Is it time for American teachers to get « armed and dangerous »? — RT World News
It’s not normal or a sign of a healthy society, but it’s the only option left to reduce mass shooting casualties
The number of school shootings in the United States this year has already broken last year’s record or is on a steady pace to do so, depending on how you count. The strict Education Week measure (only counting shootings that occurred on school grounds or on buses while school was in session or at a school-sponsored event and resulted in at least one gunshot wound or death) brings the number to 40 shootings, with 34 fatalities at the end of October this year, up from 35 in 2021.
Will it become necessary for American educators to carry a gun to stop a truly national epidemic? And what does such a proposal say about the national state of mind?
In the wake of the Colorado Springs gay club shooting, which left five people dead and 19 wounded by gunfire, America’s limited attention has shifted, once again, to the question of how to protect 330 million people in a country where there are more guns. than souls. Due to the vulnerability of students, protecting schools from mass shootings (according to Gun Violence Archive, a mass shooting is a shooting in which at least four people were killed or injured) took center stage in this great debate.
When it comes to mass shootings in America, the problem boils down to a simple question of more versus less. Must America return to the wild Wild West to cure the bloodshed, or is the answer less guns and loose legislation? Given that the latter method has already been tried unsuccessfully, I would argue in favor of allowing – even requiring – teachers to carry weapons to save the lives of their students.
The reasoning here is starkly, chillingly simple, and the same that was applied to the principle of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) that kept the peace for 70 years between the United States and Soviet Russia, until until George W. Bush withdraws us prematurely. : Anyone with half a brain won’t think to draw their gun if they know it will guarantee their own instant death.
The quick-witted reader will now reply that mass murderers tend not to possess half a brain, but much less, and so that leaves us with a false analogy. While I submit to this argument, it doesn’t change the quasi-calculus much here. While a mass shooter will have no qualms about pulling the trigger regardless of the threat to their own life, they might think twice knowing there is an armed teacher in the classroom who can keep him from wreaking as much havoc as possible and coming out in a perverted burst of glory. The most important point is that his future victim will always have the means (time and space) to save his life and that of others. And that can deprive the killer of what they aim for most, which is eternal notoriety on social media for their villainous act. Watch the video below by Columbia College Chicago for a brilliant take on this idea.
Currently, however, that is not the way things are done in the USA of Wrath, where psychopaths are free to roam the halls armed to the teeth without any fear of reprisal. This kind of senseless impunity must end with the simplest methods of all, which the Bible alludes to with its “eye for an eye” passage: Arming American teachers as if they were mercenaries in the French Foreign Legion.
The main arguments against this have to do with trust between students and teachers (particularly relevant for schools where the majority of students are low-income or of color), fueling an atmosphere of fear, and generally putting students uncomfortable. It doesn’t look good for a public school teacher to walk around a classroom looking like Clint Eastwood in « Pale Rider. » But what looks worse, a teacher who looks like a mean-spirited cowboy or a classroom that looks like an epic 15-minute “Scarface” shootout? And what’s worse, a suspicious student or a dead one?
A community college professor was quoted by The New York Times as saying that « [G]some have no place in a classroom. What does it do to a learning environment, when kids know their teacher has the ability to kill them? »
The teacher, one of the most reliable and upright individuals in our decaying Western societies (unless we are talking about California, which we are not), is almost never the predator in the classroom. Indeed, he/she/they are typically the hunted, not the hunter. In fact, the absolute majority of school shooters—as was the case at Columbine, Sandy Hook, and Uvalde—were themselves students or former students.
Let’s stop for a moment and imagine how a school shooting would happen if a teacher was locked in and charged and ready to scold. Assuming the would-be attacker enters through the front door, which is usually the case, the first victim will be the dozing security guard, armed or unarmed. By this point, most of the school will have heard that first shot and, after the cursory shouting, will be barricading themselves in locked rooms (i.e. assuming there are locks). While jumping to relative safety from first- and second-story windows may be an option for some, it leaves those on higher floors no chance to escape besides praying. Unless, that is, Mr. Harris, the unsuspecting math teacher on campus is armed and very dangerous. In fact, if at least one of these teachers had been known for their warmth, it’s highly unlikely the killer would have considered tempting fate with a gunfight in the first place. This goes for all other « soft targets » locations, such as restaurants, theaters, malls, and drag queen shows.
As war guru Sun Tzu probably knew, an armed teacher provides a much-needed second line of defense in the event of mass shootings, which, despite their frequency, are always complete surprises. In reality, in the majority of cases, the teacher would represent the first and last line of defense against any shooter as most schools, to date, do not employ armed guards.
Here’s how a retired teacher from Florida explained the grim choices now available to (unarmed) teachers, which are exactly non-existent: “Schools have become a prime target for disgruntled young men. This is unacceptable. Above all, teachers must be able to count on the funding of real safety and security officers to come to their aid. But the police may arrive too late or wait outside, as happened in Uvalde, Texas. Our schools have become battlegrounds and teachers must be given the opportunity to fight back and save the lives of their students and themselves.
Behind this bravado, however, lies a very sad reality that America got to this point in the first place. Opponents of arming teachers argue that mass shootings should be prevented through the concerted efforts of politicians, social services, therapists, law enforcement and a host of others working with students disgruntled and other potential perpetrators. These efforts are desperately needed, but judging by the state of things, this is more of a long-term project than an immediate solution to a problem that was supposed to be solved yesterday. How many times have we heard of a school shooter displaying dangerous red flags that were never followed?
That leaves us with a United States where teachers have to spend their free time at the shooting range blowing on clay rabbits instead of preparing lessons and checking homework. Ultimately, all of America suffers. This is by no means normal. But is there really another choice? Personally I don’t think so.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.