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Arming teachers with concealed weapons will not solve school shooting problems

Andrea Elsholz, Writer

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After recent school shootings in late February, President Donald Trump listened to the stories of the shooting victims and announced in a speech that the gun free policy in schools should be lifted to “make schools a much harder target” for attackers. His proposed solution was training adept teachers to carry concealed weapons on campus, compensating these teachers with a bonus. After examining this proposal, it can be concluded that it is has too many drawbacks to be considered a viable solution.

Guns are the leading cause of death in the US. According to everytown.org, a movement aimed towards making communities safer, an average of 96 people are shot and killed by guns in the US each day. Putting this weapon closer to large groups of children could put them at a higher risk. Even with the training the teachers receive, there is still a chance of a gun falling into the wrong hands, like the several instances of police officers being shot with their own gun. There is also the risk of accidents, such as when a three year old accidentally shot her pregnant mother after her mother’s boyfriend left a loaded gun in the car on April 18 in Indiana. Cases such as this show the danger of having a gun near a child.

A study by Leonard Berkowitz, psychology professor at the University of Wisconsin, and researcher Anthony LePage conducted a study measuring the different reactions of people when guns were in the room. The study found that people acted more aggressively when guns were present due to the fact that the brain involuntarily associates guns with danger. Putting guns in a classroom, or knowing guns are present in a classroom, would manufacture a hostile and aggressive environment, which would deter students from learning. Not to mention, since the “weapons effect” creates a more hostile environment, teachers could become less patient and even use their concealed weapons to intimidate students.

Aside from psychological factors, there are also economic factors to be considered in this proposal. Public schools are at a constant struggle to stay below budget and are often faced with cuts. Where are they supposed to find extra funding for training the teachers, buying the guns and the equipment, and bills for any accidents or injuries that occur during training? Trump also stated that teachers who are willing to be trained to carry concealed firearms will receive a bonus as a reward. Where will the money for that come from? The most likely answer is the tax payers, being forced to pay for a temporary solution that they might not agree with.

With this new proposal, every school shooting will become a shootout, while students hide and cross their fingers hoping their teacher wins. And the teachers in the shootout will be faced with the horrifying task of pulling the trigger. This policy is asking teachers, people who are dedicated to protecting people, to take a life. After watching all the lives taken during shootings, they are asked to be just like the shooters and pull the trigger and kill someone, even someone who was a previous student, like in the case of Nikolas Cruz, the Parkland shooter.

Finally, this proposed solution is not making guns any less accessible to dangerous people. Nikolas Cruz was able to legally purchase the gun he used to end 17 lives. The only way to change that is to make guns a lot less attainable and to educate the population on gun safety.

To better understand the situation, picture a child beating another child with a stick. Giving the other child a stick to defend himself will not stop the violence. There is a good chance that the violence will escalade and now both children have a risk of getting injured. It is not until an adult pulls the two children apart and throws the sticks away that the children are safe and the violence ends. How far will people let the fighting go before they decide that too many lives have been ended?

Other countries, such as Australia have banned semi-automatic, self-loading rifles and certain shotguns. In the case of Australia, there was a decade after the law was passed in 1996 free of mass shootings and firearm deaths. Closer screening as well as assault rifle bans have also decreased deaths in Britain, where there has been only one shooting in over a decade, which would have had much worse results had assault rifles been legal.

The pressing issue of gun control has lead many to ask the question of whether or not the second amendment is more important than the countless lives of children and adults that were taken during shootings.

People hear the names of the victims but they all seem to blend together. Majority of these people they have never heard of. Until it is someone they know, until they hear the name of their child, neighbor, friend, or sibling. Students and teachers across the country have started marching for their lives so they never have to hear the name of someone they know on that victims list ever again.

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