Just leave the kids at home
The US has a problem with school shootings. One that is punctuated by periodical national outrage, pictures of grieving parents and emotional statements from students desperately asking for change. Every country has it’s tragedies, every country has unique problems to tackle. The strange thing about this one is that although it is inarguably deeply tragic, there seems to be little actual change in order to address it.
At a time when people are clearly calling for action The President has reached for the obvious quick fix. It’s actually almost the only option left available. More guns. Keeping guns out the hands of children or the mentally ill has been shown to be almost impossible at this point, so what else is there to do.
In fact if you are mentally ill, you are far more likely to be the victim of violence than the perpetrator, so making this part of the conversation is problematic to say the least. Not least because mental illness is an unavoidable fact of life. Whereas guns don’t have to be.
It is especially poignant that the government would try and shift the conversation in this direction when they themselves have overturned legislation that was put in place to help prevent the mentally ill get access to guns. In 2006 the Obama administration had their measure blocked that would have added better restrictions to the sale of weapons to the mentally ill. The only piece of gun legislation to be enacted by Trump is rescinding this bill. One that the NRA and ACLU opposed.
In a situation where conflicts of interest and differing public opinion make it almost impossible to keep guns out of schools, where progress appears to be marching in the wrong direction, there is only one logical direction to move. Only one play left on the board. More guns.
Let’s be clear, I don’t think this is the actual answer. The actual answer is reducing access to guns across the board. Less guns does really mean less gun crime. It almost seems too obvious and straightforward. Whatever the case it’s clearly not happening. So what’s left?
So the suggestion of arming teachers, sadly, has merit. Here’s the crux of it from The President himself no less:
“An attack has lasted, on average, about three minutes. It takes five to eight minutes for responders, for the police to come in, so the attack is over. If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly.”
President Trump, as reported in The Guardian
In short, if you don’t have guns in schools then you’re never going to be able to act quickly enough. This doesn’t help of course where the teacher is the one who is perpetrating the attack. However, this is not the current issue and in looking for a resolution I think it is fair to say we should stick to what’s probable rather than possible.
The ‘good guy with a gun’ theory is pretty well debunked at this point, so just giving them guns would not be enough, for armed teachers to be effective they would need to be properly trained.
So arm the teachers, train them up and yes it is probable it would reduce the number of fatalities at these incidents when they occur. It’s not going to stop them from occurring in the first place though nor will it likely impact the number of suicides from handguns within schools. But it will mean that teachers also become soldiers, armed and at the ready.
This is clearly not a resolution to the problem, it addresses the symptom and not the cause. So that leads us to what can be done to actually prevent these tragedies altogether? Where all other moves are covered, it seems there is only one logical step left to resolve this.
If you actually want to keep your kids safe. Just move the kids out of the schools and turn them over to the guns.
After all more is being done to protect guns than children.