December 12, 2014
Are guns in school an effective safety measure, or a dangerous liability?
As increasing amounts of shooting incidents are reported on the news, people are faced with the question of whether having guns in school is an effective measure to ensure safety. Scratching the surface one may think it is a good idea, however in the spectrum of things the dangers far outweigh the benefits. Students and teachers need to be protected, but nonetheless, requiring teachers to hold guns in their classrooms would only make things more costly, more time-consuming, and more expensive. Instead of looking at guns as a means to protect students in case of an emergency, people need to be more focused on preventing tragedies involving gun use from happening.
A Dangerous Liability
Imagine, for a moment, what could happen if this law was passed. A student or teacher with bad intentions could very likely get ahold of the gun and fire it. What if the student is mentally challenged or irresponsible and happens to know where the gun is located. What if a teacher and a student get into a fight and one loses their temper. What if a teacher is trying to defend him or herself and they accidentally shoot an innocent student. The chances of someone stealing the gun or using the gun for the wrong purposes greatly outnumber the possibility of an armed intruder sneaking into the school. Recently, there was a report on the news discussing a shooting that occurred at a school near the area where I live. At the scene, a student shot another student twice at the bus loop after school. The news report did not say how the teenager obtained the gun, however it is very likely that he may have stolen it from his parents. If it is that easy to bring a gun to school and shoot another student, what would happen if the guns were already at the school?
Additionally, looking at the society we live in, it is obvious that people run busy lives. Teachers, for example, get up early in the morning, go to work all day, grade papers, and go home at night to take care of their families. Students finish school, attend to extracurricular activities, and then go home to study. Parents do the best they can to protect their children and ensure they have the tools they need to succeed in life and the last thing they’d want is to put their child in more danger at school. Not only is requiring school’s to hold guns an extra burden to add on teachers who have to make sure the gun is securely locked up and safe, but it is also stressful for the people living in the area. School needs to be a safe environment where the students can feel comfortable to learn. Requiring teachers to carry guns would cause distress and worry in the children and throughout the community.
On top of that stress, how is the government going to pay to put all of those guns in every teacher’s classroom in hundreds of high schools across the state and maintain all of the guns to make sure they are working properly. Additionally, they would have to train all of the teachers in gun safety, the proper handling of the guns and how to fire the guns accurately. And then on top of everything already listed, they would need to increase the insurance for the schools to include the risk of having guns at school. This would be very expensive. In order to pay for the guns, insurance and training, the government would either need to increase taxes or make budget cuts. In the end, one way or another, there is an extra burden on thousands of people and an increased cost to pay for the all of this.
If teachers can’t be armed, then how can schools minimize the risk of violence? According to Michele McLaughlin from Time Magazine, while there still remains much work to be done, policy experts have begun to gather strong evidence that gives insight into effective strategies that can be used to reduce violence in schools. Some of these strategies include improving