General Question

LadyMarissa's avatar

Are you sure you want to give teachers a gun?

Asked by LadyMarissa (15751points) May 26th, 2023

Texas teacher assaults wife, shoots son & stepdaughter. Texas governor Abbott has been pushing to arm teachers with guns to keep school kids safe. A large majority of the schools have declined his offer. Tuesday night one of those teachers proved why it’s not a good idea to give a teacher a gun. The son is his 13 y/o biological child who was sleeping. The stepdaughter is 21 & she managed to call 911. This teacher of 17 years is obviously having problems. So far I’ve not found anything explaining what set him off with such rage. Had Abbott gotten his way, this man could have legally walked into his school & done who knows what damage. He had no regard for his own family, so protecting his school kids wouldn’t cross his mind. I’m not going to repeat the obvious, but I would like to hear what you think.

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26 Answers

MrGrimm888's avatar

100% opposed to arming teachers.
Even if the teacher is a great candidate for carrying, it’s putting a firearm in a school. What if a kid steals it, or grabs it off the teacher?
Terrible idea…

Brian1946's avatar

If you give teachers guns, the next thing that could happen is a larcenous Homecoming Queen’s got a gun! ;-0

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t support teachers having guns in school, but my guess is hundreds of teachers across Texas own guns. I assume most schools don’t allow teachers to carry on school property. If schools did allow it, maybe they would screen teachers and require training. I think it’s better to have a security guard than a teacher be armed.

Acrylic's avatar

I’d have no problem with that, under right circumstances. Sure, one can always find a negative story about anything to help bolster their point, one incident not being every time of course, still, I’d have no problem with properly trained, licensed, etc. teachers being armed.

gorillapaws's avatar

No. It’s a stupid fucking idea. For one thing, teachers need to focus on the job they’re hired to do: teaching. It’s a difficult job to do right. SWAT teams can focus on training how to assault an active shooter using their special weapons and tactics. That’s like saying our physicians should also devote a large amount of their time training on Bear relocation training.

Untrained assholes with guns is how we get chucklekfucks like George Zimmerman and Kyle Rittenhouse. Only a moron thinks having clowns like that running around with firearms makes the world a safer place.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

No, but I would recommend teachers taking a “non-violent crisis intervention” class. I took it on a two day workshop. Also first aid, and emergency mental health first aid.

Also I would fund mental health services for youth and at risk students. To recognize problems before they get to the point where it ends in violence.

flutherother's avatar

Just stop and think about it and you would realise the idea is madness.

seawulf575's avatar

I’ve heard of arming teachers as an option for a response to school shootings. I do not agree that we force teachers to carry a gun. I disagree with forcing anyone to carry a gun. But I do agree with the idea of allowing teachers and administrators to carry on campus if they so wish. There was a study that shows this can be highly effective at stopping school shootings. One organization in Colorado even trains teachers and administrators to be more effective at stopping shootings.

The problem with this question is that it extrapolates one event into an entirely different event. It also makes the erroneous assumption that this guy’s actions would have carried over to classroom. The situations are entirely different. He didn’t plan to attack his family (that we can tell). It was a domestic violence situation. I’m pretty sure this was not the first time there was domestic violence with this guy. However it is fairly certain there was no violence by him at work. Had there been he would not be employed by the school for long.

But hey, violence by teachers can happen even at universities. And remember Mireille Miller-Young? By the reasoning of this question I could make the conclusion that women should not be allowed to be professors.

LuckyGuy's avatar

~Recently, some teacher/stand up comedian said she was in favor of being given a gun. She’d sell it and use the funds to buy books, markers, and art supplies for the kids.

JeSuisRickSpringfield's avatar

I agree with those questioning the reasoning of the OP. Unless we can show that being a teacher was part of the reason that this person should not have been trusted with a gun, then it doesn’t make sense to say that no teachers should have guns. That’s the difference between this and, for example, the restrictions on the possession of firearms in the Violence Against Women Act.

