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In response to last December's school shooting in Newtown, Conn., the Clarksville, Ark. school district has moved to train and arm teachers with concealed weapons as a measure to prevent a similar scenario. On Tuesday, “Piers Morgan Live” hosted a lively discussion between CNN Political Commentator Ben Ferguson and Mary Cathryn Ricker, President of the St. Paul Federation for Teachers, on the topic of the appropriateness of having guns in schools.
Ferguson offered specific examples of why arming teachers will effectively reduce gun violence:
“These teachers are volunteering and they know their school better than any police officer will in their community ... you're training them with 50-plus hours in their school only. They're not doing police training like police do where their hours are diluted in all different scenarios," explained the Conservative radio host. "And the most important reason – in Arkansas specifically – they had one of the worst shootings early on in history when in Jonesboro, you had an 11 and 13-year-old take out a teacher, students, and not only that, wound a bunch of their classmates and no one was there to stop them."
On the other side, Ricker expressed concern that the growing pervasiveness of gun culture in schools has both emotional and pragmatic repercussions:
“When you have students and families and other adults who have already had traumatic gun violence in their lives, are you now creating a classroom as a traumatic place for them where the classroom had been a sanctuary for them,” she told Piers Morgan. “I think you also have to look at the fact that, you know, in this perfect scenario you're talking about a teacher who in a split second is going to have access to a firearm that is not going to equal what these murders are bringing into schools, either.”
The conviction of Wikileaks’ source Bradley Manning may prove to offer a foreshadowing of what may be in store for American’s most recent leaker, Edward Snowden. On Tuesday, former Assistant Secretary of State of Public Affairs PJ Crowley joined “Piers Morgan Live,” offering some comparisons between some of America’s biggest leaks and discussing the fine line that separates whistleblowers from traitors:
“Daniel Ellsberg, in my opinion, was a whistleblower. He was intimately aware of the report that he and others had authored within the defense department,” Crowley explained. “He tried to get those in Congress in the executive branch to pay attention, you know, to the findings in that report and then went to "The New York Times" as a last resort. In the case of Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, they went to 'The Guardian' and to Wikileaks as a first resort."
So, by Crowley’s standards, source implies intention, which consequently tarnishes the reputations of Manning and Snowden:
“I don't see them as whistleblowers.”
The surveillance video that shows inmate Derrick Estell jumping through a 12-by-30-inch reception window at an Arkansas detention center feels like a scene right out of a movie. On Tuesday, “Piers Morgan Live” asked Forensic Scientist Lawrence Kobilinsky for his reaction to the escape, and suggestions for ways in which it might be avoided:
“I think it's very important that when somebody is taken into custody, that there is some assessment of dangerousness, risk level, because you want more security on a person that poses a risk. So that is the reason why we have facilities that are minimum-, medium- or high-level security prisons. Aside from a deep-rooted motivation, Kobilinsky argues that escapes are often successfully executed when there is a means for collaboration:
“Many escapes occur because they are well-planned out. There is communication with an accomplice on the outside or inside, somebody that will help you accomplish the task at hand.”
Estell and his accomplice are still on the run.