January 30, 2013 - I have to sincerely applaud the Oxford Board of Education for making the prudent decision last week to arm their private security personnel.
For the record, I still believe having officers employed by the Oakland County Sheriff's Dept. in our schools is the superior and wiser choice, but until that happens, I'll support this stopgap measure.
The bottom-line is if some deranged or evil individual comes into one of our schools with the intent of killing lots of staff and students, I want a trained person there armed with a gun, ready to defend innocent lives with deadly force.
I want somebody on the premises with the ability to incapacitate or kill the intruder and realistically, you can't do that without a gun.
You don't bring a walkie-talkie to a gun fight.
I have absolutely no problem introducing guns into Oxford Schools because a gun is a morally-neutral object.
Guns are neither good nor bad. Guns are tools, plain and simple. It's how they're used and who's pulling the trigger that's either good or bad.
Someone who uses a gun to kill a classroom full of students is bad. Someone who uses a gun to kill that person before he or she can inflict any more damage is good.
Make no mistake, I don't believe having someone armed in the schools means zero innocent people are going to die if some lunatic decides to go on a rampage.
If someone armed with a gun and bent on killing manages to get inside one of our schools, people are going to die. There's no way around it. But I believe the number of people who will die can be decreased significantly with armed security or police inside the school.
I don't mean to sound cold or insensitive, but the staff in the front offices – secretaries, principals, etc. – are most likely going to die in that type of scenario.
But if there's an armed good guy waiting in the hallways, the chances are very good they will be able take down the intruder before they can make their way to a classroom to continue their killing spree.
By the way, all that's assuming the shooter is an intruder. Fact is, the district's "safe and secure" entrances can do nothing to stop a disgruntled or mentally unstable student who decides to bring a gun to school. In that scenario, it would be very wise to have an armed person on premises, ready to intervene at a moment's notice.
Let's be clear, I don't want anybody to die, but no matter how much we try, we can't control the world or the actions of others and I'd rather the death toll be two or three instead of 20 or 30. I'm simply being realistic. It's sad I have to think that way and do that type of grim math, but unfortunately, that's the world we live in.
Through its decision to arm school security, the Oxford Board of Education is acknowledging the world we live in, not the world we want to or hope to live in. The board's being practical and that's going to save lives.
This isn't some John Lennon song where we can simply imagine the bad guys away or stick flowers in their guns. This is a world where good people need guns to defend themselves and other innocent folks against bad people.
The idea of an armed security guard mingling with Oxford students on a daily basis doesn't bother me at all.
The idea of an unarmed security guard laying dead in the hallway as a shooter steps over the body to enter a classroom does bother me. It should bother all of us.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.