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Should teachers be armed?

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  #1    
Old July 18th, 2012 (9:44 AM).
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In recent years, incidents such as the massacre at Columbine High School and Virginia Tech, where students gunned down their classmates, has given rise to the debate over whether teachers in the USA should be allowed to carry arms in the classroom. Supporters claim it means tragic massacres of students could be avoided if teachers could defend themselves against armed fanatics to the same degree. These massacres sparked off a debate about whether teachers are in a position where it is their responsibility to protect their vulnerable charges. And if so what possible ways there are to enable them to do so.

The second amendment of the US constitution maintains that “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”. This is nearly always taken as meaning all citizens have the right to bear arms, allowing teachers and others in positions of authority over vulnerable groups to be armed would be a natural extension of this entitlement.

The alternative suggestion for preventing such tragic incidents will not be covered much in this debate that there needs to be more restriction of guns. Advocates for gun controls claim that the USA’s love affair with guns is the very reason why incidents such as Columbine happened in the first place, as the problem lies far more in the ease with which volatile groups, such as teenagers and young people, can access guns. If arms laws were made far stricter then it would reduce the risk of on-campus shootings and as a result, remove the need for teachers to protect themselves and their students. As a result of the entrenched arms culture in the USA, power of the gun lobby, and second amendment this debate takes as a starting point that such restrictions are unlikely to happen. Therefore the most logical way to reverse the issues raised by incidents like Columbine is to meet them with equal means, of which allowing teachers to carry arms would be one. On balance, this would mean a greater reduction in the harms inflicted in US society by guns as a whole.

The mechanism for this debate would therefore be a simple one. The only people allowed to carry guns in school environments would be registered teachers and head teachers, who have certified gun licences and who have undertaken special courses in how to carry arms safely in a school environment.

We would allow individual states to decide whether or not to grant schools the authority to carry arms, defined as firearms like handguns, and excluding other weapons such as tasers. Such a law would allow individual high schools to form their own policies on whether or not teachers can carry guns – therefore if individual teachers feel they cannot be in one environment or another, they are free to move schools within that state. Freedom of conscience can therefore be combined with an adherence to the second amendment and a concern for classroom safety in American schools.
How do you feel about this? Could teachers with conceal and carry licenses prevent future Columbines and other deadly shootings? How does the Second Amendment come into play? And if it was law, how do we regulate it?


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Old July 18th, 2012 (9:54 AM).
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As much as I would LOVE to go into education with a gun, there are equally crazy teachers as well as students. So who's to say the teacher won't just go crazy instead of the student? And if it is the student, the teacher now has the right to shoot their student? I'm not a teacher yet, but I mean, your students become like your own children. So it'd be like shooting and potentially killing your own child. And I just can't stomach that.
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Old July 18th, 2012 (10:00 AM).
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sydian View Post
    As much as I would LOVE to go into education with a gun, there are equally crazy teachers as well as students. So who's to say the teacher won't just go crazy instead of the student? And if it is the student, the teacher now has the right to shoot their student? I'm not a teacher yet, but I mean, your students become like your own children. So it'd be like shooting and potentially killing your own child. And I just can't stomach that.
    I have to agree with this. Also teacher have to be trained in how to use the gun to avoid hurting themselves or someone else, in that case it might be better to put someone like a security officer in every class room.
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    Old July 18th, 2012 (10:13 AM).
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    I have to agree with this. Also teacher have to be trained in how to use the gun to avoid hurting themselves or someone else, in that case it might be better to put someone like a security officer in every class room.
    Yeah, I really, really don't feel like having to learn how to use a gun. And what about older teachers? That'd be a sight. I don't feel like EVERY class should have a security guard though. Perhaps just a certain amount, depending on the school's size, and make sure they have access to each classroom in case of emergency.
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    Old July 18th, 2012 (1:24 PM).
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    It is truly frightening that people are even considering that more government officials be armed.

    If individual teachers wish to bear arms, then they should do so the same way that private citizens do.
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    Old July 18th, 2012 (2:12 PM).
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FreakyLocz14 View Post
    If individual teachers wish to bear arms, then they should do so the same way that private citizens do.
    But would you be accepting of the encouraging the teachers bear arms on school grounds and during school hours?

    I'm not sure I'd want one of my teachers in possession of a gun because, as said in this thread earlier, teachers can become just as crazed as any student can and I would put it past not a single teacher to do such things.
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    Old July 19th, 2012 (9:30 PM).
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    Teachers have a lot of responsibility already, and on the whole they get paid crap. Advocating for teachers to have guns so they can protect their students is one step away from requiring teachers to protect students, meaning they would have to be trained, certified gun carriers and that's just one more burden on them. Who would pay for their guns/training? There is no surplus money in education in the US.

