Letter: Schools need ‘air marshals’

The tragedy in Connecticut has demonstrated to us in the most-horrific manner how vulnerable the children in our schools are to evil people bent on dying and taking as many innocents with them as they can. Shock value seems to count with these monsters, so children are high-value targets. How can we protect them without making our schools into prisons?

The knee-jerk reaction of some politicians is to call for more-stringent gun control laws. This would do nothing to make our children safe, but would score points for the aforementioned politicians with certain parts of their voting constituency. We have a Second Amendment, millions of guns are owned by law-abiding citizens and America would have to become Soviet Union II to confiscate all the guns and make us all “safe.”

Neither should we station uniformed police alone in our schools. Any maniac bent on destruction would target these very visible officers first before the real mayhem starts.

What we should do is what we did for the airline industry.

We should have plain-clothes marshals in every school. He should not be stationed under some obvious “security” sign but blend in with faculty and staff. Teachers and administrative staff who are willing to submit to background checks and receive training should be allowed and even encouraged to arm themselves and carry concealed weapons, as many pilots have done. The school marshal would be aware of these and meet with them occasionally to discuss possible security scenarios and offer advice and continued training.

Do you know what the “gun free zone” signs posted all around our schools say to potential mass murderers? They say, “easy pickings.” They won’t any longer, if this plan is implemented.

I am not a teacher, but if I were I would feel responsible for the safety of my charges. Any murderer would have to go through me to get to “my” kids. I would like a fighting chance to defend them.

Gary Phillips

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Greenwell Springs