The Violence Against Women Act doesn’t say “people who make credible threats of violence against their intimate partners are a clear and present danger to said partners, therefore anyone in an intimate relationship with another person shouldn’t be allowed to have a gun.” It says, “people who make credible threats of violence against their intimate partners are a clear and present danger to said partners, therefore anyone who makes such threats is subject to potentially having their firearms temporarily removed from them.”

But to address the topic itself, and speaking as an elementary school teacher, I think the issue is both complicated and evolving. Prior to this year, I had never once heard a colleague say they wanted a gun in their classroom. That’s not to say there aren’t teachers who have always wanted one. It’s just that wanting one is not a majority position among teachers and that I had never personally encountered a teacher who wanted one.

But the shootings this year changed that. One of my colleagues, who I am quite close with, confessed to me (and I do mean “confessed”) that she has gotten so scared that she wishes she could keep a gun in her closet. It turns out that she had thought about it a lot, and I doubt she’s the only one. When I asked her to elaborate, she had the outlines of a whole system in her mind. These were her ideas:

1. No one should be forced to have a gun in their classroom, but those who want one should be allowed to have one.

2. Teachers should not carry the gun with them. It should be secured in a place that students can’t get to, and there should not be a gun in any room without such a place.

3. The gun would be taken from that place only in the case of an active shooter present in the building.

4. Anyone with a gun in their classroom would have to receive extensive training on how to use it and get some sort of license or certificate (so it’s not just, “I want one, put it in my room”).

5. There should be severe penalties for mentioning the gun in front of students, using it in any way to threaten anyone who isn’t an active shooter, and for using it against anyone who isn’t an active shooter.

To be honest, I’m not sure where I am on this. I don’t like the idea of guns in schools. There’s so much that can be done to make them safe without introducing firearms. And the idea of a school that prepares children for the real world while simultaneously offering an environment that is better than one is likely to experience in the real world is an ideal that I think is worth continuing to strive for. Guns don’t really fit in to that vision, even guns that will hopefully never be seen. But not liking the idea isn’t a good enough reason to ignore the incessant stream of school shootings.

I certainly don’t think we should just issue guns to teachers, and I agree with my colleague that they shouldn’t be carried around throughout the day. Yes, that means teachers caught by surprise are still unarmed. But most situations are actually ones where a class is hunkered down in their classroom waiting to see if they are spared or not. That’s what all of our drills focus on, and for good reason. Regardless, I trust my colleagues a lot more than I trust some people who I know for sure carry. Nor do I think it has to be a choice between “untrained assholes” and unarmed teachers.

I don’t like guns, and I will never carry one in my school. But I am one of three men in a building otherwise populated by women and children. It’s not lost on me that among the many things guns are, one of the things they can be is an equalizer. Nor is it lost on me that the first person in my circle to bring up the issue is a petite woman who specializes in child behavioral issues and has a son in our building’s preschool. She’s not a political person. She has a genuine fear, and I’m trying to keep that in mind as I think through this issue.

mazingerz88's avatar

If gun worshipers in America wouldn’t support gun control then why not allow teachers who want one to have them in the class? They will have at least a chance to fight for and save their lives and their class.

gorillapaws's avatar

@JeSuisRickSpringfield Firearm skills are rapidly perishable and require constant practice at the range to maintain. Active shooter situations are chaotic and confusing. Having multiple people with weapons who aren’t Police is a recipe for disaster. Just ask John Hurley, (or his next of kin).

Zaku's avatar

I’m sure I don’t want to give teachers a gun.

kritiper's avatar

The lesser of two evils?? Darn tootin’!

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Everything else is better than a gun. I recommend non lethal weapons.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I can’t believe that this idea has any support.
First of all, I understand that people who support this mostly have good intentions.

