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Shooting Down Arguments Against Armed Teachers

AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, FIle

In the aftermath of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, debates over how best to protect children in school remain prevalent on social media and the airwaves. One point of contention is the conversation on whether teachers should be armed. Predictably, the anti-gunners are arguing against this idea, mainly because they want people to believe the only way to minimize these tragedies is to ban certain types of guns. But on the other side, people are suggesting allowing educators to carry firearms might make it easier to save lives. However, those opposing the idea are using some rather dubious arguments, so I thought I’d tackle them here.

One of the more amusing contentions is that conservatives pushing to arm teachers are being inconsistent because they oppose woke educators pushing concepts related to Critical Race Theory (CRT) and far-leftist ideas on gender identity and sexuality in K-12 classrooms. Therefore, this somehow means we believe they should not be able to carry firearms.

Not surprisingly, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, became the latest to make this argument during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Chris Jansing Reports. During the conversation, she lamented that the “culture wars” were “ripping America apart” and that “anybody who said really stupid things about education” should “just spend five minutes in a classroom.”

But later in the conversation, Weingarten complained that people do not “trust” teachers and are trying to “ban books and stop kids from talking about … who they are and their sexuality.”

The teachers union president suggested:

“What we need to do is tell [those who support armed teachers], if you trust us so much to carry a gun, why don’t you trust us to do the what work really is? Trust us to be the mind workers. We’re not the body armor people. We’re the mind workers. We are the ones who try to help our kids critically think and to know themselves and feel good about themselves.”

This is a classic example showing that leftists have no idea how conservatives think. If Weingarten’s ilk actually stopped calling them Nazis long enough to converse with them, they might learn that while conservatives disagree with indoctrinating children into so-called progressive ideology, we do not think the Second Amendment does not apply to them.

Indeed, in many of these tragedies, we often hear of teachers who place themselves between the shooter and the children, risking – and sacrificing – their lives to save them. Why wouldn’t we prefer that these individuals have the option to shoot back at the gunman, if it came down to it? We don’t want children to be indoctrinated. But we really don’t want them dead. It’s not hard to understand, is it?

Another argument has to do with how police respond to these shootings. I wrote previously on how anti-gunners are arguing against armed security in schools by pointing to how local law enforcement mishandled the shooting in Uvalde. Indeed, their approach to the situation was abysmal – not many people are suggesting otherwise. Leftists are claiming that if police can’t ensure 100 percent of lives are saved, what’s a teacher with a gun going to do?

However, there was no school resource officer on duty when the shooter arrived at Robb Elementary School. These officers showed up after the incident had already begun. The fact of the matter is that the reality that officers will not always handle these situations perfectly does not mean they will always mishandle these incidents. There have been plenty of stories showing how officers have stopped – or minimized the damage of – various school shootings on campus.

Nevertheless, if there is a situation in which officers fail to do their jobs, why would you want adults inside the building to be unarmed? In the case of Uvalde, the gunman locked himself in a room with kids and two teachers. Everyone he killed was in that room. What if one of the teachers were armed? This would not have 100 percent guaranteed that lives would have been saved, but nobody can argue that it would not have increased the likelihood – especially since the shooter wouldn’t expect to encounter armed resistance.

This brings me to my next point. Some have argued that it is not right to compel teachers to be armed. People making this argument are not paying attention. Nobody is saying educators should be required to carry guns. They are merely suggesting that those who want to, should be able to – especially if they are willing to go through special training. It should be an option, not a requirement. Moreover, teachers should only be in a position to have to use firearms when all other options have been exhausted – just like most of us are taught when we are trained on gun use.

On Twitter, liberal commentator David Pakman made a rather interesting argument – but it is one I’ve seen quite frequently. It is the contention that having armed teachers, along with other security measures, would psychologically damage children and make them feel as if they are in a prison. He tweeted:

The people who have complained about the “psychological effect” of masks on kids now want to send those kids to school with ballistic blankets and bulletproof backpacks to be taught by armed teachers

For a left-leaning commentator, Pakman tends to be more reasonable on the issues in general. But on this one, he’s way off-base.

You know what else has a negative “psychological effect” on children?

Seeing their classmates and teachers gunned down in front of them.

Being wounded by a gunman’s bullet.

Going to school worried that a shooter might decide to attack.

If anything, employing reasonable security measures might put them more at ease. Besides, in most cases, the children wouldn’t even have to know their teacher is carrying if they are concealing their firearm.

Nobody likes the idea of teachers even needing to carry firearms. There should never be an environment in which this should even be a thought in our heads. But we have to deal not with the way things should be, but the way they are. Do we need to work on the societal factors that lead to school shootings? Of course. But in the meantime, let’s make sure our schools are safe places for our children.