Monday, August 2, 2021
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On the issue of arming people in schools

BUSHMASTER AR-15I oppose putting more guns into schools

A policeman with a sidearm will be no match for someone with the AR-15 Bushmaster shown above. I do not want to turn our schools into armed camps.

I wrote a version of this as a comment in an on-line discussion about Terry McAuliffe's proposal to place armed policemen in every school in the Commonwealth. Since then we have had a parallel proposal from Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association to have armed NRA trained volunteers in every school. Governor McDonnell has argued for training school personnel to carry weapons as a means of keeping students secure. All three are wrong.

Keep in mind there was an armed policeman at Columbine.

Keep in mind that the Fort Hood shooting took place in the midst of a heavily armed military base.

And keep in mind that just as LaPierre was holding a press conference, a man was walking down a highway in rural Pennsylvania shooting people.  He killed three and wounded several others, including State Policemen, before he himself died.

The best use of policemen in schools is the building of relationships.

Please continue as I offer my thoughts beneath the fold.  I write this as an educator, someone who had military training with firearms, and someone who is well aware of how unprepared even trained police are to handle a situation like Columbine or Sandy Springs Elementary.

Don’t Cry For Obama, Stan McChrystal

General McChrystal violated a single most honored standard of behavior among general/flag officers: dignified collegiality. One purpose of CAPSTONE is to round off edges left from any stunted professional military growth. A fourth generation military officer failed the course's standard. This isn't the first time; just a more public one.

A particular demeanor is expected among general officers that extends beyond the military to civilian counterparts in government and industry, not just to the President and up "the chain of command." Upon selection to general or flag grade, every single officer is sent to the CAPSTONE "leadership course." CAPSTONE, quaintly known as the generals' knife and fork course, helps forge relationships and build cooperation across the services and interagency. When you have a star or stars, access follows. That access is used judiciously and within limits just as in any human endeavor at stratospheric levels of authority. The air is a bit thin up there, and if you cannot adapt, you quickly suffocate. The measure of CAPSTONE success is how far a flag officer continues to breathe. Apparently Stanley McChrystal's flame wasn't snuffed early enough; this at least is his third strike. Why? And what does this say about how some military officers' careers are nurtured?

There is no reason to be either a screamer or to act out in passive aggressive fashion as a flag officer. First there is the power of the position. Next there are the relationships. Then there is also a backchannel method of communication that is available when flag officers want to make a point. When attention and emphasis are desired or when there is a point of contention, a message is sent "Personal For" (P-4) to formally establish the record. And if after you have expressed your position, you don't get the outcome desired, you salute smartly and carry on; or you retire. If you can't follow orders, time to be gone. Hold your tongue until then. Rolling Stone is not the usual transmission medium for P-4s.