Thursday, February 22, 2018

Questions About Teachers And Guns

It seems as though every time there is a school shooting (way too frequently!) one of the talking points bandied about is that of arming teachers. In theory (I think) this is intended as a preventative measure to discourage a student bringing a gun to school, as well as a solution to stopping whatever rampage that student might be planning. And while I think most people aren't fully serious about this as an actual way to solve the problem of gun violence, many people seem to enjoy at least entertaining the idea as a plausible course of action. (citation needed)

And as I think about it, I just have some questions for the advocates of arming educators.

  • Is it all teachers, or just ones that want to participate in the program?
  • Is it up to the district or the state to decide who carries a weapon? 
  • Will a teacher be forced to join the program against their will, or alternately transfer to another district or state if they don't want to be armed? Even the elderly teachers or those with poor vision?
  • What kind of vetting will the teachers get? Surely there are some employees in school systems who should not have a gun. Perhaps even those who want a gun the most ("teaches" study hall & coaches football)
  • Is the teacher expected to provide his/her own gun, or is it provided by the school?
  • Does that come out of the school's budget?
  • Will teachers be given a gun allowance to aid in the purchase of a firearm (teachers are under-paid!)?
  • What kind of gun? Are there restrictions?
  • What training will they receive? Who will pay for it? And renewal of permits?
  • Will they be expected to have the gun on their person at all times during the day, or will it be locked in their desk?
  • Does adding guns to a gun-free environment increase the risk of gun violence?
  • Students steal hall passes, what happens if they steal the teacher's gun?
  • Will the students know which teachers are armed and plan to avoid them or alternately target them?
  • Will this start an arms race where students upgrade to explosives or other means of causing harm?
  • Who will provide counseling to the teacher who has to decide whether or not to murder a child?
  • What kind of leave will be provided to a teacher who has to shoot a child? And will they be welcomed back to their normal position? Will they even want to return?
  • What if the teacher isn't Jason Bourne and accidentally shoots another student or faculty member?
  • What qualifies as a threat that demands a gun response? Can you shoot a kid with a knife? What about a kid spraying bleach in people's eyes with a squirt gun?
  • How can teachers be expected to respond appropriately when trained police officers often shoot innocent people or overreact to an intense situation?

I don't intend this to be a full examination of a very serious issue because I know it's not. But giving teachers guns is such a ridiculous idea that I cannot fathom that anyone would actually believe this would solve anything.

And it doesn't have to come down to taking your guns away, which is why I think many people are upset. Guns are a tool and they have a purpose. People rely on guns to procure food, or protect themselves from animals and humans alike. They can be fun to shoot. They can be a hobby. You can appreciate the craftsmanship and engineering of a gun. You can collect rare or interesting guns.

There just has to be a different way. There has got to be something that we all as a combined nation, and also as individual humans, can do to avoid these types of situations and to get out of this mindset that trying to solve a problem like this is somehow impeding on our individual liberty. You aren't free anyways. Do you have a credit card? Do you have a job that you hate? Are you locked into a mortgage that you'll never pay off? Heck, can you even afford to get a mortgage in the first place? Where is your liberty? Where is your freedom? Guns were guaranteed in the Bill of Rights so that a populace could defend itself against a tyrannical government. And as Dr. Phil would say "So how's that workin' out for ya?"

...I know...I took the bait and had an emotional response to a bait debate that was probably created by a Russian Troll Farm to further divide Americans. But come on people. We're all in this together. Stop shooting each other please.

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