Once actually contemplated though, it should be a clearly terrible idea. I don’t have stats for how many children are hurt/killed by improperly secured firearms, but I know it’s a sobering amount.
Storing the firearms in the classroom is the only option. Personal carry is a non-starter to me. It shouldn’t even get a second thought.

If there are firearms in a classroom, kids will likely know where. Firstly. Teachers are human, and some will accidentally leave them unsecured. It’s just a matter of statistics.
Secondly. It’s inevitable that an occasional kid will try to gain access to the firearm. Kids aren’t to be underestimated. They can probably figure it out, somehow.

Another thing that I think most people don’t understand is that concealed weapons, are not necessarily glued to the carrier’s body. Not all holsters have a button strap holding the firearm from accidentally falling out. Most handguns won’t just fire if dropped. However. If a handgun hits the ground in a crowd, it could become a very big problem. Obviously a student could beat the teacher to the retrieval of the firearm…

If the teacher open carried, well
let’s first think of the optics. I’m not going to do your thinking for you. Come on… COs in prisons don’t open carry…

Consider also what comes with having a sidearm in the open, on one’s hip. Or just having a handgun on your person at all.
If someone knows you have it. You can have it snatched off of you, or taken from you. Yes. Even trained and capable people can be overpowered and have a weapon pulled off of them, in close proximity…

Understand also that some people aren’t afraid of a firearm. Some kids (older, I would think but still,) will come from rough neighborhoods and won’t feel intimidated by them.

Let’s all look at one of the elephants in the room. It’s almost guaranteed that if teachers carried handguns, the most common times they would become relevant in a classroom or school is for disciplinary reasons. A sad fact is that teachers face a myriad of trouble with teenagers who will not listen to teachers, or even threaten or physically attack teachers. It happens in a sad frequency. So. You’re telling me that you want a teacher untrained, and not paid to be a law enforcement officer, to possibly have to pull a handgun in a classroom, gymnasium, or hallway, and engage a student with a lethal weapon? That’s got to be the absolute dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.

Today in Stupidville High-school, Mr. Jones, a gym teacher carrying a handgun (as permitted by new laws,) was assaulted by five students. Mr. Jones was forced to pull his firearm. Multiple students were shot, in the incident. Some students were just bystanders. One of the attacker’s is dead. One is wounded. In addition, a 13 year old female student Elizabeth Smith was critically injured because she was in proximity of the incident. Paramedics could not save her when they arrived. Two other bystanders were injured, but are expected to make full recoveries, after being treated at local hospitals.
An ongoing investigation is expected to continue for some time including an eventual handing down of multiple charges for multiple parties. Students and parents alike, including people of Stupidville are in disbelief. Counseling will be offered to those students, faculty and staff that request it.
Sadly. The nation is already in mourning, as this was the third such incident this month in America…-

A 10 year old student was shot, and killed today at Stupidville Elementary School. An armed teacher was in an argument with the 10 year old, when the boy pulled out his phone. The teacher mistook it for a weapon, and fired one shot into the boy’s chest. He was pronounced dead, on the scene. The teacher is in custody at this time. The event is indeed tragic. In addition, the teacher was a 32 year old, white female. The 10 year old boy, was African American. Many Americans are calling this a race related incident. Massive protests, and civil unrest are already being reported in surrounding areas. This incident will dominate headlines for months, likely years. Anti-gun lobbyists are calling this a preventable, senseless incident. Pro-gun advocates call the incident unfortunate. However. They do not believe drastic changes to new “armed teacher” laws, should be made. Due to the many variables in this case, divisions are growing across America tonight. Protests are already being planned in the nation’s capital. Preparations for a possible violent week of public outcry/unrest are being made around the country, as the nation is still reeling from a similar incident just two months ago in Idiotville…-

Do those hypotheticals sound possible?.. They sound like just a very small example of very likely future events, if we arm teachers.

Now. Let’s explore the mass shooting aspect. That’s the main reason to arm teachers. Right?

