A Ready Reserve to Keep Our Kids Alive

| December 20, 2012 | 36 Comments

I get weekly emails from old Army buddies about jobs available to former military personnel, primarily in the Middle East, jobs offering excellent salaries. Most ads are seeking the crème de la crème, the special operators, or at least those with the advanced combat skills that would be in the resume of any former or retired Ranger or Airborne/Marine infantry NCO. Playing down the potential downsides of these contracts, such as living in Muslim countries under Sharia law, these ads tend to emphasize the outsized recompense rather than the discomforts.

I look at those salaries and wonder why is it we have federal contractors who are willing to pay these lucrative compensation packages for former warriors to assume huge risk and minimal conditions of daily living while, simultaneously, we have school districts throughout this nation that could be employing them and their skills to even greater effect. These experienced tough guys, who devoted their younger lives to protecting this nation and its principles, could well apply all that training and experience protecting the nation’s most sacred resource, our children.

May I be so radical as to suggest that school boards all across this country take a hard look at their administrative trees and lop off a few of those really questionable deputy superintendents for this, and assistant deputy superintendents for that? Just what contribution do all these highly paid, administrative dead branches make to the education of the children these boards are responsible for? Do a little math and you’ll see that some judicious trimming of these bloated school district administrations could free up some funds to hire teams of those veterans I described above, the millions of potential applicants out there who possess the requisite firearms and security skills to walk the halls of our educational institutions from kindergarten through college, armed and prepared to neutralize any threat to our children. Celebrities hire these people all the time. Are celebrities more essential to America than her children?

A school district wouldn’t even need to have highly trained and lethal security teams in every school at all times. Multiple teams could be rotated through all the district schools on a totally irregular and unpredictable schedule. That very unpredictability would give pause to many of the deranged when considering mayhem on a helpless schoolroom. It might drive these crazies to the mall food courts or theaters, true, but I believe right now, in view of last week’s horror, that’s a better option than an elementary school or a kindergarten, because there is likely someone in those places who is armed. Think about it, mall killing events don’t produce the high numbers of victims that campus events do. There’s a clear and simple reason for that: the schools are stupidly but publicly announced gun-free zones and the killers, well aware of that, know where they can inflict the most horror before they are brought down.

We are a nation with schools with construction budgets in the hundreds of millions of dollars, managed by administrations with similar budgets. With all this tax money being spent to provide our young ones with such excellent learning environments under such expensive tutelage, are there no funds to do this one essential thing: hire, tough, seasoned, knowledgeable professional warriors to keep our children alive? All you liberal parents out there so afraid of guns should weigh this: who is more essential, some totally helpless, multi-degreed, deputy assistant doofus for dietetic planning or some hard-nosed, bad-ass, old pistol-packin’ Ranger who, when it all hits the fan, will, by his training and his core beliefs, give his own life to keep your kid alive?

Crossposted at American Thinker

Category: Guns, Schools, Veterans Issues

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  1. Gravel says:

    Preaching to the choir. *smiles*

  2. Ex-PH2 says:

    Damn, Poetrooper. Damn good column.

  3. © Sponge says:

    The answer is simple. They keep saying that everything is about the children, the children, the children.

    The first one that gets screwed IS the children. Literally AND figuratively. Federal Agencies and Unions? Education is at it’s LOWEST in HISTORY, yet there are billions of dollars spent. 17 Trillion dollars in Debt? Your great-great-great grandchildren will still be saddled with that.

    It has NOTHING to do with children. It’s all about POWER and personal wealth.

    You take a mortal man and put him in control. Watch him become a GOD……

    -Dave Mustaine

  4. Yat Yas 1833 says:

    It’ll never happen. Academia is too interested in their liberal agenda and keeping sub-par teachers employed to worry about the safety of our children/grandchildren. Forgive me if my bias is showing but having dealt with the public schools since my baby boy started kindergarten in 1985 through my little girl graduating college in 2005 it’s no wonder my grands are in private schools.

