Politics (formerly Election 2012)

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:18 pm

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Paxen » Tue Dec 25, 2012 2:02 pm

fuzzygeek wrote:1. I do not understand what you are asking for in the first paragraph. My contention is that if someone walks into the workplace with a gun intending to harm people, I do not want him to have the only gun on the premises. Does it matter whether it is a deterrent or a speed bump? I have seen people argue that if another person (nominative "good guy") in the room had a gun they would "feel less safe." I personally think such an argument is bollocks.


Guns in the hands of civillians are dangerous, you cannot argue against that. There's plenty of lethal accidents involving guns happening.

Your argument is that having an armed person present when somebody starts a shooting spree is one of the benefits that outweighs the deaths to firearms accidents (or the cases every year when somebody gets shot by his neighbour for playing loud music). I think that's not an assertion that should be taken at face value.

Do armed civilians do any good when somebody starts a shooting spree? And I'm not talking anecdotes here. You need a scientific study.

2. The opinion of police officers is immaterial.


After a rethink I'll agree there. The opinions of police officers aren't what's important.

There should still be a study to find the hard facts about how armed civilians affect the police response to massacres.

I'm not sure it the study you linked is looking at that? When it says "felonious police death" is it talking about police officers killed or police officers shooting innocent people? (I think it's the first.)
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Paxen » Tue Dec 25, 2012 2:03 pm

Klaudandus wrote:Really Fox news, really?


Fox News wrote:Bikers Turn Out to Protect Newtown Mourners from Left-Wing Westboro Cult


I wouldn't have thougth even Fox News could manage that...
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Tue Dec 25, 2012 2:17 pm

I think the problem with arming teachers is that in order to be effective with a gun towards a shooter, you have to be prepared to be a shooter yourself. While there are many exceptions that I am sure will be listed in full by my opposition, I believe that the desire to teach children and the willingness to take a human life are fundamentally incompatible.

Reflecting on the teachers I have had at any level (and there have been many), I believe there is only one or two who would be capable of pulling the trigger against another human being in any circumstance.

It's not just teachers - it's a problem with anyone who has a gun for self-defense, but who is psychologically incapable of using that gun against someone else. Having a gun, and potentially being able to kill someone with that gun, are two entirely different concepts.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Melathys » Tue Dec 25, 2012 2:48 pm

Koatanga wrote: I believe that the desire to teach children and the willingness to take a human life are fundamentally incompatible.



I can't express how terribly terribly wrong I believe this statement to be. You can be sure that if I was a teacher, and I nearly was as there's a soldier to teacher program, that if someone came to harm my students that I would do whatever it takes to stop that person, even killing if need be. I would go all mama bear.

And I'm a person that is pretty non-violent, nearly to the point of being a pacifist, but I will defend myself and others with deadly force if threatened with the same.

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My mom is a teacher, and she says that she would feel very protective of her students. Hell, she says that teachers see the children more than the parents...
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fivelives » Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:05 pm

I think my stance on the issue is fairly obvious, but I think that putting guns in the hands of teachers (especially at the college level) is stupid.

One of the worst places to work as an educated adult is in an academic environment. The amount of stress they're put under is mind-boggling. In high school and under, they're under fire from both sides - parents and administration. In colleges, fighting politics is the main stressor, but it's worse than trying to fight parents and the state combined. Why? Tenure. It's a single make or break moment in a person's life, and oftentimes it will break the person.

Teachers are prone to nervous breakdowns at all levels of academia. Now imagine if they had a gun during the beginning of that nervous breakdown. I honestly think guns should be kept out of the hands of teachers in their workplace - it'll prevent more random violence than them being able to act as first responders/speedbumps to a school shooting.

Your link says "Utah has had armed teachers for awhile now, and nothing has happened" and I feel that should be qualified with a "yet".

Now, arming secondary staff (janitors, lunch servers, etc) I can agree with. But adding easily available weaponry to a high stress environment is like setting a bomb with a faulty timer. It's going to go off, the only question is exactly when it goes off.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Melathys » Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:10 pm

My mom, who is a teacher, actually lolled at the idea that a teacher would come in and shoot their students.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby fuzzygeek » Tue Dec 25, 2012 9:40 pm

Paxen wrote:Guns in the hands of civillians are dangerous, you cannot argue against that. There's plenty of lethal accidents involving guns happening.


