General Question

augustlan's avatar

How do you feel about teachers carrying guns?

Asked by augustlan (47689points) August 19th, 2008

Gov. of Texas says it’s ok for teachers to carry concealed weapons in schools ( source ). What do you think?

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109 Answers

DrasticDreamer's avatar

NO fucking way! My child would never, ever go to a school like that. Not only is there the risk of another student getting their hands on the gun, there’s no guarantee the teacher won’t go crazy, either! Ugh… That makes me sick to my stomach. I can’t even believe that.

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

I think the teachers will get overrun by students and will get all their guns taken away and held hostage leaving the part of town or even whole city(depending on size) will go into mass panic and there will just be a huge standoff ending up in bloodshed.

wrestlemaniac's avatar

you saw to many movies haven’t you?

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

I don’t watch those kind of movies but it’s something I can see happening in South Dallas or South Houston, it would be a terrible thing if it happens but I’m afraid it is and there’s no avoiding it now.

wrestlemaniac's avatar

Only in America!! (someone said it i don’t know)

trumi's avatar

Guns should not be allowed in schools period. School cops included. It’s just not safe.

tinyfaery's avatar

My spouse works at a middle school, in the inner-city, with emotionally disturbed youth. I can’t even begin to tell you the horror stories she tells. Administration, counseling, and the deans have no idea what occurs inside the classrooms, and they do very little to protect the students, let alone the faculty. I can certainly understand it. I worry about her so much. I can’t imagine what it would be like if something were to happen to her; especially at the hands of a child. However, I am against firearms in general. I refuse to give into the fear.

kapuerajam's avatar

why should they be able to carry guns?teachers where I live have lots of super mean kids (we had 9 bomb therats,2 drug cases and a near stabbing* last year.) even though we live in the sticks so they could decide to shoot the place up if they had guns.

*a kid came in with a crips shirt on and they sent like 15 cops to handle the situation (they almost tazered him)

trumi's avatar

@kap; I don’t know if that’s fair, but I definitely think it would cause more harm than good.

augustlan's avatar

Glad to see we’re all on the same page, here. Zero tolerance for weapons in schools should apply to everyone. I see the point that advocates for are trying to make (stop Columbine type events)...but if everyone knows that the teachers are “packing”, doesn’t that just make it easier for a student to get hold of a weapon?

kapuerajam's avatar

had to fix my answer

Knotmyday's avatar

If teachers are given law-enforcement training, commissioned, and empowered by the state to enforce municipal law in their own right, then and only then. Oh wait, we already have people like that- police officers.
Leave the packin’ to the professionals, let the teachers concentrate on teaching.
And PAY THEM MORE.

skfinkel's avatar

Very much against the idea of teachers carrying guns. Maybe we should be rethinking public education, if the only way people feel/are safe is if they carry a gun. Something is really, really wrong with this picture.

I worked in a very bad school system in the 60’s. The kids were great, the administration, the teachers (some), the system was in a sorry state. These were schools for young children, but introducing guns would have turned the situation from bad to prison-like.

kapuerajam's avatar

oh there was a fight on the last day of school and a girl got her arm broken she got pushed from the top of an 8 foot high blacher she also has a chunk of hair missing

gooch's avatar

Yes. Go ahead make my day scumbag.

stratman37's avatar

Arm the whole populace and see crime drop. I’m serious.

jasongarrett's avatar

States that enact liberal concealed carry laws see their violent crime rates drop. As it turns out, people who bother to get concealed carry permits are decent, responsible folks.

galileogirl's avatar

As a teacher, I know there are days when the temptation would be too great. lol…You do know we’re not even allowed to smoke on the same block as the school, don’t you? And no junk food, candy, sodas so of course no firearms!

trumi's avatar

Where do you teach?

galileogirl's avatar

San Francisco

trumi's avatar

Ah, sounds right.

No candy and no soda seems a bit harsh :)

artificialard's avatar

Only if we let the police serve as teachers for our children!

Uhh, no.

pinky134's avatar

No. I wouldn’t trust the teachers I had with sporks. Teachers are nowhere near sniper calm nor are they trained to keep kids from getting the gun. A disaster all around.

marinelife's avatar

Absolutely horrible idea. We need fewer guns in our society, not more guns.

galileogirl's avatar

Pinky: you may be right-I have considered using a spork to do a lobotomy on a kid who greeted me with “F*** you, n*****r”

cheebdragon's avatar

If a student wanted to harm another student, there are plenty of things they could use that are already in the classrooms. A quick search around the Internet can provide all the info needed for a student to cause more damage using the chemicals in the science lab, than they could with a bullet.

jasongarrett's avatar

And yet we’ve seen no science lab equivalent of Columbine.

bodyhead's avatar

If there had been a trained professional equipped with a gun in both Columbine and Virgina Tech, the losses to human life would have been far less.

I can see most of the fluther here is very anti-gun. I’m a huge believer in concealed carry. I have a permit and I do take the gun everywhere legal with me. It’s not because I plan to ever shoot anyone. I just wouldn’t want to be in a situation where I didn’t have the right tools and I end up dead or have to watch someone getting raped because we’re all held at gunpoint by the criminals.

You can’t keep guns out of the hands of the bad guys, but you can put them in the hands of the good guys.

The old saying goes if you are really an anti-gun advocate, go in your front yard and put a sign that says ‘GUN FREE ZONE’ and see how fast it gets you robbed or killed.

That being said, I think that the teachers should have a right to carry but if they don’t want to for moral reasons then that’s ok too. I think if they do carry, they should have to pass some type of training or test to make sure they can use their weapon in an efficient manner.

We can only make someone an example of zero tolerance after they let you know they have a gun. Most of the time they are going to let you know only when they shoot the other students (or teachers). Making policy (like zero tolerance for guns) that encourages retribution but only after you have gone through with your bat shit crazy school massacre doesn’t make sense to me. Most of the time when people go on killing sprees, they aren’t pondering the finer points of their futures.

wrestlemaniac's avatar

i second bodyhead

jasongarrett's avatar

“You can’t keep guns out of the hands of the bad guys, but you can put them in the hands of the good guys.”

QFT

wrestlemaniac's avatar

true like the honorable policemen of America.

Knotmyday's avatar

I’m not anti-gun; I own them, and I have never hunted. They are in my house specifically for protection against home-invasion assaults.

What concerns me about this issue is this one societal discrepancy: Why do we spend so much more time, money and energy planning for security contingencies at major sports events, and so little time planning for similar crises at schools?

Why are we so much more concerned for the safety of sports fans than for our children?

In my town, the high schools have one police officer (called a School Resource Officer) assigned to monitor activity during school hours. The elementary schools do not. Also, the officer is not required to be there every school day.

Schools conduct fire drills on a regular basis, but there is no curriculum in place to prepare teachers and kids for a violent attack. Are that many schools really burning down, compared to incidents of violence?

