Guns: Keep Guns Out of the Classroom

My class is no place for a firearm

I am a teacher. I teach at a an urban high school in San Bernardino. My school is located next to one of the city's toughest housing projects. Most of our students receive free or reduced lunch. We have an active gang contingent on campus and off. We have lost current and former students to violence on the streets.

We have a school police force and an armed resource officer on campus. We also have a security staff that rides bikes and wear body armor. We have had our share of fights on campus. We have had a couple of lockdowns because of violence in the adjacent projects. We even had a kid, non-student, who was stabbed and killed right behind our campus. The only weapon I remember was brought by a former student of mine who was about 4' tall and she stuffed a knife in her bra as big as she was.

With all that, I still wouldn't want to be responsible for carrying a handgun or other weapon on campus. Many gun advocates, NRA head Wayne LaPierre being the first, have said that that is how we protect our children from enraged gunmen who would take their lives. I have been going over in my head how that would look at our school and I have questions.

Who would be responsible for for carrying weapons? Would it be all teachers and administrators or just a select few? Would we have takeover drills and have to practice like we do now when we have fire and earthquake drills? What type of certification would be required to have a weapon? Where would the weapon be kept at night? We have had several break-ins. Would we allow female teachers to carry guns and what happens if a student overpowers her during a fight with another student and takes her weapon? What if that 5'3" teacher felt threatened by one of her 6'3" male students? Would she be able to draw her weapon in self-defense?

You may think I am being facetious but I'm not. I am asking real logistics questions that would be presented if my colleagues and I were asked to carry weapons in the classroom. In my opinion, and I think I have earned one we would be looking at a logistical nightmare.

This idea that we need more guns to protect us from those who have guns is a farce. It has been perpetuated by the NRA because of their cozy relationship with gun manufacturers. The truth is that more and deadlier guns have led America to a more violent society.

I grew up with guns. My father still has them in his home and uses them to hunt. My brother is an avid hunter. I don't want to get rid of all guns and I respect the 2nd Amendment to the constitution. But it's time to bring some sanity to this debate about guns and gun violence in America.

Putting a Gun in my classroom is not sane!

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Comments 28 comments

lovemychris profile image

lovemychris 3 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

100% agree...and I'll bet most teachers feel the same way. Imagine...trying to force teachers to carry guns!

Unbelievable, and hopefully, they listen to people who KNOW the situation, not just spout rhetoric.


NayNay2124 profile image

NayNay2124 3 years ago

I don't believe arming teachers is the right thing to do for all of the reasons mentioned in your hub. I am not sure what the answer is to combat these mass school shootings, but I think bringing more guns into schools is definitely not the answer. Teachers have enough responsibilities in the classroom without the added burden of possessing a firearm in the classroom. Good hub. Voted up.


Inventurist profile image

Inventurist 3 years ago from Georgia, USA

Habueld, I hope from what you stated you don't have a firearm in your school. But the farce part is totally inaccurate too. You already have what the NRA is promoting for most of America - an armed security person to respond to armed threats. From your own description that is exactly what has been implemented. Regarding school personnel being armed, those individuals would be required to have the same level of training as that armed police officer in order to carry within the school grounds. The farce is that sign in front of the school saying "no gun zone." The truth is that since you can only point to one situation over your tenure where there was gun violence was not on your campus is proof having an armed person on campus is doing the right thing. My high school was an urban, poor high school as well. We went through integration and it was in the deep south. I was a minority at about 9/1. There were race riots daily, but even then we had armed security on campus. The worst weapons were occasionally a knife or lead pipe. Keep in mind, I was on the JROTC rifle team at the time. I had the key to the gun cabinet and the ammunition. It was my job to get out the rifles and ammunition each afternoon for practice. I did this on some occasions with riots going on outside the range. We never had a problem, we were the ones with the guns, and we were students. Maybe there is a problem way beyond guns that no one is talking about. Maybe you can figure that one out and start something in that area that will have a lasting improvement and not just blame guns for those issues.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago

I agree. Arming teachers would be nuts. Also, in normal circumstances I don't like the idea of police in public schools because of the tendency to turn ordinary child discipline problems into law enforcement cases. Nice job on the Hub!