I do not argue against that. Guns improperly used are dangerous. So what? Cars improperly used are dangerous. According to the World Heath Organization every year 1.2 million people die in car accidents globally. Clearly we should be talking about getting rid of cars!

Well, no, of course that's absurd, even if that's a staggering amount of deaths. We as a civilization have determined that the conveniences of motor travel is worth the deaths of 1.2 million people a year.

Your argument is that having an armed person present when somebody starts a shooting spree is one of the benefits that outweighs the deaths to firearms accidents (or the cases every year when somebody gets shot by his neighbour for playing loud music). I think that's not an assertion that should be taken at face value.


See, this touches on the dissonance of first principles I touched on earlier. If no one had any guns then no one would get shot. Wouldn't that be grand?

Well, yes, sort of. It leaves people at the mercy of those who are just physically stronger, but that's been the case for almost the entirety of human history and we've gotten by. Not that I think this is a good thing -- a friend of mine is a petite Asian lady. She was raped at knife point. She carries a gun, now, and practices with it weekly. Does having a gun guarantee she will never be a victim again? No. But she will not be an easy target again.

Let's bring beer into the discussion. Does your ability to enjoy some drinks with friends outweigh the deaths caused by drunk drivers?

Let's discuss the assertion you think I am making: that preventing spree killers is worth Joe Bob shooting his neighbor for playing Nickleback cranked up to eleven. Are you arguing that we should make ourselves defenseless to spree shooters because Joe Bob might shoot Jim Bob? Is that your counter assertion?

Do armed civilians do any good when somebody starts a shooting spree? And I'm not talking anecdotes here. You need a scientific study.


I would love to see such a study, but there tends to be radio silence and very little documentation on when a civ stops a spree shooter. By definition the mass murder has not occurred, so there's far less media attention and I'm not certain anyone tracks this kind of data. I'll take a look the next time I'm avoiding doing a bit of work.

Actually I'll take a look now, as I don't think I can get up from the couch after eating the standing rib roast feast I spent all day cooking. Hmm. Let's see what google can find.

And I'm not sure how to examine something like this statistically. We can look at spree shootings and look at the average number of fatalities when someone else is armed (2.33 deaths) and when only the shooter is armed (14.20 deaths); some guy looked at 100 shootings and did some math here: http://dailyanarchist.com/2012/07/31/au ... tatistics/ I haven't closely examined his primary data, but scanning through his methodology he does not appear to be cherry picking. Does this qualify as a "scientific study?"


I'm not sure it the study you linked is looking at that? When it says "felonious police death" is it talking about police officers killed or police officers shooting innocent people? (I think it's the first.)


From the abstract:
This paper uses state-level data from 1984–96 to examine how right-to-carry laws
and waiting periods affect the felonious deaths of police.
I pulled up this story after googling up police opinions on gun control; this study looked at actual impact of changes in gun control laws on specifically police deaths; so it's a much narrower scope than the entire discussion, and was intended to address the question specifically about the opinions of the police on an armed populace. Some of the other data excavated from the study was interesting.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby bldavis » Tue Dec 25, 2012 9:59 pm

Fivelives wrote:I think my stance on the issue is fairly obvious, but I think that putting guns in the hands of teachers (especially at the college level) is stupid.

One of the worst places to work as an educated adult is in an academic environment. The amount of stress they're put under is mind-boggling. In high school and under, they're under fire from both sides - parents and administration. In colleges, fighting politics is the main stressor, but it's worse than trying to fight parents and the state combined. Why? Tenure. It's a single make or break moment in a person's life, and oftentimes it will break the person.

Teachers are prone to nervous breakdowns at all levels of academia. Now imagine if they had a gun during the beginning of that nervous breakdown. I honestly think guns should be kept out of the hands of teachers in their workplace - it'll prevent more random violence than them being able to act as first responders/speedbumps to a school shooting.

Your link says "Utah has had armed teachers for awhile now, and nothing has happened" and I feel that should be qualified with a "yet".

