I can’t give you the exact quotes, but President Donald Trump just trashed the nationwide concept of “gun free” school zones.
He argued that schools should be come “hardened sites” which give prospective shooters the knowledge that there might be armed employees ready to shoot them.
Trump pointed out that school shootings last about three minutes on the average, while it take eight minutes for police to arrive.
He mentioned former members of the military who work for schools should be allowed to carry concealed weapons and be paid extra.
They would not be identifiable, so a shooter would not know who was armed and who was not.
“We need offensive as well as defensive measures,” the President said.
Having such internal protection would deter shooters, whom he characterized as “cowards.”
Now, let me take you back to the year 2000 when I lost my seat in the Illinois House on this very issue.
When I was interviewed by the Daily Herald, I was asked what I thought about the recent Columbine School massacre.
With the reporter covering the race in the room, I replied that I only wished the teachers who had given their lives to protect their students had had guns and been about to “take out a couple of the squirrels.”
Sometime after that I got a call from the Daily Herald reporter saying that Jack Roeser had put an article in his publication praising a teacher in a Southern state who had gone to his car in the school parking lot with a kid threatening to shoot students, gotten his long gun and returned to intimidate the young man.
One of my opponent’s supporters had told the reporter that since Roeser was supporting me that I favored allowing teachers to carry guns.
Guilt by association, but what the heck, it was a campaign.
Having told the editorial board member what I did with the reporter in the room, I couldn’t very well deny the charge.
I figured the NRA might be able to help me craft a suitable reply.
The NRA was useless.
Later I was told that Federal law prohibits guns in schools, so it couldn’t be a state issue.
The attack went on throughout Chicagoland for three days, ending with a report on traffic news.
On the second day Carol Marin, trying to become the permanent head person on CBS local news sent a reporter with camera to interview me before a WYLL-FM (Christian radio station) interview.
“Aren’t you afraid that one of your son’s teachers might shoot him [if they were armed]?”
Hoping to look incredulous, I replied that I had no fear whatsoever that any of my son’s teachers would shoot him.
In retrospect, what a stupid question.
Two years later, discussing this change of events with Ted Semon, my campaign manager and sometime driver when I ran for Governor on the Libertarian Party ticket, every time we saw a gun free zone sign, Ted would observe that we were in another “protection free zone.”
Let me add a family story that I believe is relevant.
My Grandfather, Roy Skinner, lived in Elkton, Maryland, during a crime spree bout 1940.
The Mayor decided to swear in fifty secret deputies
The criminals did not know who had been given the chrome handguns and badges.
The crime spree ended.
Much the same thing happened in Florida with regard to carjackings.
The first thing authorities noticed was that the people driving such cars had identifiable rental car plates.
In response, such plates were changed to regular plates.
Still, there were carjackings.
What solved the problem was the enactment of concealed carry in Florida.
Picture yourself a crook pulling up next to a car, trying to stop the adjacent driver and wondering if he or she had a handgun in the glove compartment.
We stopped hearing about Florida carjackings after that.
Now, let me bring it into McHenry County.
One of my son’s teachers had a stuffed deer head in his classroom.
Before my son left the school, I asked the teacher if he were allowed to carry a firearm in school, would he be willing to do so.
He said he would.
While President Trump stressed he was advocating “hardening” schools with trained retired military personnel who had become teachers, I think the definition of who schools could allow to become part of an on-sight defense system could be broadened,
Test them periodically, as the President advocated, but why limit them to those have served in the Armed Forces.