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Don’t shoot me, I promise I’ll do my homework

| Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Once again, gun regulation has become a hot topic within our society as another school shooting has unfortunately taken the lives of 17 people. The safety of students should become a main priority in order to prevent another tragedy from wrenching its way into the headlines across the country once again. But just what is the best way to ensure the prevention of mass school shootings?

A suggestion made by many is to have teachers be armed and ready to fire back if a potential threat finds its way onto school grounds. The argument is that the only way to stop guns is with more guns — stop the bad guys from shooting by having the good guys shoot first.

Many say they would feel safer if teachers were allowed to carry firearms in the classroom. However, I beg to differ. Having a gun in the classroom would lead to a higher chance for there to be incidents in the classroom. If a teacher perceived what they thought was a threat and shot an innocent person, then that would open up a plethora of issues that would only contribute to the chaos rather than resolve anything. Then there comes into question where the gun would be hidden or if the teacher would constantly have the gun on their body. If it is placed in an area that would make it hard to access for students, then it would be a fairly long process for the teacher to obtain the gun from its hiding place as well. With most mass shootings taking place in the span of two to five minutes according to a Fox News interview with Sheriff Grady Judd, it would almost seem pointless to have a gun if a teacher could not access it easily in order to use it to protect and defend.

I have had many incredible teachers in my life from elementary school to now, my sophomore year of college. I can assure you that not all of them would be as equally skilled in carrying a gun as they were at educating children. Yet, if a law were passed mandating teachers possess guns, then they must be hired based on not only their merit as an educator, but on their merit as a shooter as well. This could seriously degrade the level of education that children receive. If a teacher or professor cannot shoot a gun as accurately as someone that has lesser qualifications, will that be a factor when considering who it is that is hired to educate the youth of America? Nor do all of the educators that are employed today have the time to train.

In addition to this, not everyone wants to wield a weapon. This law would fail to consider teachers’ moral objections to wielding any type of firearm. If teachers are required to have guns in the classroom, this may deter some from entering into education.

Another question that comes into play is that of funding? On average, a little over $500 billion is spent on both secondary and elementary school education in America. Local governments contribute the majority of this funding; however, the amount of funding and how it is allocated fluctuates among states, school districts and ultimately individual schools. If the funding that they are receiving now cannot be equally allocated to ensure an even standard of public education, then what does this mean for the training of teachers with firearms? Hypothetically, let us say each school district finds the funding to pay for some type of firearm training. Will each school get the same amount? Will there be a way to ensure that this training does not take away from funding that should be invested in the educational aspects of the school? The amount of time and regulation that would have to go into this situation would take years to implement nationwide, and there is still no guarantee that each school would reap the benefits or costs equally.

There is also the possibility of the teacher harming the students as well. A majority of the firearms in recent mass shootings were bought legally and with federal background checks. The mental health of an individual can change at any point in their lives. I personally would not feel safer at all knowing that a teacher or professor had a gun at their disposal to use as they see fit during any point. Too much is left subject to chance. Teachers and professors are employed to ensure that children and young adults are receiving the education that they need to enter into and succeed in society. Personally, I would rather not have to promise my educator that I would do my homework to ensure that I did not have a firearm pulled on me at any time.

Nicole Mannion is a sophomore at the University of Notre Dame. Originally from Rancho Cucamonga, California, she currently lives in Pasquerilla West Hall and is pursuing a double major in Political Science and Film, Television and Theatre.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

About BridgeND

BridgeND is a bipartisan student political organization that brings together Democrats, Republicans, and all those in between to discuss public policy issues of national importance. They meet Tuesday nights (starting Sept.8) from 8-9pm in the McNeil room of LaFortune. They can be reached at [email protected] or by following them on Twitter @bridge_ND

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