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 3 years ago from Southern California

The solution here is to go after the gangs, something that is less effective today because many cities are going bankrupt and they have reduce their police forces.


ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 3 years ago

Interesting write! I agree with your stance that teaching packing is a recipe for disaster. I see teachers killing students - AND vice versa - just as you say..

I also see teachers killing students IN the heat of the moment - if there actually WERE an attack in the school! They'd shoot anyone who came through the door or turned the corner unexpectedly - it's ridiculous..

On the other hand - as inventurist says - it sounds like your little campus is VERY well protected - armed guards, kevlar...etc..

Soooo...Hmmmmmm....

ya know?

it's not as if you're a gun-free zone...

Enjoyable read! Nice to hub-meet you..


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

Hab sez: Who would be responsible for carrying weapons?

Jack replies: Those who choose to do so and meet the criteria set up by that particular school district.

Hab sez: Would it be all teachers and administrators or just a select few?

Jack replies: It is nonsensical to assume that “all” teachers or administrators would carry. No one even mentions such an idea outside the anti-firearm people. For example, take lovemychris who posted earlier about "forcing teachers" to carry guns. Again, the ONLY people who even begin to state things such as that are the anti-gun people. Ever wonder why?

Hab sez: Would we have takeover drills and have to practice like we do now when we have fire and earthquake drills?

Jack replies: Having “take over drills” has nothing to do with armed teachers or administrators. You face the same danger of an active shooter coming into your school regardless of what protection you have.

Hab sez: What type of certification would be required to have a weapon?

Jack replies: Again, that depends upon the school district. Many of the companies involved in high level firearms training have volunteered to provide their services for free to teachers and school districts. Many teachers throughout the states are already accomplished shooters with years of experience handling firearms.

Hab sez: Where would the weapon be kept at night? We have had several break-ins.

Jack replies: It would be kept with the teacher, of course. Where else would it be, and why would it be there?

Hab sez: Would we allow female teachers to carry guns and what happens if a student overpowers her during a fight with another student and takes her weapon?

Jack replies: Fairly sexist comment here. Some of the best gun-handlers in the world are women and to assume that they will be “overpowered” tells us more about Hab than the teachers. A student fight is generally not a reason to pull a gun so that is a moot issue.

Hab sez: What if that 5'3" teacher felt threatened by one of her 6'3" male students? Would she be able to draw her weapon in self-defense?

Jack replies: If the teacher was in reasonable, imminent fear of severe injury or even death then why would she not be allowed to defend herself? That is the standard for using a gun in self-defense. Not “feeling threatened.”

Hab sez: You may think I am being facetious but I'm not. I am asking real logistics questions that would be presented if my colleagues and I were asked to carry weapons in the classroom.

Jack replies: Ask away. As long as you are willing to learn from reality then I will be willing to answer any question. If you are the type of person who insists that 5 plus 5 is really 11 in spite of all evidence otherwise then I cannot really help you.

Hab sez: In my opinion, and I think I have earned one we would be looking at a logistical nightmare.

Jack replies: You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own reality.

Hab sez: This idea that we need more guns to protect us from those who have guns is a farce.

Jack replies: So what does Hab do when he is threatened by a person with a gun? Why, he calls the police who come to solve the situation with their GUNS. Hab, you have to do better than this and stop parroting phrases that you just never have thought through.

Hab sez: It has been perpetuated by the NRA because of their cozy relationship with gun manufacturers. The truth is that more and deadlier guns have led America to a more violent society.

Jack replies: the level of gun ownership has skyrocketed the past two decades, and the violence level has dropped. Hab, would you accept shoddy research from a student? Why do you present it as fact?

