Should Teachers be Armed with Guns?
What is your initial reaction to arming teachers, coach’s administration and other adults in in school with guns? Is it the best way to protect our schools? Schools are now having active shooter drills to our kids feel prepared if it does occur at their school. The odds of it happening “seem so remote, that you think might as well take your chances, because that is the price we pay to live in a free society. The odds are higher than anyone wants to think about. Having more police presence, hiring more security guards, installing more advanced security in our schools is more an acceptable idea than having teachers carrying guns into the classroom. Having certain resource officers and a select members of the school staff carrying a gun is not such a bad idea, if they are trained in carrying a gun and are prepared to shoot a student if they have too in an active shooter situation. Almost every day you hear of another school shooting, parents are afraid to send their children to school not knowing when they drop off their son or daughter off it will be the last. There need to be some more things to do to help parents and teachers feel less anxiety and stress while they’re at school and if it does the worst scenario does happen that their school is prepared to protect them. Students and teachers need to feel safe when at school, besides home isn’t school one place that a student spends a majority of their time. Our children our one of our most precious resources, why in the world are we going to put them in a circumstance where there is nobody that is armed and trained at any of our schools to be able to respond quickly to an active shooter situation.
Arming Teachers Makes Them the Obvious First Target
There are so many reasons that arming teachers is a bad proposal but first are we putting a target on our teachers than. Teachers are not soldiers — they lack the training, legal standing, and frankly, the psychological ability to make split-second, life-or-death decisions about the use of deadly force. The first thing the shooter will do when he walks in is start shooting all the teachers or adults who are possibly carrying weapons. It’s impossible to know whether a potential school shooter would in fact be deterred by the prospect of armed teachers. But the logistical reality, not to mention the lack of evidence a plan would even work, has most teachers turned off to the idea of packing heat in the classroom. Sometimes imagining you’re in the situation, for example assume the role of the mentally unstable person intent on shooting up a classroom. And remember that just because you’re mentally unstable doesn’t make you stupid. So, you walk into a classroom knowing the teacher may be armed and so naturally the teacher will be the first target. Then the only adult in the room with any chance of helping the kids is gone.
“School Districts across the region are reviewing safety measures (Washington Post, 2018). Some are not for arming school employees but that they are open to other options, more resource officers at every school. But in absence of gun control securing schools becomes a much-involved task. The current offering of arming teachers may sound reasonable to some.
The Time and cost of Arming Teachers
Teachers do much more than give lectures and assign homework. Their responsible for all their own paperwork- from grading to attendance to making copies as well as their required presence at any number of mandatory meetings, with parents, conferences, staff meetings. Teachers they don’t just have the job to educate their students but they’re in a full-time managerial position as well (keeping students on task, redirecting from distractions, dealing with behavioral issues, etc.). No teacher needs the added responsibility of being a fully trained and competent shooter. To have the added responsibility of carrying a gun all day could take a lot more time out of their day. “For teachers who carry firearms would assume a variety of similar day to day risks, for instance armed teachers could unintentionally discharge their firearm or have their guns taken by an angry student while trying to break up a fight (The Conversation, 2018)”. “Carrying a firearm responsibly involves continuous awareness of the weapon and the situation, understanding complex laws around self-defense, and mental preparedness to end a human life if necessary. More than half of the concealed carry license holders we interviewed, and dozens of online discussants stated that they sometimes leave their firearm at home to avoid the burden of having to maintain this mindset (The Conversation, 2018)”.
If it was having teachers who have already had gun training, liked retired military personnel, it would be a different idea. Because than it could be an option for a teacher if they wanted too. “It’s not responsible to be handing out gun to drama teachers and biology teachers (Washington Post, 2018)”. Than just imagine the time and money it could take your average teacher to be comfortable enough to carry with them for eight to ten hours a day and take the responsibility that comes with that.
“What does it mean in economic terms for one out of every five teachers to be prepared to engage with an armed individual intent on murdering students at a school? “Data from the Department of Education indicates there are an estimated 3.1 million public school and 400,000 private-school teachers in the United States. In total, there are about 3.6 million teachers. One-fifth of that total is 718,000 —a bit fewer than the number of people in the Army and the Navy combined as of last December. We would essentially be adding 50 percent to the size of the military by mandating that nearly three-quarters of a million people be trained and prepared to take up arms to defend civilians.
The first cost that needs to be considered is training. What sort of training would be required isn’t clear. Do we want to simply teach the teachers how to target an individual and fire a weapon? Or do we want something more expansive?
