Teachers and Guns Don’t Mix

How would you feel if you knew your teacher was carrying a gun with them inside a classroom?

Ethan Hurlburt, Columnist

Three weeks ago, in the wake of the mass shooting that left 17 students dead in Parkland, FL, attention has been brought to the idea of arming teachers with handguns. This includes President Donald Trump, who advocated for the idea, and recently said that he’s willing to pay teachers “a little bit of a bonus” if necessary to arm and train them.

Florida lawmakers on Wednesday passed legislation that would impose new restrictions on firearm sales and allow some teachers and staff to carry guns in school.  It is widespread concern considering that for the minimal firearms training they would get 132 hours, which would be less than that of basic police recruits.

I should be able to go to school everyday and not worry if there will be someone shooting up the school. It shouldn’t be in any students’ minds. Not even the teachers. Putting guns in teachers’ hands doesn’t seem appropriate, especially in a school environment. There are many questions to be answered in regards to what happens if the teacher doesn’t lock it up or is concealed properly, or what if a student gets a hold onto the gun?

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the annual average of  people killed unintentionally is 500. When thinking about arming teachers and adding to the number of people carrying guns, it just doesn’t seem to be a realistic solution to gun violence in schools or a community.  

As a student, I have never shot a gun and to think that a teacher would carry a gun inside a classroom is extremely nerve-racking. We have no way of knowing that a teacher is not mentally unstable or depressed themselves and they wouldn’t snap and use the guns. And what message is it sending to students? That they should grow up far away from guns? That they should avoid exercising their 2nd Amendment when they are at the legal age to own a firearm?

“If teachers are the ones that are armed – and we do have a law enforcement response to a school campus – imagine seeing a dozen teachers with guns and we’re [the police] responding. We’re not initially sure who is the good guy and who is the bad guy,” Mo Canady said, who is the head of the National Association of School Resource Officers.

As a solution to those who are concerned about a potential school shooting, they should look to School Resource Officers who have multiple years with law enforcement and have the adequate training, to serve their community.