Should Teachers Have Guns At School?
October 18, 2019
Yes, Teachers Should Be Armed
As the frequency of school shootings rises in America, citizens have begun to demand a variety of solutions as to how future tragedies can be prevented. One such solution is to allow trained teachers to be armed while at school, which has stirred controversy among Americans in regards of how legitimate that sounds. However, if schools were to allow trained and consenting faculty members to be armed while at school, both the students and the staff will be safer in the case of an active shooter.
To some, this argument sounds off alarms, causing them to believe that every teacher they see will be packing heat at school. However, the argument is not that teachers MUST have a gun in their possession as well as the training that goes with it. The argument is to ALLOW concealed carry for faculty members that wish to do so. Teachers became teachers so that they could teach. Teachers should not be forced to be combat-ready if that’s not what they signed up for.
However, teachers that do wish to be armed should be able to do so, albeit with a permit and proper training. To allow teachers to have concealed carry is to allow the school to be a safer environment for both students and staff.
A common protest against concealed carry in schools is the stigma that an overwhelming majority of people have no experience with a gun or know how to properly use it. In contrast, most Americans have some form of experience with a firearm, whether it be from official training or in a casual setting.
In fact, 72% of Americans have fired a gun, despite 55% of them never owning a gun themselves according to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center. In addition, an estimated 42% of Americans live in a household with a gun, while 30% actually own a gun. In a similar study, the Crime Prevention Research Center reported that as of 2018, 17.25 million U.S. citizens have a concealed carry permit, which is a 273% increase since 2007.
Now, some might say that teachers should not be allowed to be armed, as there is already a resource officer on campus who has a gun. But that’s the issue. There’s only a limited amount of officers a school can have on campus before it becomes a prison. If a select group of teachers were allowed to have concealed carry while at school, the biggest threat would be to the teachers themselves, as they have no other special gadgets or armor to protect them. Police officers have guns, as well as a taser, handcuffs, protective vests, pepper spray or even a baton. In contrast, a teacher would have the gun as their only means of defense against an attacker.
Additionally, a teacher with proper firearm training would be on par with a police officer that has the same training. The unfortunate truth is that there is a margin of error for both armed teachers and police officers. Neither one is 100% accurate or can be predicted as to how they’ll react to stress.
Teachers should be allowed to be armed if they choose to, nonetheless. The teacher should be required, however, to have proper training ,undergo a thorough background check and consent to a psychological evaluation test. Allowing teachers to protect their students should not be a topic people have to debate about.
No, Teachers Should Not Be Armed
Gun rights have always been a controversial subject in American politics, dating all the way back to the creation of the Constitution. More recently, Americans have debated over school districts arming their teachers. The shooting at Columbine High School was a tragedy and became a blueprint for shooters across the country. The increase in attacks makes the United States a scary place for children, but adding more guns to the equation will not cause the problem to stop. With the exception of trained police officers, arms should not be allowed on school campuses. The appeal is understandable. A parents’ first instinct is to protect their child, especially in precarious situations. Giving teachers arms may seem like another way to keep kids safe, but it actually opens doors to additional dangers like unstable teachers and hostile children. The solution is not putting loaded weapons in schools.
The proposed idea is to allow willing teachers to carry concealed weapons during school hours. A poll taken Mrs. McGhee’s academic period revealed that 50% of students would feel safer if their teachers were armed. Within this 50%, a majority only felt safe with a specific teacher. While some teachers may be stable and educated with a firearm, there is no guarantee that schools will give sufficient background and mental health checks. The same students that felt safe with certain teachers said they would feel extremely unsafe with any other teacher. There is no point in implementing these policies if students do not feel safer than before.
With the perfect staff, arming teachers might be a good idea, but politicians are underestimating just how cunning students can be. Students, even more so than teachers struggle from mental health issues. In a 2015 survey by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, 30% of students claimed to have stress issues, 22% have anxiety, and 14% have depression. High school students are very likely to struggle with these issues, and according to an article by npr.org. By putting more weapons into a school setting, students are likely to attempt to steal them. An article by Dr. Ken Shore on educationworld.com states that children steal from teachers often and for varying reasons. It wouldn’t be crazy to assume that a student with poor mental health might attempt to steal a weapon from their teacher. This threat can be prevented all together by keeping weapons out of the classroom.
America’s goal right now is to make students feel safe, especially after the massacres seen recently, like the one at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. There have been countless speeches and protests, asking the federal government to do something about all of the horrors. The nation agrees that something must be done, but instead of fighting fire with fire, America needs healing solutions. Gun violence can be fought at the source with mental health professionals. At the root of the issue, the debate isn’t over guns versus no guns, it’s about how to make students feel safe. With the amount of loose strings attached to this proposal, it’s obvious that one would have doubt in its logic. The safety of the students should not be dependent on a risky gamble.