Arming teachers from a teacher’s perspective
Avoiding Stoneman Douglas student demands for banning the sale of AR-15s, President Trump diverted by saying: “Look at the possibility of giving concealed guns to gun adept teachers. Twenty percent of teachers armed would serve as a deterrent and cost less than guards.” This is NRAspeak for “A good guy with a gun stops bad guys with a gun.”
Having taught for 32 years in a suburban Chicago school, I have a different perspective. Glenbard West had 2,100 students, two buildings, 25 entrance doors and five floors in the main building, and over 100 faculty would equal 20 armed teachers (Nationwide, 20 percent equals 700,000 armed teachers).
Trump envisions classroom teachers with concealed hand guns. Teachers are called upon to break up altercations/fights in hallways/cafeterias — do I intervene risking my concealed gun falling out in the scuffle?
Trump envisions classroom teachers with concealed hand guns responding to an “active shooter” warning. Do I leave my 30 students to go seek the shooter? Do I rush to my classroom and put on a bulletproof vest? Do 20 teachers peek around the various stairwells/hallways brandishing handguns? If I spot the shooter, do I attempt to get close enough to fire accurately in hallways that are 100+ yards long (Remember, he has an AR-15)? Police statistics indicate a 50 percent accuracy rate or less when shooting at “perps” — would teachers be more accurate than trained police? Doubtful! Where do those stray bullets go? If I shoot and miss and it strikes a student/teacher, am I covered by insurance for a wrongful death lawsuit?
When police/SWAT enter the building will they be able to distinguish between the active shooter and armed teachers? Will teachers be gunned down by police? If I’m killed, will my family be given death benefits? I think it’s a terrible idea!
Personally, I see Trump’s proposal as a disastrous diversion. He received $30 million in campaign donations from the NRA and continues to do their bidding. Trump’s new policies include: New Justice Department rules allowing fugitives from justice to purchase guns if they’ve not crossed state lines; Trump revoked an Obama-era rule that would block some mentally ill people from buying guns; Trump’s budget cut millions of dollars from gun background check system as well as cutting funding for mental health and school security. Saying and doing are two separate things.
Listen to the Stoneman Douglas students, not the diverter-in-chief.