  5. PintoNag says:

    I don’t disagree with security in our schools, but it’s starting at the wrong end of the tunnel. We need to increase the ability to identify and secure the people who do this, not wait and try to stop them once they commence a rampage.

    I completely admire the men who would put themselves in harm’s way to protect our children, but I would rather prevent danger to both the children AND their protectors by preventing that danger in the first place.

    And invariably, since some of them will slip through the net…that’s where the protection comes in.

  6. E-6 type, 1ea says:

    There is SO much red tape and beaurocracy in the education system in the US. How many billions of dollars are we pumping into the dept of Education, and there are teachers still making less the $30k/yr. Your absolutely right about lopping excess off. Our HS has a superintendent, 2 principals, and five vice-principals. I graduated 15 yrs ago, and we had one principal and a vice principal. It’s absolutely insane.

  7. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    Poetrooper, great post! The pukes in Academia will have a hard time with it though….those useless dead branches have really deep roots.

    If you could manage to pull this off there would be an additional benefit, more kids would be exposed to some portion of that .75% of the population that chooses to serve the nation for a period of time. That benefit alone is worth exploring it in my opinion. It would be great for kids to have a role model that is sober and regularly wears underpants while getting in and out of their car….

  8. brat says:

    And the choir sings AMEN! I say this as 1) a resident of a country where the criminals – and the police – are the only ones with guns and 2) somebody who spent 6 years in Kindergarten – (I used to tell the kids it took me 6 years to graduate K. I am *that* smart….lol)

    What do we need to do to make this happen, that our most valuable resource, our kids, is protected BEFORE such massacres happen? If it IS all and always about our kids, what do we need to do to FORCE the school district bureacracies and politicians to implement these policies?

  9. Cacti35 says:

    It makes perfect sense to me but the money is not going to be there. After Columbine my tactical team went all over state training first responders and school staff on the active shooter drills. I was able to get MILES gear and weapons with blank adapters. It made a hell of mess of brass shooting in the schools but we did and cleaned up after. The school districts were all impressed but the usual was we just can’t afford school resource officers. I had on deputy to cover 8 schools, spread out over a 15 mile radius. It is something that should be given consideration though. For years we in LE have been anticipating such a tragedy that happen in CT.last week. I was only surprised because I with a lot of others expected it to be a Jihaddist terrorist.

  10. JA says:

    Wait a minute… We need armed ex-rangers in our schools now? Israel needs armed ex-ranger types because they live in a really hard part of the world and have a real political violence problem. If we think we need the same to protect ourselves from ourselves, wow we have a problem.

    Do we need to increase school security? Probably. Is there deadwood to cut? Definitely. Do we need the best trained soldier’s in the world to post guard mount on our schools? Oh dear G-d I sure as hell hope not.

    Here is what I think we need. WARNING some of these ideas are not thought out 100% and I would appreciate the chance to “wargame” these a bit. I am keeping them brief so don’t assume I am being simplistic.
    1) Create a special license for high cap magazines. A high cap magazine is a force-multiplier for a shooter confronting un-armed/under-armed victims. Have near automatic (no pun intended) approval for prior service/prior law-enforcement.
    2) Encourage open-carry. Make it easy to get an open-carry license. Add a no-drunk carry law mirroring drunk driving laws.
    3) Make some mental-health diagnoses and/or some medications a bar to gun-ownership without a Shrink’s note. This one is simple. Yes we have a right to bear arms, but not an absolute right. Gun-owners have a responsibility to ensure that weapons don’t get into the hands of those who are dangerous.
    4) One armed guard per school. Encourage existing employees with free training (real no-BS tactical training and certification) and an extra stipend to do double-duty. I imagine that if you promised a gym teacher an extra %5K and a one week class, he/she would jump at it.

    Will this fix everything? No, but it would put a dent in the problem and not cost as much as putting Rangers in the schools.

  11. valerie says:

    Guarding them, hell, they should be teaching them! We should have military embeds in our schools as teachers.

