The latest shooting has intensified the debate over what tactics to use to protect against imminent danger: whether teachers should carry guns or hide with their students; whether schools should invest in fancy security devices like door jammers or put more resources into crisis teams that could identify and intervene with troubled students. And thanks to the nonsensical comments of our president who basically said that those who don’t want to arm teachers, might be inviting attacks on themselves. We have folks actually considering the benefits of having guns not only in our schools, but in the classrooms.
Now, while it’s true that thanks to our Constitution, we have the right to bear arms, does this mean that a teacher should legally be allowed to carry even if they had proper training? Hmm… The reason we allow police officers to pack is because they’re trained, so does that mean a civilian should have the same consideration? Does it make a difference if the teacher is trained?
In my opinion, having guns in the classroom would just create opportunities for any number of tragic situations to arise that could result in being the cause of more shootings and creating an easy access to these guns. Accidents happen. Guns can fall out of holsters, be taken from the classroom or accidentally discharge. The way I see it, in order to control guns, you must limit them. Having firearms in school would also cause students to feel less safe and more likely to be targeted if you are in a heated situation, you would always have to watch your back.
Florida Republican Sen. Greg Steube said gun-free zones like schools are easy targets and has proposed allowing specially trained educators with military or law enforcement backgrounds to be armed. Now his statement is at the crux of the debate over whether to arm teachers or not, or whether we need to call for new rules to make it harder to buy weapons, particularly of the kind used in Florida. But of course, you have others who believe that there should actually be more guns in school: in the hands of teachers and staff, ready to defend the children they look after.
What is the right answer? As a parent, the thought of my son’s teacher being armed and having a gun in the classroom sounds dangerous, preposterous and simply disturbing on many levels! The point is keeping kids safe from harm and making the school an all around a safe and healthy community for the students. How is arming a teacher and keeping a loaded gun in the classroom the way to ensure their safety? How is this the answer? We’re supposed to be keeping weapons out of the schools, not willingly and intentionally bringing them in!
My personal dilemma is whether I am a supporter of armed resource officers on school property, even with the knowledge that these officers would be trained law enforcement officials. If we’re being honest, not all teachers are equipped mentally and physically to be ‘armed guards.’ I mean, not only is this not what teachers were educated and trained for, but not all teachers would qualify or have the physical or emotional characteristics required.
The bottom line is this; as a country, we need to figure out a better way to keep our kids safe. We need to stop all the b.s. and be real about why guns are so easily accessible, why assault rifles are allowed to be bought and sold, and the fact that our priorities as a society are severely out of whack when it comes to the right to bear arms. We say we want to provide an environment conducive to learning and trust building, but this environment will not exist in a schoolhouse where teachers double as armed guards.