In the first four months of 2023 there have been 146 mass shootings in the United States. The most common kind of shooting we’re hearing about recently are ones taking place in schools. In all of those stories, students and staff are sitting targets. It is already a huge argument that even though innocent people are being killed–let’s emphasize, innocent children–society doesn’t want to limit the access people have to guns. Because let’s be honest, almost anyone can get their hands on a gun. So what now? We leave teachers to defend students with #2 pencils?
It doesn’t make sense to give students guns, in fact that would make everything worse. There’s simply not enough security guards and police officers to have in every school at all times. So the best way to protect students and staff is starting inside the school. Let the teachers carry a concealed weapon. Does it need to be forced on teachers to carry guns? No, they signed up to teach, not to shoot someone. But teachers who understand the odds of a shooter walking down their hallway are getting progressively higher. They should not be forced to be a sitting target. Locking the door and hiding, a drill the shooter has more than likely gone through themselves, is not going to prevent students from dying. The shooter knows where they are, and if they came into a school with a gun a locked door isn’t going to stop them.
However, not every teacher that may want to carry is going to be trained already. But within the many meetings and training they already do, it shouldn’t be a big deal to have a couple hour lessons on gun safety and practice. It only takes a couple hours before the school year starts of learning how to carry, and being evaluated. This would increase the value of their carrying. It is just one more thing that can help in a horrific issue that we’ve been fighting for years. If carrying a gun will save the life of the teacher and/or the students, if the situation ever rises, the training would be worth it.
Thinking about this rationally, there’s going to be the concern that we are placing guns inside of these schools. Yes, there’s a risk that the teacher goes crazy and uses said gun. There’s also a risk that a student could attack a teacher that’s carrying a gun. There’s risks with every solution in any situation, but sometimes it’s worth the risk. The fact that the shooter knows there’s a high number of adults in that building carrying a firearm is a scare factor. They know they’d be outnumbered.
There’s no need to tell students which teachers are carrying, this lowers the risk of students attacking staff to steal the gun. Though this seems like something that would probably never happen in the first place. Having conversations with students about carrying could also be productive. Teaching the responsibility of firearms and carrying safety would be a good way to educate the students.
Nine states already allow guns in the school (Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Kansas, Oregon, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Texas, and Mississippi). There are no stories of any incidents happening due to these teachers being allowed to carry. In fact, most of the states have lower amounts of school shootings.
Allowing, training, and encouraging teachers to carry is not an act that should be made overnight. But it is something to work towards and something that could potentially save many lives. With how things are right now regarding gun violence, it is one of our last resorts.