School should be a safe place. Children should not be afraid to go to school, and we should not be afraid to send our children to school. Last week’s Blog Post, Teachers With Guns seems to have stirred a few emotions. The point of the article was to comment on our need for improved security in our schools. Several items were offered as a method of improving security but it seems what most saw was the idea of teachers carrying guns. Of course, the title of the article may have drawn their focus to this concept but the other ideas were mostly ignored. Although the idea of teachers with guns was debated in the comments section, I feel further discussion is warranted. The debate centered on whether is was better to arm the teachers or better to outlaw guns. Probably we should do both, but let us discuss it further.
Several objections were given as to why teachers should not be armed. Among them was a concern that teacher armed with a weapon would frighten the children. Having known a lot of children in my life, and having actually been one for a while, I think most children would think it was pretty cool. During my years as a police officer I encountered children on a regular basis. Their attention was always drawn to my sidearm and I was asked many questions about it, but never do I recall any of them appearing frightened by the site of my pistol. Not only do I think it would not frighten the children, I think that in very short order it would become common place and go unnoticed. Of course, there is an assumption the gun would be visible. The gun could be carried concealed and therefore out of sight, out of mind.
Another concern was the security of the weapon. I would not expect the teacher to enter the classroom, greet the children, place the handgun on the desk and turn to the blackboard, all the while little Johnny is stealthily sneaking forward in a covert attempt to gain control of the weapon. The gun should always be under the full control of the teacher and if at times circumstances prevent the teacher from having the gun on their person, for a nominal fee gun safes could be installed in each classroom. I carried a concealed weapon for many years and I know from experience that it is not that difficult to carry or to conceal. I think this concern is a non issue.
One final point, the discussion of arming our teachers versus outlawing guns. Both are a good idea and we should do both. Teachers can be tr trained and armed with much greater expediency that we can expect our legislators to pass laws regarding outlawing various types of weapons and ammunition. They will endlessly debate the size of the magazine, the caliber of the ammunition, automatic versus semi-automatic, who can buy and what they can buy ad infinitum. Incidents like Sandy Hook illustrate the immediacy of the situation, we cannot afford to wait on the legislatures. Of course there is the age-old argument that outlawing guns does not take the guns away from outlaws. As tired and worn-out as the cliche is, it is still true. Illegal drugs are still sold each day. Illegal guns are sold everyday. Addition to the list of weapons that are illegal will only add to the inventory of the illegal gun dealer. The only thing definite about making guns illegal is that it will make guns illegal. Nothing more. Making them illegal will not make them go away!
If we arm our teachers and save a child’s life, it is worth it. If we arm our teachers and discourage one person from entering a school and massacring children, it is worth it. Let us arm them, let us make it well known that they are armed, and if some misguided individual chooses to commit “suicide by teacher” so be it. We owe it to our children to provide them this security. If we won’t protect them, who will?
Those are my thoughts, what are yours?