Ohio Schools 0, Bloomberg 1

In March, an Ohio district court appellate judge reversed a lower court’s decision regarding a school district’s policy mandating 26 hours of training for school employees authorized to carry concealed firearms for the protection of their schools. Read about it here.

Here we go again: lawyers, guns, and money.  Ohio statute clearly authorizes the governing board of a school district to approve the carry of firearms by whomever they choose. This district – which in fact suffered a school shooting in 2016 – wrote a policy, similar to those of hundreds of other districts across the state and thousands more around the country, specifying the selection and training process for employees interested in carrying concealed firearms. Their training requirement was for 26 hours of initial training, which is a fairly common and entirely adequate standard.

The plaintiffs in this lawsuit, seeking to stop implementation of the new policy (passed by their elected school board), sued on the absurd basis that another statute, governing cops and security guards employed by schools, should override the clear intent of the legislature, and require that teachers, administrators, custodians, or any other employee authorized to carry a firearm complete the same 728 hours of peace officer training that full-time officers undergo.  The first judge very sensibly ruled against this; now an appellate judge sympathetic to the anti-gun sentiments of the plaintiffs has reversed that decision and required full peace officer training for armed school employees. 

Don’t for a minute think that this is anything but lawyerly opportunism by anti-gun zealots, encouraged and financially backed, as all reports confirm, by Everytown for Gun Safety, Mike Bloomberg’s national gun control group.  When will Americans get tired of letting Mike Bloomberg’s money decide firearms law?

The merits of the case are simple and clear.  Allowing concealed carry by school staff has only one goal:  to enable an immediate response to a lethal threat in the schools, during the critical response gap of 5-20 minutes before police are capable of intervening, and during which almost every school shooting is over and done with, leaving the victims bleeding out on the floor.  Armed staff are not cops; they do not rescue cats and babies, save children from demonic clowns, write traffic citations, or arrest students for selling drugs, vandalizing property, and fighting on the playground. 

In Ohio, those 728 hours of peace officer training encompass the following categories: Administration, Legal, Human Relations, Driving, Subject Control, First Aid, Patrol, Civil Disorders, Traffic, Investigation, Physical Conditioning, and oh yes, Firearms.  Exactly 60 hours of firearms training covering handguns, shotguns, patrol rifles, and more. 

Armed school staff train with handguns only. Their live fire range time is supplemented with scenario-based training that teaches specific and appropriate tactics and decision making specific to reacting to a lethal threat on school property; specific state and local laws defining the legal use of lethal force; and immediate life-saving medical care as taught in the American College of Surgeons “Stop the Bleed” course.  This is very little different than any good citizen’s training for safe, responsible, and effective carry of a handgun for self-defense.  Across America, this training is accomplished by a wide variety of training providers in 24-40 hour programs.  Distributed Security, Inc. is one of those providers; we know whereof we speak.

But the plaintiffs in this case and their fellow travelers across the country could care less about the logic of the thing. They don’t believe in self-reliance, self-defense, constitutional rights, or the principle of governmental decisions and responsibility at the lowest possible level. They just want fewer guns everywhere, fewer and fewer until they’re gone, and will fight bitterly with their sponsoring billionaires’ money to advance that goal. It’s a pity that we have judges on the bench who sympathize with them, but there are plenty of good ones out there too, and Ohio’s Madison Local Schools will almost certainly win this fight on the next appeal. If you don’t like the way this latest decision went, find a way to support them in their continuing fight for the safety of their schoolchildren.

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