If you arm teachers, don't spare the training

As I held my wife in my arms the other night, I couldn't help wondering if she should be trained for combat.

So much for sweet dreams.

Actually, as I lay there, I also wondered if I was going insane.

America, 2012, seems a tragically strange and bizarre place to be.

Given what happened at Newtown and Columbine, many Americans, including Clark County Republican activist Chuck Muth, think she and other teachers should carry concealed weapons.

Why beef up security when you can get a teacher to try to act like Annie Oakley or the Lone Ranger?

My Patricia, bless her heart, a pistol-packin' mama.

In a recent "Muth's Truths" blog, the former Clark County GOP chairman noted that at Newtown "none of the adults, survivors or slain, were armed with the ability to shoot back to defend themselves, their colleagues or those innocent children. As such, all were proverbial lambs to slaughter. Makes my blood boil."

Muth and others across the country, including Texas Gov. Rick Perry, believe it would be better for the public health if educators are packing heat should Adam Lanza types show up at another school.

Who knows? Maybe my wife would be like Pam Grier in "Foxy Brown" and easily take out one villain after another.

Maybe she and her handgun would have no problem wiping out somebody carrying an assault weapon.

I kind of doubt, though, that her reality would be quite as exacting as Foxy Brown's. Something tells me that passing a firearms safety course doesn't guarantee that under pressure she won't squeeze off a few rounds that miss their mark.

And hit a child. Or children. If that happened, I suspect she'd have a heart attack and die right there. To devote more than 40 years of her life to teaching precious children and then to hurt or kill one ---- well, she couldn't live with that.

Accuracy with a handgun under duress, as any firearms expert will tell you, is found more on television and in the movies than in real life. Just recently, two cops wounded nine innocent bystanders on a New York City street while taking out just one bad guy.

So if the arm-the-teacher argument is to make any sense at all, that means honest-to-goodness combat training.

Which will ensure that teachers aren't outgunned by intruders with assault rifles.

And that means teaching my Patricia and teachers across the United States to use the M16s that I and millions of other American soldiers have used since the Vietnam War. It uses 30-round magazines, can fire hundreds of rounds in a minute, turning each teacher into a one-man or one-woman wrecking crew.

The rifle also has a grenade launcher for nonlethal stun grenades.

Each teacher should wear his or her rifle in a sling that hangs across the chest, just as Patty Hearst did when she represented the Symbionese Liberation Army during a bank robbery. By having weapons in that position, little time will be lost going from the dry-erase board to the trigger.

To ensure that teachers hold up well in combat, it would be best to send them to Afghanistan before sending them to the classroom. With a few firefights under their belts, the teachers will be less likely to panic under pressure. Those who do panic when battling the Taliban, of course, should lose their teaching licenses.

Still, when classroom teachers are firing 30 rounds in a couple of seconds, there may well be what the military calls collateral damage. Students and other teachers could get in the way, as might police officers and medics responding to a 911 call.

And unfortunately if that was a result of my Patricia's trigger finger, she would have a heart attack and die.

I think it may be time for her to retire. And time for me to see a shrink.

Contact reporter Paul Harasim at pharasim@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2908.