Ways to Stop, Slow or Stall Guns In Schools Programs From Growing

Here are a few tactics that might be useful to stop guns in schools programs.

PDF link to report on liability from arming teachers

PDL Link to report on liability with SRO

Ways to Stop, Slow or Stall Guns In Schools Programs From Growing
These are based on historical methods that have worked in other states:

1) Demand to see the data on gun programs effectiveness
“How effectively can someone with a gun protect a school from someone else with a gun?” Everyone fumbles when it comes to the documented failures of SROs in school shootings. It’s always, “If only…” and “Well, next time…” or “We just need more people with guns in the schools!”  They are not effective for this purpose.

The Post analysis found that gun violence has occurred in at least 68 schools that employed a police officer or security guard. In all but a few of those incidents, the shootings ended before law enforcement of any kind interceded — often because the gunfire lasted only a few seconds. Prolonged attacks, of course, can be even more fraught, as McClanahan’s experience illustrates.

Of the nearly 200 Post-identified incidents of school gunfire, only once before this week has a resource officer gunned down an active shooter. In 2001, an 18-year-old with a 12-gauge pump-action shotgun was firing at the outside of a California high school when the resource officer rounded a corner and shot him in the face.
– Scarred by school shootings, By  and Washington Post March 25, 2018

2) Ask for a complete cost accounting

How many bids are there on the armed teacher training program? What? No competitive bids!?
How much do these SROs really cost? Do they really each need a brand new car?

3) Show me the insurance! Show me the money for insurance!
How qualified are the trainers? Do they have insurance? What happens if the teachers they train screw up? Who is liable? Who pays the insurance premiums? This issue was huge in Tennessee and can be huge in Florida, as you can see in this clip, they school boards just don’t have a clue.

Once again Kelly Demerow makes the critically important points about costs. Does the board, sheriff’s office and city attorneys understand Monell liability? That’s where the school district could be liable for an accidental injury as a result of the execution of a policy that it adopted.

4) Demand the data on student discipline at schools with SROs
The school to prison pipeline is real.   African-American students, for instance, are 3.5 times more likely than their white classmates to be suspended or expelled, according to a nationwide study by the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.  Each district with SROs has collected this data. Before new SROs are implemented there should be an evaluation of the program.  (Police in Schools Are not the Answer to The Newtown School Shooting (PDF file)

Slow this roll
The NRA wants the people in Florida to still believe they live in a Pre-Parkland shooting world, where a vote against the NRA is a death sentence, and a vote for gun control never happens. Today of all days, remember the Florida legislators did NOT give the students what they wanted, the ban on assault type weapons. Instead they told them they are going add more guns to their environment.

The NRA and its supporters are still pushing the myth of the good guy with the gun will protect students. Yesterday two police officers in Florida  were show while having lunch. They had guns. If a armed person is caught unaware, their gun won’t stop the bullets heading their way, only the right kind of vest and helmet can stop the bullet.

Here’s another issue, personnel. EVEN if the state had given school districts all the money, the school districts still can’t get the people they need. The sheriff in Brevard said it will take 2-3 years to fill all the positions. Plus, all the counties are competing for the same people.

When it became clear there was not enough money for all the new SROs in the state one school board member, said they would have to cut education programs. 

People in Brevard County were be directed by a school board member to complain to the legislators that there isn’t enough money for guns in school programs and to ask for property tax money to go to armed teachers and SROs. People will go to their own communities to raise money for the underfunded, ineffective SRO program.  But there are alternatives. You want guns in schools? Levy a gun tax to pay for them.

Bring on the guns and ammo taxes! 

  • Put up a bills to increase license fees on all guns.
  • Write a bill requiring mandatory liability insurance for all gun owners.
  • Propose a special tax on AR-15s in the state.  Use revenue from the tax to pay guns in schools programs and for an AR-15 buy back program. If people don’t want to pay the tax, the can sell the gun.

The gun lobby sees any tax effort as impermissible regulation which violates their constitutional protection, yet taxes are within a state’s purview to raise revenue.  

The NRA arguments can be countered. This piece, Taxing Guns, Ammo? Load Up for a Fight , shows a few ways to do it.

The people raising the tax need to show that the money would only be used to provide resources that assist the state’s holistic approach to public school safety. In Florida that means armed police in schools.  In other states taxes have been used to pay for healthcare or other broad-based public benefits to people impacted by gun violence.

The gun lobby has externalized the costs of the proliferation weapons of mass destruction for decades. They want all taxpayers to cover the cost of their costly guns in schools programs that have been proven ineffective.

The new found voice of the students following the Parkland shooting is still being heard, but the voice of the NRA has not disappeared. The lobbying savvy of the NRA-ILA is up against people who are new to this and others who have been afraid to use all the economic and PR tools at their disposal.

Fear Sells
What the gun lobbyists know is that fear sells. The power of the NRA doesn’t come from the barrel of a gun. It comes from their ability to direct their people, money and energy into legislative change, false narratives and attitudes. Their marketing success is getting people to repeat their advertising slogans as truth. Their government success in Florida was getting the legislature to fund programs featuring their products. Their financial success was convincing taxpayer’s to pay for these ineffective and dangerous programs that use their products.

The Washington Post recently did an analysis of the roles of SROs in school shootings. They learned that SROs have been ineffective in the mass shootings that make the headlines. They are also ineffective in the other incidents where guns are used in a school shootings, targeted shootings. 

People rarely say a bad word about the individual SROs, so it’s time to expose the failure of the premise, not the person.

There is much more data and research about this, Connie Rooks, a military law enforcement vet with a masters degree in education has some other data to share.   But as the politicians have learned, they can ignore scientists and research if they have some good stories. We have seen that people will accept all sorts of ineffective “security theater”  or myths of protection and they ramp up the fear.

The NRAs is afraid of losing control, they are afraid of a bunch of teenagers with a mission. We know how dirty they fight when they are thwarted economically.

Now is the time to put into place programs that make the slaughter lobby pay for the damage their products and reckless policies do to the country.  They will scream about their rights, but it’s really about their revenue.

Comments are closed.