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Should Teachers be Allowed to Carry Guns in Schools?

by Countable | 2.20.18

What’s the story?

Following the mass shooting in a Florida high school that left 17 dead, there have been renewed calls for teachers to carry guns.

"Of course we should let teachers carry guns in school," the right-leaning Washington Examiner proclaimed in a headline.

"I have not yet heard a single good argument for why we shouldn’t generally allow teachers to carry concealed firearms on school grounds," Daniel Payne wrote in an editorial. “With as many school shootings as we’ve experienced in this country, it is time we stop ignoring this absurdly simple solution. It is among the lowest-hanging fruit of the gun debate.”

What are law-enforcement officers and lawmakers saying?

Florida Sheriff Grady Judd said it would be a "game changer" to allow certain hand-picked teachers to carry firearms in the classroom.

"We had coaches that ran to stand in front of their students with no gun," Judd said of the Parkland shooting. “Why not give them a fighting chance?”

Meanwhile, a bill has been proposed in the Alabama state legislature that would allow trained, certified teachers to carry weapons on school campuses.

"I think that's the dumbest idea I've ever heard," Sen. Doug Jones (D) told Alabama’s News 5. "I think it's crazy. You don't need 40–50 guns in there, and it's a cost issue.”

What’s stopping teachers from bringing guns to school now?

Presently, teachers are prevented from bringing guns to classrooms because of the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990, which makes it illegal for anyone "to knowingly possess a firearm" within 1,000 feet of a school zone.

The law, however, does allow teachers to bring a gun to school "as part of a program approved by a school in the school zone." 18 states currently allow armed adults on school property.

Where does the president stand?

President Donald Trump supports the idea of arming teachers. During a campaign rally in Burlington, VT, in 2016, he told the cheering crowd:

"I will get rid of gun-free zones on schools—you have to. My first day, it gets signed, okay? My first day. There’s no more gun-free zones."

What do you think?

Should teachers be allowed to carry guns in schools? Do you support changing the the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990? Should Trump deliver on his campaign promise? Are you a teacher who wants to bring your gun to school? Are you a teacher who doesn’t want to? Hit Take Action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman

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(Photo Credit: altmodern / iStock)

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(299)
  • Eric
    02/20/2018
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    This is insane! More bullets flying during a group panic is NOT A GOOD IDEA! If you think a teacher will carefully aim and shoot an armed gunman while the armed gunman consistently misses the teacher with their AR-15, then you have strangely confused the fictional TV shows you were brought up on with reality. If you think the police will calmly walk in to a group panic and somehow know which gun wielding people are the good guys and which are the bad guys, then you have strangely confused the fictional TV shows you were brought up on with reality. This is again proof that this insane culture actually believes that guns are problem solving tools. Guess what. The gunmen who shoot students also actually believe that guns are problem solving tools.

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  • JoseCamacho13
    02/20/2018
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    Chris Kyle (The American Sniper) and another armed Military Friend brought a fellow veteran in need to the gun range to ease his PTSD. On the drive up, both Chris and his friend noticed that this man was unstable and that something was mentally wrong with him. At the range, both Chris and his friend were armed. Both had military training. And yet both could not react in time to prevent the death of Chris or Chad (Chris’s friend). Now imagine if we armed teachers. Chances are, that even after hours of training, millions in funding, these teachers still won’t have nearly the same training as Chris or Chad. Likewise, if Chris Kyle couldn’t protect himself or his friend, who’s to say that a horrified English teacher could.

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  • IllWill
    02/20/2018
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    More guns is not to the solution to gun violence. That’s completely illogical. The solution is to restrict the type of guns that are out there like the AR-15 which should be banned.

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  • Judith
    02/21/2018
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    Teachers should not have the burden of carrying guns at work! Whose genius idea is that? Then the police shoot them all in front of their students because they don’t know who the bad guy is! Brilliant!

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  • Brian
    02/21/2018
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    I am a teacher. I will not carry a firearm. I reject the very idea that we can’t keep our children safe any other way. American classrooms are not a place where gunfights should occur. Ever. Under any circumstances. And yet, ours is the only country even considering it as something that may be necessary. Why is that? Could it be because America is the only nation that has more firearms than people? Could it be because the NRA lobby has grown monstrous? Whatever the reason, we can do better than an old west mentality in the classroom. I shouldn’t even have to say this.

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  • Nicole
    02/20/2018
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    Teachers should not be allowed to carry weapons on campus, this is not a solution, this is not even a well thought out plan. This would cause so many problems and harm. Teachers do not even enforce the same disciplinary rules and consequences consistently. Teachers did not go to school to be law enforcement, we are trained to educate. Plus, with dwindling budgets this should not be a priority, money should be going to resources that students and teachers need to create safe environments where students can excel and get help needed whether it is academic or social/emotional. Congress needs to do its job and pass laws that protect schools, you do not and should not put this additional role on teachers.

