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Sunday, August 1, 2021

Con: Should professors carry guns?

The idea of arming every faculty member on school campuses is another looming national tragedy.

A semi-popular belief today is the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. However, this practice only works if you can assure the good guy is actually good, right-minded or even capable of shooting a gun. Just because somebody is a teacher, doesn’t mean they should have a free pass to carry a gun.

I completely understand the argument that armed teachers may stand a better chance in protecting their students against Columbine-type student massacres, but even that is completely unproven. The issue with guns in the classroom is the everyday quarrel teachers encounter with students. If teachers are allowed to carry guns, it seems inevitable that these otherwise brief verbal arguments, will end with blood and the smoking barrel of an overzealous teacher’s government issued gun.

In my life, I’ve sat through over 50 classes with thousands of students. Never once did I see any situation where a teacher with a gun would have been useful. However, that doesn’t mean if teachers had guns things wouldn’t have been different.

When a gun is present, people get nervous. People may panic because they know the person on the other side of the altercation has a lethal advantage, and when people panic, they don’t act rationally, and as we’ve seen all too many times over the past few years, being irrational and panicking  person + person with a gun = your top story on the nightly news.

It only takes one hot-headed teacher to start waving a gun at a student for all hell to break loose. What about teachers with disabilities who physically cannot operate a gun? What about teachers who just don’t want to carry a gun for personal reasons? The system would seemingly target such classrooms.

We then move to the question, for what reason are the guns being carried? In a kindergarten class, surely not to protect from cranky toddlers, but rampage style aggressions, such as the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary.

This puts teachers in an unfair position. Men and women who decided they wanted to mold young minds are now forced to be emergency combat experts, and may be persecuted if they fail to protect their classrooms as they may be expected to because after all, they had a gun too.

Fighting gun violence by introducing guns to environments is like putting out a fire with gasoline. It adds tremendous tension in classrooms and ultimately hinders the education process. It is unfair to expect teachers to act as police as it is unfair to flag down an officer on patrol to help you with math homework.

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