Many mass shooters have had semiautomatic rifles, and all have had the element of surprise. Trained, armored, and armed first responders (some with similar firearms even,) have had challenging experiences dealing with the shooters.
How do we think an untrained teacher with no body armor and a revolver, or pistol is going to fare in a similar scenario?..
So. Do teachers need M-4s, or AR-15s, and class three vests? Yeah right….

Many teachers are just not good candidates for being armed, and capable of making decisions that trained law enforcement officers have difficulty with.

There are already armed LEOs of various types in some schools.

@RedDeerGuy1 non lethal weapons are better than firearms.
But still an unwise idea, in my opinion. When sprayed indoors Mace will hurt anyone in proximity.
I personally don’t want to see videos of kids being electrocuted, or clubbed/bludgeoned either…

Teachers aren’t LEOs. Schools aren’t prisons, or military installations

I would add. Everyone should think about if they could bring themselves to shoot a child. Even an armed child, actively shooting others. Like REALLY think about that…

Apologies to the OP. In my mind, the question outweighs the Details. Such incidents occur when firearms are involved in a bad situation.
FACT. Weapons of any kind can only escalate the possibility of bad things happening in most scenarios…

Blackwater_Park's avatar

I don’t think arming teachers is the best idea but I also think leaving schools completely undefended isn’t either. For reasons we don’t fully understand, crazy fuckers still want to go shoot up schools. Someone needs to be there. I think it’s time, I think we need specially trained police in most schools. Not rent a cops or regular street cops. People who are vetted and trained to be in schools. Not just for the shooter scenario but more commonly to deal with the other crap that happens in schools.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^That would be great. However. Most public schools can’t afford basic educational needs…

Neglecting the educational system, because people in government and their rich friends can afford private schools, could well be a major factor in why these “crazy fuckers” target schools to begin with…

seawulf575's avatar

@Blackwater_Park Some places have tried that…putting cops in the school. Unfortunately it is cost prohibitive. It costs too much for the state budget to put a cop in each school. And if the shooters know there is a cop in the school, they will target that cop first. After that it’s open season.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

@MrGrimm888 @seawulf575 So the carnage continues? Funny how new local taxes are always “for the schools” yet there is never enough money for them. I think you both answered what part of the core problem really is.

seawulf575's avatar

@Blackwater_Park My previous post listed an organization that helps train staff for being armed (if they want to be), how to do emergency first aid if necessary, etc to respond to active shooter situation. They even have helped in Colorado and Ohio to raise private funds to pay for the cost of the training. They have this page on their site that addresses some of the myths surrounding arming teachers. Now I get that, like any business, they are going to have their slant but it does allow some discussion about the claims over this topic. Having an SRO onsite may be good and has resulted in limiting death in a shooting incident. But because of the size of the school, the SRO wasn’t immediately present when the shooter started. It took him 45 seconds to get to the scene. When confronted with armed opposition, the shooter took his own life, but not before killing one student.

MrGrimm888's avatar

@Blackwater_Park . I can’t speak for every school, in every state. But. In many places where poverty and crime are highest, “coincidentally” the schools are often more neglected.

It’s important to note that smaller incidents are far more common. Shootings of one person, or a pistol/drugs in a locker. Those things happen far more often, than mass school Shootings. They are almost equally concerning, as they are SO common.

There is no question that there is a need for a step up in efforts to curtail all types of really bad problems. But. Schools with 45 people in a classroom designed for 25, old (not current) books, stretched resources, and less than ideal nourishment programs, also plague public schools. I went to several schools that had ceiling tiles fallen in, holes in walls, terrible restrooms, compufuters, and had a dearth of insufficient basic needs.
We had an in school police department.
It didn’t change a lot… As far as being a deterrent.

But yeah. Those schools were obviously financially neglected…

Forever_Free's avatar

By that logic EVERYONE should have guns. Oh wait, That is the issue.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^That’s definitely the problem…

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