Are Teachers Really Against Carrying Guns?
As the gun debate rages on, there has been a pocket of the discussion that seems to be the most out of control. Marco Rubio signed a law creating a program that can arm teachers in Florida. Naturally, there is outrage. The question is, how do people really feel about the issue? On top of that, can arming teachers actually work?
There has been no shortage of public accounts detailing how teachers are unanimously against carrying guns. Teachers are already responsible for educating and raising our children. How can they also be asked to protect them? It’s far too much, and most teachers would be dangerously inept anyways. There was a teacher in Georgia that already accidentally shot up the school. And, what if the dangerous student gets ahold of the gun? Guns just make every situation more dangerous. They never help.
In addition to all of that, liberal media is pushing the notion that the American people don’t want their teachers armed. As a nation, we are unified under the ideas of adolescents in Florida, and only a sweeping weapons ban can possibly save these innocent lives. Without common sense gun control, they will all perish.
There’s a lot to unpack, so we’ll start with some real polls. You see, the polls used to suggest teachers and the American public are completely against armed teachers are notoriously bad surveys. They usually suggest that the only proposal is a mandatory arming of all teachers. Even in those lopsided polls, 43 percent of all Americans and 30 percent of all teachers are in favor of the notion.
That second notion is important. If roughly 10 percent of school staff was armed, there would be the potential for a rapid response to any shooting anywhere on school grounds. Let’s emphasize this point. There are an average of 25 students to every teacher. That means there can be an armed presence for every 250 students in the nation. And, this number doesn’t count administrative staff.
More importantly, these numbers are completely wrong. When the wording of the surveys is more specific, support for arming teachers jumps. A survey by PoliceOne asked the specific question, “Do you support arming teachers and/or school administrators who volunteer to carry at their school?” The answer, “Yes, if they are vetted, trained, and qualified annually” was checked by 76 percent of respondents. Simply put, anyone with common sense is ok with a voluntary program that empowers teachers to protect their students if they feel up to the challenge.
It Already Works
In the end, public opinion isn’t really important for this issue. Arming civilians has already been proven to work. After 9/11, a program was instituted that allowed pilots to train and then carry firearms in the cockpit. Since it was instituted, there have been 0 accidental discharges, and the pilots have misused or abused the privilege 0 times. There also have been 0 successful cockpit breaches (although admittedly armed pilots is only one part of the total reason for that). The program has been wildly effective, and most Americans don’t even realize that somewhere between 10 and 15 percent of all commercial pilots are armed.
That’s not really the big story. In select areas, teachers have been armed for a number of years now. You’ll find that in these trial areas, there have been no students killed by armed attackers. Ever. There have, however, been attempts. In 2017, 7 different school shootings were thwarted by teachers. Not all of them were armed. In all of those events, the only person harmed was the shooter. In half, even the shooter was unharmed.
These statistics exist even though fewer than one percent of all schools have an armed presence. It’s impossible to calculate how many lives were saved by the decisive action of heroic teachers, but we can be sure that supporting and empowering them is the surefire way to save the lives of children.
Let’s recap. The majority of America is not against arming teachers. While the majority of teachers do not want to be the individuals carrying, a majority of them are not opposed to the existence of a training and vetting program that gives them an option. As always, teachers are in favor of their own autonomy. Most importantly, where it has been tried, arming school staff has only saved lives.
~ National Gun Network