Arming Educators with Guns is one of the Worst Ideas in the History of Bad Ideas

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Arming Educators with Guns is one of the Worst Ideas in the History of Bad Ideas

The gun-control debate rages on in the aftermath of the Parkland massacre. Protectors of the 2nd Amendment still contest that it’s a necessary freedom for all Americans to protect us against a tyrannical government, while gun-control advocates simply want to prevent further mass shootings. It’s that cyclical discourse that ultimately leads to zero progress and compromise.

But after the shooting perpetrated by Nikolas Cruz, there is a hope sweeping the nation that this might be the incident that finally brings about some semblance of change. And there are already several change proposals to the gun laws that most agree upon including; taking guns away from the mentally ill, ramping up thorough intensive background checks and finally making bump stocks illegal, which effectively turns a semiautomatic like the AR-15 into a fully automatic weapon. But thus far, making the AR-15’s and other semiautomatic weapons like it illegal is where the great divide lies.

One solution perpetuated by President Trump and his administration is to arm educators with concealed firearms. “If you had a teacher who was adept with the firearm, they could end the attack very quickly,” President Trump said at a listening session at the White House with the Parkland community, “Gun-free zones to a maniac, because they’re all cowards, a gun-free zone is ‘let’s go in and let’s attack because bullets aren’t coming back at us.’”

He went on to clarify on Twitter accusing the mainstream media of misinterpreting his idea.

But attacks would not “end” because to expect this would mean that you’re assuming a mass shooter has the presence of mind to consider this before storming a school. Aren’t they mentally ill? It’s not to say that isn’t possible, but the reason why these people commit mass shootings is because they aren’t rationale and the value of human life is meaningless, including their own. The threat of weapons on site didn’t stop the attacks in Las Vegas and on military bases with numerous armed guards, did it?

“The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” is a grossly exaggerated cliché. “A teacher woulda shot the hell out of him before he knew what happened,” Trump told a crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Really? Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School wasn’t a gun-free zone. As Cruz rampaged through the school, an armed sheriff’s deputy, Scot Peterson, took cover outside of the building and did nothing. Instead of charging in heroically to stop Cruz, he was too scared to confront an AR-15.

Peterson is a trained officer. Now, we could spend the extra taxpayers’ dollars on training teachers, but what’s to say they would be able to control their adrenaline and stop an intense situation? The point is, you never know how someone will react in dire circumstances. It’s also assuming that every educator with a gun will have the heroism to stop the shooter is impossible to evaluate without an accurate simulation.

Then you have to consider the convoluted messy position that police officers will encounter when they have to disseminate which shooter is the killer and which are the innocent educators in the middle of a gunfight. It’s inevitable that an inexperienced teacher or a confused police officer would be accidentally killed.

Another dangerous circumstance under this idea would actually be without the presence of a mass shooter in the building. What if a hostile student overpowered a teacher with a concealed weapon? What if a teacher used their gun irrationally on another hostile student? Both of those are legitimate possibilities. And when “20%” of the educators in a school are concealed carrying, that potential energy creates an abundance of scenarios where the outcome is not favorable.

After the idea was presented, President Trump did say he would leave that decision up to the states. Alabama is already working on arming educators with new legislation. Then this debate will grow exponentially tenser when a state like Alabama experiences less mass shootings than a state like New York, which has already refused any such idea. Arming educators with weapons isn’t a solution. You don’t put out a fire by adding more fire.

~ Brian Benson

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Brian Benson was born-and-raised in North Carolina, a beloved son and youngest of seven siblings. He has an extensive background in political science. When he’s not writing, he surfs full time.

1 COMMENT

  1. This is a solution that will be resolved ultimately by each state legislature and hopefully will end with metal detectors placed and monitored by security officers at school entrances. Washington D.C. schools already have this in place in statistically violent neighborhoods and it’s working. Arming a select set of highly qualified and trained teachers who know how to react with police arriving on campus would only work when protecting groups hiding from the shooter. Requiring a teacher to become a police officer by going after the shooter(s) would be too confusing among the teachers with guns and to arriving police.

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