What’s the solution, teachers?

pinky134's avatar

I’m very pro-gun. What I’m not too confident about is the teachers. I think the solution to the whole public school violence is a restructuring of the entire system. When’s the last time a private school was shot up. (And yes, it is entirely possible to have miserable, violence prone, teenagers at a private school.)

bodyhead's avatar

I’m trying to help make the point that if we deem any area ‘gun free’, we invite violent episodes into those areas. Why is it that most massacres happen in churches and schools? It’s because we told the good guys that they couldn’t bring their guns in. Obviously the mentally disturbed murders didn’t get the memo.

I think it would be careless to make someone carry who did not wish to. If someone is not prepared for the consequences of firing a gun, then they should not carry.

The threat that the teacher is possibly carrying will be enough for ‘on the fence’ problem children. Not every teacher has to carry but every teacher should be lawfully able to carry.

@pinky134: I’m all for restructuring the school system. I think that’s a brilliant idea.

@Knotmyday: I’m in total agreement with you. I don’t care much for sports myself. I do however understand economics. As soon as K-12th grade is considered a multi-billion dollar a year industry, the public will wake up and pay attention to it. Educating our children takes a back seat to the Superbowl both with the public and our government.

scamp's avatar

I agree with this line from the article: More guns in schools just seems like a bad idea, no matter who’s carrying them.

wrestlemaniac's avatar

it promotes that violence is the answer to things.

bodyhead's avatar

If your enemies have guns and you do not, they will win. Do you guys remember what happened to the American Indians? It didn’t turn out too great for them.

Would you send your armies into a war with swords against a nation of guns? The United States wouldn’t be a super power for long if we did that.

Because guns exist and bad people use them, I feel like it’s my obligation to my fellow man to carry one wherever I go. Under the current law in Tennessee, this means that if I was a teacher there would be 8 hours in my day where I would definitely not have my gun but any one of my students might have one.

wrestlemaniac's avatar

hey the 300 spartans didn’t have gun powder and they still caused hell among the persian ranks.

bodyhead's avatar

Right but imagine the outcome if their enemies had even 1 gun.

wrestlemaniac's avatar

oh it depends on the type of gun, if it was like a musket not much of a difference, but a cannon, oh crap!!. lol.

bodyhead's avatar

I was more thinking of a Glock or any type of modern concealable firearm (9mm or 40). If there had been 100 Persians and 1 guy with a handgun and enough ammunition, it would have made for a very short movie… even against 300 Spartans.

trumi's avatar

Way to stay on topic, boys.

wrestlemaniac's avatar

a spartan with bullet proof armor, spartan skills and guns, that would be 5 minutes worth of violence, and shooting. kick ass, nice..lol.

bodyhead's avatar

Point taken trumi. I know I kinda got off on a tangent here but I’m just really expressing the point that if I was a teacher and there was even a remote possibility of my students having a gun, I would ALSO want to have one.

jasongarrett's avatar

@wrestlemaniac: Violence is the answer to some things—things like shooting up a school.

wrestlemaniac's avatar

well yeah i couldn’t agree more.

bodyhead's avatar

@jasongarett: Are you sure we shouldn’t try to reason with someone who has just killed 5 other students with the handgun they took out of their father’s unsecured gun collection?

Maybe we could convince the mentally unstable person to put the gun down because what they are doing is wrong.

cheebdragon's avatar

then we could hold hands and sing “I love you, you love me….”

artificialard's avatar

Hey bodyhead I’d like to play devils advocate about your initial arguments (although I read some later responses):

-If we accept teachers carrying guns, we’d be accepting people without dedicating themselves to the most proficient use of the weapon. Your contention is that Columbine or Virgina would’ve been prevented had there been armed individuals. But couldn’t a civilian also in such a volatile and unfamiliar solution shoot other innocent bystanders thus increasing the bodycount? And that the weapon could attract attention such that they themselves become a prime target (especially if there are 2 assailants as was in Columbine)?

-It’s also been put forward that ‘non-gun’ zones such as schools and churches experience more gun violence and I’m not sure that’s the case. But assuming that was the case I don’t think there’s a causal relationship there – there’s many reasons that one would choose a church or school for a violent rampage (especially given their strong social/emotional connotations). In Canada (Ontario at least) there are much greater restrictions of firearms and they’re generally not allowed with civilians in publicly-accessible locations and it’s never been suggested that such a policy is detrimental to safety. (In fact a strong majority feel that civilian independently owned firearms represents a threat to public safety).

rob's avatar

I absolutely feel that teachers should have the option of carrying guns in school. They are concealed, so students would not know that they were there. If a teacher has received whatever training or education the state feels is necessary to allow a citizen to carry a weapon anywhere else why shouldn’t they be allow at a school. Is it better to just line up and allow a mentally disturbed person to just shoot everyone with no defense. I would rather someone have some sort of defense against a school shooting instead of just crawling in a corner.

Personal safety should never be denied and unless a school can offer 100% protection, which is obvious that they can not—then if a person has chosen to defend themselves with a firearm then they should be allowed to carry a weapon there. Concealed Carry anywhere has not caused the mass riots and shootings that everyone keeps saying.

bodyhead's avatar

@Artificialard

In order to get a concealed carry permit, you must pass a course and test by the state akin to the driver’s license test (but for shooting and safety). If those teachers are licensed to carry their guns at movies and in the supermarket (where your kids might be) what’s the point in not letting them carry in the schools (where kids may wish them harm). The kids at columbine had no gun training. Any marginally trained person would have had the ability to shoot better and faster then those kids. Sure they might have gotten a lucky shoot off but had anyone from my range been there, there would have been a smaller body count.

The civilian should be trained to use their gun if they are going to carry it. That would prevent civilian casualties from a civilian gun. If you were to look at the statistics from armed civilian gun use and criminal gun use you will probably find there are far more incidents of stray bullets killing someone in a drive by shooting or in aggravated robbery.

About the no-gun zones, I didn’t say that there is more gun violence in no-gun areas. I said there’s more massacres. By this I mean, if I am a mentally unstable individual and I want to kill a bunch of people real quick, I’m going to try to go into an area where no one has a gun but me. And if those areas are the ones that also offer the most emotional experiences in life (school or church), that means that at some point someone is going to get pissed off to where they might consider violence. It almost encourages gun violence because the bad guys know that the good guys won’t have guns in these areas.

The more good people armed, the better. Have you ever heard of Kennesaw where guns are mandatory? This is a true story about a real place http://www.mcsm.org/kennesaw.html You can google around for it. Don’t just take my one link as proof.

galileogirl's avatar

Something I haven’t seen addressed here (maybe I missed it) was how would you get teachers to carry guns. Most teachers I know, and after 17 years that’s 100s, would be appalled to think that any of their colleagues would come to work armed. It would be diametrically opposed to our personal philosophies, even those of us who own guns.

On a practical level, I can’t think of many teachers who could carry a weapon, let alone a concealed one. Most high schools, and I am assuming you aren’t talking about 2nd grade teachers, are high crime sites. Teachers have to lock up their valuables. We all know of instances when someone has been robbed while they are in the classroom only finding their possessions gone missing long after the class has been dispersed. I don’t know how a gun locked up in an office next door is going to be of much use. And I know of two cases when it was known there was something valuable in a locked room, the doors have been taken right of the hinges. Also we have to change the locks yearly because keys get stolen regularly. I’m sorry but your plan is nonsense in an urban school, but then all the school shooting incidents seem to happen in middle class suburban schools.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I just think it’s interesting that some people are all for teachers carrying guns for safety purposes.

