December 14, 2014
A recent tragedy in a Connecticut elementary school has Americans looking for a better way to protect its school-age children. The brutality that occurred in Sandy Hook elementary school shook Americans to the core, making many people push for stricter gun laws. One proposal that has become popular is to allow faculty to have access to a gun in the classroom. “In response to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012 that left 20 children and six staff members dead, some school districts in Missouri have started training teachers to carry concealed weapons in classrooms” (Ashtari). Teachers should be armed for the children’s safety because it would make intruders think twice before entering the school.
One advantage to having teachers carry guns is that criminals would not see schools as such an easy target and casualties will be reduced, especially if you could take down the shooter quickly before the shooter kills any more people. An armed teacher provides more immediate protection for the students than a police officer on the phone. It will take probably 5-10 minutes before the police will even get there. That is too much time for the shooter to do whatever he or she wants. Criminals are not going to want to just want to walk into a school if they know that multiple people in the school have guns because that is more people that will be after them. It will make them way less likely to think about going to a school. Parents also need to be careful at home that they have their weapons in a secure spot and not in easy access to their children. Children are getting their hands on weapons really easily now a days and growing up with little to no training or common sense on how harmful firearms can be. So not only is it important for teachers to protect themselves, it is also important for teachers to protect their children. That’s why, if some teachers were carrying a gun, they would be able to take down the shooter quickly before more damage is done.
The second advantage is that teachers can be a tremendous deterrent to crime. If an intruder were to enter the school, they would be stopped before causing too much damage to the students/teachers/school by staff that decide they want to carry a gun. With the proper training, staff will know how to carefully hold and carry a gun. They will also know how to respond in a dangerous situation, such as a school shooting. If police officers can be trained in a responsible manner for the uses of a deadly force, so can teachers. “Carrying concealed weapons in public schools is a right protected by law for permit holders in Utah, and teachers who carry firearms are not required to inform school administrators of the existence of their weapons” (Schlanger). “Also, parents, by law, are not allowed to ask their child’s teacher if he or she is carrying a gun in the classroom. "This would violate the intent and the strategic advantage of the 'concealed' weapon. If a permit holder had disclosed to faculty or staff that they were carrying a weapon, this could make them a target in an active shooter situation," Ben Horsley, communications director at the Granite School district that includes Westbrook Elementary, said in a statement Thursday” (Schlanger). If police and teachers are carrying their weapons correctly, there should be no way that a student would be able to get ahold of the gun. There are holsters for women that go under the shirt and they are said to be very comfortable. Or if you do not feel comfortable carrying the weapon, keep it in a locked cabinet. Then when or if there is a bad situation, you could take it out. It would be a lot more protection than having nothing at all. As long as the staff are taking all the proper precautions, there should be no reason for a child to get hurt by having a teacher keep one in their room.
Another reason would be that each teacher would be able to protect their own classrooms rather than one on-campus officer. “I don't want my wife and kids to be sitting ducks” (Lott). Nobody wants their family members to be the innocent ones that cannot protect themselves. So if somebodies wife was teaching that day, a husband would be glad that their wife was able to protect herself and her kiddos. Also, every teacher that decides they want to carry a gun, they will definantly get the proper training required to carry a firearm. “For a $17,500 fee, districts that opt in to the 40-hour program receive training for two staffers from current law enforcement officers through the Shield Solutions training school. Teachers are required to spend five hours in a classroom and 35 hours on the range with the required firearm, a Glock 19 semi-automatic pistol. Ten districts have undergone the training thus far, with three more having signed contracts and even more in negotiations” (Ashtari).
From another point of view, students could get their hands on the teacher’s weapon causing harm or damage to others in the school if the weapon is not in a safe place. “A staff member could forget to lock up the gun or the ammunition, or the armed faculty member may freeze in the time of stress and confrontation with an armed assailant and be killed because of the firearm he or she is wielding” (Beilstein). Although accidents can happen, there are so many reasons that if they take the proper precautions, it should not happen. There are guns out there that require the firearm holder to be wearing a wrist band that can detect the firearm and then allows them to fire the gun. If they are not wearing the wristband, the gun will not fire. So in that case, they firearm would never be able to be fired by a student.
Teachers could instead have a plan to protect themselves and their students instead of just a plan to hide. “Texas is one of the states that allows teachers to carry concealed guns in schools. Most of the districts in that state that allow guns in schools are rural, where law enforcement response times can be 20 to 30 minutes in some cases” (Illescas). Knowing that schools are actually trying this is more of a reason to keep supporting it. There has been no accidents caused by the weapons in schools and as long as staff stay cautious about it, there would be no reason to hear any stories about incidents happening.
Lastly, you could make it optional for teachers to carry a gun and if they did want to, they would take every proper precaution and training necessary for carrying a gun safely. “Trump recommends that superintendents and school boards get written opinions from their insurance carriers and school district attorneys on the risks and liability of arming non-law enforcement, school employees”(Arming). Everyone that decided to carry a gun, not just teachers, has to go through hours, if not days of training in order to receive their permit to carry. During that class, they teach you how to safely operate your weapon and things that you should and should not do with the firearm.
All in all, teachers and staff should carry a firearm because it will keep the children and staff protected and keep criminals out of schools. It is becoming more and more of an issue and you keep hearing about more school shootings every year, so why doesn’t everybody try to prevent it by supporting such a huge issue. Armed teachers would benefit the schools security system if they took the proper precautions and it would make parents and families feel better knowing that they are bringing their children to a school that has their students protected with the appropriate weapons or having their wife or husband going to work protected rather than worrying because of all of the school shootings lately. So if it wasn’t supported before, it should be now.
"Arming Teachers and School Staff - School Security." School Security. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2014.
Ashtari, Shadee. "Missouri School Districts Start Training Teachers To Carry Concealed Weapons In Classroom." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 23 June 2014. Web. 11 Dec. 2014.
Beilstein, Nolan. "Arming Teachers Not Solution to Gun Violence in Schools." The Badger Herald. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2014.
Illescas, Carlos. "Gun Training for Teachers Shows Guns in Schools Still a Hot Issue." - The Denver Post. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2014.
Lott, Maxim. "Teachers Need Guns, Says Lawmaker Whose Son Attended School with Colorado Shooter." Fox News. FOX News Network, 06 Jan. 2014. Web. 12 Dec. 2014.
Schlanger, Zoe. "In Utah, Teachers Can Carry Guns Into Schools and Not Tell Anyone." N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2014.