Arming Teachers Is a Dumb Idea

Comments

1
And police responding to the latest mass shooting will be able to instantly tell the teachers shooting their guns apart from the eCONomically anxious white man shooting his gun by...???
2
Informing the NRA/Republinazis that there are a helluva lotta black and Latino teachers that they're proposing arming should kill that moronic red herring real quick.
3
will you please stop using your entire brain to respond to the GOPs "solution"? you just need the reptilian part to understand the logic.

4
"the NRA—will do anything in its power to up the body count, including arming teachers." Absolutely on point, Dan. Bravo.
5
Also suicide-by-teacher would be an inevitable consequence of this, as would teacher-blowing-the-head-off-the-wrong-student.

Anyway this is an expensive and unrealistic proposal that will never, ever happen. This is a cynical distraction offered by people -- sorry, crisis actors -- who insert themselves into every discussion after one of these tragedies to make it seem like they actually give a shit.
6
Interesting how the mass shooting happens and suddenly it's the anti gun crowd on the defense. How does this happen? How does the GOP consistently flip every debate and put progressives on the back foot?
7
Also - the most frequent use of these guns will be for the teachers to kill themselves. They'll be more of them than there are mass shooters. There are more mega million lottery winners than mass shooters
8
@ 6,

Appealing to the sinister, sadistic stupidity of the American public is how these scheming, incompetent, greedy shitbags seized power in the first place. It's worked great for them so far, however TIME'S UP!
10
@9: Soooooo you think arming teachers is a good idea?
You think arming teachers is a "common sense" idea?
Really? O_o
Hell, even Marco Rubio thinks it's a stupid idea for some of the very same reasons Dan put forth, and I think you do too.

I mean come on Bub. You're embarrassing yourself.
12
Wait.
Writes in the third person.
Formats comments as if they're poetry
Calls me Red.

Holy shit, you're Period Troll.
Dang dude how you been?
13
@10 lol it's worse than that - he thinks the least popular president in american history is a master of political manipulation, even as seats at the state- and federal-level in historically republican strongholds are flipping democratic across the country and progressive political engagement is at an all-time high.
15
@14:LOL We'll it hasn't been very much fun lately, but now that you're back.....
16
Yes if you ignore all the polls and election results since november 2016 trump is absolutely killing it
18
As a teacher in Oakland who works at a school that has a lot of violence (students against each other, students against teachers, parents fighting kids on school property, etc) and overall a very challenging demographic, the last thing on earth I want is for teachers to have guns.

This will only entice students to bring guns, because by seeing a gun (especially on a disciplinarian aka any teacher on the planet) they will feel threatened, and will react. I see this reaction every day from the students when they feel threatened, even if it's just with words. They will feel the need to defend themselves.

Students who live in horrible home life situations and experience trauma daily are taught to fight back, no matter who it is or what the context. They are exposed to enough violence outside of school, they don't need to experience it in school too.
19
It's all about institutionalizing obedience by normalizing the unchecked, hyper-masculinity of gun culture. They normalized their authoritarianism in prisons and society let them because, hey, prison isn't supposed to be a picnic. They've also done it successfully in police departments nationwide and, now that they're moving their tactics to our schools, will teachers be empowered by the same legal barriers to accountability that law enforcement officers enjoy?

This isn't their one big bad idea that will be debated away because of our collective disgust, it's a strategic effort built of a thousand bad ideas and they know they're not going to get all of what they want at once. But they are very good at winning incremental changes that support their overall goals. Maybe they'll start by just getting us to concede to placing armed guards and metal detectors as common sense measures fewer of us find offensive.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/11/11/…
20
Dan, those are excellent and crucially important insights -- especially about how a firearm loaded and ready for defensive use will, then, also be loaded and ready for a disturbed student or other person to grab and fire.
I hope your comments will be picked up by news media and immediately become part of the national debate.
They are, frankly, the best argument against this wacky idea of pressing teachers into service as security guards.
21
This idea is idiotic. Because we're dealing with idiots. Yes, yes, we need to listen to the other side to understand where they're coming from blah blah blah. The problem is, idiots equate "understanding" with "total agreement." The moment you disagree with even the smallest point, they whine and yell, "You just don't understand!"

No, you stupid idiots. We do. We want sensible gun control laws that reduce harm. There are plenty of different ideas and approaches to achieve that, but not one of them is coming from the pro-gun side. All we get is stupidity. We can't debate how to craft sensible gun laws, like sensible people do, when we have to debate stupidity.

I'm done with you pro-gun nuts. If you open your mouth to support our current gun laws just slightly, shut it because you don't have a single idea worth a damn.
22
Dan, I have to hand it to you. My daughter is a teacher, and this was exactly her response, that her students are ALWAYS getting into her things.
23
12, I think you nailed it. I'm going to hit the 'ignore' button because he's still the same troll, with never a useful thing to say. My fave from him so far? In another comment thread, where his word count is four times anyone else's, he had the nerve to call the MSD students 'whiney attention whores.' It would take one to know one, I guess. Nope, 'ignore' it is.
24
@23
Ignore, and talk about behind his back.
25
If teachers are armed, I think we would see this act as a very slight deterrent but certainly not a big effect. Mass shooters do not limit their attacks to gun-free zones, and most of these people choose a school because of personal grievances associated with it- it's not a random target.