Now, arming secondary staff (janitors, lunch servers, etc) I can agree with. But adding easily available weaponry to a high stress environment is like setting a bomb with a faulty timer. It's going to go off, the only question is exactly when it goes off.


where did anyone say anything about arming professors?
i have had a few that i wouldnt give 2 shits if they were armed, others i would be scared to even go to class
but i believe the main point of this argument is to arm k-12 teachers, in order to stop shootings such as the recent CT one, Springfield OR amd Columbine...all in K-12 schools

not every teacher needs to be armed, so those that are against it..well they can stil be against it and not carry, just like those that are against firearms dont have to own them.

honestly im not sure where i stand on this issue, as such i havent been contributing to the discussion.
i just wanted to ask where they talked about college level teachers being armed?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby fuzzygeek » Tue Dec 25, 2012 10:11 pm

Fivelives wrote:Teachers are prone to nervous breakdowns at all levels of academia. Now imagine if they had a gun during the beginning of that nervous breakdown. I honestly think guns should be kept out of the hands of teachers in their workplace - it'll prevent more random violence than them being able to act as first responders/speedbumps to a school shooting.


This happened not too long ago: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Unive ... e_shooting

During the course of a routine meeting of the biology department attended by approximately 12 individuals, a professor stood up and began shooting those closest to her with a 9-millimeter handgun. Amy Bishop, a biology professor at the university and the sole suspect, was charged with one count of capital murder and three counts of attempted murder.


There honestly isn't much you can do about Crazy. But attempts to ameliorate crazy just end up creating more victims.

Let's go with your not-so-hypothetical situation. Teacher goes crazy and pulls out a gun and starts shooting.

Scenario A: no other teachers have guns. Crazy Teacher has free reign.
Scenario B: other teachers are armed. Crazy Teacher either a) doesn't go on a rampage because they recognize there will be an immediate armed response, or b) goes on a rampage *anyway* because crazy. Armed teachers respond.
Scenario C: other teachers are armed. Crazy Teacher goes WOLOLOLOLO and an army of teachers storm the capital and take over.

I do not think we should be pressing guns into the hands of everyone. But I do not think we should be forcibly disarming people and pretending that putting up "Gun Free Zone" signs actually does anything to keep people safe. Every spree shooting in the last ten years (except one) has occurred in a "Gun Free Zone."
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Tue Dec 25, 2012 10:15 pm

I'm less worried about crazy teachers than I am about the ones who are unwilling to use the gun, which simply adds another available gun to the proceedings, and the teachers who would be unwilling to shoot their students who may attack them in order to get a gun.

I know teachers of inner-city kids who are already afraid of several of their students without giving those students incentive to attack them.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby fuzzygeek » Tue Dec 25, 2012 10:36 pm

Koatanga wrote:I'm less worried about crazy teachers than I am about the ones who are unwilling to use the gun,


Completely agree. No one should be compelled to carry a firearm, especially if they are unwilling and untrained.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby bldavis » Tue Dec 25, 2012 10:55 pm

fuzzygeek wrote:
Koatanga wrote:I'm less worried about crazy teachers than I am about the ones who are unwilling to use the gun,


Completely agree. No one should be compelled to carry a firearm, especially if they are unwilling and untrained.

i agree as well, which is why i said those that are against it (or just dont want to participate) dont have to
those that do get training
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Levantine » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:30 am

Ugh. This thread is doing my head in. The culture difference between the US and just about everyone else is fucking insane. Honestly the fact that "Let's arm all the teachers, that seems like a great idea" is just repulsive to me. The answer to gun violence is more guns? Okay. Makes perfect sense. :roll:
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fivelives » Wed Dec 26, 2012 2:50 am

There are far more cases where teachers have nervous breakdowns (and I've actually used the Amy Bishop incident in a paper arguing against tenure) than teachers that go on shooting rampages. Having seen a couple of psychotic breaks in patients over the years - remember, I work in emergency response - I wouldn't doubt that, had a gun been handy the person having the break would have used it. They'd have picked it up, pointed at someone, and pulled the trigger until it went click.

Also knowing the stress that teachers are put under and how much more likely they are to HAVE those nervous breakdowns, I wouldn't want teachers - at ANY level - to be armed. Because if it's not pressure from the tenure committee at the college level, it's pressure from helicopter parents and school administration at the K-12 level. Which is worse? I don't know, but I do know that I'd rather not have guns in the hands of teachers. Or students, for that matter. I'm not against guns on campuses; I am against guns in the hands of individuals prone to psychotic breaks.

Like I said - give them to the support staff. Secretaries, janitors, lunch servers, groundskeepers - but keep them out of high stress environments. Civilians aren't trained to respond well at all to stress, and aren't watchdogged like police officers and members of the military.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Sagara » Wed Dec 26, 2012 2:57 am

The more I read you guys, the more the concensus I read is:

"Keep the guns in trained hands"

And the biggest point of contention is how "trained" and "overseen" those hands need to be.