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  • J. scott
    02/20/2018
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    No just a dumb idea that keeps coming back around every time there’s a shooting. It’s time we called it out for the total nonsense it represents. First off teachers have enough responsibilities now without adding deadly force. They would need training, rules of engagement, learning how to coordinate their fire to keep from shooting each other, more importantly training to avoid shooting a student, then there’s the problem of them avoiding getting shot by arriving Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs). Last but not least we need to understand that numerous trained, armed, LEOs often wearing tactical equipment and vest are gunned down routinely. More often they are alert and ready to respond. Last but not least probably what makes this idea one of the dumbest of all is it makes teachers the first targets of opportunity. Oh, and they will have pistols to face AR-15s. I could go on but I won’t.

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  • I.Got.an.Idea...
    02/20/2018
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    No. Our kids shall never live in a police state, no matter how much Conservatives want it. Teachers are people like everyone else: If we cannot trust the judgement of some not to have sex with children, how can we trust some to have a weapon on their person and not use it wrongly, especially with kids that torment and berate teachers. This is not a solution. This is not a way to address the root cause. This is not an ethical solution. These kinds of vile ideas do not belong in America. These sorts of suggestions appear to come from people who have lost touch with reality.

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  • Angela
    02/21/2018
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    As a teacher, I don’t feel that this is an appropriate solution. I have several guns that I know how to use if I ever had to protect myself or my family at home, but there are way too many variables in a school environment. For starters, what’s going to keep a deranged student from overpowering a teacher and obtaining the weapon? Also, teachers are educators. Not trained military or law enforcement. No amount of training is sufficient. You cannot teach a class and be a security guard at the same time. Find another solution.

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  • Pam
    02/20/2018
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    No. Sensible gun laws now!

    Like (41)
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  • Karan
    02/20/2018
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    I want every liberal to ask yourself this. If you were a school shooter, would you go and attack a school that has armed teachers? In Florida, a brave coach stood in front of his students to protect them from the bullets. Imagine if he was given a fighting chance.

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  • Patty
    02/20/2018
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    Talking of arming teachers is ludicrous.

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  • operaman
    02/21/2018
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    Only if the teacher wishes to save herself and her students. May even help the teacher in parking lots or in the mall.

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  • Jordan
    02/20/2018
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    As a teacher myself I think we should all be properly trained and equipped. I would support us teachers having guns to protect our schools

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  • Ann
    02/20/2018
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    NO! Teachers should NOT CARRY GUNS AT SCHOOL. In order to fire a gun the teacher would have to take his/her eyes off the children. In this situation the children would be panicked and panicked children do unexpected things. The teacher’s job is to keep the children safe during the situation.

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  • Samuel
    02/20/2018
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    Absolutely not

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  • Paul
    02/21/2018
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    A recent meme says it well. How is a responding law enforcement officer going to distinguish a teacher from an active shooter? People running around with a firearm in an active shooter situation are most likely going to get shot by the responders.

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  • Countryfirst
    02/20/2018
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    More guns to solve a gun violence problem!!! Yup, sounds like the money grubbing cowards from the republican ranks and their damn bank the NRA..gun control of a common sense nature is all we "liberals" are asking for..no one wants your damn gun..just NO assault rifles or weapons of mass destruction..idiot NRA and republicans know what we want..they just try and scare the rest of you to death with bs that we want all your guns!!!! NRA and money grubbing republican propaganda!!

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  • Deborah
    02/21/2018
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    I cannot believe any sane person could believe that the solution to death by guns is to have more guns. Having armed campuses isn't going to stop that first person from being shot during an incident and that should be our goal. Eliminating assault weapons and rapid fire guns are unnecessary for persons not in a militia. Use the Second Amendment sensibly.

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  • C
    02/20/2018
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    No teachers shouldn’t have guns. Someone might want to look at 1.the statistics concerning how often someone with a gun actually hits his or her target. 2. What happens when the teacher’s gun falls into the wrong hands ( or the teacher goes postal). You people need to stop watching Western movies and cop shows for pity sake. (Or are those pro gun comments all Russian Trolls). Ban assault weapons, ban large clips, ban bump stocks and repeal the second amendment. Your “right” to arm yourself to the teeth does not trump our right to Life Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. I don’t have a problem with people owning guns to hunt or even protect themselves ( although statistics suggest you are safer without a gun ). But no one needs weapons of war. If you think an assault weapon is going to protect you from your government should your government want to come after you, you are sadly mistaken.

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