If I've seen one call to arm the teachers in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, I've seen 100. Folks? Here is your wake-up call. A Vermont teacher is now in a mental health facility, and cops have confiscated his guns and ammunition after his out-of-control Facebook postings rattled his small town.
Steven Davis surrendered his AR-15 military-style rifle, two high-capacity magazines, and 500 rounds of ammunition willingly, and has said he never intended to hurt anyone. But his rough week certainly puts in perspective the current push to give teachers guns and put them in close proximity with our kids.
After all, what happens when the teacher is the one who loses it? Who will protect the kids then? And how do we defend the decision to put that gun in the school in the first place?
I'll posit that the suggestion that we arm teachers comes from the right place. Certainly the teachers in Newtown proved themselves to be heroes, protecting their students as a madman took countless lives. The groundswell of support for educators is heartwarming.
And yet, sadly, there is no guarantee that teachers are any more fit to use a gun wisely than any other American. More to the point, there's no guarantee that they are any more apt to be of sound mind.
Face it: teachers have stressful jobs. Just look at Davis. A beloved science and math teacher at Mount Anthony Union High School in Vermont for the past nine years, his crazy Facebook postings very suddenly showed a guy who was frustrated by the system. He was going off about how he was treated by the administration and the union, how much he wanted change.
He was stressed out.
Now stressed out people don't automatically turn into killers all the time, but how many times DO they? You've heard the term "go postal," heard of employees shooting up their place of business? That could be a teacher too. All it takes is that one time.
And we want to arm them? Provide more opportunities for disaster? Thanks, but I'd rather leave the guns in the arms of law enforcement who aren't just trained to use them but evaluated before being armed.
How about you? Do you worry about arming teachers?
Image via SchlÃ¼sselbein2007/Flickr