Arming Teachers-Solution or Band-Aid?

Teachers+training+for+active+shooter+situations
Teachers training for active shooter situations

Teachers training for active shooter situations

Photo Credit: MCT Campus

Photo Credit: MCT Campus

Teachers training for active shooter situations

Chelsea Heath, Staff Writer

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            In the wake of every mass shooting, the frequency of which seems to heighten each year, leaves the country in deep rooted shock and terror. The terror gives way and is followed by an onslaught of pointed fingers and declarations where citizens and politicians alike get to participate in another episode of “Whose Blame is it Anyway?” Unfortunately, the outcries, pointed fingers, and shouting over one another impedes the country from making any clear resolutions. That is until the most recent school shooting in Florida when the country is left with this one— arming America’s teachers.

             Now this may seem like a clear answer to the problem, albeit not a favorable one, but a solution nonetheless. President Trump may feel that arming teachers is a cost effective and easy way to solve the problem of guns brought into schools. But is the idea of teachers carrying weapons really a solution, or a Band-Aid put on an already festering wound?  Sure this idea, if put into action, could potentially stop a shooter quicker than an ineffective armed officer on premise. Or, it could increase the risk of collateral damage. Collateral damage is not a solution when it comes to schools and children. Neither is arming teachers a solution to solving the country’s gun problem.

             The focus should be on solving the deeper issues, such as mental health, or the differing state laws that allow semi-automatic guns like AR-15s (AR standing for ArmaLite, not assault rifle) to be obtained legally. It’s no secret that federal gun laws are minimal, restricting only certain aspects and leaving the rest to the individual states. But banning these weapons entirely will not keep them from being illegally obtained and demanding that an already polarized and  gridlocked government to make a change does not seem to help either. “We need a serious and meaningful solution that addresses the crime in cities like Chicago, addresses mental health deficiencies, while at the same time protecting the rights of those of us who are not a danger to anyone.” said the National Rifle Association in a statement made in 2013 in regards to the Toomey-Manchin background check proposal during the Obama administration.

            So what exactly is the best solution to keep school shootings from happening? There may not be one right answer to this problem, but rather a multitude of options. Perhaps the country could invest more time in the mental health of its citizens or more money to ensure school safety. Pre 9/11 no one expected they would have to throw their water bottles away before entering security or be subjected to full body scans and invasive pat downs in the airport. Post 9/11, these procedures have become the norm. Similar, while maybe not as extreme procedures could be implemented in schools. Teachers should be spending their efforts on preventing school shootings by growing educated and respectful young minds, not toting pistols like police officers.

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