Students’ hearts raced as their teacher scolded them for whispering while she was teaching. As her anger grew, her face began turning a deep red and her voice climbed to a high decibel. The students’ discomfort at their teacher’s anger grew exponentially as they were all aware of the loaded handgun sitting in her desk drawer.
Sound impossible? After the recent shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Connecticut, the National Rifle Association (NRA), a four million-member Second Amendment group, suggested that more guns, not fewer, will make schools safer. In a response to calls for stricter gun control laws, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre proposed that all teachers should be trained to use handguns and be armed during school hours.
Putting weapons in schools is not going to make students safer. It will only alter the student-teacher relationship if students know that their teacher has a gun on hand. Students shouldn’t have to worry about the possibility that their teacher could pull out a gun on an unruly class.
Additonally, some teachers may not be mentally stable enough to own a gun. Like any other group of people, teachers can suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental disorders that should cause them to be ineligible to carry a weapon or could make them more likely to use the guns inappropriately.
Yet another security issue presented by having guns in schools is the possibility of students gaining access to a teacher’s gun. If a teacher didn’t properly secure his or her weapon, young students who don’t know or understand the implications of shooting a gun or students intending to do harm could injure or kill their teacher or peers. Bringing the weapons into the school would make the weaponry necessary for a school shooting more accessible for the shooter(s).
The NRA has placed the blame for school shootings on the media’s glorification of violence in the form of video games, music videos and movies. While the depiction of violence in the media is a problem that needs to be addressed, it is not the main problem fueling school shootings.
Without the prevalence and accessiblilty of weapons in American society, there would not be nearly as many shootings. People should not be able to purchase assault-style weapons because there is no need for civilians to have them. These types of high-powered weapons are not necessary for sport or protection and should be reserved for military and law enforcement agents.
Once teachers have guns on campus, that will open up the debate for whether adult students and visitors can have concealed weapons while at school. According to a study in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, among the world’s 23 wealthiest countries, 80 percent of all gun deaths are American deaths and 87 percent of all kids killed by guns are American kids, and adding more guns to our communities will not decrease that statistic.