The Mississippi Senate is considering arming teachers. Yes, that's right...gun-totin', shooting-and-looting teachers roaming the aisles just looking for targets. And I'm sure there are some teachers who can field dress a deer with their eyes closed but there's a difference between a shooting range, a hunting lease and actual combat.
Teaching is a gift and educators work hard to mold the minds of kids in their own ways using hard-learned lessons of their own. But they shouldn't be burdened with the expectation of being a "shooter" in a bad situation.
So who knows what it's like to carry AND use a gun? Criminals, cops and military veterans...particularly veterans who have served in combat zones. Of those three, the veteran makes the most ideal candidate.
They've been mortared, fired upon, faced explosions from buildings crashing to IEDs in the roadways. And here's the most important qualification: Knowing what to do, instinctively, when the first shot has been fired.
It's all about training and I don't mean on a firing range or from a hunting camp. Veterans understand the difference of life and death because they've been there. All of them have, at a minimum, a secret government clearance and have been investigated and checked for drug abuse. They are typically college-educated and some hold graduate degrees.
Why can't they be hired by schools, salaried, and given responsibilities on campuses?
They don't necessarily have to instruct, even though most of them could "tell a hawk from a handsaw," but there are plenty of things for them to do while keeping their primary mission in mind...protecting the lives on campus.
After working there for months to years, they would be familiar with the terrain. They would know the difference between "the friendlies" and the enemy. They wouldn't hesitate to defend, with their lives, those students, teachers and administrators in a heartbeat.
Because they've done it before on a much larger stage that requires a tactical skill-set that teachers may not possess and most certainly don't need.
It's time to think outside the Kleenex Box, folks. Now the teachers' unions might have a fit because someone would be sticking their fingers in their rice bowl. But I'll bet the parents would sleep better at night knowing Sergeant Jones or Major Smith is on campus, every day, willing to save a life during a very bad situation.
Having joined the United States
Air Force in 1984, Mike Odom
retired as a colonel. Before that,
he was a child actor in Holly-
wood with family roots deep
in Mississippi. He is a gifted writer
who now owns Rocky Mountain
Chocolate Factories in the state.