Guns Plus Teachers Does Not Equal Safety

vintage illustration teacher with gun

Teachers + guns does not = safety.

It’s bad math. And bad policy.

It’s a simple equation – arming teachers doesn’t add up to safety in the classroom.

Senator Ted Cruz gets an F in that subject.

In the wake of each tragic school shooting gun advocates argue the solution to the problem is to flood schools with guns. After Uvalde, many State Legislators are locked and loaded to fast-track legislation to permit teachers to carry guns in classrooms.

Ohio is set to enact a law that allows teachers and other staff members to be armed with guns after 24 hours of training. Governor DeWine is poised to sign the bill.

Should a teacher have the ultimate responsibility of protecting the security of their classroom? Would that teacher have ended up becoming an educator in the first place if they thought they would have to be required to carry a gun and face an active shooter?

A teacher did not enlist in the military.

Can you expect a teacher to be ready for a gunman bursting through a classroom door firing an AR 15- not even if they were packing a locked and loaded handgun on their hip.

As we saw in Columbine, at Parkland, and at Uvalde, armed professionals who have extensive training with firearms and whose only job is to protect students have failed to stop mass shootings.

What could possibly make us think that a teacher, someone we already expect to do so much, could do a better job?

Old Debates

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

A decade ago, the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School 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 twisted logic, then answering the question posed by this vintage illustration above is a big resounding “yes” teachers should carry guns in the classroom even shotguns.

Of course, this cartoon question taken from a 1948 advertisement for soundproofing 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 advertisement 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, 2022


One comment

  1. Senator Teddy “boy” Cruz should worry about the Texas power grid than offering stupid ideas for eliminating school doors. Less doors in schools mean less ways of escaping a mass shooter! Ted Cruz is a doofus!


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