Nacogdoches active shooter trainer says schools need trained, armed officers

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - All sorts of complex "fixes" are being thrown out by politicians and citizens on how to prevent future school shooting. Today in Nacogdoches, a trained, active shooter-responder offered East Texas News a "simple solution."

Retired US Army Special Operations Master Sgt. Paul Howe joins the nation's sadness over the latest school shooting.

"It was like a kick in the gut," Howe said.

But more than others, the former assault team leader, sniper, and senior instructor in Army Special Operations is also growing weary of the "lip service about protecting our children."

"The only way to protect them is put an officer there," Howe said.

The owner of Combat Shooting and Tactics, a training ground for active shooter response teams, said an armed, trained officer in every school is a simple solution to senseless massacres.

"When that person knows that this is a police presence or an armed presence, they kill themselves, and that's problem solved right there, but you've got to have somebody on-site to do that," Howe said.

Howe wrote the book on training for the fight against active shooters. He claims response time and skill can match any high-powered weapon.

"It's the person actually driving the gun, so if they can make the hit, they can stop the problem," Howe said.

So why not arm teachers and staff with guns?

"Maybe as a combat vet or a military timer or a former police officer, yep, they could probably do a lot of good, but for the average teacher, no, I don't think it's a good idea," Howe said.

Instead Howe suggested training officers who already have the mindset of being capable of taking a deadly critical shot should it become necessary.

"I have to be able to change the angle, right, left, up or down and I can change which way that bullet goes through the target," Howe said. "And the answer is if you can't make the shot, you don't pull the trigger."

Howe said he believes issues lie shielding guns from the mentally ill and ending the glamorization of violence should be addressed too.

"I've seen people die; it's not glamorous," Howe said.

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