    The best education system we have in this country is through the US military. Our military knows how to identify needed skills, quantify, acquire, and grow-their-own, in-house. That’s how the US military did what the UN and the US State Department could not do in Iraq.

    I have a kid in high school ROTC, and the changes in him are a wonder to see. I’ve watched CAP meetings, and seen that, at each meeting, kids of several levels have to get up in front of the group and impart information. The closest parallel I’ve seen to this anywhere is the Bar/Bat Mitzvah training in synagogues, which is far too short and devoted to brute force memorization. Our military, as an institution, knows how to educate people, and how to teach nearly all of them how to teach others.

    I favor trying several different approaches. In some places, we can have people in uniform. Others places might stay lower-key. We may yet find that if it’s just generally known that there might be somebody on campus capable of defending it, that knowledge is a deterrent.

  12. RM3(SS) says:

    Because the X box generation wants instant results and feel good policies. Ban those evil looking black rifles and everyone will get along better! Rainbows and Unicorns for everyone! :)

  13. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    Forgive me for largely repeating what I wrote in another thread here but we really ought not be looking to Washington, D.C. for answers or solutions. We should be showing up at school borad meetings (they’ll be shocked!) and asking, “What are you doing to keep our children safe in school?” We ought to penning letters to the editors and copying state and local police, and, of course our local and state politicans and asking, “What’s your plan? When will you be meeting with the school board?” D.C. screws EVERYTHING up. Why would anyone expect their solutions to be different? Some answers will work in one place and the same answer not work in another. Again, thios is truly a state and local issue. It just so happens that most of the country cares about it.

  14. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    Every morning, Joan puts her two grade schoolers on the bus and is there to pick up them up when the bus returns in the afternoon. She trusts and prays that her child will not be harmed by anyone, student or stramger, while they are at school. But every day the children are at great risk. You know that school bus she puts them on? It doesn’t have seatbelts.

  15. Anonymous says:

    “…hard-nosed, bad-ass…who, when it all hits the fan, will, by his training and his core beliefs, give his own life to keep your kid alive”. So someone like teacher Victoria Soto in other words.

  16. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    @15. You excerpted the quote disingenuously. Poetrooper’s line was prefaced with the words, “who is more essential.” And, with VERY limited exception, providing physical security certainly will not come from, as he says, “some totally helpless, multi-degreed, deputy assistant doofus for dietetic planning….”

  17. Nik says:

    @15

    So someone like teacher Victoria Soto in other words.

    Someone with her spirit yes, but with the ability to make that will a physical reality.

  18. Hondo says:

    Schools are gun-free zones. Gun free zones have another name: “soft targets”.

    It was anti-gun liberals who are responsible for gun-free zones. That means it was anti-gun liberals who made our schools soft targets, perpetually at risk.

    Doesn’t that means anti-gun liberals are morally responsible for such massacres, then? After all: they’re the ones responsible for making schools such soft targets.

    The blood is on your hands, gun-ban advocates. Own it.

  19. Nik says:

    @19

    You expect them to take responsibility for herding the nation’s children into a building and painting a big red target?

    When was the last time there was a mass-shooting at a gun show?

  20. Nik says:

    Bah. That was meant to be pointed toward @18, not the self-referential 19.

  21. PavePusher says:

    Amen, Hondo.

  22. BK says:

    My wife’s a special educator – teaching emotional support to the kinds of kids that end up becoming Adam Lanza. She’s left on her own, her being a puny little thing, with kids that can seriously cause her serious injury. Right now she’s got a deaf kid that regularly assaults her with no consequence.

    I know she, for her part as a teacher, would feel safer with her parachute infantryman-of-a-husband around to unload an aerosol full of whoop-ass. And I’ve seen those sassy twatwaffles she has to mollycoddle all the damn day long. They’re going to grow up to be the same entitled and utterly useless citizens the education establishment is so keen on saddling this nation with. When wittle Timmy feels sad because the world doesn’t grant him his free nummies and won’t wecognize his emotional turmoil because he has to give up an hour of his video games, it’s someone like my wife that’ll get gunned down.

