Whether or not to allow teachers to carry concealed firearms is a huge topic for discussion across America. This is a good discussion, and one that definitely needs to be had. President Trump is listening and he wants to hear the American people’s thoughts and concerns regarding teachers carrying firearms, or having armed guards on all campuses.
With ideas like this, there are pros and cons to everything. The obvious pro being that every teacher would be able to fully protect their students. While the negatives are of course, what would happen if a student got ahold of the weapon? What if a teacher is not mentally capable of handling the responsibility and discipline that comes with carrying a firearm? In the end, It’s really a matter of if one’s own positives outweigh their own negatives, or vice versa.
I reached out to various teachers because I wanted to get their perspective and their opinions. (I am not listing the names or schools of any teachers in this article, for the sake of anonymity.) Here are some of the answers I received: “I have been a teacher for more than 20 years and have faced many difficult situations in my classroom, but I have never seen such a violent display of anger amongst students. These acts of brutality have led to the killing and suffering of innocent children and teachers, which have created a fearful and harmful environment. Because of this, some legislatures want a law to be made for teachers to be armed in their classrooms. I do agree with the Second Amendment, but I don’t believe arming teachers is the solution to ending these violent behaviors. By arming teachers with guns some may think students would be more protected, when in fact it could be just as harmful as a shooter. Not all teachers would be able to, or want to use a gun, especially in a dangerous situation. If a teacher is unable to use a gun in this type of situation due to fear or inability, who’s to say a student wouldn’t pick it up and use it instead? Having a firearm in a classroom, even if only for protection, can create incidents that may not turn out well.”
While another teacher said: “All schools should be provided with armed security. If there’s a private citizen who is a teacher, especially if they’re prior military or prior law enforcement, it could be beneficial to have them be able to access a firearm if a situation warranted it. This is not saying all teachers should be gunslingers from the Wild West, but those who are trained should be able to retrieve a firearm from a firearm safe, if they so choose.”
I asked students for their opinion on the topic as well: “I personally see both sides. There have been more school shootings recently, but there should be thorough training and assessments for anyone wanting to carry a gun. There is a large amount of controversy with teachers having the opportunity to be armed, but with the correct federally mandated training’s I do not see an issue with it.” stated one student.
A second student told me: “When it comes to arming teachers, I think it is a good idea. It’s not like every single teacher on campus would be armed. However, a few responsible adults on campus would be armed in case of an emergency. Some teachers care more about student’s lives than anyone else does. These teachers shouldn’t be scared to go out and gun down the shooter on campus and save students’ lives. When you have a dedicated teacher, they’ll risk it all, going out there to save their students. They would take action given the privilege to be armed on campus. In the time it would take to call the police and have them rush to the scene of the crime on campus, the shooter could have killed 20, maybe 30, maybe more students. Instead a teacher could go out, stop the shooter, and prevent those extra 20-30 lives from being taken. It would save more lives overall.”
I figured it would be a good idea to get the point of view from someone not in the educational field. I spoke to a law enforcement officer, and they told me this: “I think a teacher should be allowed to carry a concealed firearm onto campus if they have gone through the process of obtaining a concealed carry permit. It would also be beneficial to have them undergo firearm training, a few times a year. If a school can afford an armed security guard, it would maximize a school’s security potential, and it would create a sense of crime prevention, rather than pure crime reaction.”
I generally think everyone has a right to defend themselves, and those they love, if they so choose. This coming from someone who is a huge Second Amendment supporter, and someone who is not, nor has ever been afraid of firearms, my thoughts are as followed: While I see the benefits of allowing teachers to carry firearms, I do see far better alternatives. I would personally feel safer with armed guards in each school, whether it be ex-military, prior law enforcement, etc. than having an armed teacher. However, at the same time, I also believe arming teachers could work in certain states, and could be disastrous in others. The majority of people in California dislike firearms, so having teachers carry could be extremely dangerous because firearms are so feared in CA. One never knows what an anti-gun person would do when handed an actual gun. It seems counterintuitive, I know. But, in a state like Texas, where the majority of people own guns, the idea of sitting in a class with an armed teacher wouldn’t seem unusual. I, along with others would rather have a good guy with a firearm to stop a bad guy with a firearm, instead of us all being soft targets and sitting ducks with our “gun-free zones, and safe spaces,” like we are right now. My safe space is where I can either fully protect myself and others, or I know someone else is fully equipped with the tools to protect me and those around me.
The overall consensus about this topic is that something definitely needs to change. Whether that be arming up teachers who feel it appropriate, or allowing armed security on every single school campus, something needs to be done. How many more innocent lives have to be lost before we, as a nation, start making some serious resolutions to these seemingly recurring problems?
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