Ben Hsu

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On Guns and Educators

In light of the recent school shootings, I’ve recently come across a few posts/comics/memes suggesting that the solution to the problem of mass shootings should be to give the teachers guns. I refuse to believe that people actually think arming our educators is an actual solution. Off the top of my I can think of so many problems with this solution:

1. Guns are expensive. The average price for a 9mm is around 250 dollars, not including ammunition (which looks to be about 15 dollars for 50 bullets). Every educator I know is struggling to keep up with rent, bills, and groceries. So unless you plan instating some type of government program where guns are provided to teachers, it’s fairly unreasonable to expect teachers to be able to arm themselves.

2. Guns are hard to use effectively. If all you want to do is spray bullets into a crowded panicked area (say if you’re a mass shooter), then sure, guns are super easy to use. Presumably, you don’t want these Last Action Teachers doing that. So what you have is a situation in which the aggressor is in a target rich environment and the defender is trying to pick off a single target whilst there’s a mass of civilians around them. This requires both sharpshooting training and crisis response training. This type of training is perfectly reasonable if you’re in the military or any type of emergency response unit. Teacher however, are supposed to be educating our children. So, again, unless you want to instate some type of government program where educators also get military training, I don’t think arming our educators is going to help.

3. Guns are dangerous. Obviously guns are dangerous, that’s why we keep having mass shootings. So why is putting MORE guns into the areas where these shootings are specifically happening going to solve the problem? The only two outcomes I can see are a.) the gun is readily accessible to the educator, which means it’s ALSO readily accessible to the shooter, giving them more options on how to kill a large amount of people. b.) the gun is locked away and inaccessible, which means it’s not really going to be helpful when the shooting starts (presumably with a firearm they’ve already purchased). Worse still, this scenario assumes our educators are completely immune to mental and emotional stresses. God forbid, but I can absolutely see a teacher just having had it during parent teacher conferences and having ready access to a firearm makes that situation suddenly a lot more dangerous.

4. ARMING OUR EDUCATORS DOESN’T ACTUALLY SOLVE ANYTHING! Let’s say all of my above arguments are invalid. For some reason every teach in the US is now some weird Call of Duty Protagonist, who can just carry a firearm without any type of accident or anger management issue; can somehow spend all their money on firearms, and can shoot a cherry at 100 yards as a marching band preforms a halftime show in front of them. Giving them weapons doesn’t actually solve the problem. In this bizarre alternate universe mass shooters are these weird, comically evil, Saturday Morning cartoon villains, and that’s just not true. Most of them are horribly sick people who are being pushed in ways they don’t understand, or can’t articulate. Somehow, as a society, we’ve told them that shooting a bunch of people is a valid form of expression, and then given them easy access to the means of doing so. Until we can get these people the help they need, until we fundamentally change how we view and present ourselves to each, we can train and arm whoever the fuck we want in our public areas, people are still going to try to murder people.

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