Opinion: Arming teachers is a silly idea

Jake Hughes
February 22, 2018 - 1:31 pm

(Image Courtesy of Dreamstime)

Welp, here we are. I hate to say "I told you so," but look around. The rhetoric is flying like.. uh, a well thought-out metaphor that I can't think of at the moment. People on both sides of the aisle are shouting down the other side with their ideas on how to prevent tragedies like the Parkland, FL shooting. Some are good, some are not so good.

And through it all, I keep seeing this meme on my Facebook page.

You know the one: it's got some SF operator-type sitting there with a big ol' beard, fully kitted out, and generally looking all hooah-hooah. The kind of guy who is more than likely just some airsoft wannabe pretending to be H-A-R-D, hard. The text will read something along the lines of, "If the government hired three armed veterans for every school, school shootings would cease." In addition, our own president has said he is in favor of arming teachers. And then he didn't say that. And then he did again. You know how he is.

Well, in my humble opinion, these ideas are completely re—uh, ridiculous. Why? Is it because I'm some gun-grabbing hippy who wants to take away your "God-given right" to guns?  No... and I'm pretty sure that isn't in the Bible. Not even in the red words.

                 Read what the NRA says about armed guards in schools

I, myself, am an avid gun rights advocate and gun collector. It's a ludicrous idea for several painfully obvious reasons, at least I would hope they would be obvious. I'm not going to list them all, but here are a few big ones.


Isn't this self-explanatory? We have public schools—in well-to-do communities, not to mention poorer ones—that can't afford school supplies, barely pay their teachers, and can't afford to fix their own crumbling buildings. And now you want to find room in the budget for armed guards and weapons training for teachers? Come on. And these are usually the same people that want to defund the Department of Education! Now, I can hear some of you saying, "Oh, well, the school wouldn't have to pay to train the teachers! They could get it themselves." Then where is the quality control? I can go behind a Wal-Mart in Houston and find a Bubba type who will give me "good instruction" for fifty bucks. Wouldn't we want these armed teachers to receive the best training possible? That means paying for it. If they don't, they are accidents waiting to happen. Speaking of that...


Say one of these John Rambo/Ellen Ripley teachers walks into class with their gun on their hip, then trips and falls, and the gun goes off. I know, I know, most guns have safety measures to stop this from happening. But again, how are we going to ensure the quality of the guns? Who is gonna buy them for the teachers? Anyway, let's say in this worst case scenario, the stray bullet hits a student. Tell me, who is to blame? The teacher? Maybe...but look at it from a litigious standpoint. Who is gonna take the fall? The school? The district? The state? Admit it, all it would take is for one student to be injured in an accident and the whole thing blows up.

Veterans Ain't Monolith

I can sort of understand this part of it. Give unemployed veterans a job protecting children. But when you stop and think about it, the idea gets less and less pretty. So, you want to arm veterans? Okay. Which ones? You remember the Texas church shooter was a veteran. Wanna hire another one of him? Now, I hear you say, "Well, they'd have to pass extensive background checks!" The Texas church shooter did pass background checks. Am I saying all vets are ticking time-bombs of violence? Of course not. But, what I am saying is that veterans are not one size fits all. We have our scumbags just like any other population, and what's to stop one of those scumbags from getting into one of these positions?

Then, there's the issue of paying said veterans. Again, where is this money gonna come from? Are you going to let them raise your taxes to pay for this? I sure bet not. "Oh, well these vets would do it for a dollar a day!" Okay, first off, there's the old expression, "You get what you pay for." Secondly, where are these unemployed veterans working for "a dollar a day" going to live? Gonna have them sleep in the janitor's closet?


I saw this argument on the internet, and I was initially against it. The argument is, do you want your students to walk around with armed guards everywhere? What kind of mentality are we teaching them by having guns everywhere? Well...yes, I thought, armed guards would make them safer, right? It's just the way the world is.  And that's when it hit me: it's a lazy cop out to say, "Oh, well, that's just how the world works." Guess what I realized? It doesn't have to be.

Sure, we can just throw more guns at the problem, call it solved, and wash our hands of it, but the harder yet more efficient way is to change the way we work as a society. Implement simple gun control measures, work to evolve society to a place where mass violence isn't an answer. Because as some of you want to point out, we've always had guns, but school shootings didn't really start becoming a thing until the late 90's/early 2000's. What has changed? The 24-hour news cycle? The concept of "going viral?" A lack of proper emotional management in our kids? I don't know. Maybe a mix of all these things.

Point blank, we live in a world where for disturbed individuals, mass violence is the answer, and guns are readily available to them in far too many instances. Arming teachers and hiring armed vets may sound like a good idea, but it's just a feel-good stopgap, and it's a logistical nightmare. Certainly, some school districts are already doing it, but mass implementation of these policies is a recipe for trouble.

I say, if a school district wants to do this, let them. I think it's a bad idea, but whatever. However, opening the door for any teacher or vet to simply carry a gun in every school in the nation is no good.