Saturday, December 22, 2012

That Settles It

The AFT's president Randi Weingarten has spoken thusly:
After remaining silent for an entire week following the Newtown massacre, the NRA’s first comments were to call for more guns in our schools and our society. This is both irresponsible and dangerous. No matter how much money the NRA spends or propaganda it tries to spread, one thing is clear—the NRA is not serious about confronting the epidemic of gun violence in our nation.

Schools must be safe sanctuaries, not armed fortresses. Anyone who would suggest otherwise doesn’t understand that our public schools must first and foremost be places where teachers can safely educate and nurture our students.

Well, that's that. Close the books. Say, isn't it a little weird for teachers to be "nurturing" students? I think it's weird. And anyway, "safe sanctuaries" and "armed fortresses" are not mutually exclusive concepts.

I must say, every---and I mean every---repudiation of arming teachers that I've heard has been one based on indignation and disbelief---not one based on, you know, statistics. "Arming teachers?!" people say. "That's crazy! That's not a solution." But there's never any extrapolation; nobody ever cites any facts or sources as to why arming teachers is so bad. Some people say that there would be more gun violence/injuries in school, not less, if we armed teachers. There's not any evidence of this that I'm aware of; if someone knows of such a case, please send it my way.

I myself am not so sure arming teachers is a good idea---it seems at least possible that there would be more shoot-ups and/or accidents if we let teachers possess weapons in school. Then again, the same predictions were made when we permitted concealed carry into restaurants, and they were hilariously wrong.

In any case, I'm on the fence about having teachers carry around guns, but at the very least it's a reasonable thing to suggest. The reason that so many people oppose such a measure is not because they believe it would be ineffective, but because they are offended even at the thought of firearms being anywhere near them. Some people are nauseated by the concept of guns, and so they want to keep them as far away from themselves as possible. That's all well and good, but if we're trying to protect schoolkids from further massacres, we shouldn't leave something like this off the table so quickly.


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    1. Well stated. Not the final word, but, as you said, nothing should be off the table at this point.