So, to put this thing on another, mayhap more positive spin - what would define a "trained hand", either by inclusion or exclusion?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Boyfriend » Wed Dec 26, 2012 3:52 am

I think trying to push anyone towards gun ownership except individuals under very high levels of surveillance and training (Police, Military) is a very very bad idea.

Guns are not used in self defense. 1

Guns are highly correlated with (preventable) suicides. 2
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Passionario » Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:32 am

Melathys wrote:http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/an-opinion-on-gun-control/

I'd like to see a response to this from the other side...because I don't think there is one.


I'd say that it's a piece written by somebody with a really great understanding of guns and a really poor understanding of people who misuse them. He even admits as much:

I am not an expert on mental health issues or psychiatry or psychology. My knowledge of criminal psychology is limited to understanding the methods of killers enough to know how to fight them better. So since I don’t have enough first-hand knowledge about this topic to comment intelligently, then I’m not going to comment…


Which leads to bullshit like this:

Gun Free Zones are hunting preserves for innocent people. Period.

Think about it. You are a violent, homicidal madman, looking to make a statement and hoping to go from disaffected loser to most famous person in the world. The best way to accomplish your goals is to kill a whole bunch of people. So where’s the best place to go shoot all these people? Obviously, it is someplace where nobody can shoot back.

In all honesty I have no respect for anybody who believes Gun Free Zones actually work. You are going to commit several hundred felonies, up to and including mass murder, and you are going to refrain because there is a sign? That No Guns Allowed sign is not a cross that wards off vampires. It is wishful thinking, and really pathetic wishful thinking at that.

The only people who obey No Guns signs are people who obey the law. People who obey the law aren’t going on rampages.


If claiming that 'No Guns' signs repel mass shooters is delusional, then claiming that they attract them is doubly so.

Mentally ill people who decide to end it all and take a few people along with them don't sit around like theorycrafters, evaluating strategies that will result in optimal Kill/Death and Fame per Second ratios. Despite Mr. Correia's scaremongering, there's no evidence that they specifically target Gun-Free Zones. Rather, they tend to go for locations that have some personal significance to them - like a workplace or school that they or someone they know has attended.

And if 'No Guns' signs are irrelevant either way, then so are the ones that say 'Our Staff Are Trained & Heavily Armed', as evidenced by the fact that most mass shooters end up either killing themselves or getting killed by the police. The only people who are deterred by "We're Armed & Dangerous" signs are people who care about their health and wellbeing. People who care about their health and wellbeing don't go on rampages.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Levantine » Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:04 am

Lol I just read fivelives basically painting teachers as psychopaths waiting to happen. Then using that as the basis for keeping guns out away from teachers.

It's like... Full retard in here. Hot damn.

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Paxen » Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:37 am

fuzzygeek wrote:Let's discuss the assertion you think I am making: that preventing spree killers is worth Joe Bob shooting his neighbor for playing Nickleback cranked up to eleven. Are you arguing that we should make ourselves defenseless to spree shooters because Joe Bob might shoot Jim Bob? Is that your counter assertion?


I'm saying that you better have an iron-clad case that arming civilians actually has a significant effect on spree shooters, because there is undisputably a cost in lives of having so many armed civilians around.

And I'm not sure how to examine something like this statistically. We can look at spree shootings and look at the average number of fatalities when someone else is armed (2.33 deaths) and when only the shooter is armed (14.20 deaths); some guy looked at 100 shootings and did some math here: http://dailyanarchist.com/2012/07/31/au ... tatistics/ I haven't closely examined his primary data, but scanning through his methodology he does not appear to be cherry picking. Does this qualify as a "scientific study?"


It's a good start, but the results are, as they say, inconclusive. In 11 of the 17 incidents that were stopped by civilians, they didn't even have any guns. Of the remaining 6 incidents, 3 of them were stopped by armed civilians who never fired a shot. It's not totally clear from the post, but the remaining incidents seem to be:

- Kiarron Parker. According to this he was stopped by an off-duty police officer, so either I'm missing a case or the author of the review mistakenly labeled this as a shooting stopped by an armed civilian.

- Matthew Murray. Shot by ex-cop Jean Assam. Did I miss another case?

- David Hernandez Arroyo. Mark Wilson, an actual armed civilian without any law enforcement experience, shot and wounded him, but was killed in return. Police later stopped Arroyo.

