The Catalyst

Why teachers should not be armed

Isobel Senhaji, Staff Writer

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With the interview from President Trump coming out after the Florida School Shooting, many people have been forced to think about a possible future for students: armed teachers. Many dismissed this statement, but with Trump sitting in office, nothing seems too far fetched these days. I went to a couple of my fellow seniors who are all currently taking U.S government about the issue. We discussed their opinions on armed teachers as well as whether or not they would feel safe enough to come to school. We also brought up a key aspect that Congress seems to be ignoring these days: if you’re against the idea, what are some alternatives?

When looking at the general opinion regarding the topic, many were flabbergasted at POTUS’ statements. Senior Meg Venter said, “It’s absolutely ridiculous, teachers should not have that responsibility.” Brittney Kitaura, a fellow classmate and ASB officer, said so eloquently, “It’s just kind of sad that we’re in this generation where we’ve grown up since Sandy Hook (December 2012). We saw all of these ‘intruder on campus’ drills arise[..].It’s the fact that school shootings have become synonymous with going to school. We have so many kids who walk into a classroom and they have to think ‘if there is an active shooter on campus how would I escape.’ Back when my dad was going to school he was so focused on other things like what if there’s an atomic bomb or what if he gets drafted for the war… but for us it’s as simple as someone being angry at a classmate or teacher and mad enough to get a gun and storm into a classroom. We see this so continuously and its become such a norm.” Both point out a very interesting fact, they acknowledge the obscurity of our current place. The issue of gun control has become so politicized that the rights’ of workers and the well-being of people is placed second to someone’s right to own a gun. Trump also came up with the idea that those teachers who do choose to carry guns should be given a raise. Olivia Tyler points out a flaw in this saying, “We don’t have enough background checks to protect us from this and it’s an issue of spending more money to implement all of these checks and regulations that we don’t have.” The U.S. school system has barely enough money to pay teachers fairly, by adding in proper gun safety training to all teachers, supplying government-issued weapons, and regulating usage they are spending more money than they have for something that can be eliminated all together with a simple law.

Over the past 10 years, school shootings and mass shootings in general have become more and more common in the U.S. whereas in countries such Japan often see less than 10 shootings at all per year. As Ariel The said, “We could always just take a page out of Japan’s book and make it mandatory for earning gun licenses the same way people earn driver’s licenses. You have to do a certain number of hours of training and take tests and periodically once you get the gun, you have to “check in” and make sure your procedures are up to date. You even have to have at least 95% accuracy during a shooting-range test. And it still abides to the second amendment because you have the right to bear arms, you have the right to take this test, but inept people aren’t able to obtain these weapons.”

So what is the answer? If so many are against the idea of giving teachers guns, how do we combat school shooters? Jessica Hernandez offered, “ It’s completely unrealistic to just ban all guns in my opinion, but there definitely needs to be more regulations regarding owning guns.” Whereas Olivia Tyler took a harsher approach saying, “Eliminating guns is the most effective way of protecting people from gun violence. There’s no reason a civilian should have an automatic weapon. I would never feel safe if I knew that my teacher had a gun with them.” Brittney Kitaura and Meg Venter agreed saying that, “Congress needs to actually do something. There needs to be mental health screening, we need to ban weapons that are unnecessary, law enforcement needs to start taking threats seriously and we seriously need to stop allowing the NRA to have a relationship with elected officials.” But just how easy is it to actually put these into effect. The politicization of protecting living and breathing people needs to stop. Saving people needs to come before protecting a misunderstood amendment written 200 years ago.

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Why teachers should not be armed