By: Bailey Keck
Weeks after yet another deadly school shooting, President Trump suggested that allowing teachers to carry firearms could have prevented the latest attack. However, the fact is that multiple trained officers failed to respond to the Florida shooting. If highly trained officers of the law fail to act, why would teachers be held to a higher standard as a last line of defense? Giving or encouraging educators to carry weapons during school hours does not guarantee action during an attack.
The illusion of arming the citizenry makes the country more safe, that often drives the right wing fallacy, is utterly false. In fact, if this were to be true, the country with the most guns would be the safest and have the least amount of gun related deaths. The problem is, it’s not. Americans hold far more firearms than any other country, and consistent with the statistics, are responsible for 31% of all mass shootings while only comprising 5% of the world population.
We also need to acknowledge the fact that all teachers may not be fit enough to carry a weapon. Just the other day a teacher in Georgia barricaded himself in a classroom and fired a shot. In another case, a substitute teacher threatened to harm a student with a gun. Allowing teachers of a questionable character to possess firearms on a school campus could result in what would be a fireable threat to turn violent. As seen in the case of Paul Hagan, working out of a high school in Georgia, there are already educators in circulation who have threatened to shoot students.
Our President also toyed with the idea of giving teachers bonuses for possessing a gun on campus. Not only is this disgustingly crude, there would now be incentive to possess a gun whether on not an educator was well trained and versed in the upkeep and safety precautions of their weapon. In a day and age where teachers make much less than they have in past years, teachers may find carrying a handgun during school hours to be an investment rather than a tool to use during an attack.
Some teachers feel that it is their right to carry a firearm on campus to protect themselves and students in the event of a shooting. They are under the belief that possessing a weapon will allow them to protect the lives of their pupils and themselves. However, research shows that you are far more likely to harm an innocent individual than take a life to defend yourself. Further complicating the situation, first responders would have to differentiate between the shooter and faculty. Not only would this result in further loss of life caused by the time wasted figuring out the situation, some staff members may not comply with the authorities, believing that “playing rambo” is ensuring their students safety. This doesn’t even take into account possible friendly fire between educators in attempt to identify the shooter.
Another complication in the dystopian world where teachers are armed with handguns is the fact that hormonal students are often not the most trustworthy people. There have already been accounts of students stealing teacher’s firearms during school hours. Educators that choose to arm themselves pose as a threat to the student body, more so than a school shooter. Not only are armed teachers endangering the attendants of the educational facility, they also pose as a new method for possible school shooters to get their hands on a firearm they would not normally have access to. Normally a gun provider will not sell to anybody under the age of 18, however, determined students would no doubt be able to get their hand on one of their mentors’ weapons, however fit a teacher believes they are.
Although some educators resent the idea of waiting for first responders on the floor of their classroom, they save lives in the process. Why would America, take a step backwards instead of following in the footsteps of other more progressive countries that have no where near the amount of school shootings? It is simple, more guns would not solve the gun crisis in this country and firearms do not belong in a learning environment. It is also extremely hypocritical of a politician that sliced the school safety budget down by 25 million dollars to propose giving teachers raises to holster a gun during school hours and criticize the FBI for THEIR lack of a response.