Yes, there is generally far more violence committed by the students in school. Part of the reason is because they are not fully capable of reasoning and logic – their brains literally have not fully developed, so they’re much quicker to see “a way out” and act irrationally.

However, imagine all of those teachers – generally responsible, leaders, role models, etc, on a very bad day. They’re stressed out, kids aren’t listening… And they’re carrying a weapon. They could easily snap under that kind of pressure – especially with how mouthy and insulting a lot of young people are today. Imagine if a kid and teacher got into an argument that was very, very heated. Even if the kid wasn’t going to physically harm the teacher, that may not be how the teacher sees it. “Oops. I killed my student because I felt threatened”.

Yeah, sorry, not okay. Adults can snap, just like kids.

artificialard's avatar

@bodyhead The Kennesaw story is interesting thanks for pointing that out. I’ve Googled it a little though and it seems like that law was put in place for a few decades with no one ever enforcing it. It also makes exemptions for “who conscientiously object to owning a firearm, convicted felons, those who cannot afford a firearm, and those with a mental or physical disability that would prevent them from owning a firearm.” Which really reads to me that it’s a similar that any other gun-friendly region in the US where someone can own a gun if they want, but would have to conscientiously seek one. Also Kennesaw is relatively small city (town) and thus would have a low crime rate already.

I’m not incredibly well-read on topics like civilian defense and firearms so I’m working with what I imagine to make sense in my head here but the theory that more massacres happen because there are gun-free areas. So does that mean we have to make all areas gun-‘full’ to ensure our safety? That hardly makes sense for a variety of reasons.

I didn’t know that you actually needed to pass a course/test to get a gun too (I assumed it was just a background check). But I’m not convinced that even a civilian passing a standard test would prove effective in an actual armed combat situation. There’s a difference between merely understanding how to mechanically operate a gun and have the psychological and technical aptitude to effectively stop a perpetrator under arduous circumstances. Policemen spend years to do so and still run into situations where they are not effective or make mistakes.

My other problem with teachers carrying guns is that it legitimises the idea that one must carry a gun to ensure personal safety. That decision is difficult enough for our country at large and I don’t think we should be perpetuate a strong bias towards guns=safety to teens. My position is that there are a great deal of things that can go wrong with teachers owning guns and there isn’t a strong demonstrable safety benefit in teachers carrying guns thus the collateral damage from the proliferation of teachers carrying the guns isn’t worth it.

Believe it or not I was even more anti-gun (like no guns for any civilians at all) but I’ve tried to wrap my head around the fact that people can responsibly own and operate a gun after watching this 30 Days episode (http://www.tv.com/video/GHbil9NbcqjLXZGzL3ukGeUlisXcJwRO/gun-nation?o=hulu). 30 Days is a reality series from the guy that did Super Size Me and someone goes 30 days doing something different. In this case a vehemently anti-gun person goes to live with an avid gun enthusiast family.

dsjhfsg's avatar

Yeah, the guy who walks into a school to shoot 32 people is in a great state to be reasoned with. As if you are going to talk him out of the insane doctrine he has spent 10 years concocting by saying, “you know, killing people is wrong.”

Anyone who thinks this will work is free to sign up for a tour of Iraq, and see how well it works at their own risk.

galileogirl's avatar

Also remember in every school shooting, the teachers were very busy pulling children to safety and shielding them. I am sure that would always take precedence over going for a gun and pulling a Matt Dillon. I expect most parents would agree with me.

augustlan's avatar

@galileo: I know I would.

bodyhead's avatar

First of all, I’d like to apologize about this lengthy post but I wanted to make sure I covered the points that were brought up in my absence.

@galileogirl, you sound like you work in a pretty nice school. Congratulations on that. I live in the inner city and have friends who are teachers in extremely rough parts of town. Teachers have been stabbed and roughed up by students at these schools. Yes, there have been school shootings. Three students died once. At my elementary school a guy was shot in front of the gym.

The only place to carry a gun is on your person. I carry mine on my hip. When you are responsible for every bullet that leaves that gun, you want to make sure you can feel the gun at all times. You never put your gun down unless you are cleaning it. It’s always either doing it’s job or in the holster. (Of course it’s a concealed holster. You wouldn’t know it was there unless I pointed it out. I’m thinking of getting a second gun and a boot holster for backup)

@DrasticDreamer, I might carry my gun to the supermarket and to the video store. It’s completely legal with a concealed carry permit. Do you think that I will shoot someone dead in an argument? If you do, you should not be carrying a gun. A lot of times, I like to imagine myself in hypothetical situations and project what I would do on others. If you’re doing this, you might want to see a therapist about your raging emotions if you could kill someone who is not actually threatening you with bodily harm. If you’re speaking for other people who argue with students, they might be surprised to find out you have such a low opinion of them. Someone who gets so mad at a student that they could kill them is a murderer. That person belongs in jail. A person who uses a gun for protection is different then a murderer.

Do you know that the original commandment was “Thou shalt not murder”? The semantics of today and opinions of people translating left us with “Thou shalt not kill.” In my opinion, these two commandments say truly different things. I don’t believe in talking snakes myself but I know that holds weight with some people.

It’s a lot easier to punch a student and get away with it then it is to shoot a student and get away with it. A teacher is going to shoot a student because they are having a bad day? Please.

Seriously, you sound like you haven’t been around many guns. I have knives in my kitchen. I’ve argued with people in there lots of times. I have never stabbed anyone. Weird eh? I don’t stab or shoot people because I’m upset. That is so god damn stupid that I don’t even have words for it.

Please get me the statistics of people who carry guns (with a carry permit) that have gotten in an argument with someone and killed them in a crime of passion. I couldn’t find any information on it. Know why? Because the statistics are probably so small that they might as well not exist.

@artificialard, (fantastic response by the way) You raise some good points. Kennesaw is a small town and in all actuality, if you did something like that in New York, it probably wouldn’t work. In Kennesaw, when the public was armed and spent money on press letting people know that everyone had a gun, the crime rate dropped.

If you look in the history in New York. There have been several times where someone has shot and killed a mugger on the subway. The next day, there would be zero mugging on the subway. Why? Because no one wants to get shot. You never know who might have a gun. Of course they ramp back up eventually but the uncertainty of who has a gun is enough to avert disaster sometimes.

We can’t make every area gun-full (as you put it). I agree that bars and restaurants that serve alcohol should continue to enforce the mandatory fine when they find their patrons are armed. I just think that people should be allowed to carry at church and in school (even the students with conceal carry permits in college).

The only time someone shouldn’t be carrying is when they are drinking. It’s a rule I always follow. After the very first drop of beer touches my lips, I will not clean, move or touch the gun. At that moment, I am completely vulnerable (just like you are all the time if you don’t carry). Booze might just be my kryptonite.

