Arming teachers: both sides of the argument

Demi Jensen, Opinion Editor

“….If a potential “sicko shooter” knows that a school has a large number of very talented teachers (and others) who will be instantly shooting, the sicko will NEVER attack that school,” tweeted Donald Trump eight days after the Parkland mass shooting.

The mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has become the third most deadly mass shooting in U.S. history. Arguments that claim the staff and students of Stoneman Douglas did not do all they could to prevent the deadly outcome have particularly led to increasing tensions surrounding gun control. Not only has gun control become an even larger topic of debate, but arming teachers in attempt to decrease the amount of school shootings has now become a discussion.

To some, arming teachers seems like a reasonable solution. According to PoliceOne, deaths from mass public shootings decreased by 90% from 1977 to 1995 when states passed concealed carry laws. Like President Trump said, arming teachers could “scare away” potential school shooters, and after the Parkland shooting, more U.S. citizens seem to agree with the president. Whether arming teachers is a question of political views or not, the nation has become one of division due to controversy of the topic. “Obviously it is a matter of political parties at this moment,” said senior Ryan Daniel. “It’s very two sided, and there’s a pretty clear division along party lines of who is for it and who is against it.” Daniel’s assessment is correct: the national debate has largely followed party lines, creating tension between republicans and democrats.

While there are those who support arming teachers, there is also an obvious group of those who do not. Since the Parkland shooting, teenagers such as Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of the shooting, have raised their voices and are now speaking publicly on the matter. For this reason, adults are paying more attention to the beliefs of teenagers. “I honestly don’t really think it would help at all,” said junior Kaitlyn Flemming, “if there were a threat in this school, that would be the only reason for teachers to have a gun.” Additionally, national research shows that the states with the sharpest decline in violent crime over the last several years are states where residents do not have “right to carry” laws. 

The issue has become a matter of when rather than if, and schools around the country have been taking lockdown drills more seriously, as well as our own. “I feel like [arming teachers] would make the students a lot more uncomfortable in this school,” said Flemming. For those like Flemming, arming teachers does not seem like a reasonable option to attempt to eliminate the amount of school shootings.

Since the beginning of 2018, there have been eighteen instance of firearms being discharged on school campuses within the United States. Sadness and anger has become the new norm for students, and the tensions are continuing to increase. It is unknown what will happen in the future in regards to gun control and policies, but for now, citizens are fighting for their beliefs one way or another.