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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

IF ARMING TEACHERS IS THE ANSWER - WHAT EXACTLY IS THE GOAL?

The gun used at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
This is the advertisement for the Sandy Hook massacre gun.

Do we want educators or good shots?  Do we want to require you have to be a gun carrying, good shot and NRA member to be teachers of our nation's students?  A member of the NRA, but not a member of a teachers union?  Teacher unions are under attack, the misnamed "right to work" raison d'etre (reason to be) is to kill the unions, teacher pensions are under attack,  in many communities, the teachers have not been respected for decades.  And yet, expectations for the education system has soared in more than the areas of subjects that once were the conventional things that we held our schools responsible for teaching our children.

Teachers carry a gun? Where in the classroom would the teacher store her gun? Would she have impunity if a child got access to it?

Have you heard that the solution is that the Principal at Sandy Hook Elementary School should have had a gun in her office?  That all teachers should have guns. If you are or have ever been a teacher in elementary school, middle school or high school, or even on a college campus, you can picture what I am about to explain. 

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Rep. Louie Gohmert argued that if the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School had a gun she could have stopped the shooter from killing 20 children and five other school teachers.  Gohmert has spoken out publicly in favor of increased gun accessibility in the wake of the Friday attack.

I was an elementary school music teacher.  My first year as a teacher, I had 950 students. There are times you are the lone adult in a room or playground with hundreds of children.  Would you carry your gun there?  And if you needed to use it, and accidentally killed one or more of the hundreds of children under your care, because you are not a good enough shot, had an off day as a good shot, got nervous or the chaos of a situation made it impossible to only target an armed intruder or an armed student, would you have legal impunity for killing one or more of your students? Or if you only have the gun in your classroom somewhere, presumably locked away for safety that no child under your care would get access to it, what good would the gun be if you were doing duty in the cafeteria, school assembly, walking down the hall with the class to a music, art or physical education class.  

I am picturing my college years where I was supposedly getting my education in my subject area.  It was a liberal arts school, so though I was loaded with music courses, I also took biology, English literature, French, Philosophy.  If teachers were required to carry guns, we would have to have courses in guns, knowing how to shop for the gun allowed, because surely there would be laws restricting a teacher’s gun, the kind of gun, the kind of bullets, how to handle a gun, keeping them in good repair, insuring them, how to keep them out of the hands of students who might use them as a play thing or the real thing, when it is and isn’t appropriate to use the gun.  Will there be “stand your ground” laws for teachers? Will self-defense mean we must see a gun being used on a student first before we can shoot?  Do we need witnesses to prove we used the gun properly?  Will we be police officers or teachers?  If I would have been mandated to carry a gun as a teacher and not given the same rights as police officers, there would be major problems.  If that doesn’t’ make sense, then the major problem begins with your critical thinking weaknesses.

How many college gun course hours would be required for my teacher certification?  How many hours of target shooting would I have to have to get my teacher certificate?  Would I have to take shooting range practice throughout my teaching career until retirement (now age 67 years in Rhode Island)?  What if I am not able to hold a gun due to illness of any kind, for example I am disabled?  When we hire new teachers, do we have them illustrate their shooting abilities with range shooting with moving targets as a part of the interview?


 

For Sandy Hook Elementary School

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