Should schools be allowed to designate school protection officers who would be authorized to carry a concealed firearm or self-defense spray?
Since the Sandy Hook school shooting in December of 2012, which left 28 people dead, 20 of which were children, there has been multiple bills proposed to be able to allow educators a conceal and carry endorsement on school grounds (Vogel, 2012). In Missouri, Senate Bill NO. 656, has been established and vetoed by Missouri Governor J. Nixon. Bill NO. 656, but recently passed allowing for a “school board to hold a public hearing on whether to allow” the school district to “designate a teacher or administrator as a school protection officer” (Senate, 2014). As a school protection officer the teacher or administrator designated would be “authorized to carry a concealed firearm or self-defense spray device” (SB656, 2014). It also mandates that the school protection officer must “keep the firearm or device under his or her personal control at all times while on school property” (SB656, 2014). The question now stands, should conceal and carry permits be authorized on school grounds to persons designated as the school’s protection officer?
Section II – Maintaining the Status Quo
Acceptance of SB 656, Allowing Educators and Administrators to Conceal and Carry on School Grounds
Arguments in favor of the acceptance of SB 656 consider the idea that if educators are allowed to conceal and carry on school grounds, the school environment will remain a safer environment. This is specifically referring to the idea if there was an incident that occurs on school property the educator would have the ability to take out the individual before lives are lost or to prevent more lives from being taken. The task as stated by CNN is “the best way to protect children from becoming victims of a slaughter like the one seen in Newtown, Connecticut, is to make sure every school in America has qualified armed security” (Abdullah, 2012). However, the opposing side argues that “the solution starts with tougher legislation on assault weapons, universal background checks and limits on high-capacity magazines, the first steps needed to begin to make it harder to get at the kinds of firearms that kill thousands of Americans each year” (Abdullah, 2012).
One of the biggest arguments that pro-gun advocates use is that “if the teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School were armed – or if there were armed security at the front door – fewer lives would have been lost” (Abdullah, 2012). The NRA believes that “guns-don’t-kill-people-people-kill-people” and that the failure of the system resides in “media sensationalism, violent video games, gun-free zones in schools, the failure to enforce gun laws that are already on the books, issues with the nation’s mental health system and other societal problems” are where the real blame on incidences like Sandy Hook come from (Abdullah, 2012). Pro-guns in school supporters believe that the reason that schools are targeted is because they “are considered gun-free zones” and that is why they are “easily attacked” (Abdullah, 2012). The NRA and other pro-gun supporters argue that by making schools harder to attack, the United States will lessen the amount of school shootings that occur.
Pro-gun supporters believe that the root cause behind school shootings is things such as the media, video games, mental health issues, etc. and that in today’s society those causes are only going to worsen. The media is going to continue to show more horrific scenes, video games and movies are going to become more violent in nature, and mental health issues are not being addressed the way that they should be so the only possible solution is to add more security into school systems to be able to ensure security. If you cannot reverse society, then society (at least the pro-gun supporters) should increase security to reverse the repercussions of societal changes.
Section III – Changing