Teachers should not be responsible to protect our schools
In 1791, America ratified the right to bear arms to the Bill of Rights. Now after enduring 227 years of changes to the great nation, is it finally time to change society’s rights in this country?
On February 14, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was caught in what seemed like a fire in the building. Nobody at the school could have predicted what would come next as former student Nikolas Cruz opened fire on the students and staff fleeing the alleged fire in the building. The outcome was 17 people killed, numerous injured, and millions heartbroken.
Now, four key survivors–Cameron Kasky, Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, and Jaclyn Corin–have led the charge and are pushing for gun control nationwide. This quartet have been gaining attention in the news, on social media, and even featured on Ellen. There are many different viewpoints on gun control throughout the nation, but an old idea has been dug out of the ground once again; teachers at school should be armed with firearms.
Now, President Trump, through Twitter, has expressed his thoughts on the matter as well by stating that, “Armed Educators (and trusted people that work within a school) love our students and will protect them.” Trump continues his tweet by saying, “Must be firearms adept and have annual training.” Now my view on this matter is that teachers should not be armed, but I will admit that I do not disagree with Trump, which is not normal for me. Trump is right in the fact that educators being armed has the opportunity to keep schools safe from another school shooting. Trump is also right by saying that teachers would need to have gun training to keep those firearms with them. However, what I believe that Trump does not see is the opportunity cost.
What if a student gets ahold of a teacher’s gun? At GHS, we have a large student body, and I can bet that more than one of them wants to get his hands on a gun. One option to prevent this is hiding the gun in a secure location, but is any location in the school truly secure? Our school is notorious for people propping open doors that lead outside. I am not saying that we are not secure at all, but we are not the safest school. If a student wants a gun that bad, he will go to any length to get a gun. We live in a state where it is fairly easy to get drugs. Now illegal drugs are not allowed here in Indiana, but people get their hands on them time and time again because they want them that badly. I have no doubt in my mind that if there are guns in schools, a student will try to get his hands on it.
Another major consequence would be accidents relating to the firearms given to educators. One saying that is heard numerous times in the world is that it’s safer not to have a gun at home than to have one, and that would be statistically correct. According to the CDC, in 2013, there were 130,557 deaths from unintentional injuries caused by firearms. Even the most adept gun owners can make mistakes. Even if gun owners are adept, that clearly would not save them from injury because the accidents involving firearms are injuring the ones carrying the firearms.
Another question involves teacher training. I will admit that educators carrying firearms would make it significantly quicker to take action than waiting on police, but accidents happen. There is always the possibility of the educator missing the shot and hitting a student or another staff member. Humans always go into a fight or flight response. I am sure that an educator’s mind will go straight to taking down the shooter, but what about accuracy and precision. Having firearms at schools might have the chance of protecting us, but it also has the chance of adding to the carnage.
One last thought are the incidents that have already surfaced so far. For instance, an educator in Georgia reportedly barricaded himself in his classroom on Feb. 28 and fired one shot out the window and was arrested. In 2014, a sixth-grade teacher accidently dropped her firearm and shot herself in the leg. These and other accidents with firearms at schools are a warning sign that we should not give firearms to teachers and let police do their job.
While the debate is still going on, hopefully, the nation can come together to make the right decision. Keeping firearms out of school corporations is a safer way for the time being.