    But really, the answer is in the first post: gun control. As it stands that's the best option. Next best option is to keep things as they are. Worst options are to arm teachers/encourage teachers to arm themselves.
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    Old July 19th, 2012 (10:04 PM).
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sydian View Post
    As much as I would LOVE to go into education with a gun, there are equally crazy teachers as well as students. So who's to say the teacher won't just go crazy instead of the student? And if it is the student, the teacher now has the right to shoot their student? I'm not a teacher yet, but I mean, your students become like your own children. So it'd be like shooting and potentially killing your own child. And I just can't stomach that.
    I totally agree with this. There are crazy kids that go wielding guns in schools, but teachers can too. I'd just up the security (ie. hire more officers) and be on my way.
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    Old July 19th, 2012 (10:17 PM).
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    As mentioned above, teacher's are just as likely to lose it and start shooting! I've had some crazy teachers, (that have attacked students) and I would NOT put a gun in their hands. And why would a gun be put in their hands? to shoot students?!? Even if the teacher had every right to shoot, no kid would want to enter that class or be taught by that teacher. And I doubt many teachers would feel comfortable with the duty of gunning down their own students. If schools are really willing to go to such drastic measures, they could just install metal detectors on all the doors. It'd probably be less expensive. As long as they scanned your bag or whatever and the only metal you had was say scissors or staples or something, everything would be fine rather than using peoples' money to train teachers to shoot their own children...
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    Old July 19th, 2012 (10:18 PM).
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    Besides many of the issues raised, there's a pretty horrible one I can think about. While they may not use it, so many teacher in really bad public schools get fed up when they are not respected by errant students. They might assert themselves with fear by the fact they have a gun.

    Even if it was for protection, as a student, (especially when I was in high/middle school) I would not be able to learn comfortable or forge a working relationship with my teacher when they are armed and in a authoritative position over me all the time. It's frightening.
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    Old July 20th, 2012 (6:46 AM).
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      It would depend on the teacher. If the teacher is nice, tollerable and everyone loves him/her then give them a gun! However, like my old old Earth Science teacher, she hated her last class. So I think she'd shoot them all and kill them. Heck if a teacher I hated had a gun I'd stay the heck away from them.
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      Old July 20th, 2012 (7:09 AM).
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        If teachers had guns during my school days my mother would have homeschooled me.
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        Old July 20th, 2012 (7:17 AM).
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        As a future teacher, no. Definitely not.

        Weapons are more likely to be used for harm than good. Besides, supplying a weapon in the classroom makes it easier for a student to get their hands on one - no?
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        Old July 20th, 2012 (8:36 AM).
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        No, it's not like teachers can't go crazy. I mean there are horrible people that molest kids out in the world, what's to say a teacher couldn't go crazy and harm students and other teachers with a gun? It's not just kids that go crazy. I don't believe in having any weapons in a school. I can't see a lot of parents liking this and the teachers themselves would most likely be extremely uncomfortable being trained and certified to user firearms and even having one in the classroom. Honestly it would end up doing way more harm then good. All schools just need more security measures in place to prevent shootings, metal detectors, cameras, security officers and people looking out for suspicious behavior from anyone.

        If someone seems off or something like that, it should be reported and investigated. You just never know who could snap like that.
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        Old July 20th, 2012 (4:52 PM).
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        Quote:
        Originally Posted by SwiftSign View Post
        As a future teacher, no. Definitely not.

        Weapons are more likely to be used for harm than good. Besides, supplying a weapon in the classroom makes it easier for a student to get their hands on one - no?
        Not necessarily, but it's implied.
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        Old July 28th, 2012 (9:14 PM).
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        Quote:
        Originally Posted by FreakyLocz14 View Post
        It is truly frightening that people are even considering that more government officials be armed.

        If individual teachers wish to bear arms, then they should do so the same way that private citizens do.
        teacher's aren't elected officials, so they're not really that kind of "government officials".

        The big question here is if we as a people are willing to cross certain lines of morality & personal security to protect against more horrors like Columbine. A deal with the devil.
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        Old July 28th, 2012 (11:47 PM).
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          This is an interesting topic you bring up here, Livewire, because I am going to school to be a teacher.
          I don't know if teachers should be armed though. I'll have to put a lot of thought into this. If teachers are armed, I wonder if students and parents would find out, and if there would be any repercussions to this. Some parents and students might not be very comfortable with the idea of their [child's] teacher having a gun on hand.
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          Old July 29th, 2012 (3:51 AM).
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          I really wouldn't like this idea at all. As said before in this thread, the teachers can go crazy too. Imagine a teacher's having a really hard time outside of their job - maybe an issue with family or a relationship - so they're already unhappy and then some annoying little kid is making their life hell. What's stopping them from pulling out the gun and shooting that kid? I've heard of and seen teachers getting very legitimately angry at their students, and in some cases even violence has been reported. When these kind of things happen I have no reason to believe that a teacher with a gun wouldn't use it. You can't just trust anyone with one of those.

