Dave Kopel on Guns, Terrorism & Teachers on National Review Online

An Excellent Suggestion:

Arm the teachers. We talked here about the Thai teachers unions back in June. Of course, if there is no formal training in weapons use offered by the government, such carrying would have to be entirely voluntary -- someone who is not trained, or who knows they are not capable of using their weapon, is only putting a weapon in the hands of whoever seizes that classroom.

The suggestion does not go far enough. One of the best ways that we can make terrorism more difficult is by making America a hard target. The way to do that is to arm, and train, the civilian population -- that is, to call up the general militia of the United States, as established in the US Code. These persons should be given necessary training in how to safely and accurately carry and use a firearm; and then they should carry them about their persons. It need not be a long course, that would take people away from their jobs -- not a fully military "Basic - AIT - etc" setup, but rather short series of courses, scheduled around their need to work for a living. Topics to be covered include the carrying of weapons, and range time, both traditional and tactical. It would be good if the order opened military base and police firing ranges to the public, so long as the public's use of them was scheduled around the needs of the authority.

These persons would be able to carry without regard to "exemption" laws, such as usually prevent carrying firearms into schools or courthouses. The 2nd Amendment, whatever else it covers, certainly does cover members of the US militia acting on orders to go armed.

Combined with those Americans who voluntarily carry under the various concealed weapons permits available from the several states (who would still be covered by exemption laws), this should provide a strong "immune system" to hostage crises. It makes them much more difficult and dangerous to execute, but not only that -- it makes them harder to plan. Because these weapons are usually concealed handguns, terrorists scoping out a potential site can't guess how many armed persons they would have to face. That seriously complicates planning and -- as it requires that they act in larger groups, in order to address the unknown threat level -- makes more likely the discovery of the plot or the capture of one of their number by counterintelligence and police.

"Unthinkable!" I imagine many are shouting. "The population would not stand for it!"

Let this happen just once to an American kindergarten, and the population will be demanding it with full lungs. Why, then, should we wait? Must we really insist on paying a blood price in order to recover this traditional, explicitly Constitutional defense of freedom, of our children, and our land?

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