And to clarify a couple of issues:
To purchase a handgun in most states, you must pass a background check and that’s it. When transporting the gun in your car, it must be unloaded and secured (unless you have a carry permit).

To carry a handgun (all places except gun free zones), you have to take a training course which involves safety training and live fire shooting. After that you get fingerprinted by the state and 2–5 months later you get your license in the mail.

galileogirl's avatar

bodyhead: I do work in a very nice school but it is an inner city school where 65% of the students are eligible for subsidized lunches as well as low income subsidies for the SAT. We have students who are involved in Chinese, Cambodian, Filipino, Latino and other gangs. We are aware of their connections but maintain an atmosphere of a neutral zone and and that is respected by the students. Every year there are serious assaults and/or murders with our students as victims. In 17 years these crimes have always occurred away from our campus because the students don’t want it to be there.

As you may know schools are open to all kinds of students and we get students with psychological problems and try to integrate them into our community. Last year a young man with these problems made a statement to a group of students that they better stay home on a date the next week because he was going to do “something” with guns. At the first opportunity these students went to teachers and administrators to tell them what they heard. Within an hour this guy was under arrest.

We have a good school because teachers are vigilent to signs of gang activity, students and teachers trust each other and administrators respond quickly and firmly. And we all share the same mission. Nobody would carry a gun. Schools have to be gun-free zones.

cheebdragon's avatar

Gun free zones have worked so well in the past…...... ~

bodyhead's avatar

@galileogirl

So, because there is no violent assaults at your school right now, there will never be?

Can you guarantee that only your students will be on your campus?

Can you guarantee that none of your students have guns?

These are just just hypothetical questions. We all know the answers.

You probably will never get in a gun fight and your gun would always just stay safely on your hip. If someone was holding any of your classes hostage and killing the kids slowly in front of you (1 per hour or so), would you want to be armed with a gun or with a stapler?

It seems like the big push behind gun free zones is the mistaken idea that you can control what happens in those zones. You can’t.

@galileogirl: I just wanted you to know that this was for you specifically. If we were out walking together (you know discussing all the stuff we obviously have in common) and someone pulled a gun on us. I’d want you to get behind me. I would take a bullet for you and I would shoot to protect you. I’m not some crazy right wing republican wingnut. I’m totally liberal when it comes to every type of situation except when someone tries to take away the rights granted by the second amendment:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

I use to be like you and think that guns aren’t the answer. If we made them illegal, then all we would do is take them away from the good hearted citizens. The criminals would keep them. This situation mirrors our gun free zones. All we’re doing by not letting the teachers carry guns is assuring that the only guns in school will be carried by emotionally unstable kids who are probably bullied too much.

There’s nothing like the feeling of powerlessness when someone else has a gun held to your head. At that point your life is in their hands. They decide whether you live or die. If you aren’t carrying your weapon, you grant that power to everyone.

galileogirl's avatar

I have been out walking for over 6 decades and nobody has ever ‘pulled a gun’ on me and it has never been something I ever worried about. I have never worried about an airplane falling on my house or being kidnapped by terrorists or a mosquito bite giving me an exotic disease. I suppose all of those things are possible, it’s just not worth my time planning for them. Since I live in San Francisco and have experienced several earthquakes, I do plan for them, do you?

I think you live in a very strange and sad world where you worry about the most statistically improbable things. Since it is 10 times more likely that a person you know will die by your gun than a stranger, do you ever worry about that?

dsjhfsg's avatar

There is a difference between “worrying” and “being prepared”.

I don’t “worry” about flat tires or power outages, even though I do have a spare tire and a flashlight.

It’s ironic how anti-gun people will accuse gun-owners of being “worried” or “paranoid” for owning a gun, but the anti-gun people are the ones who are all freaked out over the idea of someone owning a gun.

galileogirl's avatar

Worried by no means equals paranoid, which interestingly is your choice of words.

bodyhead's avatar

The way dsjhfsg used paranoid was in the since that paranoid means unnecessarily worried. You seem to be expressing the point that we are unnecessarily worried about a situation that will probably never arise. I think he’s right on with his argument.

I’ve been out walking for two decades and I’ve had a gun pulled on me once (held to my head), and I’ve had to duck because of a drive by shooting. Turns out that it was further down the street but I didn’t know that. Two of my close friends on separate occasions were robbed while they were in their houses. One of my buddies was tied up while they loaded all of his stuff in his car then rode off in it. A girl I know was moving into a house when three guys busted in with guns and robbed her and her grandparents before they stole all of the cars in the driveway. I’ve had 10 bicycles stolen (no joke) and 3 cars broken in to. I’ve had one motorcycle stolen and several of my friends got beat down downtown. Crackheads will steal anything worthwhile that I leave in the front or back yard.

The funny thing is that I would consider where I live now the best neighborhood I’ve ever lived in. It must be nice to live in Candyland where nothing bad ever happens. Do you read the papers there? I’m willing to bet there’s a lot more crime then you think.

You live in a real nice place if you think needing a gun is statistically improbable. I also work on my cars. I have tools in my toolbox that I use much less then .05% of the time. In fact, I think I have better odds of being a victim of a violent crime then needing my 3/8” breaker bar. But you know what? I keep tools to handle all types of situations. You never know when they might come in handy. You point to people who are dead because of guns, I could point to the hundreds of thousands of people that could be alive because of guns.

As you can see here the Memphis violent crime rate is 4 times the national average. You could be a peace-nick here but unless you can afford to live in a real nice neighborhood, you’d be an instant victim.

I brought up the example of having a gun held to my head because that’s what happened four blocks from my old house. I am far more aware and far more careful then I ever was. There is a very real and present danger of someone pulling a gun on me and shooting me in the face just like the young pizza delivery boy that was killed here. Those guys got about $4 by the way.

Since you didn’t link to the study that says someone I know will more likely die by my gun, my counter argument is this: In my city, people without guns are 100 times more likely to get murdered in aggravated robbery. See? We can all make up statistics.

Even if that statistic is a real study and not just made up on the spot, you would still have to quantify it. What’s the percentage of people who have conceal carry permits that have had their gun kill other people?

One out of ten is 10%. You could argue that 10% of every group is complete idiots. I’m willing to bet at least 10% of network techs are idiots. I know at least 10% of drivers are complete idiots. People who are idiots don’t know they are idiots. Your statistic proves nothing.

If it is accurate, it also represents inner city gun violence, suicide, crimes of passion, and doesn’t differentiate between gun owners and gun carriers. Of course all these people know each other. This could be a statistic based on crime and not crime prevention. How do I know that 10% of people don’t get robbed by someone they know?

If someone I know was breaking into my house and trying to kill me, I would have no problem joining that statistic.

I feel like just having the gun makes it less likely that I’ll join any type of victim statics. Even if it was unlikely before, it’s much more unlikely now. Those are odds I can deal with.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

bodyhead: I wasn’t talking about statistics, I was talking about possibilities. And you’re right, it is fucking stupid, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen. People go postal all the time. No one knows when someone might snap.

