Guns In The Classroom – Big Mistake

Before I get involved with this post, I would like to take the time to remember the kids and teachers who died last Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.  I feel bad for the families affected by this horrific tragedy.  Christmases, Birthdays, etc will be hard for those families that lost loved ones, both kids and adults.  

I would like to take this time to remember the first responders who were there right away and saw the awful tragedy first hand.  I seriously cannot even remotely fathom what they saw.  To me, there is nothing more scary than the face of a frightened child or seeing such a scene of a senseless massacre.  

I also want to say thank you to the heroes too, consisting of good-hearted teachers, police officers, firefighters, emergency response teams, men and women who live near the school who took children in, etc.  If I missed anyone or any team, I’m truly sorry.  

I’m going to pause here a minute to reflect & pray for everyone that I just mentioned. 

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Thanks everyone.  Now I’ll dive into this post. 

TV stations, both national & local, and blogs are blasting out questions such as, “Should we have guns in the classroom?”, “Should we be arming teachers?”, etc.  

In my opinion, the answer is no.  We should not be putting guns into classrooms. I know this topic was raised after the shooting at Virginia Tech and I said it back then, we should not be putting guns in classrooms.  Let me explain myself.  

First, everyone knows that guns are weapons.  We don’t allow weapons in schools currently.  In Michigan, where I live, even if you have a Concealed Weapons Permit, you are not allowed to carry a gun on school property for any reason.  I realize that Governor Snyder is looking to pass legislation that would allow CWP holders to carry guns on school property.  And even then I’m still on the fence if allowing CWP holders to carry a weapon on school grounds is a good idea.  

Let me go on a tangent here and just say this:  I’m proud of the United States Constitution.  I exercise my rights to own guns.  I personally own about 9 guns.  My dad owns a lot more.  My dad is an NRA member and I’m thinking about joining the NRA.  I’m getting my CWP next year at some point.  I love guns.  I love weapons.  I love to go hunting and I’m glad that I have that right to be able to go out into the woods during the month of November and shoot a dear.  But I am a responsible gun owner.  I have been properly educated on the topics of gun safety, handling, maintenance, etc.  My dad taught me all that I needed to know at a very young age.  

This leads to my second point why I think guns in classrooms is a bad idea.  Like I said above, I’ve been educated in firearms safety.  Sure, the teachers and school administrators can receive very similar training, but the problem lies with intimidation.  There are a lot of people who are afraid of guns.  In my humble opinion, the main reason why people are afraid of guns is because they haven’t received the education or training at a young age.  Like learning a foreign language, it’s best to learn it at a young age.  Same goes for gun education.  It’s best to learn at a young age.  That way, when you get older, you are not afraid to hold a gun.  You can feel confident when someone hands you a gun, you know to check to make sure it is not loaded, etc.  Everyone reacts differently in an emergency situation.  If you are afraid of a gun, your first instinct probably won’t be to get the gun out of the safe.  Thus, this makes having a gun in the classroom highly ineffective in most situations.

One of my Facebook friends, who indirectly inspired this post, made a valid point.  It would be more effective to teach teachers self-defense than have a gun in the classroom.  I fully agree with this.  You can use self-defense right away versus a gun that is locked away (as it should be).   If the gunman breaks into your classroom and starts shooting, chances are very likely you’ll be dead long before you could put your own gun to use. The gunman isn’t going to sit and wait for you to unlock the gun from the safe, load it, then shoot.  He’s going to take you out at the first opportunity.  Learning self defense would be a stronger asset than a gun at that point.  If a gunman breaks in, you can throw something at them to distract them.  A coffee mug, books, staplers, papers, etc would make excellent projectile distractions if you are fast enough.  Learning self defense would increase your reaction times.  If you succeed at hitting the gunman with one of the objects mentioned above, you can then easily disarm him. 

What about having the guns on the teachers?  That is no better than having the gun in the safe.  It’s no better because say a gunman comes into your classroom first and shoots you first.  Chances are that he’ll see your down and disarm you and now you’ve just provided him with a second weapon to murder innocent people.  Another reason it is a bad idea is that it would be hard to conceal a weapon from the kids. If the kids know that there’s a gun in the classroom, one of two potential disasters could happen.  First, the students would feel intimidated if they knew / saw a gun in the classroom.  There’s a possibility that they would not feel safe inside their own classroom for multiple reasons.  What if the teacher has a meltdown at a student or group of students?  Maybe the students didn’t receive the same education about guns.  Are we going to make a law teaching our kids proper gun safety?  As good of an idea as it is, there probably won’t be any legislation passed requiring that simply because it is a choice if you want to own a gun as an individual or family, not a mandate.  There’s another factor here.  Bullying is a big problem at schools.  And it seems like bullying has become more severe in recent years.  What if a bully got access to the gun?  Or on the flip side, what if a student who was bullied had a breakdown and got access to the gun?  Either scenario is a terrible thought.  

