There have been many deeply moving and honestly sincere reactions to the recent mass killing in America, along with some sadly predictable and incredibly unhinged ones as well. In part due to the conflux of anger, fear and astonishing ignorance, unfortunately many of the passionate appeals to reason while searching for answers veer completely off the edge of rational discourse. For the most part I’ve abstained from any debate, but there is one reoccurring perspective, or a so-called solution, where I drew (literally) the line, that of arming teachers.
I’m an art teacher, not a gun instructor, nor trained in tactical assault. I'm there to inspire imagination, not instill insecurity. To nurture, not neuter. One of my main job priorities is to provide a safe environment in the classroom: packing heat doesn’t do that. In fact, any remotely violent or threatening rhetoric would most likely get you promptly thrown out of most classrooms, and even banned from campus, to say nothing about actually showing up with a gun.
Aside from the sheer stupidity of introducing the element of someone – untrained or otherwise (watch this) - shooting live rounds in a crowded, panicked classroom setting while under fire, turning your child over to armed strangers suggests questionable, if not disturbing, parenting skills. Leave alone the fact that there is more than enough evidence to the contrary on the effectiveness of having armed personnel on-site (think Tuscon, Virginia Tech, Columbine, Fort Hood et al) there’s the simple logistics of any such a theoretical scenario even occurring, as outlined by a commenter on a related thread:
At any moment, a vehicle could burst through the wall of the building you're in and run you down.Unfortunately the intimidating power of the fearsome First Amendment is either completely overlooked if not over-ruled by advocates of the Second. And then there's also the peculiar irony that this groundswell of support is coming from many of the very same folks who constantly denigrate and undermine the teaching profession, and who now wholly support - not funding them - but arming them ...presuming they're not unionized and the right kind of people of course.
At any moment, the person nearest you could have a psychotic break and strangle you to death.
At any moment, you could be hit by a meteor and flattened.
Yet, we don't spend time worrying about these things, even though some of them are statistically more likely to kill someone - even a child - than a school shooting. So, why the hell should we pervert our culture into one of fear and paranoia because this sort of thing happens in some minute percentage of schools over a very long period of time?
|"The Right to Keep and Bear Children"|
This one image in particular went viral in certain circles after the Sandy Hook tragedy, an unattributed and unidentified photograph purportedly shows an Israeli schoolteacher escorting her class. It usually appears captioned with text that declares it as undeniable proof that arming teachers would work to stop such massacres in "gun free zones." Besides the fact this is in Israel, and we are in the United States, the photograph itself is pure propaganda.
“They say that ‘Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.’ Well I think the gun helps. If you just stood there and yelled BANG, I don’t think you’d kill too many people.”– Eddie Izzard