All I know is that if I was a parent, there’s no fucking way that I would be okay spending some of MY tax money on a person who is supposed to be giving my child an education, who just so happens to be carrying a gun. Too many things could go wrong. The teacher could snap, another kid could get it, who knows?? And before you even mention sending a kid to private school if I have such a problem with it—most people can’t afford that. If I wanted an armed person to give my child an education, I’d just send them to prison. And considering it’s against the law to pull a kid out of school unless the parent plans on home schooling them, it doesn’t look like parents have much say in the matter anyway. Which is beyond fucked up.

galileogirl's avatar

Bodyhead: Any statistic about gun deaths will show that 90% are a result of suicide, accident or domestic violence. Stranger related gun deaths are less than 10% so if someone you know dies from a shooting, it will be most likely the shooter was someone you know too.

As DD said, it isn’t practical for teachers (or nurses, flight attendants, accountants, computer programmers, executive assistants or anybody besides the police) to go to work packing.

cheebdragon's avatar

http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/schoolviolence/2007/schoolviolence.pdf

“Weapon Type by Offense Type for Crime in Schools, 2000–2004”

Firearm – 609
Handgun- 2,008
Rifle – 150
Shotgun – 112
Other Firearm – 582
Knife/Cutting Instrument – 10,970
Blunt Object – 2,005
Motor Vehicle – 271
Personal Weapons- 98,394

*these are the total number of incidents from 2000–2004

bodyhead's avatar

What is the percent chance of being shot or somehow involved in gun violence? How high would that have to be for you to want to protect yourself with a gun?

Would you carry a gun if there was a 95% chance that you would be the target of gun violence at some point in your life? What if the percent was 80%? What is the lowest percent that you would continue to carry a gun? How much is your life worth to you?

For me, even if that number is a fraction of a percent then I would want to be armed. You shouldn’t only prepare for things that are likely.

If someone snaps, not having a gun isn’t going to prevent them from killing others. There have been mass stabbings at school . For that matter, if a teacher snaps they could bring a gun NOW and kill numerous people. I don’t remember my teachers having to go through the metal detectors at my high school.

For these people. It is their own gun and their own holster. You aren’t paying extra for them to carry.

In a way I am even saying the same thing as you guys. If we maintain an education system where we even consider the possibility of our teachers carrying guns, then something is very wrong.

The difference comes where you guys say that nothing is wrong and I say there is something very wrong. I offer guns as a solution and I have seen no counter solution in this thread. We should revamp the system and other ambiguous answers might trickle out but where are the solid steps?

What is your proposal to stop crime (especially gun crime) in school on a shoestring budget? I’ve got a solution. Let the teachers carry.

Cheebdragon gave us some numbers there on school violence. Those are only the reported incidents. Surely some things have been covered up.

We all have different skill sets. If I personally was going to murder someone (killing to protect yourself is different), not having a gun would not slow me down for one second. A sledge hammer or a fast moving car would kill someone just as dead.

The gun simply allows me to neutralize bad situations before they get out of control.

@galileogirl, A lot of the people I know that pack are real estate brokers in bad parts of town, or they go to work at 2 AM-4 AM etc. I know people who carry while they do yardwork. They carry when the work at the vet. I know they carry because I see them at the shooting range. You don’t know they carry because it’s called concealed for a reason. It’s likely that you actually know someone who carries.

There is absolutely a reason to carry a gun no matter what type of work you do. You will always have to walk through a parking lot. You will likely have to walk by people you don’t know. If someone did wish you harm, you would just end up raped, dead or worse. Carrying a gun eliminates a majority of that threat. Anyone can be a potential victim.

Good guys obey carry laws. Bad guys don’t. All you’re trying to do is take guns out of honest hard workings hands if you think that no one should be carrying except policemen. Oh yea, except for the criminals. Those guys don’t really do what they’re told. Passing laws that make sure guns aren’t in honest hands will assure that the bad guys kill the good guys. You might find it easier to kill with a word or a vote then with a gun. You won’t even be haunted by it forever. Good for you.

What’s your contingency plan if three guys with guns or knives approach you? What if they were you students? Just because it’s hypothetical doesn’t mean it won’t happen. It just means it hasn’t happened yet.

galileogirl's avatar

Look body, you inhabit a different world than mine. I understand yours, however you will never understand mine. I will never carry a weapon and I am happy with my decision. I do understand why you do. Unfortunately you could carry a dozen weapons and look for attacks from all sides and you will never feel safe. Peace-out…

bodyhead's avatar

I understand that we are just starting to agree to disagree. I appreciate the enthusiasm for which you argue your point on this topic. I can also appreciate you wanting to end this because we are starting to just reiterate points.

Never is a very strong word. I don’t understand why you wouldn’t carry a weapon but this is probably because I don’t understand your world. I guess you could say that the ‘Wild West’ is dead but here in the ‘Wild South’ it’s on.

I don’t feel unsafe. If I did, I would move. That’s just life here. There’s a difference between being informed and being scared. There’s a difference between feeling unsafe and feeling prepared. If I’m prepared, my life is in my hands and not in the hands of those around me.

I’d just like to mention one thing here. If the government told me that I could no longer carry my gun, I wouldn’t. That would open me up to all types of victimization but I follow the law as it is written. Not everyone does that. The people who do follow the law to the letter should be the ones who are quietly armed and in the background in case there’s ever any trouble.

(I just feel like this should be teachers too – Tomato Tomoto)

tiffyandthewall's avatar

i feel like i would not go to school anymore. i trust my teachers, but i don’t trust or know every teacher in my school. also i don’t really think that more weapons is the solution to a violence problem.

galileogirl's avatar

Who needs a gun when you have a rapier-sharp wit-en garde!!

bodyhead's avatar

You can always disarm the people who follow the rules. i.e. The good guys.

artificialard's avatar

I don’t think the rationale that because the bad guys do it, we should is a good reason, on both moral and pragmatic grounds. Allowing teachers to carry guns would burden them with a duty that they’re neither prepared or equipped for. It would also escalate the nominal distribution of firearms in civic institutions – something at least where I’m from is not tolerated.

My rationale for this would follow the ill-effects of the military principle mutually assured destruction (in principle, not in practical application), as seen during the Cold War. In the long term it’s my belief that we shouldn’t have policies that allow for a greater legitimate use of guns because that leads to decreased security for everyone.

bodyhead's avatar

Mutually assured destruction would only make sense if both people who pull out their guns always died. This happens an infinitely small percentage of the time. You probably couldn’t even find stats on it.

If I wanted to go where people are vulnerable, I would go somewhere that people don’t allow guns. It’s pretty much a no-brainer and I’m not even a criminal. Where do most children get snatched? How many people were killed that could have been saved at Columbine? Where can a person go on a shooting spree, go back to his dorm room for more ammunition then go on another shooting spree?

Good guys will follow the rules. Bad guys won’t. Disarm the good guys if you like. A larger quantity of people will die because of your morals.

Carrying a gun does not make someone a bad person.

There are some sick people in this world. Just because you close your eyes doesn’t mean they go away.