  23. PintoNag says:

    BK, you or your wife, or both, need to be standing on someone’s desk. No, no, NO, she is NOT required to accept assault, I don’t care WHAT is wrong with the kid. If she can’t get the assaultive kid put into a restricted classroom, and can’t get the admin to address it, the next time the kid attacks her, she steps out as soon as she can and calls police. The kid goes to jail, juv detention, or a psychiatric facility. DO NOT ALLOW YOUR WIFE TO BE THE NEXT STATISTIC.

  24. BK says:

    When I say “no consequence,” it’s largely hyperbole borne of frustration for how insufficient I find the consequences for his actions. This school is already the “intermediate unit” since most of these kids can’t function in mainstream schools. They’re treated with kid gloves and medicated away, until they turn 18 and discover there’s actually a world full of consequences beyond those walls.

    My wife got into the field with the best of intentions, but has since discovered it’s just a world of hurt, between the eunuchs she works for and the often aggressive nature of the students. It’s a new kid/new problem every year ever since we got married, and it’s tough not to project the Lanza model on to each and every one of them. I’m not even sure it’s wrong to look at them this way.

  25. PintoNag says:

    I currently work on the periphery of the medical field of troubled kids. I frequently hear of assault on the caregivers…broken arms and legs, skull fractures, bites, concussions. It’s not a joke, and a few years back, a principal was killed by an elementary school kid with a pencil. Lucky shot, and the kid young enough not to understand what he did or the consequences of his actions, but that didn’t make the principal any less dead, did it? We have kids today that are about a half step up from feral in our country, in our schools and neighborhoods, and little females need to start putting their lives and safety ahead of their idealism when the reality turns into a true threat. If you can’t replace your wife, and she’s being attacked at work, then something needs to change in her world before some kid changes yours.

  26. CAs6 says:

    Sorry, Poetrooper, but I disagree.

    This is a good idea in theory, but application will destroy it. I was a security guard to pay my way through college, and then for a while afterwards while I was waiting for BOLC. It was incredibly mind-numbing, and the pay was not enough to live on, even for a single guy.

    I typed up a lengthy anecdote, but realized it was too long and boring to make my point, so I will sum up: With teachers complaining about their salaries nonstop since I was in elementary school, there is no way school districts will pay these guys enough to make it worth their time or effort. Such a low-action job will certainly fail to attract the high-speed Ranger types you envision, especially for such low pay. Even private security firms, like one I worked for after graduation (as an armed guard, no less) don’t pay enough for a married guy to live on. I got a huge pay cut going from an ROTC cadet working for campus police to a private, armed security guard for the largest security company in this area of the state. It was a struggle to stay awake at the jobs I worked at, too, more boring than any CQ duty I have ever done.

    If this happened, I predict the retention rate would be abysmally low, and schools would have to revert to the stereotypical security guard (75% of my post-graduation coworkers), fat, unmotivated, and untrustworthy. That, to me, would have be an overwhelming negative. Not to mention the huge “Shoot me first!” sign on a solitary security officer.

    I think #10 and #11 had more sensible ideas, hire veterans as teachers! Make it easier for veterans to get their teaching licenses. Make programs like Troops to Teachers more accessible. It would go far in portraying veterans as normal people, and hopefully shake kids out of their entitlement mindsets because they had teachers who used to work for a living. I know that when I walk into a classroom and kids see my haircut and bearing I have instant credibility. Also; offer an incentive to teachers who attend tactical classes. Find the sheepdogs who are already educators and empower them. I think having intelligently armed teachers is a better idea than one security guard posted at the front of the school. It’s a lot harder to dodge three armed teachers when you don’t know who they are than one uniformed security guard.

