Letters to the Editor

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SHOOTING: Why not train select school staff?

Letter by James S. Brown, M.D., University Place on Dec. 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm with No Comments »
December 18, 2012 2:20 pm

The human body is a wonder to behold. Yet there’s evidence that malignant cells arise daily in our body. Fortunately, a lymphocyte named the “killer T-cell” identifies malignant cells and ordinarily eliminates them.

John Dean of Watergate fame once told the president that “there is a cancer on the presidency.” One could argue that the mass killings by a few dysfunctional persons in our nation are of themselves “a cancer on our nation.”

Some have called for arming teachers with lethal weapons to protect our children. Instead, why not emulate the air marshal program employed to protect airline passengers from terrorists and rogue passengers?

Such persons could be specially trained teachers or administrative staff. Part of their effectiveness is that they could be present in most schools but they would not be identifiable. A person determined to kill would likely start with uniformed guards. But widespread knowledge that they are “out there, but hidden in plain sight” would have a deterrent effect.

If a killer entered our schools anyway, such persons would be ready to defend more effectively than the many heroes who died trying to save students at Sandy Hook Elementary. By borrowing from the wisdom of our own biology, we may be able to offer protection from the horrific acts of a deranged and vicious killer.


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