*edit: Just for the record, I am against teachers carrying atomic weapons.

artificialard's avatar

Sorry that might’ve been a poor metaphor – I didn’t at all mean to imply that more guns means confrontations lead to simultaneous deaths. My thinking is that when more people have guns it implies that everyone else can/should have guns, people that wouldn’t ordinarily have guns no longer feel safe without guns, etc.

While I agree that pragmatically if a rational person’s goal was to randomly kill a whole rash of people they would go to an unarmed open facility like a school or maybe a church. But these such crimes are almost never motivated by rational reasons and I think that the relative threat of the school wasn’t a key motivating factor in those killings. Of all the school shooting I’ve read about the vast majority (if not all?) were at the school that the shooter attended. Following your theory these shooters would locate a more vulnerable site but they didn’t because they weren’t just trying to kill people, there was an psychological connection to the shootings which had nothing to do with the relative armaments of the school staff.

I also never said that carrying a gun makes someone a bad person nor do I think that at all. What I’m saying is that ‘bad people’ work with different goals and situations compared to the rest of civilised society. I’m not being naive but simple exploring the possibility that because we are fundamentally different how can using ‘bad people’s’ methods work for society as a whole?

bodyhead's avatar

It basically boils down to this, a gun is a tool. Do you want your teachers to carry a tool that will save lives? Remember, it isn’t mandatory to carry a gun. Only people that are comfortable with this and licensed to carry their guns will be packing them (concealed). They carry them to the supermarket, the park, the McDonalds, the car wash, the dry cleaners, etc. I would guess some of these people carry their guns everywhere but school. Should people only feel safe at school? (and where open liqueur is served?)

This law says your teacher ‘might’ be carrying a gun. That would be enough to deter some students from even doing some foolhardy killing spree.

Let’s say you’re right about people having mental problems. I would take a guess that people with mental problems get bullied at schools far more then any other institution. People who are continually bullied would be far more likely to go on killing sprees then their well adjusted compatriots. That means that schools would be like a magnet for murderous sprees by bullied children. (as they traditionally have been in the past)

Also, there is no more vulnerable site then a school. Even a church has stronger people that can attack you. An old folks home has orderlies. You get the picture.

We’re not using ‘bad people’s’ methods at all. Good people with guns don’t murder others. They might kill in self defense but they don’t murder. Bad people murder. That is very different. Cops kill people. Criminals murder people.

When a ‘bad person’ has a gun, they do so to get the upper hand. They have something that you don’t have. When you have a gun and are trained to use it, then you even the playing field.

When you are protecting yourself, are you using ‘bad people’s’ methods if you use a gun? What’s the right thing to do? Let them shoot you? If they only have a knife, should I let them stab me? Should I move to protect myself and eliminate the threat? Or should I stand there and die letting my attacker do to others what he has done to me?

artificialard's avatar

Firstly, where I lived and grew up people don’t do that and I think we may have acknowledged this difference in perspective before. But here it’s a generally accepted fact that civilians shouldn’t carry guns and that we’re not interested in doing so.

Yes, the people doing this clearly have mental issues but that’s my point. Their personal safety and the relative increase in threats to them successfully carrying out their mission are not primary concerns in choosing their targets. And I completely disagree with the fact that schools are the most vulnerable target. Tactical threat assessments of sites are based on a variety of factors, the disposition of people, physical layout, line of sights, elevations, etc.

And with regards to bad/good people I think I’ve stated it as clearly as a I can so either my point is wrong or I’m just not conveying it correctly. I’ll try one more time and I use this as a metaphor, not as it practically applies to school shootings:
Say there’s a police officer and a robber with a hostage in front of him and more behind him. The robber’s not concerned for the lives of the hostages so he can try to shoot whoever he wants. The policeman can’t immediately shoot the hostage and then the robber even though that’s what the robber would do because their priorities and goals in that situation are different.

That is what I’m trying to say – the shooters of the schools compared to the teachers, government, and students have different perspectives on approaching policy, rules, valuing life & personal safety. Admittedly abstract and maybe even impractical but I believe I have a point.

galileogirl's avatar

Recent couple of posters-you don’t get it!! Teachers as a group are very anti-gun for private citizens. We WON’T carry guns and nobody can make us. We also as a group are very strong-willed and if we don’t want to do anything we WON’T do it. So turn off your video worlds and join us in reality or start a thread about arming the guys who pass the collection plates in church. lol

cheebdragon's avatar

Right, because you speak for all the teachers in the United States, I’m sure…~

bodyhead's avatar

@articialard, I think we’ve got to just agree to disagree. We just see it differently.

Also, on this, I think we are saying the same thing:

That is what I’m trying to say – the shooters of the schools compared to the teachers, government, and students have different perspectives on approaching policy, rules, valuing life & personal safety. Admittedly abstract and maybe even impractical but I believe I have a point.

If you tell a cop, teacher, normal citizen, etc that they cannot carry a weapon, they will not because they follow the rules. If you tell a criminal to not carry a weapon, they will disregard the rules and do whatever they want (sometimes with no regard to human life).

@galileogirl, You could be right for the most part. I’m willing to bet that (some of) the teachers in Texas where this law was passing think differently.

artificialard's avatar

@galileogirl The change being discussed is to give teachers the option to carry guns in school, not to mandate it. However I agree that the explicit rules would be very different from the actual norms and pressures that would go along with such a change in law.

@bodyhead I guess important issues are never easily decided. Yes, we do agree that civilians follow those rules and criminals don’t. That’s true by virtue of logically expanding on my statements and we both agree but that’s not the rationale for my argument.

My point was that guns wouldn’t necessarily increase the level of safety in schools and would have greater detrimental affects due to further perpetuation of firearms.

I think any further attempts to argue down this line would have me repeating myself so I bow out (without conceding!). However if there’s someone that comes across a well-regarded study on gun violence in schools in places with more lenient gun laws vs places that have more restrictive gun laws that would be interesting!

galileogirl's avatar

There are places where guns should NOT be carried. If you are talking about teachers and schools it is perfectly legal for employers to forbid them. Maybe that’s why Texas Rang..er teachers are not armed. BTW just because the Constitution gives you a right, your employer may not allow it, Likewise bus drivers, fastfood workers, nurses, janitors, Walmart clerks, and ministers do not carry guns on the job. And there have been many more attacks on churches than in schools.

jasongarrett's avatar

I bet more bus drivers, fast food workers, janitors, Walmart clerks, and ministers carry guns than you expect.

galileogirl's avatar

As I said, join us in the real world and leave your gun fantasies in the virtual world. We all understand what guns (and rockets etc) represent in that virtual world. lol

artificialard's avatar

While I’m staunchly against civilians carrying guns in any situation and happily live in a city and country that supports that fact that doesn’t mean that people carrying guns and are pro-gun proliferation are inadequate or stupid.

A lot of the times it’s the cultural norm, others there are specific reasons. We carry a lot more of our beliefs and values merely from the places and people that we live with than any personal conscious decision.

bodyhead's avatar

You can always get honest people to leave their guns at home. This gives dishonest people power over the honest people.

