The most current solution being floated by the NRA is for more people to have guns. Shocker there, right? Specificaly, they advocate that teachers carry guns. It’s not feasible, would not be effective and it’s a typically insane if not self-serving proposal from the merchants of death.
Is it feasible? If 20% of all teachers were armed, it would be the equivalent to the second largest army in the world. There may be some teachers who would want to carry a gun while in the classroom, but they would be a fraction of the 20% needed, and a tiny fraction of all teachers who overwhelmingly do not want anyone to have a gun on the classroom. Trump implicitly recognized this reality and has suggested a “small bonus” be offered to the classroom gunslingers to increase the volunteers.
The costs associated with about 1 million new guns, training, licensing, and safe storage would be hundreds of millions of dollars, and we don’t hear any politicians or the NRA offering to pony up the funds. Not even gun manufacturers have offered to pay for the army of the classroom, even though they would make a fortune in profits. Then there would be the cost of liability insurance, except it is likely that Congress would give immunity to any teachers who negligently shot and killed a child in the classroom. If a child is killed by an accidental discharge of a gun in their kindergarten classroom, well, in their minds it’s a small price to pay for the profits.
Would it be effective?
Congress has made it illegal to research gun violence, but the one thing we do know is that the presence of more guns increases gun violence. Period. With a million more guns in schools the number of gun deaths is going to increase.
The armed services take months of training recruits on the proper way to handle a weapon and to respond to being attacked. They take months longer to teach trained soldiers and Marines to not shoot innocent bystanders when attacked. This is because the military knows from experience that unless a soldier is highly trained they are a bigger danger to themselves or their fellow soldiers than the enemy. Then there’s the issue of responding to fire from an assault rifle vs. a handgun. Police around the country have advocated for an assault weapons ban because they know from experience that even highly trained police officers are no match in firepower.
Handguns are not nearly as accurate as long guns and have less capacity for ammunition. In yet another instance of a Trump ad lib arguing against a Trump proposal, he told reporters that an officer in Parkland who “had spent his entire life training for this” didn’t do the job. So, their idea is to have a less trained teacher, run into a hallway with children running every which way and engage in a gunfight with a less accurate gun with less firepower and ammunition? First responders would have to distinguish teachers from shooters, putting both teachers and responders at greater risk. Then again, the teachers trying to respond to semi-automatic would most likely already be dead. Maybe the teachers should have an assault weapon slung over their Kevlar body armor as they write the daily lessons on the blackboard… it’s insane. I am all for increasing protection for schools. No measure will be completely effective, but a combination of common sense protective measures would reduce the number and lethality of the attacks – none more that a ban on assault weapons. Proposing more guns, more shooters and turning schools into a shooting gallery is not a common sense solution.