The Arkansas Christian Academy in Bryant, Arkansas, is making national headlines after it announced that some staff members will be armed with guns. It's about time we have one institution that is finally standing up and protecting our children, and hopefully it won't be the last. In fact, every school teacher in America should be armed in the classroom.
After my interview late last year on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, many balked and even made fun of my position. But here's the thing: This is a viable solution for the Arkansas Christian Academy, and mark my words: it won't be the last education institution to do this.
How many more times are we going to hear about a crazed gunman walking into a school armed and ready to kill? How many more innocent children need to die before we wake up and prepare our teachers to fight back? The only solution is self-responsibility: arm school officials and give them a fighting chance. No gunman is going to target a school that can defend itself and fight back.
Every second counts in a school shooting. Calling 911 and waiting for police to arrive isn't good enough. Spartanburg County South Carolina Sheriff Chuck Wright says, "Our form of justice is not making it. Carry a concealed weapon. That'll fix it." He's also been quoted in many other instances in favor of more guns. Then there was Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. who recently created a national uproar for urging citizens to learn how to handle firearms so they can defend themselves, because he says, "simply calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option." What happens when the closest police unit is 10 minutes away? One of two scenarios will happen: die or become injured waiting to be rescued, or fight back. Shouldn't we give our children and teachers a fighting chance?
Arming our teachers and training them how to properly use a firearm will translate to less heinous acts. We can't have another Columbine or another Sandy Hook. Just this week outside Atlanta it almost happened again when Michael Brandon Hill allegedly walked into Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy with an AK-47 and enough ammunition to takeout half the school. Luckily, Antoinette Tuff, who works in the front office of the school, was able to talk Hill down. But what if she wasn't able to? This had the potential to be one of the worst school massacres in history. The one place you can bet something like this will never happen: Arkansas Christian Academy.
If we look back at Sandy Hook last year, first grade teacher and hero Victoria Soto, who was shot and killed after hiding her kids in a closet and told the gunman the kids were in gym, might still be alive had she been armed and able to defend herself. So could a lot of other children and teachers who tragically died that day.
Then there was the Pearl High School shooting in 1997 when a student killed two classmates and injured seven others at his high school. An assistant principal, who was armed, intervened and held the shooter at gun point until police arrived, and most probably prevented more people from being killed.
I believe that very shortly, carrying a firearm will become a requirement for all teachers and school administrators. It's the way it has to be and if teachers aren't comfortable with that they're going to have to find a new profession.
In a perfect world we wouldn't need to take such measures. But until that happens, critical thinking suggests that we all exercise our second amendment rights, arm our teachers and school officials to ensure the safety of our children, voice our support and keep a close eye on anti-gun crusaders who want to make our decisions for us. A school should be a safe haven where children can learn and grow. And right now, arming teachers is the only practical solution.