In the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in Parkland, Florida, President Donald Trump offered a simple solution to end the United States’ sad tradition of school shootings: Arm teachers with “military or special training experience” against potential gunmen.
Responding to criticism of a Wednesday listening session in which the president proposed concealed carry among school faculty and staff “adept with the firearm,” Trump tweeted on Thursday that teachers “must be offense” because “defense alone won’t work.”
It’s worth honing in on one particular element of Trump’s proposal: the prerequisite of some sort of firearms training. And consistent, rigorous training, beyond entry-level boot camp rifle or pistol quals, matters: One of the reasons bystander interventions during mass shootings are rarely effective is that a significant portion of firearms owners never received formal safety or marksman training, according to a July 2017 public health study. (Heck, just consider the “18 school shootings this year alone” statistic that’s been bandied about recently; most of those “shootings” were accidental discharges.)
Instead of would-be Rambos, Trump’s logic goes, perhaps it’s those Americans who fully understand and respect the power of firearms who are worthy of safeguarding our schoolchildren. To which a lot of veterans on Twitter responded: Fuck that noise.
This ... is not a new trend!
When it comes to the efficacy of armed vets in school, I’ll let people who have actually seen combat make that assessment.