Over the past several years there have been mass shootings in America that has struck the feelings of many Americans. Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, extended family, and strangers have all been affected by the victims of shootings at Aurora, Colorado, Columbine High school, and Sandy Hook Elementary school. Because of these tragedies, U.S. citizens have become more involved and interested in gun control and prevention of gun violence. Gun Control is a controversial issue that many people have different views and ideas about but what is the best solution to preventing gun violence in our schools, theaters, libraries, street corners, etc.? A question that rises today with gun control is “should teachers carry guns in every school?” Although some believe that having armed teachers with intensive weapon training to protect students in schools is a good idea. However, there should not be a mandatory policy for every school to have teachers carrying guns because of possibly mentally ill teachers, the promotion of possessing guns for safety, and the discipline for safety in the school environment. Jeffrey Goldberg (2012), author of article “The Case for More Guns (And Gun Control),” claims that the first instinct feeling people get in danger is defending themselves if possible, if not, escape. In his article, he believes that more gun ownership in a country with three hundred million guns is possibly the only way to reduce gun crime because there are too many guns in this country to start with (Goldberg, 2012).
He also addresses that there should be understanding from anti-gun advocates, gun-control advocates, and gun-rights advocates to take greater precision towards process of possessing guns and reforms to help decrease violence (Goldberg, 2012). Nayaba Arinde (2013), author of article “Teachers respond to NRA call for guns in school” addresses the audience with responses of teachers and school officials to National Rifle Association’s (NRA) proposal of “making every school in the U.S. obligated to having armed teachers and guards.” The responses are negative for this proposal, as well as a few that agreed to some of the idea that NRA proposed. The article first started off with a principal of a school that mentions of having an encounter of a crazy teacher working at the school, “now imagine that person with a gun.” The principal further goes on to say that “our children deserve to be protected with love, guidance and appropriate discipline, not armed guards.
What are we turning our schools into?’ (Arinde, 2013) In Goldberg’s (2012) article, he doesn’t specifically aim his argument towards teachers carrying guns, but in general discusses why people should carry guns with substantial examples that benefit his argument. Goldberg’s (2012) argument on gun possession is that he believes “it is too late,” he mentions “There are an estimated 280 million to 300 million guns in private hands in America — many legally owned, many not. Each year, more than 4 million new guns enter the market” (Goldberg, 2012). Though there is no source of where he got that information from, Goldberg (2012) continues to go on to say “Maybe by allowing more people to carry guns” could reduce gun crime violence. Goldberg (2012) states “I am sympathetic to the idea of armed self-defense. Guns are with us, whether we like it or not. Maybe this is tragic, but it is also reality. So Americans who are qualified to possess firearms shouldn’t be denied the right to participate in their own defense.” strongly suggest that we have the right to bare arms, thanks to the second amendment, but the word that stands out most is “qualified.” A qualified person would be someone who has had proper intensive training, a checked background, and also be a responsible gun owner in order to prevent gun violence. A real life example that supports his view is in Colorado and Florida where people who are qualified are able to get concealed-carry permits for their guns, which apparently decreased crime in both states since the policy was implemented, but no source is stated to support that statement (Goldberg, 2012).
In Arinde’s (2013) article, there is a clear opposition to teacher’s possessing guns for safety and mix feelings toward armed guards in schools. The credibility in the article is strong because there are teachers, counselors, principal speaking against guns that could be in their own possession for protecting students, and they don’t agree to terms of enforcing this idea NRA proposes. School principal Adolfo Muhammad told the Amsterdam News “I am vehemently opposed to armed teachers in schools under any circumstances; I believe it exceeds the acceptable amount of power vested in the profession and helps to cultivate the violent nature of the proliferation of guns in America.” (Arinde, 2013) The article is trying to say that the teachers themselves don’t want to bare these weapons and take away the discipline and safety scene set for the children in these schools, as well as promote gun possession because that could lead to gun violence. Some school workers think there should not be armed guards and some do with the requirement of no contact with students just protection of the building and the people inside of it (Arinde, 2013).
My initial response to this topic of “Should Teachers Carry Guns?” was no because it is against the social norm teachers in the classroom setting of playing their role. To picture a teacher of mine turning around from the white board to face the students and see that he or she is carry a gun on their waist is an uncomfortable sight for me to imagine; I personally would not feel safe sitting in the class room. Teachers carrying guns also didn’t appeal to me initially because you never know if the teacher is mentally stable or having a good day or problems of his or her own that is affecting them emotionally and mentally. Now after reading the articles I feel a greater deal towards teachers not carrying guns because there are measures we can take to prevent shootings like Columbine high school and Sandy Hook elementary that are far less threatening to the people of our country. Implementing more reforms and educating students of gun violence prevention and procedures to follow if gun violence occurs is something that should be invested in schools instead of showing guns protects others from a gun which is not always the case. Armed guards that are not associated with students in schools or in the presence of students could possibly be a plausible solution for more safety of children within schools but to give guns to teachers would be extending their power too much and killing what we might find to be a guided with discipline environment (Arinde, 2013).
A reason why teachers should not be mandated to carry guns in school is because some of these teachers can be mentally ill. A mentally ill teacher with a gun can be just as dangerous and unsafe as a criminal with a gun; in general a mentally ill person with a gun creates many hazards especially if it is a teacher that possesses a gun to protect children. There are federal and state laws that don’t allow mentally ill people to buy, or bare guns within the United States. There are real life examples of what has happened when mentally ill people have possessed guns and led to disastrous mass killings. So therefore, the possibility of having a mentally ill teacher should be a reason to prevent teachers for possessing guns in schools. Teachers having possession of guns in school to protect students also promotes the use of guns and possession of guns to create safety and security. Students don’t go to school to learn that it is normal, safe and okay to possess a gun; a teacher carrying a gun may promote and influence the idea that a gun is needed to protect people and the individual who holds the gun.
A gun is dangerous in anyone’s possession, Possessing a gun holds responsibility and trust because it is a powerful tool that can not only hurt someone but end a person’s life. The second amendment gives US citizens the right to bare arms, but with that right holds responsibility and that right should not be abused, if so there are consequences, and your rights and free will can be taken away from you, and that is what students should be learning, not the promotion of guns held by teachers in front of students’ eyes. The discipline for safety in the school environment is tarnished if teachers are mandatory to carry guns to protect students. Teachers currently don’t possess guns therefore students learn discipline for safety by rules and policies, which is how the United States structured. Implementing gun possession in schools creates an environment letting students know that Safety is at a high measure of control and is required because the setting is not always safe. Students will also believe guns create safety when really there is no calling what could happen with the possession of the gun, students as well as teachers do not need to rely on guns to keep people safe because the gun used for protection can take anyone’s life away at any moment.