What Do You Fear?

This one is pointed directly at school boards, superintendents, and other leaders who oppose allowing teachers to go armed to defend their students. If you’re in this category, I’m talking to you.

What do you fear? What, exactly, makes you so afraid to allow otherwise sane, competent adults to carry a concealed defensive firearm inside your schools?

Don’t worry about answering, though. I already know the answer…stop me if I’m wrong.

You fear taking responsibility, both financially and personally. You fear being sued, and you fear being blamed. You fear this more than you fear a school full of dead children, and this makes you a coward.

You’ve done the math in your head. Your fear is that when a school shooting breaks out, a teacher with a gun will “make it worse.” You are afraid that the teacher might miss and hit a kid, even if the teacher manages to stop the killer in the process. You fear the lawsuits and the finger pointing that will follow, even if the teacher stops the massacre, because there was a regrettable accident in the process. The killing might have been stopped quickly, with a relatively low casualty count, but you fear that accident. You fear being blamed for it, because you made the decision.

You actually fear that possibility more than you fear the killer who enters your school and murders unopposed for minutes…long minutes…until someone else eventually arrives to stop him. Make no mistake, the body count will be much higher…we know from experience how this scenario plays out. But you actually fear this much less. You probably won’t get sued, at least not successfully. After all, your school was a “gun free zone,” with totally awesome lockdown procedures. Even though there are many more dead children, you’ll get to make a tearful speech to the TV cameras, and you’ll be a sympathetic figure. There will be hashtags, thoughts, and prayers for the terrible tragedy that you had nothing to do with. There will be more blood, but at least you aren’t responsible.

You are willing to gamble with the lives of children, hoping against hope that “it won’t happen here”…because you fear making the hard call and taking responsibility for it. You call yourself a leader? I call you a coward.

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4 Replies to “What Do You Fear?”

  1. Keep in mind that school boards, superintendents, and other leaders who oppose allowing teachers to go armed to defend their students will not be in the school when the tragedy occurs. They will be in an administration building some distance away.

  2. Questions and Answers about Arming Teachers..
    Defending our students is a serious issue. It deserves more thought than a sound bite or a tweet. Unfortunately, politics is driven by emotion rather than reason, by appearances rather than by facts. I’ve heard bad arguments about arming teachers and about disarming them. Let’s look at the issue piece at a time. Let’s separate fact from fiction. Perhaps you’ve heard this.


    1. Thanks for the tip; I know Rob personally, so I am familiar with his writing. However, my point is that organizational decision making on this issue is driven by both reason and fear. On the fact-driven side, the reality is that the leader/decision-maker understands that he and his organization will suffer more negative financial, legal, and social impact from sanctioning an armed response to an active shooter, should that response result in any “collateral damage.” But that same decision-maker also understands that without any sort of organizationally sanctioned armed intervention response to an active shooter, more innocent lives will be lost waiting on someone to arrive with a gun to stop it. It is a blood calculus designed not to minimize risk to the people in the organization (workplace, school, etc.), but to minimize risk to the decision-maker. And that is the fear that drives the decision. That is the point of the article. Their heartless calculation is not driven in an attempt to save lives of others, but to save their own asses. Self-serving fear. Cowards.

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