Trump Wants to Arm Teachers to Handle Dangers Facing Our Schools

By Theodore Mattheiss 
Elm Staff Writer

In the wake of the horrific school shooting in Parkland, Fla., President Donald Trump has revived an old debate with new urgency and resolve: should we arm our teachers with guns in the hopes of deterring would-be school shooters?

On Feb. 24, 10 days after the shooting, Trump tweeted, “Armed Educators (and trusted people who work within a school) love our students and will protect them. Very smart people. Must be firearms adept & have annual training. Should get yearly bonus. Shootings will not happen again-a big & very inexpensive deterrent. Up to States.”

To put it simply, this is definitely a bad idea. What happens when a teacher accidentally shoots a student, either because they believe the student is carrying a weapon, or simply because certain safety measures aren’t followed? How will it affect the mental health of our students to see all their teachers strapped with lethal weapons?

How is it responsible to introduce more guns to the situation, and give them to school teachers who never expected to have to use a gun on the job? The truth is that this is not a solution at all. It is a workaround that avoids the much more obvious solution of making guns more difficult for would-be shooters to obtain.

Teachers are in their field because they want to help children. Encouraging them to become the first line of defense in a shootout against a rampaging gunman is honestly despicable. Teachers are underpaid in this country, with public school teachers making an average of $55,000 a year and often having to reach into their own pockets to cover expenses for classroom supplies, according to Offering a yearly bonus for carrying a firearm is going to push some teachers who need the money to enter into this program, despite not actually being interested in ever using the gun or having hesitations to do so.

If protecting our schools with firepower is so important, why don’t we make room for more security personnel in schools instead? Protecting our schools is a job that could go to, say, unemployed veterans, who would be much better suited for this kind of work.

We all want to see our students be safer, and we want to see the eradication of mass shootings, but the only way to ultimately reduce shooting deaths is to better control the access to guns in this country. It’s time to stop talking nonsense and implement common sense gun laws.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *