on each floor of every school. Fewer guards just is feel good but is inadequate to really protect against a terrorist attack such as has happened in Paris, France with more than one killer.
But there are as many as 250,000 school buildings and the additional cost of several million armed guards is just not possible.
Most teachers are responsible adults and some of them are will or even urgently desirous of being armed so they can provide security to the students in their care.
IF the schools in a district announced that the teachers and staff were being trained and allowed to carry arms without publicizing the exact number at any school or location a terrorist, whether a lone killer or a terrorist cell, would not know who would be returning fire. That unknown factor will deter the majority of attackers and save lives.
As it should be obvious now, gun free school zones are target rich soft targets that attract danger. Some school districts are arming teachers already. But until one of the few “armed schools” becomes a target or years pass without a school attack at an armed school while the GFSZ “crime magnet schools” continue to suffer deaths whiloe waiting for proof that armed teachers will save lives, there could be thousands of innocent students and teachers murdered.