By The Bakersfield Californian
The utter naivety of these legislators who think arming staff will increase safety is amazing ("Train janitors to defend our campuses?," Feb. 2). Clearly this is a case of ideology running ahead of judgement. The problem is the nutcases who perpetrate these horrific crimes have a couple of things going for them. First, the element of surprise. These events, as ugly as they are, are rare and only a tiny percentage of schools will ever experience this sort of attack. In the meantime citizens whose daily duties have nothing to do with armed attacks most likely haven't the mindset to even be able to safely and effectively respond to some nut with a semi-automatic.
People touting the NRA line have been complaining that the mainstream press has been ignoring a story about an event in Texas where some nut with a gun came into the theater intent on conducting a brain-dead attack on innocents. An off-duty lady police officer who was armed stopped the attack. The point here is she is a trained officer who practices with her weapons on a regular basis, and that is the key. Trained responders have to keep practicing and training to keep their skills up to snuff, something a teacher or janitor most likely won't be doing.
We might also do a better job of caring for the mentally ill. That costs money, but that would be the more effective way to prevent violent, senseless acts.
Stephen A. Montgomery