Friday, August 02, 2013

Back To School Shopping

It never fails to get the hackles on the back of my son's neck up when he sees "Back To School" sales popping up in the second or third week of June. We're now fully into the heavily discounted portion of this part of the year. It's time to stock up on all those pencils and books that Alice Cooper insisted we were all free of just a few very short weeks ago. Teachers do the same thing. We go out and buy our white board markers and empty the 99 Cent Store of all the little plastic prizes that will somehow become legal tender out on the playground. And in Arkansas, they'll be checking the back room to see if there's any more hollow point ammunition once the shelves have been cleared.
The Clarksville School District will arm twenty volunteer teachers and staff with handguns starting this fall. Participants in the program, whose identities will be kept secret, will be considered security guards after undergoing fifty-three hours of training."The plan we've been given in the past is, 'Well, lock your doors, turn off your lights and hope for the best,' " said Superintendent David Hopkins.
Mister Hopkins said that he was responding to the wave of calls he took from concerned parents after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. This makes sense since Sandy Hook is in Newtown, Connecticut and Clarksville is a town of a little over nine thousand Christian souls located some fourteen hundred miles away. Why wouldn't they expect an armed intruder to perpetrate the same senseless slaughter of school children? Better safe than sorry, right?
Staff at these schools will be given a one-time $1,100 stipend to purchase a handgun and holster. The district will pay about fifty thousand dollars for ammunition and for training by Nighthawk Custom Training Academy, a private training facility in northwest Arkansas. “That teacher is going to respond to one thing and one thing alone, and that's someone is in the building either actively or attempting to kill people," Jon Hodoway, director of training for Nighthawk said. "That's it. They're not going to enforce the law. They're not going to make traffic stops. If somebody is outside acting the fool, they're going to call the police." That teacher is going to to do one thing and one thing only: kill someone. Not make traffic stops.
Let me say this about fifty thousand dollars in training: I'm not sure how many teachers they are trying to put on the firing line, but I'm guessing if it's more than a couple, that's not going to be enough to cover everything. The newspapers are full of stories about highly trained officers of the law who spend years, not days learning how to deal with issues of deadly force, and they still make mistakes. And since part of that fifty thousand is going to buy ammo, I'm guessing there's still a possibility that they didn't cover everything. Like toy guns.
I hope there's something left over in the budget for grief counseling.

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