Should Teachers be Allowed to Have Guns in School
What Can We do About Gun Violence in Schools?
Gun Control Debate in America
What guns American citizens should and should not be allowed to carry is a hotly debated issue in our country right now.
Some Americans and lawmakers think guns should be banned altogether, while others think only certain guns, such as semi-automatics, should be banned. Still others think that America has the right to bear arms and should have the freedom to own and use guns.
This isn't an issue that is going to go away quickly or without controversy. The growing number of school shootings in the last few years has propelled this topic to the forefront of our consciousness.
When it comes to our children's safety, something has to be done.
Steady Increase in School Shootings
Has There Been an Increase in School Shootings?
School shootings are on the rise. Since 1996, there have been 48 school shootings in either elementary, middle or high schools. 37 of those have been committed by kids under the age of 18.
In 2012 alone, there were four reported school shootings in the U.S.
- February 27, 2012, in Ohio, a former classmate shot and killed three students and injured six.
- March 6th, 2012, in Jacksonville, Florida, a former teacher walked into the school and shot the principal that had fired him earlier in the day.
- April 2nd, 2012, in Oakland, California, a former student of a the school opened fire on the campus, killed seven people, and wounded several others.
- December 14th, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, Adam Lanza entered Sandy Hook Elementary School and shot and killed 20 children and six adults.
Until Sandy Hook, these school shootings were only reported on local news, with short blips possibly reported by the mainstream media.
Sandy Hook captured America's interest as it was especially heart wrenching because of the age of the victims. Five and six year olds are not much older than babies. To take their lives at such a young age shows the total depravity and lack of basic decency Adam Lanza had.
It was Sandy Hook that woke America up to the growing problem of school shootings and the need to find a solution for them.
The Solution to School Shootings
Do you think arming teachers is a way to prevent shootings?
South Dakota: The First State Allowing Teachers to Carry Guns in School
On March 8th, 2013, the governor of South Dakota signed a bill into law that will allow teachers to carry guns in school. The new law will go into effect on July 1, 2013.
The law was met with much controversy. Many in South Dakota think it's unsafe to arm teachers and that armed officers should be employed to protect students and staff.
Many school districts are underfunded and do not have the funds to pay an officer. South Dakota school board members think it makes more economic sense to arm teachers or to allow armed volunteers who have passed a rigorous background check.
Arming teachers in South Dakota is not done deal, there is one requirement to the law:
While teachers are able to carry concealed weapons legally in South Dakota, each school district must have a public meeting to decide whether they want to have armed teachers in their particular district.
Tennessee Representative Proposes Arming Teachers to Protect our Children
States that are Considering Legislation to Arm Teachers
- North Carolina
How do We Prevent School Shootings?
The growing problem of school shootings has led to the question, how do we prevent them?
The quick answer from Washington is to ban guns altogether. Other lawmakers in many states think the answer is arming our teachers.
If one teacher had had a gun at Sandy Hook, would 26 lives had been lost?
Proponents of arming teachers say no. Once gunshots started ringing out, an armed teacher could have shot Adam Lanza and saved half, if not more, of the 26.
But is arming teachers a good idea? Would it really save lives?
Alternatively, is banning guns altogether a feasible undertaking? For a gun ban to work, every gun ever produced, every shotgun that is in someone's attic, every police officer's gun would have to be confiscated.
Otherwise, the only people without guns would be law abiding citizens. Guns would be bought and sold on the black market. Thugs and criminals who have no regard for the law would be carrying guns and committing crimes. No one would have the ability to stand up to them and stop them.
We must find a way to prevent shootings in schools, but what is the right answer?
Security in School?
Is Arming Teachers the Answer?
If a gunman is planning to walk into a school full of children and play God with their lives, would the thought of knowing there is a possibility of his getting shot be a deterrent to him?
Is it better for defenseless teachers and children to hide in classrooms and wait to be picked off by a crazed gunman?
By arming teachers, the playing field, so to speak is leveled. One person, whose intent is to do harm, wouldn't have all the power.
Arming teachers, however, presents a new set of questions. How do we safely arm teachers to protect our children?
The following steps would have to be taken to ensure the safety of school personnel and students:
- The teacher would undergo psychological testing to ensure that there is no danger of them using the gun on themselves or those in the school.
- A background check would be done to be sure no violent crimes had been committed by the teacher.
- The teacher would be sent to gun safety training.
- The teacher would obtain a concealed weapon permit.
Obviously, the teacher would have the gun on their person at all times. Because of children's natural curiosity of guns, a gun left in a desk drawer or cabinet could would, obviously, be dangerous if a child found the gun and decided to play with the gun or use it.
The amount of money needed for teachers to undergo screenings and training is more than most school districts have in their budget. Even if only one or two teachers at a school were properly armed and trained at a time, the cost would be in the thousands.
For those lawmakers who are proposing legislation to arm teachers, there is certainly a lot to consider.
But if it saves one life, especially if that life is your child's, is it worth it?
Secret Service Shares Ways on How to Prevent a School Shooting
What Do You as a Parent Think?
Would you send your child to school if you knew teachers had guns?
So What is the Answer?
Unfortunately, our America of today is not the America of 30 years ago. Gone are the days we can send our children to school without the fear of some lunatic taking their lives in the middle of math class.
Banning guns would be difficult to implement and carry out. Arming teachers would be expensive and new policies and procedures would have to be put in place to ensure they were not a threat to our children.
Steps do have to be taken to prevent these school shootings. However, the way to go about preventing them is an argument that will be raging for a long time.