Today The Courant featured an opinion piece from 19-year-old Elissa Sanci who suggests that Connecticut should follow in the footsteps of Texas and create School Marshals to keep the children safe at school. This program effectively lets volunteer school staff train to be armed guards on their campuses.
I can almost excuse Elissa’s backing of this idea based on her youth. Her thought-process is remarkably simple but that’s expected at her age. Both she and Texas see a problem, school shootings, and determined the solution was to simply out number the potential threat. If one person wants to shoot up a school why not make them face an armed posse?
While meeting force with even more force seems like the optimal solution let us not forget that there was an armed Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy on-site a Columbine and that did nothing to halt the massacre. Perhaps you believe the superior numbers will help curb these types of attacks? There is a chance but I have a feeling anyone who has reached the point of going on a shooting spree, which often end in suicide, isn’t too worried about being taken down by the math teacher as long as they take a few people with them.
Let me remind you that these School Marshals would also be teachers first. While they might have intensive training it will be nothing compared to what our police and armed forces undergo. If something were to happen on campus that required these marshals to take action who is to say that they won’t fold under the pressure? What happens when the PE teacher’s stray shot at a shooter takes out an innocent student?
There are stipulations attached to being a School Marshal in Texas but none of them make me feel any better about the idea. The requirement would include 80 hours of training, mental health evaluations and that the gun be kept under lock and key with access only to the assigned marshal. That last part seems like a recipe for disaster in an emergency. Of course, having a marshal openly carry weapon can lead to other issues, like leaving the weapon in the bathroom!
This is a complex issue that requires a complex solution and one so simple as “more guns” is not it.
What do you think? Are armed marshals the answer? Is there a different solution? Can we ever be 100%?
Via The Courant | (c) iStock/Thinkstock