This morning a presumably pajama-clad President Trump Tweeted his support for arming teachers. Not all teachers. “Highly qualified, gun adept teachers.” Teachers with military or special training experience.” How many? The President wants 20 percent of their total population. As America is home to an estimated 3.2 million elementary and secondary school teachers, President Trump would like to arm . . .
640,000 teachers. That’s a lot of guns. And there are a lot of people — especially teachers — who oppose the idea of arming any teachers. As in reject it utterly and completely.
In fact, so many people oppose arming teachers that the mainstream media has a huge choice of educators, administrators and parents ready, willing and able to tell their fellow countrymen why school children are better off without armed, law-abiding citizens nearby, protecting kids from homicidal maniacs.
Not surprisingly, those who declared that Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms ends at the school gate rely on the same justifications for their position. Here they are with my rebuttal:
Accidents will happen! Children will be shot by teachers! By curious or naughty students!
If we armed 640k public school teachers there’s a real possibility that a careless teacher might shoot a student or students accidentally. Real, but really small. The odds of any such accident being fatal are smaller still.
As callous as this sounds, you have to balance the odds of an armed teacher committing a fatal negligent discharge — or a student getting ahold of a teacher’s firearm and shooting themselves or others — against the odds that a child will be killed by a spree killer or killers before good guys with guns put an end to a homicidal rampage.
I’m not going to play duelling stats. Suffice it to say, myself and millions of gun owners — people who have hands-on knowledge of gun safety — believe that school shooters pose a significantly larger threat to our children than irresponsible armed teachers.
Armed teachers will shoot the wrong person!
The fear: an armed teacher will try to shoot a spree killer or killers and shoot and kill a child or children by mistake.
Again, it could happen. In this case you have to balance the odds of a missed shot or shots taking out a student or students against the odds of an unopposed spree killer shooting and killing (or stabbing or blowing up) a child or children. And yes, you have to compare the potential body count.
As the armed teacher would have a specific target (e.g., the killer or killers) and the intruder or intruders are [usually] out to kill as many people as possible, the spree killers will have a radically higher “kill ratio” than any teacher with lousy aim and/or no consideration for the possibility of a missed shot injuring or killing an innocent bystander.
TTAG’s run an exhaustive school shooting simulation and found that even relatively untrained armed defenders don’t shoot good guys by mistake. In fact, they’re excellent at stopping a lethal threat. Just sayin’ . . .
The police won’t know who’s who when they bring their guns to stop a spree killing!
I can’t find a single example of a police officer shooting an armed good guy by mistake in any defensive gun use, and I’ve been scanning the net for nigh on nine years. But I can’t deny the possibility that a law enforcement officer might shoot and kill an armed teacher by mistake. And?
You don’t need specialized training to realize that if you bring a firearm out to defend innocent life in the middle of a school shooting, the cops might consider you a lethal threat. So, basically, an armed teacher accepts this possibility — and carries a gun anyway.
As far as an armed teacher somehow distracting cops from a real threat during a school shooting, I don’t think that’s a big problem either. And even if it was, again, the positive impact of an armed teacher opposing a spree killer outweighs the potential negative impact of a distracted police officer. Or, for that matter, a mistakenly shot and killed teacher.
And there you have it
Cold-blooded stuff, right? Which is why people who oppose armed teachers refuse to consider the facts of the matter. I suspect that they suspect that any such analysis would lead to a conclusion in direct opposition to their core belief: guns are bad.
Well yes they are. Guns are bad in the hands of bad people. But 2.1 million defensive gun uses per year say guns are good in good hands. Did I miss something? Why wouldn’t we want our children in good hands?