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Arming teachers: don’t do it

Teachers and guns simply don’t mix

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School shootings are, unfortunately, a dangerous trend in America. Since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, America has faced nearly 300 more school shootings.

It seems as though every other week the headline of every news organization relates to another shooting. And every other week we all think the same thing: how can we prevent this from happening to our school?

Unfortunately, these tragedies do happen, no matter how much we hope and pray that they won’t.

Although we need to come up with solutions, arming our teachers is definitely a step in the wrong direction.

In most problematic situations, the advice we’re always given is to avoid fighting fire with fire. It would seem logical to apply that notion in the case of preventing a school shooting.

Recently, more politicians are endorsing the idea of arming teachers in order to combat the issue of school shootings. While I see how this could offer potential protection from a school shooter, the proposed resolution oversimplifies a rather complex subject.

To become a teacher in California, one must become certified, which requires a lot of dedication, commitment and money. People choose to be teachers for various reasons; they go through rigorous training because they have a passion or desire to teach young minds, positively impact our future or because they know they’d be good at it.

I can assure you that teachers did not put in all of that hard work, time and money, so that they could shoot a gun and potentially kill someone.

Furthermore, this places a huge burden on the shoulders of our teachers, the lives of their peers, their students and themselves. Having a gun in the classroom would make the adult in charge, or the teacher, responsible for risking their own lives for the children.

In an ideal world, every teacher would be willing to risk their lives for those of their students, but not every teacher can agree that this is their duty as an educator.

Have we even touched upon the price tag? School budgets are always seemingly tight, and it wouldn’t seem that a school could afford firepower for each classroom, probable maintenance and replacements.

According to comparecamp.com, the cost of an average, cheap, 9 millimeter self-defense pistol ranges from $600–$1000.

Just for a pistol.

Not to mention, most mass shooters are equipped with semi-automatic assault rifles, which fire rapidly and contain larger caliber bullets.

Even if the hypothetical shooter had a gun comparable to this ‘simple’ one, you can’t rely on your teacher to take action and shoot anyone on the spot before major harm is inflicted. It’s unfair to place that expectation on a teacher. Moreover, it’s just wrong to assume that a school would have the available funds let alone community backing to support this cause.

And what about laws? How could this system of having guns in the classroom be regulated? On top of it all, teachers would need to be properly and expertly trained, not only with how to use the gun, but when to use it, and how to maintain it to regulatory conditions. The legislation and policies required for this would be a nightmare.

Beyond the technical issues with this proposed solution, lies the bigger obstacle: the students’ comfort. I would personally not feel comfortable knowing my teacher had a gun in the classroom. Just being aware of the gun’s presence would not only remind me of the upsetting reality of school shootings across the globe today, but it would also pose as a potential threat to students.

What if someone stole the gun? What if there was some kind of accident with the gun? The what-if’s can go on and on. Would you really feel safe in a classroom that contains a loaded gun? I know for sure I wouldn’t.

Nothing is less synonymous than guns and teachers; they simply don’t mix. One teaches us how to better the world and another teaches us how to bloody it.

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