Idea will not work
The debate over who should be allowed to have guns in school to protect students against Newtown-like incidents rages on ... and it picked up steam last month with news that a Pennsylvania legislator is preparing a bill that would allow teachers who are licensed to carry weapons to do so on school property.
No doubt, such proposals are well-intentioned. Proponents of allowing teachers to carry guns in classrooms say educators need to be empowered to respond in kind if an armed assailant attacks students and staff.
Let’s pray that as he and lawmakers consider this legislation that they will realize it’s just not a good idea to arm teachers.
For one thing, such proposals assume teachers are inherently stable enough to be trusted with weapons in class. Sadly, that is just not true.
For instance, former teacher William Stankewicz attacked students and staff at a Pennsylvania elementary school Feb. 2, 2001. The vast majority of teachers are stable, law-abiding citizens, but some prove themselves untrustworthy every year by, for instance, engaging in inappropriate relations with students or other crimes and violations of trust.
Should they be allowed to carry weapons in class simply by virtue of being a teacher? No, that’s just a tragedy waiting to happen. (YHn LI VXFK OHJLVODWLRn UHTXLUHG VSHFLDO WUDLnLnJ IRU WHDFKHUV to carry in class, the problem of securing such weapons and assuring they stay out of the hands of students is a logistical nightmare.
A somewhat better approach to bolstering schools against atWDFNHUV wRXOG EH WR XVH UHWLUHG SROLFH RIfiFHUV WR EULnJ D VHFXULWy presence to our schools. If we’re going to bring an armed presence into schools — and that’s not exactly a novel approach, DV VRPH VFKRROV KDYH KDG RIfiFHUV VWDWLRnHG Ln EXLOGLnJV IRU GHFDGHV — LW VKRXOG EH SROLFH RIfiFHUV RU UHWLUHG SROLFH RIfiFHUV.
That doesn’t mean that’s the best approach. And never mind WKH TXHVWLRn RI KRw WR SDy IRU VXFK VHFXULWy DW D WLPH wKHn PDny ORFDO VFKRROV FDn EDUHOy DIIRUG Dn DGHTXDWH HGXFDWLRnDO staff.
1RU GRHV WKDW PHDn SROLFH RIfiFHUV RU UHWLUHG SROLFH RIfiFHUV are inherently more trustworthy than teachers. Cops “snap” and/or break the law, too.
But if we’re going to have guns in schools, they should be OLPLWHG WR VSHFLfiF, KLJKOy WUDLnHG SHUVRnnHO wLWK ODw HnIRUFHment experience.
And even then, we can expect problems and accidents. For LnVWDnFH, D 0LFKLJDn FKDUWHU VFKRRO VHFXULWy RIfiFHU KLUHG Ln the wake of the Newtown massacre reportedly left a gun unsecured in a school bathroom.
Let’s think about this long and hard before we impose a “solution” that might actually cause more problems.
Journal Register News Service