Sunday, August 17, 2008

Complete insanity reigns in Texas!

Further to our present conversation, we have an interesting reverse example to that of Britain's ubiquitous surveillance system.

The current official wisdom with regard to security is centralization and specialization.  In Britain we have a blanket ban on the possession of any weapon or weapon-like object in a public place.  A table leg wrapped in a plastic bag has been known to get people arrested in London.  The British answer to increased threat from terrorism and criminality has been a vast network of CCTV and laws requiring private companies to turn over pretty much any information they have on anybody upon request.

Here in Canada and in the USA and Britain, the answer to security threats to schools, both external threats and those from violent students, has been to put uniformed police officers in the schools.  Teachers cannot touch unruly students, they must call a cop, who will then follow the official SOP to subdue, restrain or otherwise deal with the kid(s).  The result over the last 20-30 years has been an ever increasing police presence in schools, and an ever increasing amount of criminality to go with that presence.  Oh, and huge cost increases, as they pay cops to cool their heels in schools all friggin' day.

Bucking the official wisdom is this bunch of crazy people in Texas.
A tiny Texas school district may be the first in the nation to allow teachers and staff to pack guns for protection when classes begin later this month, a newspaper reported.

Trustees at the Harrold Independent School District approved a district policy change last October so employees can carry concealed firearms to deter and protect against school shootings, provided the gun-toting teachers follow certain requirements.

The head looney had this to say:

Superintendent David Thweatt said the small community is a 30-minute drive from the sheriff's office, leaving students and teachers without protection. He said the district's lone campus sits 500 feet from heavily trafficked U.S. 287, which could make it a target.

"When the federal government started making schools gun-free zones, that's when all of these shootings started. Why would you put it out there that a group of people can't defend themselves? That's like saying 'sic 'em' to a dog," Thweatt said in Friday's online edition of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Thweatt said officials researched the policy and considered other options for about a year before approving the policy change. He said the district also has various other security measures in place to prevent a school shooting.

"The naysayers think (a shooting) won't happen here. If something were to happen here, I'd much rather be calling a parent to tell them that their child is OK because we were able to protect them," Thweatt said.

Here's a guy who has considered what's being done everywhere else, seen that it isn't working no matter how much money they throw at it, and decided to do something different.  He's said, well, we already have teachers at the school whom we have already certified as trustworthy, upstanding and proper individuals, who are trusted to look after these kids.  Is there some reason they can't be armed to protect the kids?  Do we have to pay men to do nothing other than wear a gun all day, while these teachers are probably better motivated to look after the kids?  If you can't trust the teacher to be with the kids armed, can you trust them when they are not armed?  Does the gun make the teacher into a security threat?  Are teachers too stupid to learn safe gun handling?  Are cops some kind of übermenchen, only they can safely carry a gun?

No.  So arm the teachers on the off chance some freak decides to do something nasty at the school.  Case closed, on to the next problem.

Radical, isn't it?  He's distributing the power and authority outward.  Everybody else is trying to hoard it inward. 

Continue thinking, my friends.

The Phantom


Tom McLaughlin said...

I wasn't sure where you were going with that one til the end. We agree. I'm not supposed to carry even my small pocket knife to school, though I do, and there are signs everywhere about "Gun-Free Zone" and so forth, as if crazies with guns will obey them.

We're safer when a lot of people have guns, not when only a scattered few do. I live a long way from police protection too and most people around here have guns. Leaving for my trip to Ireland for ten days, I didn't even lock my house. Got back last night and everything was where it's supposed to be.

By the way, did I meet you on the trip? Are you Vick, the guy from London who works in the theater?

The Phantom said...

Hi Tom. Nope, I'm the shadowy Phantom that posts at Small Dead Animals way too much.

This little series is about investigating the actual limits of the power of the state. What a state can do and what it can't.

One thing all states have been unable to do is make this "gun free zone" thing work. Concentrating authority on only police officers doesn't keep schools safer.

Unknown said...

...just to muddle the water, I'll post here also.

So teachers have guns eh? 10-1 one of them will get mugged or stolen.

boom boom.

The Phantom said...

Greetings, other tom.

Question for you, why is it more likely a properly trained teacher would be more likely to have their firearm taken off them than a cop?

Are teachers stupid? Are cops supermen?

Things to think about.

Hall Monitor said...

This story made! It's the leader for crazy headlines like this from our schools.

Anonymous said...

Teachers and airline pilots should be trained to carry and protect.
AND any non criminal citizen who wants to IMHO.


Anonymous said...

Hey, Ghost Who Walks! How're you doing?

If you didn't already know, I thought you might be interested to learn that the "Castle Doctrine" in Texas has changed.

Previously it was legal to have as many guns as you wanted in your house, but you had to have a permit to carry a gun outside of the house, with the exception of a variety of situations.

Now I'm happy to report that it is also legal in Texas to carry a gun in your car provided it is concealed. So you can be riding around with a gun at your fingertips as long as it's down on the floor or in a briefcase next to your hand, or something like that.

In Texas we regard this as an improvement.

Your buddy,
Greg in Dallas

The Phantom said...

Hi Greg! Good on ya!

Pretty soon if you keep pressing them you'll have the law they have in Vermont: none. Carry what you want, how you want, where you want.

I'm thinking .308 minigun turret mounted on my truck. ~:D No tailgating!