Hab sez: But it's time to bring some sanity to this debate about guns and gun violence in America.

Jack replies: It’s time to bring some basic research, reason and logic to this debate instead of parroting phrases that make you feel good.

Hab sez: Putting a Gun in my classroom is not sane!

Jack replies: Perhaps not in ~your~ classroom. I would agree. But many of us think your concept of the “defenseless lambs” approach to protecting the kids has been proven insane over and over again.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago

I know several teachers, and none have the slightest interest in having a gun in school or having other teachers carrying in school. And absolutely none support the idea of having police in their school, absent very special circumstances. There are many other much higher priorities for spending the taxpayers' money on education.


Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 3 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

I'm a retired teacher. I certainly would not want to carry a gun. Guns and children is a dangerous mix. I remember high school students alwasy breaking ino lokced drawers to steal candy. The armed guard was often attacked by the students and the guns were taken from him. I could go on, but you get the idea. Up and useful.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

Well, Ralph, I can trump you since you only know "several" teachers. I know hundreds of highly trained, very skilled and trustworthy teachers that would be pleased to carry their handgun into class.

Hundreds over several. Which should we choose, eh.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

I am going to call "bogus" on Mr. Jay. He really expects us to believe that the school allowed repeated attacks upon a guard which resulted in his guns being taken away multiple times.

Sure. We get the idea all right. :-)


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago

Our Republican governor, Rick Snyder, vetoed a moron legislator's proposal that teachers be allowed/encouraged to carry guns in Michigan public school classrooms. You must be from Texas??


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

Ralph prefers the "defenseless lambs" approach to protecting kids.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago

And Jack prefers the Archie Bunker approach:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLjNJI54GMM


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

Feel free to call me any name you choose as long as the children are protected from those who would do them harm.

Ralph wants to fffeeellll ggggoooddd. I want to accomplish good things.


habueld profile image

habueld 3 years ago from Riverside, CA Author

Jack it amazes me that people attribute the drop in violence to more guns instead of better education, a drop in drug use, and better policing. Guns have to be the definitive reason for it. I've read several studies recently that even attribute it to the fact that more women had abortions. http://pricetheory.uchicago.edu/levitt/Papers/Levi...

There goes the idea of shoddy research. Let's see if you read the study above.

I'm no lamb led to the slaughter. I've defended myself against all types!


habueld profile image

habueld 3 years ago from Riverside, CA Author

Are you a teacher Jack? I once stopped a male student from slamming a female teacher to the ground in a fight. So, I'm not being sexist and it's not a moot point. This is reality!


habueld profile image

habueld 3 years ago from Riverside, CA Author

I grew up in Texas and am already an excellent marksman, by the way.


habueld profile image

habueld 3 years ago from Riverside, CA Author

Inventurists the situation I was referring to had to do with adults and not students on our campus.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 3 years ago

Interesting. I was not even aware that the crime rate has declined. However, the basis of Levitt's conclusions on the effects of each of the various factors on the crime rate was not made clear, in my opinion. He may be correct in his assessment, but he didn't convince me.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

hab sez: Are you a teacher Jack?

Jack repleis: No, but I played one once on TV. My wife is a retired teacher, BTW.

Hab sez: I once stopped a male student from slamming a female teacher to the ground in a fight.

Jack replies: And....? Just what does that have to do with the inability of a woman to handle a firearm?

Hab sez: So, I'm not being sexist and it's not a moot point. This is reality!

Jack replies: I was unaware that one data point suddenly becomes a "reality." Would you accept this same type of approach in any paper that your students were responsible for?


habueld profile image

habueld 3 years ago from Riverside, CA Author

Never mind! You proved my point. You're just talking to be heard. That's one instance. Talking to someone whose only goal is conflict is like hitting yourself upside the head with a hammer. UNNECESSARY!,


waverider96744 profile image

waverider96744 3 years ago from Kaneohe, HI

Check out Freakonomics, the author has an interesting theory on the reason for the trend in lower crime rates in the US.