Did you know that most police departments only require their officers to qualify once or twice yearly on a shooting range. I believe it was LAPD who had a 60% ratio in shooting. There are no magic criminal seeking bullets. People who own and shoot guns with any great consistency are more well equipped to shoot with accuracy when called upon to do so.

Almost everyone who goes to the range once a month can shoot with greater accuracy then 60%.

@galileogirl, Carrying a gun does not mean you have a small penis, unless you think the entire military, the police force, border patrol, and the extremely small amount of civilians who carry, are all male and also have a small penis.

galileogirl's avatar

Who said anything about a penis? What could you possibly mean? I’m just a little old lady schoolteacher who can’t lift anything bigger than a .22. <;}

artificialard's avatar

Foxnews? Really?

cheebdragon's avatar

Oh, there are plenty of other sites to choose from if you have an issue with FOX news.
You can read this one (my personal favorite), or perhaps this one from ABC news. Still need a few more try, here, or even here.

So where are your sources? I have backed up my statements, can you do the same?

artificialard's avatar

I’ll fully admit that I haven’t done the research but your sources don’t meet many of the criteria that any academic, policy-maker, or even Wikipedian that would make it a credible source. You have not “backed up” your statements.

Your first source from the site Human Events – Headquarters of the Conservative Underground is clearly an opinion piece (one where he promotes his own documentary). His best source (thought not specified in detail) was an NIJ study that found burglars avoid targeting houses that are occupied because they fear they may be shot. This doesn’t provide any direct relevancy – burglars can achieve their goals with no one home, school shooters can’t. His other quoted sources are similarly unrelatable to the issue at hand or not verifable.

The WCPO (a subsidary of ABC) local news story talks about a new response plan consisting of armed policeman, not arming teachers which again is not the debate. This program was developed by the private agency TDI. The ‘research’ was conducted by TDI, SEALE Academy (both private businesses) and the local news team. Clearly there’s a conflict of interest but again I wouldn’t necessarily object to police officers in the school.

The WorldNetDaily article is marked ‘commentary’ right in the header. He cites many sources but gives no bibliographic detail to locate them. The last line in bold reads: Order van Wyk’s book, “Shooting Back,” which tells the story of his defending his church family with a firearm after terrorists invaded. That’s a conflict of interest in a commentary piece with no verifiable sources.

The blog post is again an opinion piece that mentions a Salt Lake Tribune story that gives a neutral view based on opinions, not statistics.

The final link is an essay by an undergrad student that ends his paper with a comic. Even still his conclusion reads “Gun Free Zones do nothing to prevent or dissuade mentally unhinged offenders or hardened criminals from carrying or committing firearm involved crimes.” and does not argue for the arming of teachers.

Your sources are all opinion pieces by non-academically remarkable authors that cite sources that are either unverifiable, promote a conflict of interest, or have little relevancy to the issue at hand. While I lack academic statements to back my argument, I also don’t bring spurious ones to the fore.

bodyhead's avatar

Really, in todays world, if you are against guns, you should put a “gun free zone” sign in front of your house. Of course every criminal would rush to rob you because they’re sure you don’t have a gun. That’s the only point I’m trying to make. The same thing happens in any ‘gun free’ zones.

artificialard's avatar

No, not in today’s world. Canada, many European states such as Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and Japan all have significantly stronger gun control laws than the US and I don’t think you would say those countries as a whole are more dangerous than the US.

This Wikipedia article asserts that Canadian homicide rates hover between 2 – 3 homicides per 100,000 people nationally over the past 30–40 years. The American homicide rate has declined significantly from around 10 to 6 homicides per 100,000 nationally but this is still double the Canadian rate.

The two sources used were Statistics Canada, a census-type bureau of Canada’s federal government and the US DOJ. Both I’d consider impartial and accurate sources of information.

I’m willing to argue the fact that within the US (or within certain regions of the US) that these “gun free zones” are ineffective but the fact is that many countries in the world with strict gun-control laws have a lower rate of homicides and violent crimes. This is of course not at all solely due to gun control policy but it clearly doesn’t support your assertion.

You’ve made a point that you personally observe better safety where you live carrying a gun and I haven’t disputed that. Don’t dismiss my view that where I live I’ve observed our country is safer without guns.

It’s also ethnocentric to assume that what you personally observe applies to today’s “world” and that gun control policies have the same affect all over the world.

bodyhead's avatar

You realize (as seen in the movie Bowling for Columbine), that per person there are more guns in Canada then in the US. It’s actually a case study of how lawful owners of guns don’t commit homicide. I believe the statistic was 1 gun for every 4 people in Canada.

The gun control isn’t any better in Canada. There just doesn’t seem to be as many ‘bad guys’. Since there are many more here in the states, I would want the person watching over my child to carry a gun. This way I can be assured that they have the tools to handle a worse-case-scenario situation.

artificialard's avatar

There are many factors that explain the larger ratio of gun owners in Canada per person compared with the states – namely due to our less-occupied landmass we have a larger proportion of people in rural areas (essentially we have more country folk compared to city folk). The cultural acceptance and pragmatic uses for firearms in in rural areas is significantly more encourging of firearms use. Thus our higher rate of gun ownership is partially explained by geography.

While I’m not well schooled in gun policy I do know that Canada is definitely stricter with regards to firearms control – for one we don’t recognise the right to bear arms as a fundamental human right. Second concealed firearms are essentially prohibited to civilians (except under exceptional circumstances, ones that typical citizen would never have cause to apply for). Finally Canada has a national firearms registry, something the US has debated for a longtime but not implemented (the use of such a registry I“ll grant is questionable). It is a fact that Canada has more stringent gun control laws.

I’m not sure what you mean by there are less ‘bad guys’ in Canada unless you think being born in Canada has anything to do with it.

Also I don’t really like Moore’s movies but one of the central points of his film was that the higher incidence of gun-related deaths in the US was due to a culture of fear and paranoia that other countries (like Canada). Canada has a different view of how guns fit into our culture and one aspect of it is that civilians do not need to carry guns to protect themselves and that it’s not in the best interests of everyone to do so.

bodyhead's avatar

Based on your numbers I could say if you are born in the US, then you are twice as likely to be a homicidal maniac then if where born in Canada. What better reason could I have to arm myself when these people walk the streets?

I have to say that we walked always from that movie with different points of view. In Canada, maybe you don’t need protection from lunatics most of the time. How low does that percentage have to be for you to want to protect yourself. There are some situations that only your gun or your death will solve.

Personally, I will carry a gun if there is even the remote possibility that I will need to use it. There have been serial killers even in Canada. I bet the victims never thought they would need a gun to protect themselves from a random person on the street.

If there’s a 5% chance you will need a gun to continue to live sometime in your life would you carry a gun? What if that percent chance was 60? I’m saying that even if the chance was .00001%, I would still carry a gun. Maybe that’s because I’ve been the victim of gun crime (when I thought much as you do), robberies, car thefts, motorcycle theft, bike theft, patio furniture theft, etc. It might be a coincidence but I have not had one problem since I got my gun.

If a state scored seven times the national average in violent crime, would you still be against the teachers carrying guns?