          That aside, even if that wasn't an issue, imagine how the children would feel knowing their teachers had a weapon in their desk. A lot of children, especially very young ones, can be scared of teachers, particularly if they're stricter ones. A teacher with a gun isn't safety for those kids, it's terror. I would never want that in a school.
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          Old July 29th, 2012 (8:02 AM).
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            Quote:
            Originally Posted by Razor Leaf View Post
            I really wouldn't like this idea at all. As said before in this thread, the teachers can go crazy too. Imagine a teacher's having a really hard time outside of their job - maybe an issue with family or a relationship - so they're already unhappy and then some annoying little kid is making their life hell. What's stopping them from pulling out the gun and shooting that kid? I've heard of and seen teachers getting very legitimately angry at their students, and in some cases even violence has been reported. When these kind of things happen I have no reason to believe that a teacher with a gun wouldn't use it. You can't just trust anyone with one of those.

            That aside, even if that wasn't an issue, imagine how the children would feel knowing their teachers had a weapon in their desk. A lot of children, especially very young ones, can be scared of teachers, particularly if they're stricter ones. A teacher with a gun isn't safety for those kids, it's terror. I would never want that in a school.
            That's what I was thinking too. Teachers have horrible days, and can snap too.
            And I agree with your second paragraph. If children and parents knew their [child's] teacher was armed, that would be quite unnerving, and I wouldn't want my children to have a teacher like that [and I'm going to be a teacher, and I wouldn't carry a gun with me].
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            Old August 19th, 2012 (6:57 PM).
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            Perhaps not arming teachers, but maybe stationing a police officer or two at schools is a better idea. In the event of a "Columbine" or "Virginia Tech", they could potentially save as many lives as possible, with the training and skills a teacher wouldn't have.
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            Old August 19th, 2012 (9:56 PM).
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              Quote:
              Originally Posted by Livewire View Post
              Perhaps not arming teachers, but maybe stationing a police officer or two at schools is a better idea. In the event of a "Columbine" or "Virginia Tech", they could potentially save as many lives as possible, with the training and skills a teacher wouldn't have.
              Yes, maybe with a "police officer" the students and staff and even parents will feel a bit safer.
              I was at an elementary school in an area that wasn't too great, and there was a very friendly police officer there right by the main entrance. He would usually sit there and greet everyone, and it gave me a sense of protection at this school that was in an area where gangs are...
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              Old August 19th, 2012 (10:36 PM).
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                I get it — I'm pretty much sparking an entirely different debate here — but are gun laws in America not already ridiculously lax? To bring up Columbine High School and Virginia Tech would bring us back to how easy it is to get a gun and just start a blood bath. Would we really be thinking about a ludicrous idea like arming teachers if we had already policed the sales of firearms to John Doe, which would likely in turn, prevent incidents like Columbine from happening?

                Quote:
                The second amendment of the US constitution maintains that “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”. This is nearly always taken as meaning all citizens have the right to bear arms, allowing teachers and others in positions of authority over vulnerable groups to be armed would be a natural extension of this entitlement.
                This is wrong. Neither you, nor your average man on the street, are "Militia" by any stretch of the word.

                It's thinking like this that allowed the sale of a gun to James Holmes.
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                Old August 20th, 2012 (8:20 AM).
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                  I Believe this would potentially be a mistake because there is no way to know for sure who of these teachers could be trusted with the responsibility and who could snap and any second and shoot up the whole class room. As bad as that sounds the possibility is quite real as we all know. Even individuals who have a long history or being a upstanding citizen and doing nothing but good have gone bad on occasion. I think a better idea would be to have more law enforcement/police present in these locations. That way these things could be monitored more closely and maybe even prevented all together. Most people (not all) that carry out these horrible acts wouldn't do so in the presence of a police officer. Its not a completely full proof plan but i see it being more beneficial then arming the teaching staff.
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                  Old August 20th, 2012 (10:57 AM).
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                    No. Anyone can flip the switch, so to speak, including teachers. It would be unsafe to bring any guns into a school environment. Besides, the teacher carrying a gun could also give a not-so-right student easier access to one.

                    Guns are unsafe, period.

                    Besides, what if the teacher doesn't want that responsibility of handling the gun? It shouldn't be enforced. Plus they would have to do a lot of training and there would have to be a lot more drills at school..

                    Either way.. too much terror.
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                    Old August 20th, 2012 (11:05 AM).
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                      Originally Posted by Kura View Post
                      No. Anyone can flip the switch, so to speak, including teachers. It would be unsafe to bring any guns into a school environment. Besides, the teacher carrying a gun could also give a not-so-right student easier access to one.

                      Guns are unsafe, period.

                      Besides, what if the teacher doesn't want that responsibility of handling the gun? It shouldn't be enforced. Plus they would have to do a lot of training and there would have to be a lot more drills at school..

                      Either way.. too much terror.
                      I completely agree with your post, no matter how they are used the only thing guns are good for is creating harm. I would prefer personally that regular citizens weren't allowed to carry them and only law enforcement or military used them. Maybe allow people to use guns in controlled environments such as shooting ranges or hunting in permitted areas. There should be no need for people to be carrying one with them into the gas station to fill up the car or in line at burger king getting a sandwich. Of course this will never happen nor am i suggesting it should. Just think it would be nice to walk around and not to have to wonder if the guy in front of me is holding a weapon and is he going to use it.
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