Inventurist profile image

Inventurist 3 years ago from Georgia, USA

Having read the comments the action line is not to protect the most precious and valuable asset in the country with the same level of protection as we do, say, money. Some have suggested that the very people we trust to have been intellectually capable of learning subject matter somehow aren't capable of accepting the training your local police officer is required to earn a POST certification, particularly the administrators that have taken tons of leadership and management coursework to lead throngs of teachers and even more children. I disagree, of course, and would still expect at a minimum of a resource officer at every school, armed to the teeth.


habueld profile image

habueld 3 years ago from Riverside, CA Author

Thanks!


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

hab sez: Never mind! You proved my point. You're just talking to be heard. That's one instance. Talking to someone whose only goal is conflict is like hitting yourself upside the head with a hammer. UNNECESSARY!,

Jack replies: Weak sauce, indeed, my friend.

Is that the way you teach your students to defend their classroom papers?


Alberic O profile image

Alberic O 3 years ago from Any Clime, Any Place

Carrying any deadly weapon carries some degree of liability to the person and the organization for which the person is part of so I agree why this is such a debate. For firearms, it's a whole other level. In a way, civilians who carry firearms are more liable for every shot they take than police are.

Now regarding the authors question if a 5'3" teacher can draw her gun on time when 6'3" student is lunging at her. Well are are techniques to gain distance and to retain weapons. If you do the right technique, it'll serve you well against big or small opponents. Good conceal carry courses teach this along with tactical shooting and drawing techniques. Some form of communication via radio may also be necessary as well.

Drills and training will be necessary in the school allows teachers to conceal carry. Not only to keep up with training but to also practice coordination with local authorities too. Cops in an active shooting are now likely to enter the building having little detail about the gunmen so anyone not in police uniform with a gun may get shot at- especially those who have their weapons at the ready.

If there is one thing I agree with, it's some of the issues with logistics presented in this article.


Jack Burton profile image

Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

Hab sez: Jack it amazes me that people attribute the drop in violence to more guns instead of better education, a drop in drug use, and better policing. Guns have to be the definitive reason for it.

Jack replies: Notice the switch, Dear Readers? First, Hab said in a very definitive, factual tone…

“The TRUTH is that more and deadlier guns have led America to a more violent society.” (Emphasis mine)

I pointed out that this was not only NOT the truth, but the exact opposite of the truth – America is a LESS violent society than decades ago. Hab had absolutely no defense. No way to back up.

So what did he do? He tried to wave his hand and pretend he never posted that. He tried to change the subject to somehow suggesting that “other” causes are the reason for the “drop in violence” that he previously declared was non-existent.

No one will argue against a dozen other reasons, including those that Hab listed, as helpful in the drop in crime. No reputable commentator about guns in society has ever made the claim that more guns were the sole reason that there is less crime. So if Hab is “amazed” over it I wonder just where he is getting his supposed insights as to what the gun community is saying?

But that is not the point. One point is that Hab was in grievous error when he posted that more guns equaled more violence. Now he wants to ignore what he said. The other point is that it is absolutely true that there are more guns and less crime. For whatever reason there is less crime, Hab cannot factually state that more guns cause more problems in society.

Hab sez: I've read several studies recently that even attribute it to the fact that more women had abortions. http://pricetheory.uchicago.edu/levitt/Papers/Levi... There goes the idea of shoddy research. Let's see if you read the study above.

Jack replies: Sorry, Hab, I am not sure why you think I am responsible for other people’s research.

Perhaps after you win the John Bates Clark Medal, awarded to the most influential economist and are named one of Time magazine's “100 People Who Shape Our World” such as Levitt did then you can post more knowledgably about the quality of research on social issues.

Hab sez: I'm no lamb led to the slaughter. I've defended myself against all types!

Jack replies: As I am sure your children in your school will appreciate if and when an active shooter comes in and due to your influence there is no one available to oppose him.

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