Here in Memphis the violent crime rate is only four times the national average, but you get my point. The violent criminals here could travel anywhere, even to where you are. If you cannot put down a possible attacker, then you invite attack. You can’t do anything to stop it. Why wouldn’t they attack you? You’ve probably got money and look rape-able. How many violent attacks against your person and violations of your body would you permit before you armed yourself? Me? I’m proactive not reactive.

I just think our teachers should be the same way. If I don’t know which ones have the guns, then I might think twice about attacking any of them. Then again, if I was a rampaging killer, the first person I would kill in the room would be the one who is a possible threat to me. That would definitely be the teacher.

edit: I also don’t really like Moore’s movies and something about his point of view makes me reexamine my own when it turns out to be the same. I kind of don’t like him very much.

Also, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know jack squat about the conceal carry laws in Canada.

artificialard's avatar

I’ve studied in New York briefly and was born in Hong Kong. Both places are arguably more ‘dangerous’ than Toronto now and at no time did I feel it would increase my personal safety to carry a gun or have anyone with me carry a gun, and there are many, many people I know in all three places that share my view. I’d view this as a ideological issue, not a geographical one. For the most part we live in a society where our personal safety is assured by our governments, no ourselves – this is a fundamental aspect of law and order.

There’s always the chance that one will get attacked with a weapon but everyday of our lives we make appropriate risk assessments. One is much more likely to be hit by a car than be a victim of murder but people cross the street everyday – saying that there’s a risk of an armed attack isn’t relevant because there’s always the possibility it will happen, as do any number of other things. Whether carrying a weapon will help is the issue, and on both a personal level and the larger scale I don’t think it does.

Being proactive would be looking into the root causes of such attacks, policy, social change that can reduce the proclivity of student attacks on schools, make acquiring personal arms more difficult, even metal detectors. Carrying a weapon to repel an attack directly is by definition reactive.

bodyhead's avatar

Without training, if you carried a weapon, it would actually decrease your personal safety. If you knew how to use it to neutralize specific types of situations, then it increases your personal saftey. Feeling safe doesn’t make you any less dead if someone starts unloading a weapon on you.

Getting a screwdriver to unscrew a screw in the future is proactive. Making policy changes which require everyone to keep screwdrivers in their home is reactive. Carrying a gun to possibly neutralize a situation in the future is proactive. Making policy changes because people are carrying guns is reactive. Metal detectors at schools are easy to get around (I’ve gone back to put my knife in my car numerous times) and they are totally reactive. Because people carry weapons, we set up these metal detectors.

There is one thing that makes every gun based situation reactive in my case. I would only pull my gun out in response (reactive) to my life being threatened. I would only use it to save my life (or the life of others). Why would anyone not want me to have that ability?

Are you saying that owning a weapon has never kept a good person alive? You are wrong my friend. My mom forwards me a newsletter that she gets from the gun club (biast I know) and there are articles every single time about how someone legally pulled out a weapon and lived because of it.

When I cross the street, I look both ways. When I leave the house, I carry my gun. In both situations I prepare for any type of emergency. Not everyone prepares for the worst case senario. Not carrying my gun will never save a life but carrying it just might. Also, I’m not 100% sure where my gun is when it isn’t on me. I’m much more likely to get shot with my own gun when I’m not touching it.

artificialard's avatar

I think we’ve reached an impasse and I’m not getting the impression that the argument is being forwarded (like we were in earlier) rather than cyclical back and forths so I’m bowing out.

I will say that I’ve learned a lot, both from speaking with you and doing the auxiliary research and hopefully neither of our arguments will never need to be practically tested.

bodyhead's avatar

We can agree on that. The point of having a gun is to never use it.

Not all of my friends see eye to eye with me on the gun issue either.

On a side note, when I did go to get my gun permit, the teacher played the audio from an actual 911 call. You could hear this person sobbing on the other end. She was a young mother home with her two children. She was saying that people had broken into her home and were coming for her. She was in a room with no windows and only one exit. She was crying and then screaming. It turned out that the robbers broke in and beat her and her babies to death with hammers. I’m not saying a gun would have saved her life (although it might have) but it certainly wouldn’t make her or her children any more dead.

If it were me, If I was in a room with no windows and only one enterance and exit with a gun vs 10 guys with hammers, I could hold out until the police got there. I realize that I have training and it would be a different situation but I’m just saying. (Although in her case I think it was just 2 people)

galileogirl's avatar

You’ve convinced me. I have just ordered an M249 with carrying straps (I generally carry a lot of grading home so I need my hands free). I will be keeping it in a yellow floral SAW caddy hanging from my bedpost (Even badass school teachers like good home design) I also will make sure I have sufficient methods of egress from each room (In case of either 10 hammery men or even a fire)

Then I will be safe from everything-well except from earthquakes, planes falling from the sky, nuclear weapons, alien abduction and old age-OH MY!!!

bodyhead's avatar

I know that I’m not really convinicing anyone. I just want to be heard and it seems like you guys listened. That’s enough for me. Thank you.

artificialard's avatar

When I first started getting into this argument I held a completely pacifist position. No guns for teachers in schools ever.

But now through debating in the thread and having to do the associated Googling I haven’t changed my mind but am more open to the use of force in schools (for example stationing security guards) whereas before I wasn’t. So you’ve at least convinced me a fractional way towards your point of view.

Hopefully what I brought up opened your mind up to arguments and ideas you hadn’t considered, like you did for me.

galileogirl's avatar

@artificialard Security guards are useful and necessary at most large high schools where the dean and principal are not able to cover the school. Our school covers an entire city block, 5 stories high with 9 exits. We have 3 security guards to assist the 2 deans and are covered pretty well with cameras. This is just the facts in modern education. We also have a resource officer (police officer) who gets called in if there is a need. (Zero tolerance for fighting, shove a teacher go to juvy etc) and he and a dean patrol the bus stops after school.

A few years ago I was in a suburban school where all the security people were middle age women and they were good.

bodyhead's avatar

Artificiallard, you have opened my mind a bit to the other side and you’ve made me realize that I might very well be a pessimist. Of course galileogirl was the first to make me start pondering that.

The following article pretty plainly lays out why I carry a gun. If you get a minute you might look over it. I’m willing to bet it’s got some reasoning you haven’t seen before. It’s similar to what they preach at the shooting range I go to.

http://www.az-ccw.com/2007/10/07/why-carry-a-gun/

artificialard's avatar

@galileogirl In Toronto (and Ontario, really) there are certainly school staff to supervise school grounds but we don’t typically have dedicated security personnel. So whether they’re useful/necessary is debatable as even in our larger schools they’re not placed by default. We also don’t have cameras.

Maybe the stereotype of nicer Canadians really is true. Still in my ‘nabe I have to step over the occassional crack addict.

galileogirl's avatar

There are a lot of differences between Canada and the US aren’t there? When I show my students Bowling for Columbine there is a lot of talk about moving to Canada. Moore has this scene where he just walks up to people’s doors and opens them. In my building there are 3 locks before getting in to my apt and I live in a very safe neighborhood.

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