Schools face controversy over gun policies
September 30, 2022
Following a surge of mass shootings at schools throughout the United States, Americans are conflicted over what to do next. An option many are considering, and a topic of mass contention in modern media, is arming teachers and faculty with firearms to fend off possible threats.
Teachers should be allowed to carry firearms
Schools would be safer if teachers had guns, and it could be a smart option. Imagine if there was a shooter that had broken into the school. Students would have teachers trained to use guns and be able to defend them better than they could if they were unarmed and untrained.
Before teachers are armed, they would need to go through excessive training to obtain the right to have a gun at the school. The training would help to ensure gun safety and officials would need to determine if the teacher is mentally fit. If the teachers cannot complete the gun safety training or a mental check, they would not be able to have a firearm at school.
Junior Aiden Powers was asked what his thoughts were on teachers having guns in school without training. “Without training, I think it’s not a good idea because I feel like if you need to use it, you need to know how to use it,” he said.
Without training, I think it’s not a good idea because I feel like if you need to use it, you need to know how to use it.”
— Aiden Powers
Powers then shared his thoughts on teachers having guns with proper training.
“If they had training, I’d feel a lot safer knowing that the dangers of terrorist attacks on schools could happen less if there was protection.”
Powers prefer that qualified teachers have guns.
“I’d prefer they have guns,” he said, “Most of the weapons I’ve seen teachers with is like a yard stick or something of the sorts. I don’t feel safe knowing that’s what they’re protecting us with.”
Students like Powers don’t like having unsafe schools, but some students wouldn’t trust or feel comfortable around teachers with guns. Either way there would have to be restrictions and safety regulations to make everybody comfortable and safe.
The right to have a gun would also need to be the teacher’s choice. If the teacher does not want to have a gun, or if it is against their beliefs, they would not be required to possess the firearm.
Some parents may not want their kids to be around a teacher with a firearm either. This makes sense; if they don’t trust the teacher having a weapon, then they might not want their kids around them. That is why there should be a select amount of teachers that are allowed to have firearms in the school.
Overall, teachers having guns would be for the better safety of the students. There would have to be restrictions and strict policies put in place and the teachers would definitely need proper training to be ready in case of an active shooter situation.
Teachers should not be allowed to carry firearms
Virginia Tech University, Sandy Hook Elementary School, Stoneman Douglas High School and now Robb Elementary School have one thing in common. Each school added a new link to the chain of mass school shootings that continues to choke the nation.
As school shootings continue to be reported across America at an alarming rate, some are beginning to wonder whether teachers should be carrying guns in their classrooms. In reality, that solution will just escalate the problem rather than dissipating it.
Bringing more weapons capable of violence into schools is not the solution. According to bbc.com, police officers train for an average of 21 weeks before they work. Even then, what they learn in training is used daily as a part of their job. It is completely irrational to give teachers the responsibility of gun ownership – even with training – because they do not experience the same conditions as police do on a day-to-day basis.
If a shooter came into a classroom, situations are so unpredictable that there is no telling whether a teacher would have time to get their weapon, if they would be able to aim accurately, or if they would even be able to pull a trigger. They should not be given a weapon intended to kill.
Bringing more weapons in won’t solve the issue of them being there in the first place. It can only make for a more dangerous situation.”
— Elena Fisk
Fighting violence with violence will just cause more harm.
“Adding more guns to the problem only puts them at a higher access to students,” said senior Audrey Falk. It increases the possibility that students pick up weapons, potentially endangering the lives of their classmates.
There are many initiatives that could be taken that would solve the problem without bringing more firearms into the picture. This might look like keeping guns out of the hands of people who should not have them in the first place.
It could also include making students feel welcome at school.
“Teachers and counselors [should make] more of an effort to make sure that kids feel safe and like they have a place in this world,” Fisk said. If schools promote environments where all students feel welcome, then they might have less motivation to consider bringing a gun to school.
Additionally, there should be a higher incentive for students to report their classmates online for posting threats or suspicious posts. Many times, school shooters hint at or outright state their intentions prior to inflicting harm.
Teachers should not have to shoulder the burden of having a firearm in their classrooms. It adds a level of unease to schools and brings additional danger into schools.
It is time for the list of schools that have encountered mass shootings to end, but that list will not stop with bringing the problem closer into the belly of the beast.