OURVIEW: Arming high school teachers will not prevent school shootings


Donald Trump called for arming teachers in a tweet posted on Saturday.

Each week the editorial board reflects on a current issue in Our View. The position taken does not reflect the opinions of everyone on the Hilltop Views staff. This week’s editorial board is composed of Viewpoints Editor Lauren Sanchez and writer Collin Mims

It’s been a week since the Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and people are still reeling in reaction to the senseless violence of the situation. But while the tragedy has been a catalyst for students to demand safer school environments and more comprehensive gun laws, not everyone wants there to be limits on who can get a gun. In fact, some people, including Donald Trump, believe that the appropriate course of action is to introduce more guns, mainly by arming educators. This is… definitely an opinion. I struggle to see how this would be the most effective course of action, but I think it’s worth looking at, piece by piece, why this isn’t an efficient solution.

So why does Trump want teachers to be armed rather than making legislation for better gun control? The answer is simple: he wants to avoid the issue all together. Telling teachers to arm themselves shifts the responsibility of student safety off himself and onto teachers and professors. This also ensures that more guns will be bought, at least if, for some convoluted reason, teachers did decide arming themselves was the best course of action. More purchased guns means more revenue for the NRA. Let’s not forget Trump’s promise to “come through” for the NRA, which he made last April.

Moreover, arming teachers won’t solve the issue; a gun problem can’t be solved with more guns. That’s like saying “we’re in a building on fire, let’s pour gasoline on the flames and hope that puts them out.” Many will argue that it’s one person with a handgun who could save lives by taking down a mass shooter, but the issue itself wouldn’t even exist if there was adequate gun control.

Let’s also consider the Columbine massacre and the Pulse shooting; there were armed security guards at Columbine, there was an armed officer at Pulse. The security in both of these situations did little to help the situation; in a battle between sidearms versus military grade assault rifles, it’s clear which would win.

Since arming teachers wont work, what is our course of action from here? Well, more comprehensive gun laws is the only way to solve America’s gun problem. However, we can’t expect all guns to be taken off the streets, namely semi-automatic rifles need to be banned. There also need to be more thorough background checks whenever anyone attempts to purchase a gun.

This is a scary time for a lot of people and everyone reacts to this sense of fear differently. That being said, there’s effective ways to go about it and then there’s giving teachers firearms in the hope that they will shoot just a little faster than a spurned teenager. We have to look at what empowers these individuals to assault innocent people so readily; we have to address the underlying social implications as well as the policies which arm these people. At the end of the day, we can’t fight fire with firepower; we have to put it out with policy.