The latest bright idea out of the White House is arming teachers to discourage school shooters. This logic is similar to ending cafeteria food fights by serving cream pies for lunch.
As the parent of a teacher, let me be among the first to say this is a horrible idea.*
My daughter is a high school video teacher, and if she carried a weapon, she’d be as likely to accidentally shoot herself as to put a bullet in an AR-15- toting gunman. But in fairness to President Trump, he did specify that the armed educators should be highly-trained. “This would be obviously only for people who were very adept at handling a gun,” Trump said, speaking on behalf of the NRA. “It’s called concealed carry, where a teacher would have a concealed gun on them. They’d go for special training and they would be there and you would no longer have a gun-free zone. Gun-free zone to a maniac — because they’re all cowards — a gun-free zone is ‘let’s go in and let’s attack because bullets aren’t coming back at us.’”
I have a few thoughts of my own about this:
- If the teachers are carrying concealed weapons, how would prospective shooters know the school was heavily defended by math teachers? Shouldn’t the teachers be carrying their guns out in the open, across their bodies, Rambo-style? Otherwise, the schools would have to post signs outside the buildings saying “STAY OUT. WE’RE ARMED!” so that mass murderers will know it’s dangerous for them to enter.
- If the shooter is a maniac, as we assume all of them are, will he really consider his chances of escape before beginning his attack? After all, most mass shooters seem to be crazy people seeking revenge with the school for some real or perceived slight. It’s not like they shop around for the least-defended school.
- Why should teachers be responsible for protecting the students? Let the kids carry their own guns. Perhaps schools could offer firearm training as an elective. And with fewer parents wanting their kids to play football for fear of concussions, perhaps schools could have shooting teams. (“Duck, cheerleaders!”)**
- How long would it be before some second grade teacher says, “Johnny, you have to calm down right now” and lays her pistol on her desk.
- Wouldn’t it be dangerous for chemistry teachers to be carrying guns around in the labs? I mean, things are already blowing up in there!
And, finally, let me just say that teachers already do enough for our children for relatively little pay, and that the job of keeping our kids safe should fall to lawmakers who have the power to ban assault weapons.
IN A RELATED STORY…
A Congresswoman from New York, Claudia Tenney, appeared on radio after the Florida school shootings to make this well-informed comment: “It’s interesting that so many of these people that commit the mass murders end up being Democrats. But the media doesn’t talk about that.”
Well, okay Claudia, this blog may only marginally qualify as “media,” but I’ll be happy to talk about it.
Tenney, it will come as no surprise, is a Republican and a recipient of over $46,000 in campaign funds from the NRA.*** She was apparently basing her remark on a list that has been making its way around the internet for a few years, purporting to link high-profile murders with Democrats going back to 1865, and including John Wilkes Booth, who was an actor, not a real person. But here’s the thing: according to the fact-checking site Snopes, the list has a number of errors such as simply leaving out any mass shooting known to be committed by someone with Republican or conservative views. It also identified shooters who were not Democrats as Democrats.
So now that we’ve established that Rep. Tenney, like our president, doesn’t know what every nine year old knows–that you can’t believe everything you see on the web–I’ll mention that there’s something even more imbecilic about Tenney’s comment.
Let’s say for argument’s sake that most mass shootings are committed by Democrats. What the hell difference does it make? I don’t think those kids in Parkland were wondering about Nikolas Cruz’s political affiliations while he was firing at them.
Tenney’s stupid comment indicates that politicians are running out of ways to defend the NRA’s position and they’re grasping at straws.
Which brings me to my big idea for ending gun violence in schools: have everyone carry straws so they can fire spitballs at gunmen. Everyone knows maniacs hate being hit by icky things.
See you soon.