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A gun or a badge

rainey BARRETT
RAINEY

 
Second
Thoughts

Armed police in every school. Every teacher packing a gun. The NRA’s outrageous ideas for school safety. Just how outrageous will be even more evident if a little test going on at a high school this week in li’l ol’ Nampa, Idaho, works as everyone thinks it will.

Imagine each teacher replacing the badge most now wear around their necks with a similar one that tracks their immediate locations, calls the police and puts a threatened school on “lockdown.” Within four seconds. Automatically. That’s what they’re trying out in Nampa this week.

EKAHAU is the outfit that makes these things. Along with a lot of other hi-tech gizmos used in hospitals and mental institutions that work off a common WiFi system.. One version is a little device that looks like a badge but you hang this one in the refrigerated cabinet where blood or certain drugs are stored. If the temperature varies outside desired degrees, it flashes a warning at the nurse’s station.

Or, a violent mental patient attacks an employee. Touch one of the tag “hot spots” and security – even off-campus local police – know instantly help is needed. All kinds of uses.

Put one on a teacher, for example. In an emergency, a “hot spot” touch will summon help if that teacher is attacked. Or, pull the badge and lanyard apart quickly and the school immediately goes on “lockdown” and the nearest police emergency dispatch is notified. Immediately. Silently.

Obviously something this good is not cheap. The cost for all the badges and peripheral gadgets in the Nampa case is a little more than $20,000. But a local donor has put up the money for the tryout.

Now, which would you rather have? A teacher carrying a gun trying to shoot it out with an armed assailant while also trying to protect 30 screaming and terrified, running kids. Or, a teacher with a small badge giving an immediate silent warning to the entire school and local law enforcement? Go ahead. You decide. I’ll wait.

So, is the NRA idea to make sharpshooters out of teachers outrageous? It certainly is in my book. A “good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun?” Or an alert teacher who can communicate with the entire school staff and local police just by touching a piece of plastic hung around her neck.

We’ll keep an eye on the Nampa experiment and let you know. I wish ‘em well. Seems like a damned fine idea. And please don’t tell Wayne LaP. This is a bit outside-the-box for him.

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