Let's Give Our Teachers Guns

Heartbreaking 52

gun in caseWould it really be such a bad thing if we stocked our schools with guns? School systems routinely ask taxpayers for money to buy new computers, textbooks, and staff development training -- I propose sticking a line item in the annual education budgets for staff firearms training. Who loves the thought of this? Absolutely no one. I support gun rights and it sickens me that it's come to this, but you know what? It's come to this. I can't help wonder if Dawn Hochsprung, Mary Sherlach, or another trained staffer at Sandy Hook Elementary School had had access to some kind of weapon, that initial confrontation with Adam Lanza in the front hallway might have gone down differently. If educators at that school had had guns and were trained in how to use them, we might be having a totally different conversation today and 26 beautiful, precious lives may still be inhabiting this earth.

You always go through a litany of ifs and maybes after a tragic event like this. If Hochsprung had had a gun, maybe she could have shot Adam Lanza in that hallway, before he even managed to enter a classroom. Maybe she would have shot at him and missed, and taken a bullet herself, but the mere attempt could have caused him to panic and shoot himself before taking another innocent life. The rumor is that Lanza had enough ammunition to take out the entire school, but that he shot himself as soon as he got indication that first responders had entered the building. Maybe the knowledge that schools kept weapons on hand would have deterred him from even going there in the first place.

You cannot force a teacher to arm herself or to even learn to use a gun if she doesn't want to. It's not like you could just add a mandatory gun course to her college curriculum. Using a gun or even being in the same room as one cannot be forced. You need to have the confidence and willingness to operate a gun and pull the trigger if you need to. That's just not a part of everyone's DNA. (Staffing all schools with an armed police officer is also an option here, and is in use at many schools already.)

But I'm willing to bet that there would have been at least one teacher in that school who would have gladly taken on the job as "safety officer" or some such designated title for the school, in the same way that staff are appointed "safety wardens" in the case of fire drills and evacuations.

One of those teachers would have agreed to -- in complete conjunction with the local police department -- take a course, undergo extensive background checks, and be given a key to a locked compartment, where no kids have access, to a weapon that could be used against intruders like Adam Lanza. After what happened on December 14, I'd bet anything you'd find at least one willing teacher at every school.

We can take guns away from the Nancy Lanzas of the world, and even cut down on the amount of illegal firearms on the streets. But the sick, angry, evil Adam Lanzas of the world will still find another way. They will build a bomb from the Internet or use knives or their car. They will continue to come for our kids whether we take all the guns away or not.

So, yeah, let's get illegal guns away from criminals and restrict legal access to assault weapons and anything else we need to do to lessen the chances of a massacre like this from happening again. But then let's ensure it NEVER happens again by putting those same guns into the hands of our teachers. And pray they never, ever have to use them.

Do you support giving guns to our teachers?

Image via zombieite/Flickr

crime, death, terrorism


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nonmember avatar Lbdmom

Not teachers, they have enough to worry about. Armed guards/police officers at schools, malls, movies. Trained professionals ready to react to a threat. Then maybe the little sociopaths would think twice before bringing a guns to those places.

Flori... Floridamom96

Shawna, I homeschool, own multiple guns, have taught my children how to shoot, have boys and a husband who hunt, and will be taking my son to the range for his 17th birthday. For the record, in a police state only the police and military are armed, which is exactly what you advocate. An armed citizenry is the very antithesis of a police state.

Amelia Jensen

Cynthia, this is the most narrow-minded blog posts I've ever read. Why aren't you thinking about the children??? It's only OK to give our teachers guns if the children are also armed. Every child should be issued a standard sidearm at preschool age in the event that one of the gun-toting teachers goes BERSERK. The children need to be able to defend themselves from the teachers, the principal, and potential mass murderers who storm their way into the school!

Now, of course, both the teachers and the students should be well-trained in how to utilize the weapons. There should be mandatory firearm safety classes at every grade level with age-appropriate training. For instance, it's not a good idea to teach kindergardeners how to use a laser scope... that's better taught at a 4th or 5th grade level.

Your idea is a good start, Cynthia, but it's simply too narrow. We need to expand on your idea, and now is the time to do it. The slaughter that took place in Sandy Hook has provided us with a great opportunity! We need to give guns to the teachers and the children to ensure they have a safe future!

nonmember avatar wendy

No way. I cannot see this practically working. Example, my daughter's school is pretty spread out. If her teacher (5th grade) is the 'armed' teacher, he would first have to secure the safety of his class. If he then left the classroom, there would be no teacher in the room. To get across campus, it takes at a run about 1 minute. It sounds like this was over
within ten minutes. By the time he took care of his class and got there, it would be too late.
No hallways, no fences, no security guards, the office is not joined to any other building at school. Most classrooms are stand alone or two classrooms next to each other. No closets in the classes.
Scary to think how vulnerable it is. There are about 360 kids and we are located about 15 minutes from a major city.

nonmember avatar wendy

Oh, and to say that maybe the school secretary or principal should be the armed person, how many of them would be comfortable with that? I know I could do a good job as a school secretary (usually the only person consistently in the office), but if I had to be armed, no way in the world would I do that.

Katie Hesney Johnson

I would advocate having a police officer or a trained school resource officer to have a gun, absolutely. Our schools have become sitting ducks, and no matter how many gun laws they pass, criminals are criminals for a specific reason...THEY DON'T FOLLOW THE LAW. Disarming the general public only makes us more vulnerable to attack by these liitle sociopaths and entitled criminals who will take full advantage of our disadvantage. 

Arming the teachers...well....I suppose if they did a psychological evaluation (similiar to what they do to police officers), and they are well trained, then I would have no problem sending my child off to school with armed teachers. Israel has adopted a similiar policy where aides are armed and there hasn't been an incident since the 1970's. 

Angie Maxwell Pemberton

Yes!!!! I trust them with my most precious things in life. Give them the ability to protect them...please.

Doomy234 Doomy234

I dont necessarily think that we should be arming teachers. Although if a teacher has a concealed carry permit already when they are hired for the school I see no problem with that. But when we hire teachers we need to give them mental evaluations if they are to be trusted with our children (gun toting or not). I do however think that we should have security guards on any campus who wants them. They will be trained, evaluated and assigned to the job. I think this would be great for new jobs across the nation, and your tax dollars would ensure your children are protected. These security guards will have a side arm at all times, and a room which only authorized individuals may get into (much like a safe at a bank) which will contain body armor, riot shields, and police approved weaponry (mace, rifles, ammunition, night stucks, etc). This is an excellent solution for both sides, I believe. The children (nor bad guys) would not be allowed to access the weapons. And your children would be safe in case an armed assailant came in.

Sammy... SammyMama

This is f-ing CRAZY.  CRAZY.  More guns is absolutely not the answer.  Hello, isn't this blog full of posts about random people doing shitty things to children all the time?  Parents and teachers included?  Why would you want them to have a gun at the ready for the next time they snap??

Not to mention: how many stories are there of schools who can't get to a g-d EPI-PEN in time to save child's life, and that is when there has been a plan in place, teachers notified in advance, the epi-pen is accessible, etc (not to mention there is no threat of violence present to compromise their judgement)?  How the hell do you think TEACHERS could possibly handle having to be soldiers on top of their regular jobs?

And no, Doomy, security guards are not the answer either, at least not with automatic weapons still available.  Remember the Discovery building incident?

Hocke... HockeyMomNJ

I have a rare perspective on this. My son is six, and is in first grade. His first grade teacher has 2 jobs. His teacher is also a cop. I never really thought of it as comforting as I do now. Id have no problem with arming his teacher...........

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