This Is What Would Really Happen if Teachers Started Carrying Guns
Each school shooting unearths new ideas and ways to solve the problem. President Donald Trump hinted that arming teachers could be the solution, even suggesting bonuses for teachers who carry weapons, CNN reports. But is he on the right track?
While the notion is still in the idea phase and costs are yet to be determined, what would happen if your child’s 11th-grade teacher came to school packing heat? Would schools ultimately be safer? Let’s find out.
1. Arming teachers would be expensive
Providing basic firearm training to the approximately 718,000 teachers nationwide would be about $71.8 million, according to The Fiscal Times. More sophisticated training to directly address active shooter situations would be closer to $718 million. The total bill, which includes providing each teacher a gun, would work out to a grand total of about $1.077 billion.
Next: Sometimes good guys with guns choke.
2. A ‘good guy with a gun’ doesn’t always work
Even a well-trained teacher with a gun might not be able to react in an actual active shooter situation. During the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, the armed (and trained) officer on the scene failed to discharge his weapon. The shooting went on for six minutes as the officer waited outside the school.
Controlled simulations demonstrate people in active shooting situations may not respond quickly enough, Vox reports. The emotional and traumatizing element during a shooting typically interferes with an individual’s response time.
Next: Does arming teachers with an assault rifle make sense?
3. Would gun versus gun work?
An assault rifle is the weapon of choice for most school shooters. Even if the teacher reacted quickly, would an armed teacher be a match for an active shooting situation where an assault rifle was used?
Typical handguns leave an entrance and exit wound, and if no vital organs are hit, the victim can survive, The Atlantic reports. The AR-15 damage is quite different than what a handgun can do, causing widespread bodily harm without requiring much shooting accuracy. Exit wounds are the size of an orange.
Next: People make mistakes.
4. More people could be injured or killed
A Utah teacher accidentally shot herself in the leg on school grounds, which demonstrates weapons can discharge unintentionally, putting students in harm’s way. “What about the time the teacher accidentally leaves the gun unlocked in the desk drawer, and it’s picked up by a student?” Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said to NBC News.
Next: Teaching is already overwhelming.
5. Teachers are trained to educate
Even if teachers receive firearm training, most want to focus on educating their students. “I went to college to educate children, not because I wanted to kill another human. If I wanted a job where I was responsible for carrying a firearm, I would have taken a different career path,” Utah English teacher Brittany Wheaton told CNN.
“Teachers already shoulder a huge burden when it comes to educating properly, due to lack of funding, support and resources and making sure their students are taken care of emotionally,” she added. “Asking us to now carry the burden of having the responsibility to kill is irreparably damaging, even if we never have to discharge our weapon.”
Next: The student-teacher balance of power could shift.
6. Arming teachers would change the student-teacher dynamic
Most teachers love their students and educating young minds. However, what about the teacher who might not widely accept all students in class and even be racially biased? The power of giving teachers guns, especially within a racially charged environment, interferes with the balance of power in the classroom, according to The Atlantic.
Next: What do teachers want?
7. Teachers don’t want to carry guns
Not only did many teachers say they didn’t want to carry a gun, many said they’d quit teaching if this were to become a reality, The Daily Beast reports. Teachers are speaking out, saying they love their jobs, but not if it means they have to carry a deadly weapon and try to teach.
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