Teachers Should Not Be Armed


Arming teachers with guns will not prevent further school shootings, only removing guns from harmful individuals will (Courtesy of Flickr).

By Faustino Galante

Arming teachers with guns will not prevent further school shootings, only removing guns from harmful individuals will (Courtesy of Flickr).

On Feb. 14, 20-year-old Nikolas Cruz killed 17 of his former classmates attending Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. In the wake of this tragedy, lawmakers and citizens alike have become increasingly polarized in regards to the issue of gun control in the U.S. While many individuals have condemned the NRA and called for major changes concerning American gun laws, others, including President Donald Trump, have rallied together to preserve the Second Amendment.

After initially pledging to take action on guns, Trump quickly redacted his promise. The president, in a Feb. 23 speech, claimed that he would do everything in his power to protect the Second Amendment and made the claim that, “well-trained, gun-adept teachers and coaches” should be able to carry guns in schools. Trump took to Twitter the next day to defend his statement tweeting, “Armed Educators love our students and will protect them. . . must be firearms adept & have annual training.”

The notion that arming teachers would be an effective solution to America’s gun problem is a preposterous one. For a single second, it seemed like our president would finally work to institute positive changes regarding gun control. It appeared that he would stand true to his anti-establishment campaign promises and stop blindly accommodating to the NRA. Unfortunately, like many politicians in America, Trump has come to shape his policies in order to cater to the corrupted lobbyists who finance him. Allowing teachers to carry firearms is wrong seeing that they are not trained law enforcement officers. Who is to say, moreover, that a teacher maintains a degree of mental stability high enough to be trusted with a gun? Lastly it is important to recognize that exposing young children to guns in a classroom setting could potentially cripple America’s youth.

A teacher’s job is to educate, not to protect. The police academy and graduate school are two very different institutions. While a professor may hypothetically be adept in using a gun, this does not necessarily mean that they know how to use a firearm to prevent a catastrophe such as a mass shooting. Trump, along with many other Republicans in favor of arming teachers, would argue that states would train teachers to defend their students with a gun. This, however, is both a waste of time and money. Instead of spending tax dollars and forcing educators to harness yet another responsibility, why not hire armed security guards who are already trained in using artillery bombs to defend others?

In a Feb. 22 meeting with state and local officials in Florida, President Donald Trump asserted that, “the level of violence in video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts.” He went on to likewise criticize violent movies for influencing the minds of American adolescents. Essentially, Trump believes that juvenile exposure to violence in our culture has a direct impact in bringing individuals to carry out mass shootings. Trump’s claims are not necessarily erroneous.

They do, however, seem to contradict his idea of arming teachers. If students go to school with the knowledge that their teachers are militarized, they will likely become more open to obtaining guns of their own. At a young age, students are heavily influenced by their culture. Adding guns to schools would simply make their culture a more violent one. Furthermore, it is important to note that with more guns in schools, unstable students would have a greater chance of acquiring a firearm. If a teacher’s gun gets into the wrong hands, America could see more young lives ended as a result of a school shooting.

Allowing more people to carry firearms in the U.S. seems like a thoughtless way of diminishing gun violence in our country. To combat mass shootings, we must work to take guns away from people who are unfit to own them. We must not, alternately, risk putting firearms in the hands of individuals who could potentially be devious. Because the majority of educators have spoken out against the president’s recent intentions, Trump should recognize that giving guns to governesses is a flawed principle.