One other thing, what if teachers take the stance that having a gun in the classroom is a bad idea?  Are you going to fire them because they refuse to have a gun in the classroom?  I already know a few people who are teachers who have said they won’t have a gun in their classroom.  

Now, people who would be pro guns inside classrooms might read this and think that other countries do this.  Sure they do.  Israel comes to mind.  I’ve read blog posts saying that Israeli teachers have guns in their classrooms and even carry guns.  

Remember people, Israel is Israel.  We are the United States.  What works for Israel may not work for the USA.  Israel is a war zone.  They have to worry about rocket fire from 5 miles away. Outside their school walls, it is a war zone. Soldiers are running through the streets, through the neighborhoods, heavily armed.  Here in the United States, we don’t have to worry about our military launching a missile from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Holland, Michigan.  There is no war zone here near that magnitude.  Over there, it’s necessary to be armed.  It would be more harmful to have that stance here, in my opinion.  

To quickly recap, guns would be a bad idea in the classroom because both teachers and students are not uniformly educated on gun safety thus leading to intimidation.  Having guns in the classroom would not be effective near as much as having self defense training.  There are too many negative scenarios occurring if a gun gets into the wrong hands from the teacher, bullies, the bullied, or even the gunman. Lastly, we are the United States.  We don’t have battles / wars on our soil.  We need not fear missile / rocket fire from someone in our own border.  

Again, I love guns, but I think this would prove to be more harmful than good.  Guns have a bad reputation already.  Why would we want to soil guns more than they already are?  I would like to be able to continue purchasing my guns legally and continue to operate them legally in activities such as hunting.  I don’t want to lose my rights as a gun owner because some bad legislation got passed.  

What do you guys think?  Do you think having guns in the classroom is a good idea or a bad one?  Do you agree with my points?  Oppose?  I would really like to have some thoughtful discussion on this matter.  I will not tolerate comments that flame gun owners or gun owners flaming people who blindly disagree with their beliefs.  Let’s keep this clean and please, use critical thinking when posting comments.  Thank you.  

One thought on “Guns In The Classroom – Big Mistake”

  1. Zach,

    You make an excellent and very well articulated point! You have clearly put a great deal of thought and research into this blog post.
    I, too, was educated about guns at an early age. My dad drilled the rules of gun safety into my head, as well as sending me to an old-fashioned hunters’ safety course (taught by a very old-school country man), which was also a gun/weapon safety course.
    1) Never point a gun at a person you do not intend to shoot, whether loaded or unloaded!
    2) When someone hands you a gun, even if you know it is unloaded, you ALWAYS check the chamber YOURSELF, first thing upon having the gun handed to you.
    3) Never fire a gun unless you are absolutely sure of where the bullet may end up if you miss your target. For example, an intruder is in your house, but your kid’s bedroom is on the opposite side of the wall. Never take that risk.
    4) Of course, the list goes on and on.

    Although as far as weapons in schools go, what are your opinions as to the hiring of armed security guards, or non-lethal weapons, such as taser guns, rubber crowd-control shot (which will leave a BAD bruise and knock someone flat on their back, electrical stunners, and the like.
    Clearly, there is an increasing number of people in our society who prefer to displace their (severe) emotional problems onto innocent school kids and teachers. Aside from teaching self-defense (which teachers should have the right to opt-out of without their career suffering in any way), do you think that any of these other options could be employed? Especially in high risk areas? Sure, many schools have metal detectors and often guards at the door, but what about that case in CT (I believe), where the killer somehow had a security pass to enter through the faculty entrance? This is just one example. There are ways people can slip past security with their weapons. What if a student carried a polymer based knife (no metal, not detectable by metal detectors), or some dangerous implement made of a non-magnetic metal (aluminum, titanium, etc)? What if the answer is to have armed security guards in the hallways and every access point to the school, armed with non-lethal weapons? Extra tax money, yes. Increased safety and peace of mind for students, teachers, and parents, almost certainly yes!

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