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Category Archives: 063 5GW Theory

Another Perspective on “Arming Teachers”

Jon Alexander has raised some serious challenges to the concept of “arming teachers” to strengthen security in our schools. Allow me to shift the debate somewhat by adjusting its fundamental assumptions.

Speculation isn’t necessary

In the U.S. today, at least fourteen states have laws on the books which allow school boards to authorize concealed carry of firearms by school staff, under various conditions, while ten more states do not restrict concealed carry to school staff members only, although most of them still require specific, individual permission of the governing school board. The number is growing every year: last year, Wyoming joined; this year bills are pending in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Meantime, in Ohio alone, over 1,000 trained school staff members are carrying concealed handguns in more than one-quarter of the school districts in that state. In South Dakota, Texas, Colorado and other states, significant and growing numbers of school staff members are already legally carrying concealed firearms – while Utah has allowed anyone with a state concealed carry permit to carry a firearm on school property for going on 19 years.

So, this is not a new idea; quite the contrary. We have a considerable amount of experience with it, and because of the decentralized approach, wherein state laws and school board policies differ, we have quite a variety of experiments underway.

How is it working out? Famously. While mass shooters have not been particularly deterred by the presence of uniformed School Resource Officers (Columbine High School and Parkland, Florida being particular examples), there is no evidence of a single school shooting taking place in any district across the country where trained, non-law enforcement school staff members are carrying concealed weapons. Correlation is not causation, but that fact cannot be easily dismissed.

There are also zero examples of injuries resulting from the kind of mishaps commonly predicted by the skeptics: no accidental shootings, no rowdy students shot by frustrated teachers, no gun take-aways by students. They’re just not happening.

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Can the Free Market Provide National Defense?

Tom Woods hosts a debate (Ep. 1062 of the Tom Woods Show) between economist Bob Murphy (Ph.D., NYU – arguing for) and podcaster Todd Lewis (arguing against) who square off in the central debate of anarcho-capitalism: is government truly necessary for national defense, or could the free market (through Private Defense Agencies or “PDAs) provide this service?

Great points are made on both sides, however, we believe what is being argued here is only half the picture.

Much like personal defense, when one abdicates personal responsibility/security to a third party causes you to abdicate control, placing yourself behind in the decision-making process, limiting potential solutions to problems, increasing cost, and introducing moral hazards.

While PDAs are a necessary part of dealing with decentralized/asymmetric warfare (4th Generation Warfare), they are only a part of the answer.

What’s the other half of the picture and a better answer?

Distributed security.

Where individuals and communities can come together and provide security solutions as needed, and disband when it’s not.

Think of the Swiss system on steroids with a greater free market twist (like PDAs) and you will see the underpinnings of the solution.

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