Making The Decision To Carry A Firearm
GQ, of all places, recently ran an article about giving teachers the means to protect the students in their care, and shockingly, it was very sympathetic to the idea that a trained, responsible citizen can stop an active shooter and save lives.
Pam graduates from basic skills to tactical maneuvers: She learns to fire with one hand, and then with the other, and then while on the move, ducking for cover behind cardboard cutouts, a slush of brass and gravel tinkling underfoot. It is a John Wick training montage, but with teachers wearing T-shirts with elementary-school mascots or “This is what an AWESOME SCIENCE TEACHER looks like” emblazoned across the front.
There are currently fourteen states in America where teachers can use and carry a firearm to defend the students in their care: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Washington. Sixteen other states leave it up to individual school districts to decide this issue. Florida is currently one of those states, and allows non-instructional personnel to carry a concealed firearm on a district-by-district basis.
That may be changing.
The bipartisan, blue-ribbon panel put together last year to investigate the Parkland school shooting has recommended that Florida expand its current program and set up a program to train teachers how to effectively use a firearm to defend a life.
Florida’s new governor, Ron DeSantis, has yet to mention this report, but the leader of the Florida Senate, Joe Negron is open to the idea.
So what does this mean to Florida’s educators?
First off, the panel does not recommend that teachers be required to carry a gun, they just say that with training, you should be allowed to exercise the fundamental right of self-protection inside the classroom. That’s good, because as I’ve said elsewhere, making that decision is probably the most adult decision you’re ever going to make, and quite frankly, it’s not for everyone.
Secondly, when you carry, you understand that having a concealed and portable means of inflicting lethal force at a distance changes who you are, and changes you for the better. You give up your “right” to get angry when you put on a gun. Once you realize that you hold the ultimate trump card, you no longer become interested in playing the game. You’re calmer. You don’t do the “monkey dance” of seeing who’s the most important person in your social community. You make peace with your demons, and you seek to live a peaceful life.
Lastly, when you carry a gun, you see more of the world around you. People who carry on a day in, day out basis learn to spot trouble before it happens, because we’d rather not get into trouble at all. We understand that there’s a violence problem in America, and we will do what it takes to avoid being a statistic. We lock our doors. We look around as we walk down the street. We practice what’s commonly called “situational awareness,” by paying attention to what we’re paying attention to. As a result, we see and enjoy more of the world than the people around us, and it’s a rather nice world we have, I must admit.