Let’s say we want the bare minimum, just enough to pass the safety requirement for gun ownership. In Maryland, there’s a company that will charge you $100 for that training. The cost, then, would be about $71.8 million for all our teachers” (The Washington Post, 2018). Finally, the cost will also trickle down for taxpayers to pay more tax.
Should Students Be told their Teacher is Carrying a Weapon?
It depends on their age “We don’t have to scare the heck out of kids,” (New York Times, 2018). If teachers are going to be carrying guns around children, there are different ways to tell them depending on their ages. For young kids you could read them a book and explain to them that there are reasons that people carry guns, some good some bad. When you are talking to older kids there needs to be honesty and openness when talking about guns and who should have them and who shouldn’t. We wouldn’t want to show any bias that could influence a student, it’s their right to feel either good about it or not. Some children are used to being around guns from their own homes, where parents have guns. There are always constructive ways to talk to children where it’s not scaring them but make them alert to what could happen in their school or even in their life. Any education we can teach our children can’t hurt them in their life, maybe in can help them to make better choices when or if they are ever put in a position with guns.
Kids expect to spend their day learning and engaging with their teachers and classmates, not hiding in a closet from and an active shooter or their classmates and teachers be killed. They should be able to walk through school with their friends or talking about upcoming math test, not worrying about where I would run to or where I would hide should a gunman open fire on their campus. It just makes sense that having teachers with guns in the classroom will put more stress on our children today.
What is the purpose of lockdown drills
Evacuation drills are designed to prepare students, teachers, administrators, and other people in the school to leave the building quickly and in a pre-planned and organized fashion in the event of danger such as a bomb threat, when conditions outside the building are safer than the conditions inside the building. “In a lockdown drill everyone in the school practices responding seamlessly to the present of and intruder. Teachers and students go to a secure location, like a classroom, closet or storage area that can be locked, and move out of sight, away from windows or doors. Speed is important. The typical gunman is like water, the experts said, following the path of least resistance. Typically, a gunman will not try to kick in a closed door but will look for one with a crack of light showing. The point of a lockdown drill is to know what to do automatically without having to think” (New York Times, 2018). Because most people who are put in that kind of horrible situation panic, which is only natural nut by doing these drills it teaches everyone not to panic too much and how to get themselves into a safe place till someone comes for them.
Back in the 1950s and 1960s, students went through “duck and cover” drills in anticipation of nuclear bomb blast. Today, students in classrooms and universities go through regular school lockdown drills. Lock down drills, required in most states, are a response to school shooting events that have occurred over the past few decades.
“Different schools may have different protocols. The important thing is that everyone, from teachers to students to parents, know what they are. It must be something that goes like clockwork” (New York Times, 2018).
Who Supports the idea
Arming teachers may be a ‘terrible’ or even a ‘ridiculous’ idea to critics, but some teachers across the country already bring guns to school. “The idea of arming teachers-or loosening state restrictions to allow concealed-carry permit holders to bring guns into schools-is often circulated after school attacks” (Education Week, 2018). By putting guns in hands of school staff is often met with resistance from educators, who say they don’t want the responsibility of carrying and securing a firearm on top of their already demanding jobs. Many teachers believe that arming themselves-and their-would make them less safe (Education Week, 2018). Is that just h a purely sentimental reaction, not a realistic counterargument; it is full of hot air and empty of any meaningful content.
At a speech after one of the school shootings the president argued that armed teachers might have been able to protect and save some of the victims. Some peoples believe that not having guns at our schools is like having sitting ducks for a gunman. As discussion has turned to how to stop the next shooting, some have asked for new rules to make it harder for weapons. That’s why others believe that there should be more guns in school, in hands of teachers and staff. With guns teachers would be able to immediately fire back if a sicko came to a school with bad intentions. There may not be a lot of them but there are teachers, principals, and the superintendents who do favor it. Jeffrey Woofter, a former sheriff and a superintendent of a West Virginia school district, does not think that all school personnel should be armed either. But he believes that trained staff should be allowed to carry concealed weapons or have access to concealed weapons on campus. He said “Schools are just sitting ducks because people know that you are not permitted to carry in schools, and that just makes them vulnerable.
They are about eight states that allow concealed weapons on campus if they have the correct training and paperwork, it they choose to have one on them at school. Some schools even have signs that say is armed and may use whatever force necessary to protect our students. Could that be enough to make a possible shooter think twice before entering that school and begin shooting? Maybe, but most people who have decided to go to schools and shoot it up are already in the mindset that by the end of it they are going to kill themselves or want to be shot before the whole thing ends. After these mass shootings have happened police seem to most of time find that they have been planning over a good period to do this horrible thing. Most them have a specific reason why they have chosen a certain school, whether it be they have been kicked out of that school or they have bad memories with someone in that school. So, having a teacher with a gun could help save some lives if they are one of the ones who are confronted with the gunman. Hopefully they would never have to use it, or even just use it to hold the gunman off until the police arrive.
