Originally Posted 12/22/2012
On December 14, 2012, when Victoria Soto stood in her classroom and
heard the gunshots taking the lives of the school administration staff
and the students in another classroom, she had very little freedom of
choice. Her contractual responsibilities as a teacher
required her to safeguard the lives and health of the students she
taught. But it was her love for her students which required her to stand
between them and the evil coming through the doorway. She had very
limited options in accomplishing her duty and calling.
Perhaps she could have
tried to save herself also by squeezing into a closet with some of her
students. But that would have left the shooter to start opening closets
and cabinets, or to randomly shoot through their doors. Instead,
she hid her students, and stood in her room to face a perpetrator of
pure evil, completely at his mercy. When he demanded to know where her
students were, she told him they were in the gym. Then he
killed her. It was only her wits that saved her students and caused her
killer to move down the hall, at the cost of her own life. –Hers was a very special kind of bravery.
In the aftermath of the horror and
selfless sacrifice on the part of the teachers and administrators at
Sandy Hook Elementary School, there has been a constant barrage of calls
for further gun control. These range from a reintroduction of the
assault weapons ban to those who insist on repealing the 2nd
Amendment. This knee jerk reaction is highly misguided. At best, it will
not work. At worst, it threatens to set up a violent confrontation
between an overpowering federal bureaucracy and an armed citizenry who
view this as another attempt by the Obama Administration to disarm them
and further infringe on their rights.
But for discussion’s sake, let’s
assume a complete and total gun ban was successfully implemented. Instead
of shooting his way in, Adam Lanza could have simply driven his car
through the front door of the school and started his handiwork against
an unarmed staff with a samurai sword, long knife, machete, bush axe,
chain saw, roofing hammer, or any other assortment of yard or industrial
tools. He still would have had at least 12 minutes to perpetrate his
crimes against unarmed victims before armed police arrived.
On the other end of this spectrum,
there are states like Utah, where concealed carry laws extend to
classrooms and public buildings. Teachers, administrators,
and parents who have concealed carry permits, carry weapons in the
schools on a regular basis. Oddly enough, there have been no mass school
shootings in Utah.
Perhaps the most digestible type of
program for most people would be a “Guardian” program like the one in
Harold, Texas. Teachers with concealed carry permits, after receiving
additional training, are authorized by the school to carry weapons on
Let’s assume Victoria
Soto had a choice to be a participant in a concealed carry “Guardian”
program. She and any other teacher would have had the means to end the
spree seconds after it was initiated. After hiding her
students, she could have taken a protected shooting position covering
the door way, from where she could accurately engage anyone coming
through the door to harm her kids. She would have had the power and
means to stop the shooter dead.
There are many details we have yet to
learn about the Sandy Hook shooting. But the one thing we do know is
that a 27 year old teacher exhibited great courage and poise when facing
death. That same sense of responsibility she showed in
facing an armed assailant would also made her highly responsible in
carrying and using a firearm in the presence of children.
Whatever Victoria Soto’s feelings about guns were, she should have had the choice on whether or not to carry one.
Liberals love to talk about a woman’s
right to choose. But they would continue to deny the Victoria Sotos of
the world the freedom of choice on how to protect themselves and the
lives and health of the students they love.