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AL State Senator Bill Holtzclaw Talking Sense on Arming Teachers: Will the Legislature Listen?

by: countrycat

Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 11:08:27 AM CST

AL State Senator Bill Holtzclaw (SD-2) is taking issue with Albertville Representative Kerry Rich's (HD-26) plan to allow public school personnel to carry weapons.  The GOP Senator makes a compelling case for why Rich's plan is, well, just plain stupid (my words, not his).

Holtzclaw is a retired Marine who served as a Primary Marksmanship Instructor. He does an excellent job dissecting flaws in Rich's reasoning.

For instance, Rich's plan requires school personnel to "undergo firearms training every six months."  Holtzclaw notes that the requirement is inadequate:

Then there is the most important skill set - being an effective shooter - putting steel on target.  This can only be acquired over time through regular trips to the firing range.  When training Marines I shot several weapons in a single day and hundreds of rounds of ammunition a week – it was my primary job. Today, I’m good, but I’m not nearly as good as I once was. My point, it takes time and dedication to acquire and maintain this skill level. Should we expect teachers to maintain this skill level when armed in a school with our children? 

Holtzclaw also notes a huge flaw in the proponents' plan to arm teachers and principals:the chaos factor.  This is the first thing that occurred to me when putting guns in schools was first proposed as a "solution" to school safety.

I have a shotgun and a handgun and I target shoot.  I can hit my target most of the time with the .38 and 95+% of the time with the shotgun. But before each shot, I have to take a second or two to check my stance, slow my breathing, and aim.  At no time am I hiding behind furniture, checking my back for an assailant, dealing with panicked bystanders running in front of me, or afraid for my life.

Holtzclaw describes a similar situation:

We must include high stress training environments that go along with rapid decision making; is the shooter active or threatening, on the move or holed up with hostages? We must add the fog of war in our training - loud noises, confusion, gun flashes, confined spaces, people being shot, people running into the line of fire; you get the point. We should also include draw techniques from our concealed carry position. This will vary widely based on how the weapon is being carried, how crowded the room is, and where the shooter is encountered. Simply put, our teachers must train, train, train in realistic environments.

Um yes.  The reason the military & police spend so much time and money on training is because it's crucial to their success and their safety.  No matter how skilled you are as a range shooter, a live fire situation requiring a clear head and split-second decision making is a totally different matter.

Senator Holtzclaw is a trained Marine and he knows that.  We can only hope that the rest of our legislators will listen to the experts and to the almost unanimous disapproval of school officials. 

I don't agree with Holtzclaw on many issues, but he's right on this one and deserves an "attaboy" for trying to stop the stampede.


countrycat :: AL State Senator Bill Holtzclaw Talking Sense on Arming Teachers: Will the Legislature Listen?
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You mean (4.00 / 1)
it's not as simple as more guns? /snark

It is interesting to me that in the Fort Hood shooting, the gunman killed or wounded 42 folks - many if not all of whom had military training. But it took a police force TRAINED FOR THAT KIND OF SITUATION to stop him.

Wikipedia on Fort Hood shooting

I've got three tools in my arsenal: my voice, my wallet, and my vote.

yep... n/t (0.00 / 0)

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."  - John Kenneth Galbraith

[ Parent ]
Rep. Christopher England has this to say (0.00 / 0)

on his Facebook page:

I appreciate all of the responses I got about the proposed legislation to arm educators. Your feedback always helps in informing my positions. School safety and security are important issues. However, this legislation appears to be more of an overreaction to a horrible tragedy than a reasonable and viable solution. Additionally, this issue is much more complex than just giving an educator a gun and hoping for the best. While I have yet to see the actual legislation, I have a hard time imagining a scenario that would lead me to believe that arming a teacher or administrator is a good starting point for any real discussion regarding this issue. For me, a comprehensive approach would focus more on access to weaponry and access to adequate mental health treatment. I may be wrong and I welcome all feedback.


"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."  - John Kenneth Galbraith

as better said by the senator marine, (4.00 / 1)

I agree.  I'm a damn good shot as long as you dont arm the tin cans or paper targets; yet even if could hit moving target in chaotic school firefight, I can't control richochets.

I asked again - though it bore you - what's wrong with some too many Alabamans. Yep! that question is a statement?

I include Albertville Representative Kerry Rich and all the poor folk who elected him.

Call him, ask him, what's wrong with you?

(256) 582-0619
(256) 293-8485 


The wrong solution indicates something wrong with him. The wrong legislator indicates something wrong with the electorate.

The precise answer, obscene and clinical. 


Qui bibit, dormit; qui dormit, non peccat; qui non peccat, sanctus est; ergo qui bibit sanctus est.

In case you missed it, (0.00 / 0)

Military policy, as explained in the Wikipedia article linked by mpmarus, doesn't allow military members to carry their personal firearms on base, and military weapons are used only for training or by base security. So, military bases in the USA are essentially gun free zones where the soldiers can't defend themselves from a killer. The same would apply to gun free schools.

In the Fort Hood shooting 3 UNARMED people, 2 of them soldiers, attempted to stop Hasan by rushing him, and they were killed by Hasan. Had even one of them been armed Hasan might have been stopped before killing and wounding others.

Eventually Hasan was stopped by an ARMED member of the base civilian police.

A similar scenario occurred when 20 children and 6 adults were killed in the shooting in the school in Connecticut. If one of the adults had been armed they might have saved lives.

All I'm saying is that this issue has more than one side to it.

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge...."      Hosea 4:6

SPLC involvement in similar issues (0.00 / 0)

The SPLC has been distributing training materials at no charge to Police Departments all over the country for at least 2 years to help police officers respond and survive unexpected assaults on them by hate groups, in traffic stops no less. Preventing and/or stopping violent actions by wing nuts, especially by TEACHERS in schools, is far more complicated than handing out guns and individual firearms training. Police Officers are trained professionals, and even they cannot always rely on their instincts to tell them when their lives are in imminent danger.  

Yet the NRA would have us believe the best solution to combat a "bad guy with a gun" is a "good guy with a gun!?"  Get real!

Teachers are professionals trained to use their instincts to TEACH, not to react instinctively to life threatening situations!  By the time a teacher reacted, they would be dead, or would have taken the life of an otherwise non threatening individual who entered the school by unauthorized means.

These are the kind of situations which have caused police departments across the nation to implement policies requiring police officers involved in a shooting to be immediately placed on administrative leave! 



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