Recently, several bills have been tossed around in Jeff City, proposing arming teachers in schools and campuses in Missouri.
I think that is a rash and hurried decision, full of more holes than a week-old target at a firing range.
The first problem is that we are basically talking about arming some of the most underpaid and overstressed employees on the planet in the place that is causing most of their stress.
If we were to even properly entertain the notion, we would have to then consider regular mental health evaluations and a lot of training; not just firearm training either, they would need combat scenarios and training in the form of quickly and accurately recognizing enemy and friendly targets within a fraction of a second.
This alone would cost an astronomical amount of funding somehow magically produced in an area of our society that is already grossly underfunded.
We wouldn’t just be tasking our teachers with the job of teaching anymore; we would be tasking them with the enormous responsibility of armed security while probably maintaining the same low salaries they currently possess.
Not to dumb it down or anything, but if taken to a broader arena this is kind of like allowing McDonalds employees to carry concealed weapons on them because sometimes they get robbed.
In fact, it’s a stretch to imagine any company arming employees because of an ambiguous threat of work-place violence.
Most college shootings are performed by college students. If anything, the knowledge that a teacher is armed basically just paints a target on them. I can’t think of a school shooting where the shooter thought they were making it out alive anyway, so they would probably just go for the teacher first. By the time any other armed teacher could get to them the damage would probably already be done.
Another issue to consider is managing the aftermath. Police officers currently undergo a massive amount of scrutiny even when using something less-than-lethal like a Taser, how much worse the scrutiny would be if a teacher discharged a firearm on a campus. That would be a logistical nightmare.
As far as I know, walls, doors and long hallways don’t make for good bullet catchers. What would happen to all those stray bullets that teacher fires off that don’t hit the guy? Sure the shooter is down but what about the nine students dead on the other side of the wall from the rounds that came from the teacher’s firearm? The fact remains that there is absolutely no safe direction to fire a handgun on a crowded campus without some kind of bystander body-count. One would imagine the first time a student dies, even if it is an accident, because of a teacher’s bullet that teacher is probably going to have some issues coming to terms with something that heavy on their conscience.
I don’t presume to know the answer to school shootings overall, but it seems to me that in the realm of solutions this one is probably not the most solid.