Armed with Knowledge; Should Teachers Be Allowed to Carry Guns?

Would you feel safer if qualified teachers carried guns at school?

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In Parkland, Florida, on February 14, former student Nikolas Cruz launched an attack on Stoneman Douglas High School. Seventeen people were killed: fourteen students and three staff members. Cruz accomplished this by pulling the school’s fire alarm, then began firing an AR-15 assault style semi-automatic rifle.

President Trump offered his prayers and condolences to the victims of the shooting, then met with several students and others in a “listening session.” Many students were upset by this reaction, asking that instead of offering condolences, politicians try to ensure that an event like this never happens again. Students are calling for stricter gun control measures, such as survivor Emma González, who later led a protest against gun violence in the US.

Since the Parkland shooting, the federal government has become more interested in an idea that may prevent future school shootings: allowing teachers and other staff to be armed, an idea that President Trump proposed during the listening session. Trump has argued that school shooting last, on average, around three minutes. Police and emergency response can take up to eight minutes to arrive, long after the shooting would have occurred. Having an armed staff member, says the President, could mean that the shooting would end before more lives were lost. He has also pointed out that ever since pilots have been allowed to carry concealed guns, people are not attacking the way they routinely would before the law was passed.

However, not everyone agrees with these ideas, saying that prevention is more important than protection. Parents whose children died in either the Stoneman Douglas or Sandy Hook Elementary shooting are particularly averse, asking instead that the federal government ensure that these tragedies do not keep repeating. Several members of the GM community are not fully onboard with this idea either.

“I’m not opposed to a law that allows that to happen,” stated Mr. Korb regarding whether he thinks the federal government should pass a law that enables teachers to carry guns in school. He continued, “I’m opposed to a law that requires that to happen I think that those decisions should be made on the local level.”

“I don’t think adding more guns to the equation will come up with a solution, I think it will just cause more issues than are needed. I can see how people can defend that, as in it would provide more protection, but in the heat of the moment, if a teacher shoots a gun at a shooter, someone is going to hear the teacher’s gunshot, and it will just be bullets everywhere,” stated senior Abe Masone.

The goal of this legislation would be to make a safer environment for students, by providing highly trained teachers armed with weapons. Despite this, students have vocalized that they wouldn’t necessarily feel safer if their teacher was carrying a gun. “It depends on the teacher,” stated sophomore Olivia Minner.

Teachers that would be armed may be called upon to kill another person in the event of a shooting. This is a heavy burden for teachers to bear. “That’s putting a lot of responsibility on a teacher,” sophomore Rinoa McCain stated. Korb agrees, “I don’t think that should be required of a teacher.”

Of course, everyone’s goal in this situation is to prevent another shooting by a means that works. When asked if allowing teachers to be armed would deter gun violence, however, all those questioned replied similarly. “In some situations, possibly, but in most, I feel like it’s just gonna cause more issues,” says Masone. “I feel like that just wouldn’t work out.”

Whether or not allowing teachers to be armed will lessen the amount of school shootings, no one can tell for sure. The nation is still gripped by despair over the tragedy at Stoneman Douglas, while the surviving students only want to be sure that what happened to them will not be experienced by anyone ever again.