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article imageOp-Ed: Guns in classrooms — Bad idea

By Christopher Wager     Jan 1, 2013 in World
Many things do not mix well with guns. Classrooms full of students is one of them. Should it be the responsibility of educators to safeguard students with lethal force?
In the aftermath of the unthinkable tragedy in Connecticut many have proposed the idea of arming teachers under the impression this would somehow make our children and schools safer. This is a false assumption, guns in the classroom or anywhere else in a public school would not make them safer; it would only give the impression of a false sense of security and create an even greater danger of such a horrific event taking place again.
Those who would support such an idea are not dedicating the necessary time to understand or even ponder the repercussions of arming teachers. Statistically, the number one illness among teachers is mental disease. Which brings into question the competence of educators in the position of handling a firearm in a public setting. Countless acts of violence against school kids have been reported and even made it to our national news.
It has also been documented that many schools are left with less qualified teachers with under par demonstration of common sense, competence, and morality condoned by the school system and the teachers union. If in fact these educators are struggling to carry out the most basic of tasks pertaining to their duties, how can we begin to trust and delegate such a major responsibility as safe gun handling with the same disciplined judgment as a trained police officer.
The short answer is we can’t. Can it be said with some guarantee some teacher over worked because of overcrowding in the classroom, stressed out by disrespectful and unruly students, going through problems in their personal life wouldn’t think to pull the weapon to get control of their classrooms? No, no one can make that promise. In fact given the standing record of unacceptable acts commented by teachers in 2012 alone. One could speculate putting guns in the hands of some teachers would circumvent poor judgment and border on criminal if not assure it.
It is a reasonable response to bring into question the mental condition when we are talking about guns. I would not give a babysitter a 45 either. The other point burning to be made is by allowing guns on school grounds; are we not providing the means for a shooting to happen. If not by convenience alone? I hope those who are supporting guns in schools aren’t thinking of selling the idea that guns locked in drawer in a teacher’s desk is safe. No less than a gun safe in a secure part of the building would give some assurances that students wouldn’t get their hands on them.
Up to this point I have been talking about teachers and their unpreparedness in handling a gun in the classroom. Another question I have not heard asked is how the teachers feel about having guns in their school. Putting ourselves in their shoes for a moment, would we want the responsibility of a gun in our classroom? Is that what we are there for? A gun would bring undue stress to an already stressful environment. To know the chance existed were a student could come in possession of it. There would be, of course, those teachers who would hail the idea as being the only answer. However, speaking from the perspective of a student, how safe and secure would a student feel knowing a teacher whom they consider to be emotional and easily upset or angered has a gun at their disposal? Not too safe I suspect.
As a parent in their right mind, I would not be comfortable with the idea of a gun anywhere near a school. I am not anti-gun, just anti-stupidity. The thought that we can keep our children safe every minute, in a situation is an illusion. The best we can do is take reasonable measures to reasonably assure their safety. What those steps are is unclear, the answer isn’t guns in the class room. And what made this act in Connecticut so difficult to protect from is the fact it was an act of terrorism. Acts of terrorism are hard to predict, hard to protect from, and are invisible. The idea any one person could cross a line and decide to do harm to others is the core of nature. We, no matter how much we try, cannot protect ourselves from ourselves. We will never see all the warnings signs; if there are any, or know what is going on in the minds of others. Placing blame on games or music or anything else is fruitless. Other deeper issues have taken root in a person’s mind over some time in order to lead them to believe and accept the idea that mass murder is somehow okay. A person’s ability to conceal their true state and intent is what makes us so dangerous to each other. Our wariness and the willingness to speak up when things don’t seem right can be our greatest defense against these types of acts. I, in addition, offer my greatest condolences to the families of all the fallen and to honor all those who gave their lives in the protection of others.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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