Not long after the Newtown shooting, the call for arming teachers echoed in the air and still does. There are people out there that think that arming teachers is the answer to preventing school shootings. Making reference to Israeli teachers who regularly carry guns, it has been proposed, and even encouraged, that our teachers should do the same. Debating the issue of teacher’s carrying guns brings up many points.
First, when it comes to supplying teachers with the necessary gear and provide the necessary training, who is footing the bill? Not only must the teachers have a gun, holster and ammunition, but training classes and continued training are required for this solution to be successful. We all know that teachers are always buying school supplies out of their own pocket due to reduced budgets, but now do we expect them to cover the cost of arming themselves in the classroom? I consider this a strange request due to the fact that many republican governors around the country are attempting to cut teacher’s pay and benefits and now the state wants them to take on the role of armed guard. Many teachers who care about the children they teach as much as their own, could be pushed by their own emotions into thinking this is a good idea.
This is not a good idea for many reasons. Like you, I want teachers to focus on teaching and not be distracted by the possibility of an ambush and be startled every time someone opens the classroom door. Being armed and assuming responsibility for protecting a large group of defenseless people is distracting, to say the least. Not to mention it is not the responsibility of teachers to play armed guard, regardless of how much they would want to do this due to their natural instinct to protect our children.
Second, the video that is part of this article was done by Diane Sawyer with ABC News and provides some excellent points with real examples of how putting a person through a training class on how to shoot a weapon is not going to prevent people from dying in an attack. Even the most experienced person highlighted in the video ends up dead in the simulation. Just because you can shoot a gun, doesn’t mean you can do it under duress and be successful in hitting a target and staying out of the line of fire while protecting over a dozen young children at the same time.
The NRA obviously has ulterior motives when it comes to arming teachers; thousands more purchasing weapons, ammunition and taking classes that will help line their lobbying pockets. What the NRA does not want you to focus on is the victims and their shredded bodies. The words of Veronique Pozner, whose son Noah Pozner, was killed in the attack:
“We all saw how beautiful he was. He had thick, shiny hair, beautiful long eyelashes that rested on his cheeks. He looked like he was sleeping. But the reality of it was under the cloth he had covering his mouth there was no mouth left. His jaw was blown away. I just want people to know the ugliness of it so we don’t talk about it abstractly, like these little angels just went to heaven. No. They were butchered. They were brutalized. And that is what haunts me at night.”
Is the vision of that enough to convince you that these types of weapons should not be allowed in the hands of everyday citizens? And if it’s not enough, what is? Do we need to release autopsy photos of the children so that people can come out of their hollowed shell of existence and realize these weapons are only used to slaughter people and not animals and have no business in the hands of everyday people?
Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has deflected the issue as a matter that the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-AZ), will bring up at the appropriate time. McConnell’s ambivalence and cowardice on this issue is paralyzing. There are real victims, innocent children. For some people, it takes being a victim or having someone close to them being a victim in gun violence, to change their minds about tougher restrictions on guns. Some well thought-out solutions are in order, but arming teachers is not one of them. This article is Part 1 of a series focusing on varying aspects of this debate.