After the Parkland, Florida high school shooting, several states have considered allowing teachers and staff to carry concealed handguns. The obvious question is how it has worked in the states that allow guns to be carried. There are no known cases where a teacher or staff member has had their gun taken from them. After the recent attacks on school, there is evidence that strong interest by many teachers in carrying. In a Missouri School, they have trained some of their teachers to carry guns, and most parents approve (Eligon, 2018).
In West Plains, MO a school district is just one of the five schools in the outskirts of West Plains that have started training teachers and staff to carry guns in schools. With all the school shootings happening across the country, they felt it was time to do something to protect themselves from this happening at their schools. In these communities’ kids by age six have learned how to safely handle a weapon and even shot their first deer (Eligon, 2018). Guns are pretty much part of the normal, so why wouldn’t they think that one of these mass shootings could happen in their town. Not that guns are looked down upon it’s the opposite they are very much a part of their everyday life. A qualified teacher with a handgun on their hip is perfectly capable of instructing a classroom. Where is the evidence to suggest otherwise? Some people simply do not like guns — they see guns as nasty, scary, loud, part of a culture of which they are entirely unfamiliar — and they believe that letting teachers carry guns will somehow destroy or defile the educational environment. People are perfectly entitled to their opinions, of course. But this is a debate concerning public safety, and we should not allow anti-gun ideology to influence such a pressing and critical dialogue. It’s fine if some people don’t like guns, but that doesn’t mean we should prevent responsible people from carrying them and using them. We need to do something about our school shooting problem. We should not leave our schools open to such attacks. There is a reason that crazed gunmen never shoot up police stations or gun stores: Because they know that the armed populace inside will shoot back, and their rampage will end in quick death. A school, on the other hand, is as low-risk a target as one can hope for. That would change if we allowed teachers and administrators to carry guns.
After the school shooting at Sandy Hook School that killed so many people, administrators at this Fairview school district, started talking about what they should do to protect their schools from this horrible thing happening in other schools (Eligon, 2018). They started to think about how long it would take for police to arrive at their schools. Their employees took a forty-hour course during their spring break, their training was paid for by the school. The employees did bring their own guns, each had to pass a background check, a drug test and a mental evaluation. And know some of the school employees are armed, one teacher said “it was a little different putting it on the first couple of days” but that it had come to feel normal carrying the gun to school (Eligon, 2018).
Parents should not send their kids to school wondering whether the math teacher, the kindergarten teacher or the football coach secretly carries a gun. Yet some Legislature appears poised to approve a risky scheme that envisions to armed teachers in every school who are prepared to respond to a mass shooter. This response to the school massacre would make schools more dangerous, undermine relationships between students and teachers, and transform campuses into armed encampments awaiting the next attack.
Teachers enter their profession to teach kids, just as law enforcement officers choose to protect citizens by force if necessary. No amount of training will prepare teachers to grab their gun and respond to a mass shooting, and the potential for deadly unintended consequences is enormous. It is entirely reasonable to add more armed resource officers in schools, but it is unreasonable to force every county sheriff to create a training program for arming teachers in case the local school district wants them. Recruiting teachers who have previous experience with guns, such as retired military is a great idea or having more resource officers on every school campus with some sort of weapons to help protect that school is defiantly something that should be addressed.
There are a lot of students who think of their teachers as mentors and role models might start to think differently or even feel uncomfortable knowing that their teacher has a loaded weapon on them on in their desk. Is there a guarantee that a teacher would not attempt to reach for their gun to break up a fight in the hall, or even to get an out of control student to follow the rules? What if a student gets a hold of their gun during a struggle, no one wants to think that could happen but there is a chance. Or a curious young student accidentally gets access to one of these guns.
With many conflicting views on what should be done about the accessibility of guns in the hands of minors, our president suggested that teachers be offered bonus pay for carrying guns. Because we all know ‘the only thing that stops a bad person with a gun is a good person with a gun.’ Of course, that is ridiculous, but everyone is allowed their opinions. As we continue debates what is the best way to protect our schools from these horrible massacres, it’s safe to say that the issue isn’t the gun itself, but the person holding it. What needs to be done to make the necessary changes to ensure all school children are safe and aren’t afraid to come to school every day. We need to keep the focus on keeping students learning and growing up in a safe environment. These mass shootings leave scars on the communities that will probably never heal, but let’s not do any knee jerk reactions and find out five years down the road we could have done different and saved a lot more lives.
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