Should Teachers Have Guns?

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Hannah Curran | hcurran1@radford.edu

Lately, there has been much controversy over gun control in traction to the recent school shootings.

I’ve decided to take a pros and cons approach to this because I am having a hard time sticking to a hard yes or no on this issue. Some good things could form in light of recent events, but there can also be many dangers that stem from that exposure.

The Pros

The pros for these teachers carrying guns are focused on safety. The shooter may become deterred if he or she knows that they are many trained and armed adults in the building.

Junior Dagny Hammond, who is enlisted in the army, shared her opinion on this topic.

Hammond thinks that since guns are a significant issue, there are people who are not knowledgeable about firearm safety, therefore making it something out of touch, scary. So if more people are educated on guns, then maybe it can become less of a terrifying thing and more of what they were intended for.

She goes on to further state that perhaps the government could try to implement a state-funded course for educators. I realize there are School Resource Officers (SRO) but is that really enough? Having many more protectors for those kids could be a great thing in the long run.

The Cons

There are many cons to think about that could come with arming teachers.

Funding to arm and train every teacher would be nearly impossible and unable to come out of the education budget, so where would it come from?

On the parent side of this, I am also not sure I would want my six-year-old coming home and asking me about guns or better yet just reaching for one off their teacher out of curiosity.

Teachers carrying guns would also put a lot of pressure on them. I want to teach to inspire, with kids there are already pressures, and of course I would protect my students but honestly my personal choice I would not want to have to be armed all day every day in front of my children.

In My Opinion 

All of these pros and cons are important to consider in this argument, but I do want to point out some other things that are relevant as well.

These tragic school shootings have rocked America. However, is this a mental health problem that America is not addressing accurately versus a gun problem?

Everyone is very quick to blame the gun and almost ignore the state of the person behind them. What drove that person to make that tragic choice?

There can also be an alternative option according to senior Michael Matthews who is in ROTC, “I think that only the ones (teachers) that get qualified should, but if a teacher does not want to, that is fine.” I like this because it gives some choice to the teachers on what they are comfortable with.

It is tough to say that one side is entirely correct on this issue, but I think if it comes to this, letting the teacher have their individual choice is fundamental. It boils down to focus on the safety of the kids and what in the end will be the best circumstances for them to be in.

Photo credit: (Joanna Nix on Unsplash)