- - Sunday, March 4, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

I believe we should do everything possible to keep killers out of our schools. But even if our best efforts fail (and they will), we need a last line of defense to protect the children. That last defense, I believe, should be a concealed carry program (CCP). A few well-qualified volunteers (staff or teachers) would be authorized to carry concealed weapons following thorough background screenings and proper training. This training should include initial certifications on a firing range and recertification every six months so the volunteers would be able to react professionally in an emergency.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed by a shooter last month, probably has several hundred teachers and staff to draw from for CCP volunteers. From this large pool I expect 20 or 30 volunteers could have been recruited and spread throughout the school. That could have resulted in a different outcome Feb. 14.

A CCP would be better than hiring retired police or military members who would sit around drawing paychecks for years. I would also recommend that schools with CCPs put up large signs in front that read: “This school has a concealed carry program to discourage anyone who would do harm to our children or staff.” I believe the sign would be the most effective aspect of the CCP.

PAUL MCMANAMEN

Upper Marlboro



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