Should Teachers Carry Guns?

vintage illustration teacher with gun
Arming teachers doesn’t add up to safety in the classroom

How long before we hear the latest installment of the gun advocates argument that school faculty members should carry weapons in school?

The old debate whether arming teachers would make school safer has been raised since the deplorable 1999 Columbine shooting and trotted out after every tragic school shooting.

Including by President Trump who has trotted out that old trope once again after the latest mass school shooting in Florida, suggestion that arming teachers is a solution to increasing school safety.

The 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting reinvigorated the push to get more guns in schools, because according to Larry Pratt the executive director of Gun Owners of America: “ If educators carried guns the massacre at Sandy Hook could have been avoided.”

With that logic, than answering the question posed by this vintage illustration above is a big resounding “yes” teachers should carry guns in the classroom even shotguns.

vintage ad 1948 Acousti-Celotex sound conditioning tiles

1948 Vintage ad Acousti-Celotex sound conditioning tiles

Of course this cartoon question taken from a 1948 advertisement for sound proofing ceiling tiles was posed in a more innocent time. The notion of a gun totin’ teacher was so ludicrous it was meant to elicit a guffaw more than a raised eyebrow.

When this ad ran, long before mass shootings became the norm in America the biggest threat a teacher worried about apparently was noise disturbance in the classroom.

“Should Teachers Have Shotguns to Get Quiet in the Classroom? the headline asks the reader innocently.
We don’t think so, because thousands of schools across the country have proved there’s an easier way to get quiet-
Sound conditioning with Acousti- Celotex.
Sound conditioning blots up noise …sharpens attention and …eases the nerves of pupils and teacher.

Despite what some assert, advocating for more guns to protect against mass school shootings, guns will not ease the nerves of pupils and teachers.

This debate distracts from the essential discussion on ways to curb violence in school before it begins.

Nope, more guns don’t add up to more safety in the classroom.

© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2018.



  1. OH HELL NO!!As a former NYC teacher, I can tell you there are as many unhinged teachers as students — even more so!!!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Just such an absurd idea that I truly cannot believe that anyone ever even thought of it.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Leave it to Trump!! He thinks of things nobody in his right mind ever imagined. Some would say that’s why he has been a successful businessman, but I say it’s the reason we should all be very afraid.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Of course the presence of more guns only makes it worse. I lived with a gun dealer decades ago, and just carrying a gun tucked away ‘just in case’ made everything feel escalated. We were both martial artists, so in the ordinary scheme of things, if there were badguys, we could in theory stop them with clever moves and it was very unlikely anyone might get killed. While carrying a gun though, there was always that extra level of ‘but if it’s needed…’, which was a jerk idea, even when I was young and strong and sane and sober and not a hothead, plus also trained to use guns.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Chris Chilson

    From a leader who has been financially bankrupt 5 times and is morally broke. Retired 27 years from M-DCSB after zero shootings (thankfully).

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Susan G

    There are so many things wrong with this idea it’s hard to know where to begin. Let’s start with the most basic rule of gun safety: Never keep a loaded gun where children can reach it. A classroom would present an obvious problem; when children are present, a gun should be kept separate from the ammo, preferably in a locked drawer or cabinet, and the teacher would need to wear the key to that drawer at all times. In ten years as a high school teacher I did have things stolen from my desk, my purse, and my jacket — not often, but a teacher with 35 students isn’t always close to the desk. Another basic: a gun is not a shield. A law abiding person carrying a concealed weapon can be shot before he or she has time to draw it. And these mass shootings are not committed with handguns; we are talking about weapons that can fire dozens of bullets in less than a minute — bullets that pass right through walls and doors and people. In far less than 30 minutes, about 30 people at the Florida school were shot, 17 fatally. The Las Vega shooter fired 1,100 rounds, injuring over 800 people, in ten minutes. There’s talk of arming school guards with assault weapons, but rapid-fire weapons are not known for their accuracy — as any soldier can tell you — which is why we don’t want our police using them in areas crowded with civilians. Maybe Chris Rock was right, years ago, when he said the problem isn’t the guns, it’s the bullets. He fantasized about a future where a fight would end with one man saying, “I’m gonna work, and save, and when I have enough money to buy a bullet, I’m gonna ….” If only.

    Liked by 2 people

    • chris s chilson

      Good reply. In addition, a teacher armed with a handgun would be hopelessly outmatched against a shooter with a high powered rifle. We all agree that the idea is without merit.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Why stop at arming teachers? You should also arm principles, janitors, nurses, social workers, lunch ladies, crossing guards and bus drivers. Two million more guns, what could possibly go wrong?!?
    The idea of arming teachers is so beyond the pale of rationality and clear thinking it truly boggles the mind

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Remember the Oregon college shooting where there actually was a fellow carrying (legally) a gun. He didn’t attempt to stop the shooter with it out of concern the police would confuse him with the bad guy and engage him in gun fire! He was the so-called good guy carrying a gun you hear about, and he had the good sense not to use it because he was smart and realized his contribution to the mayhem would just confuse matters more.


  9. Pingback: Truly Brilliant Solutions by POTUS Trump to Curb School Massacres - Confine Mentally Ill Teens in Mental Hospitals and Give Teachers Guns - Forced to Sit Still & Shut Up - How Disability Made Me Live Mindfully

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