    I’m a semi-pro substitute teacher (in the reserves now, working on my teaching license) and I carry every day. It’s totally legal here, nobody knows, it doesn’t make me a target, and I don’t cost any extra. I do a walkthrough of every school I teach, pay attention to OAKOC, and have a plan to get everyone out alive. Not only do I carry a handgun everywhere, but I have an IFAK in my bag, an idea I think people overlook. It shouldn’t just be about defense and offense, it should also include TCCC.

  27. Jabatam says:

    @3 (Sponge) – one of my favorite all time lines

  28. WigWam says:

    This isn’t Afghanistan. Every community should get to decide what is necessary security for their school and for their children, not the Government. I wouldn’t take kindly to a Ranger eyeing me down his sights because I might be armed. Low speed jobs like guard duty can either make you lax or make you paranoid.

    There’s no need for guns in the classroom, but there sure as hell is a need for guns on campus. Hall monitors and door guards should be armed, but not teachers. Teachers should be teachers first. The kids aren’t the problem here, it’s the intruders. Local police should also need to secure a quarter-mile perimeter around campus. This way they can catch anyone trying to gain access illegally.

  29. Ex-PH2 says:

    How about if we train teachers and kids in defensive measures the same as fire drills?

    I don’t mean karate or hand to hand stuff. I mean some common sense stuff.

    And put a bolt hole in every classroom that allows them to get to safety quickly.

  30. OldSoldier54 says:

    “May I be so radical as to suggest that school boards all across this country take a hard look at their administrative trees and lop off a few of those really questionable deputy superintendents for this, and assistant deputy superintendents for that”

    Clark County School District (Vegas) is so top-heavy, it’s sick. It needs to be seriously cut back, but that is about as unlikely as the Second Coming tomorrow morning.

  31. UpNorth says:

    @#28. “Local police should also need to secure a quarter-mile perimeter around campus”. Nice theory, but in reality, that won’t work. The school district I worked for had schools in the city and in the county. The city had 2 officers on duty on the day shift, and 3 schools, that left 11 schools in the county. The county hardly ever put out 11 cars on day shift. So, who answers calls for service from the citizenry if they’re busy securing a quarter mile perimeter around each school?

  32. WigWam says:

    @31 Local police are our first line of defense. Whether it be a zombie virus to a Russian invasion, they serve as the nation’s domestic right arm. I’d be all for increasing police force/size if it means good cops protecting good people. Definitely a lot less cheaper than getting a bunch of ex-SF operators to guard every school.

    Police today are terribly under appreciated. If anyone’s actually defending our freedom, it’d be them. They’re the ones locking up criminals and the only appreciation they get is cut wages/pink slips. We don’t face any foreign threat, there’s no country in the World that can ever match our military capabilities. We can’t handle the fact that the enemy comes from within, not from the outside.

  33. Nik says:

    @32

    I’d be all for increasing police force/size if it means good cops protecting good people. Definitely a lot less cheaper than getting a bunch of ex-SF operators to guard every school.

    True. You just have to convince the locals to approve the tax and spending to get more cops.

  34. ArmyChic says:

    Maybe there’s another way. We’ve been sending our kids to public schools for long, entrusting the public to keep our kids safe. Then there’s stuff like the Troops To Teachers programs. What are we doing??? Why can’t our Vets get together, get a heck of a small business loan, and start our own academys? We can operate private elementary through middle schools and staff them as we wish. In many states, private charter schools are entitled to many of the same funds as public schools. If our public schools cant keep our children safe and won’t let us in, then we will build new schools.

  35. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    @34. The problem with your suggestion is that starting competing schools that are not beholden to the teachers’ unions will result in educated children. We can’t have that. A truly educated populace that is also armed is the greatest threat to government. And we can’t have that either.

  36. ArmyChic says:

    Looks like they’re intent on disarming us. At least give them a fighting chance. Can you just imagine??? We can give back tag, dodgeball and teach self defense in PE. And no more “participation” medals. We’re not all winners. Kids need to learn how to cope with losing. Fact of life. The more I think about it, the saner my idea becomes. Many of the current “military” academies are too expensive and run by military wannabes. This could actually work….

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