Once the mass shooter arrives at the school and starts shooting, I think armed teachers would have a very slight impact on how quickly the confrontation ends. Again, most schools- including the one in Florida- have armed security. It's not as easy to shoot someone who is shooting at you as it is in video games, and it almost certainly requires the armed hero to sacrifice him/herself. Several brave teachers have done this in the past- risking their own lives to save students- and those would be the ones we'd expect to also be armed. The recent news story about the guard in Florida who refused to enter the school- I understand why. You are asking him to almost certainly commit suicide to save everyone else. It's cowardly of him to not do so, but it's also entirely understandable. How well trained is he? How did he come by that job? At this point we should pause for a moment and think about what it is we are asking teachers to do. Most do not enter that profession to be soldiers or to sacrifice their lives. Also, even given the training and willingness, that does not mean an armed teacher will be able to take the shooter out. It's not a video game, as I said.

But let's cut through the bullshit bickering here. Yes, if teachers are armed, it would likely cause a very slight increase in deterrent and a slight increase in how quickly a shooting ends.

Next we need to weigh that benefit against the cost.

I don't know how many of you have spent any time in a wide variety of schools lately, but one of the main causes of teacher attrition is classroom management, and that is because defiance is a massive problem in public schools these days. Not all, but many. And teachers are mostly powerless to combat it- admin and parents do nothing. I've worked in facilities with kids who are at the extreme end of this spectrum, but it's a widespread enough problem that it's usually cited as the number one reason teachers voluntarily leave their jobs- and most of them are not in state facilities like I was. Moreover, over half of all teachers leave the profession altogether in just handful of years. When you combine these two facts, it gives you an enlightening picture of what some schools are like. If you watch a lot of the escalations that lead to police shootings, you'll see that they often go like this: cops approach a person and gives an order, the person mouths off or grumbles or straight out defies the cops, the cop feels that he is losing face and has his authority questions so he doubles down, the person likewise feels he is losing face and refuses further to comply, etc. A lot of times, the situation escalates because the cop cannot handle having his authority questioned- it's the loss of face that motivates him to continue the escalation. And it often ends in the cop becoming physical with the person, and too often with him shooting him, even if the only actual threat is that the person is being a jerk or might run off. This scenario is EXACTLY what happens in public schools right now every day. It becomes frustrating for teachers to constantly have to de-escalate, accept insult, swallow pride, etc. Usually the best way to handle it is to build some sort of personal relationship with the students that will rise above this nonsense, but that's not always possible. Also , a lot of kids have serious disorders- they get violent fast. People who work with those students are trained in redirection and de-escalation techniques including physical restraint. When I was working with troubled kids in the state facility, I had to de-escalate situations everyday. Restraints- probably two or three times a month or so. Most of those kids rotated between our facility and the public school as we tried to stabilize them so they could function in their least restrictive environment. It's really hard on the teachers. Likewise, even healthy kids fly off the handle sometimes. Fights between kids on school grounds are not uncommon, and I've been disturbed by the number of police that are tazing kids on campus rather than ending the fight in some other way.

My point of all this is that, if you arm teachers, they will start shooting students. It will be similar to the police. They will justify it on the grounds that they or other students felt threatened. And they will likely be telling the truth- they do feel threatened. But as we see with the fact that meter readers and mail deliverers almost never attack dogs and yet cops kill dogs every day- you learn to handle threats differently if you do not have a gun than if you do.

This is before we consider the number of ways the guns can get into the hands of the students- either from the armed teacher's negligence or from a student forcibly taking it.

So I admit that there would be a slight benefit to arming teachers. I think the benefit is overblown from people who believe that they would behave like a video game character or an action hero and I think they are underestimating the logistical problems with expecting teachers to be cops, but I admit that there would be a benefit. But when you weigh the benefit against the cost- which is teachers shooting students- I think it's an extremely STUPID idea.

Finally, as in my last few posts on this topic, I think we need to take a step back and evaluate what it is that has brought us to this point anyway, that we are discussing arming teachers and training them to be soldiers so that we can educate unruly and disinterested children while also battling the disaffected shooters who want to commit mass murder by spraying bullets indiscriminately among their peers. Our society is sick, and we need a complete upending of how we do all of it.
26
You people are ridiculous. This proposal is not some open ended option. It will be a part of any number of plans and school district policies. While in a stressful incident anyone could misfire, that's a limited risk factor that tends to diminish with experience and pales with the risks associated with the more immanent threat. School shootings don't start in the middle of the class, they proceed through the school. If you're caught by surprise, you're dead anyway. This offers a credible means for a prepared, trained faculty member - or even some brave scrambling student to return fire. Even a neophyte can point and shoot.

instead everyone pictures deputy fife firing randomly in the jailhouse.

"the armed teacher is most likely gonna wind up just as dead as the unarmed and/or armed-but-not-psychic teacher.
Feigned certainty. He's going to get shot up anyway.
Once more for emphasis: teachers' guns aren't just going to be within reach of the teachers—they're going to be within reach of students too"
No, they're going to be in safe keeping.

Law enforcement is showing it's insufficiency, yet everyone seems adamant they're the only hope. Do these law enforcement teams kill kids by accident? No, they're professionals - but responding to different skill sets and protocols. People can't cogitate mixed roles, or people swept up in gunphobia are leading the irrational resistance to this reasonable precaution.
27
Lambchowder, did you really just conclude your argument with A) no one has suggested anything other than relying on police to shoot mass shooters, and B) police don't shoot people unnecessarily or accidentally. ??
28
Yeah, that was a mixup. The teams that respond to these crises have historically worked well but may be prone to error, which can cost more than doing nothing.