Corner: Arming teachers not the answer


The idea that arming teachers and providing them active shooter training is the best way to prevent/reduce mass school shootings is ludicrous.

It’s ridiculous. It’s insane. It won’t work. More innocent people – most of them children – will die, possibly at the hands of their teachers. If you think this is a grand idea, you are a fool beyond measure. 

Newt Gingrich thinks it’s a good idea to arm teachers. A Republican state lawmaker in Alabama, who wants to become the state’s lieutenant governor, has introduced legislation to provide 40 hours of gun training and a mental health evaluation. Teachers and principals would have to supply their own guns. Sort of like they do now for paper and pencils.

Doug Jones, who defeated a pedophile to gain a seat in the U.S. Senate, said arming teachers “was the dumbest idea” he has ever heard.

The chance that an armed adrenaline-fueled teacher would shoot another teacher or a student is greater than the small chance that a “good guy with a gun will take out a bad guy with a gun.” 

Clinton folks might remember when a Bell Street Middle School student got the gun of a school resource officer out of the officer’s holster. And that cop had received more than 40 hours of training.

If you think that kids won’t get their hands on some of the guns their teachers are packing, you have never met a kid. If you don’t think children will be frightened by the idea their teachers are armed and dangerous, you have never met a child.

I find it incomprehensible that logical, reasonable people are having to explain why arming teachers is a bad idea. 

What do the police do when they are summoned to a school with an active shooter if they know there are dozens of armed teachers awaiting them? 

When this idea was first proposed in 2013 following Sandy Hook (we have to give our mass school shootings names to avoid confusing them), it was laughed at.

Now it’s the best idea our “representatives” can come up with. 

I’ve not done a scientific survey, but I think the overwhelming number of teachers would cringe at the idea of being asked to carry a gun. They would be further frightened by the idea of some of their fellow educators being locked and loaded.

I have read several opinions since Parkland that the cause of all the school violence is because we kicked Jesus out of the schools (another stupid idea). Some of the same people who lament that Jesus is banned from schools now want to replace Him with armed teachers. What tha what?

Some have suggested the school districts purchase the handguns for the Rambo teachers. Would the guns then have to be checked out of the gun closet at the beginning of each school day and then checked back in before the teacher head home?

Would these armed educators keep a round in the chamber so that they can more quickly shoot a bad guy? Or a child?

Friends, this is just crazy talk. Let’s spend our gun money on making it harder for outsiders to get into schools. How about metal detectors? How about a trained, armed law enforcement officer at every school entrance?

In an opinion piece in a California newspaper, a clinical psychiatrist said increased mental health treatment is not the answer because most of the mass school shooters would not be judged as needing involuntary admittance to a mental health facility. She hinted that the man accused in Florida probably wouldn’t have been committed for treatment based on his past actions and social media interaction.

There is, she said, no reliable cure for angry young men with violent fantasies. The focus, she said, should be on ways to “put some distance between these young men and their guns.”


(Larry Franklin is retired and lives in Clinton.)

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