Well, hell. Could somebody else check the study? Because as far as I can see if fails to list a single incident where an armed civilian has actually opened fire on a shooter and stopped him.

What the study proves is that armed civilians have a role in apprehending shooters who actually don't want to die. They have extremely limited effect on crazies on a murder/suicide spree.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Passionario » Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:49 am

Fivelives wrote:Civilians aren't trained to respond well at all to stress


Maybe we should change that? I suspect that, if every person was trained in various stress management and coping techniques as a part of their basic education, that would reduce the overall level of violence in the society more than any law.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fivelives » Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:49 am

Passionario wrote:
Fivelives wrote:Civilians aren't trained to respond well at all to stress


Maybe we should change that? I suspect that, if every person was trained in various stress management and coping techniques as a part of their basic education, that would reduce the overall level of violence in the society more than any law.


That would be an amazing idea.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:57 am

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Brekkie » Wed Dec 26, 2012 9:55 am

I've been mostly staying out of this debate because I think it misses the point completely.

I'm a security professional. One of the big scenarios that is part of my job description to train for is to locate, isolate, contain, and eliminate rogue gunmen (or a group of them) in my facility. I fire more rounds in training per year than most gun owners fire in a lifetime, and most of that training is in rapid reaction speed drills; the type of marksmanship that would be required against a rogue shooter.

The vast majority of people, even the vast majority of gun owners, would not be able to effectively do the kind of job that I do in fighting off a random gunman in a building. Real life is not like the movies or like The Walking Dead where a random civilian can run around firing a pistol one handed and hit nothing but zombie headshots. A "good guy" gunman verses a "bad guy" gunman in a school equals a LOT of stray bullets. And potentially a LOT of collateral damage. That's a totally unacceptable strategy.

And it turns out, there are much better options.

I went to school in San Diego, California in the early 2000's, during a rash of school shootings. School shootings got so commonplace at one point that the media barely even continued reporting on them. So if we want to actually prevent tragedies like the one in Connecticut, we can learn the lessons of that time period.

When 9/11 happened, a few passengers hijacked an airplane using boxcutters. The solution wasn't to arm all passengers (or all air crew) with knives of their own, so that we can have West Side Story rumbles in jumbo jets and end up with a bunch of people getting shanked. The solution was to harden cockpit doors against intrusion, and train air crew not to ever open those cockpit doors while in flight.
The same solution held true in my school district in San Diego.

All you need to stop a rogue gunman in a school are well-drilled teachers and sturdy classroom doors.
When gunshots are heard, or when someone gets on the PA system and gives a trigger-word announcement, you turn off the classroom lights, lock the door, lower all the blinds, and stack all the people against the wall with the door in it so they are out of sight. From the corridor, the classroom appears empty and unoccupied. The door is locked, and the shooter (under the pressure of rapidly decreasing time until the police arrive) will not invest the time required to try and break in, but will instead move on.

Everybody does this, and the gunman will be left wandering the hallways, faced with a front of locked doors that each would take time to break in to, and no clear indicators of which ones contain people. Past experience shows that, under these circumstances, the shooter will either flee the school or give up and commit suicide, especially once the authorities arrive.

That's all you need. Sturdy wooden classroom doors with no windows in them. Conduct an Intruder Drill once every semester just like you do Fire Drills, to make sure everyone is familiar with the proceedure. Delay the shooter 10, maybe 15 minutes.

The great thing about this strategy is that it works just as well even if the shooter is a student at the school and familiar with it. It's proven to work. It requires very little change from current practice, and no added guns or risky engagements that potentially just add to the body count. If a teacher feels particularly defensive, they can position themselves next to the inside of their door with a baseball bat, or push their desk up against the door.

The whole "we should arm teachers" concept is just silly. A school is probably the worst possible place to get into a gun fight.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Brekkie » Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:02 am

Fivelives wrote:I'm not against guns on campuses; I am against guns in the hands of individuals prone to psychotic breaks.

Like I said - give them to the support staff. Secretaries, janitors, lunch servers, groundskeepers - but keep them out of high stress environments. Civilians aren't trained to respond well at all to stress, and aren't watchdogged like police officers and members of the military.


I don't know what kind of janitors and lunch ladies you had at YOUR schools, but in mine they tended to be either special needs or circus freaks.
These are the people you want to arm?
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