Town Wants Every Household Armed But Americans Can Do Better

Say What!? 26

spring cityToday Vice President Biden began his gun violence listening sessions, a series of conversations at the White House with people to build consensus over what to do about this problem. But while they take on this slow but important work, one small town in Utah is taking matters into their own hands. Officials in Spring City, Utah want to make sure every household in their town is armed. And they want to train schoolteachers how to use guns, too.

This just makes me sad. More than anything else, this urge people have to arm themselves to the teeth is depressing. When I see headlines like this, I fear our country is descending into an irrational, violence-obsessed nightmare. But I was relieved to read that not everyone in Spring City thinks this is the best plan.

The idea of arming households and teachers came from city councilman Neil Sorensen. He proposed a city ordinance that would make sure the head of every household was armed and trained, and would train teachers how to use firearms as well. "It sends a statement that criminals better think twice," he said. "If a teacher would have had a concealed weapon in Sandy Hook, I think the death loss would have been fewer. If sane, trained people had guns, they could have shot back."

It sounds like Sorensen is agreeing with NRA President Wayne LaPierre's idea of arming schools. It's an idea that makes me nervous -- because if you really think it through, the logic just doesn't hold.

Adam Lanza had a collection of guns with him, including a semi-automatic rifle. So we should arm teachers with semi-automatic rifles, too? But wouldn't a teacher have to keep it locked up and unloaded in order to keep it safe from the students? So what then -- someone storms the school and teachers are fumbling with closet locks, loading guns ... And will the knowledge that teachers may be armed really deter a deranged gunman? Doesn't that assume the gunman is a rational person, in which case, why would he attack a school in the first place? Not to mention the escalation of this imaginary armed war between schools and evil invaders -- this cannot be our best solution. We can do better, can't we?

And it's also ridiculous to require the head of every household to keep a firearm. What if you don't want guns in your home -- at all? What about those people's freedom?

Fortunately, the Spring City council rejected Sorensen's proposed ordinance. They're working on an ordinance "recommending" the idea instead -- so at least no one is forcing anyone to have guns. Good grief.

As for the school district, teachers are not being encouraged to attend a firearm training session on Friday. Superintendent Leslie Keisel says, "The more guns you have in the school, the more dangerous it is." At it happens, Spring City has only a part-time police force. So I can see how they might want more protection. But we are creative, enterprising people. Surely we can come up with better solutions that make sense and that bring out the best in all of us, peacefully.

Do you think guns in schools make them more dangerous, or safer?


Image via mbush_utah/Flickr

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lulou lulou

This will only create more violence between spouses deciding who is head of the household.

fave82 fave82

I'm not saying this is a good idea.. but I would like to say that it would take less time to unlock a gun case and load a weapon than it would to find a cell phone, call 911 and then cower in the corner praying help gets there in time.

jalaz77 jalaz77

fave82-Calling 911 would take longer??? People keep their cell phones on them, teachers keep their cell phones on their desk. A gun locked somewhere out of site of kids, unloaded, bullets possibly in another case, having to unlock THAT case is quicker than dialing 911? Um no. That sounds a bit far fetched. Lets think about that for a moment.

This shows what people are thinking. Scary how people use their heads. Yes let's control the violence by adding fuel the fire. Great idea.

nonmember avatar NikkiJD

If you call 911, they will just bring more guns! Lol

fave82 fave82

WAITING FOR HELP WOULD TAKE LONGER. It will take longer for someone (who has a gun, oddly enough) to get there and save my ass. Granted, I would call 911 before/while getting my gun.. or have someone else call 911 while i got the gun. But at least when that guy broke down my locked door, I wouldnt just be a sitting duck. And please, try reading, I said that I wasn't saying this was a great idea.... It's clearly not what everyone would prefer... I'm only 30, but I didn't have to worry about anyone bringing any sort of weapon into my grade school. Hell, we left the doors wide open becuase we didn't have air in all the rooms! I'm just pointing out the authors argument that it takes too much time to "fumble around with a lock box and load a gun" is completely ridiculous.

nonmember avatar Ap

Don't know many people who don't own a weapon, for safety or for hunting but I don't know if teachers should all be trained and posses a weapon at school but I do think a trained officer should be at every school

lulou lulou

We've actually been getting a lot of cold calls from security companies these past couple weeks.  However, we already have the sticker still up from security complany of the previous owner, so are good to go with that,   Or else I read, just get yourself some big dog bowls for outside.

I also think its funny our baby gear is worth more than our crappy phones and any electronics thieves would ever find in our cars, only that weeds kid was smart enough to go for the fancy stroller.

schlis schlis

I think it's a great idea.

Doomy234 Doomy234

I dont think we should arm anyone who doesnt want to be. But arm everyone who wants to, and is comfortable with the responsibility. Even if it is just arming 3 or 4 teachers, it would do wonders.

Doomy234 Doomy234

Jalaz, I think you misunderstood fave. What they were trying to say is that it would take more time for help to arrive (average response time is between 6 and 20 minutes) you could easily have a gun unlocked, loaded and ready to defend against a criminal (30 seconds to unlock, maybe 1 minute to load, less than half a second to fire). I will take the chance of defending myself over waiting for a cop to do all the work any day.

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