Guns in School

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“FREE CHL CLASSES FOR ANY TEACHERS UNTIL 1-6-13”

I literally don’t understand people who think that a teacher or administrator (or first-grader?) in Sandy Hook should have had a gun on their person.

You think a place that is full of children should also have guns in it on a regular basis? Where, exactly, does a teacher in a classroom of twenty 6 or 7 year olds keep that gun until the moment when they need it? How, in any way, can that teacher make sure that a 6 or 7 year old would not get their hands on that gun when the teacher’s back is turned or the class is outside for recess (do schools do recess anymore?)? If it’s super secure somewhere, how is a teacher going to have time to both protect and shelter 6 and 7 year olds AND get her gun in order to be a civilian crime stopper? How does this actually work?

Can you, as a parent, choose to have your child be in a different first-grade classroom from the one taught by the armed teacher? Can you, as a parent, choose to have your child transferred to a school that is gun-free all together? If the answer to either of those last two questions is yes, probably most armed classrooms and most armed schools aren’t going to have many kids in them. That’s just my gut feeling.

As my friend Heidi wrote on Facebook, if owning guns will seriously protect you when you are threatened by a person with a gun, then Nancy Lanza should be alive today. And as Melissa McEwan wrote today in a piece everyone should read, “If more guns really translated into fewer gun homicides, the US would have the fewest gun homicides, not the most.”

In 2008 and 2009, 5,740 children and teens were killed by guns in the US. That would fill 229 public school classrooms of 25 students each. And 34,387 children and teens were injured by guns in those two years. That’s 1,375 classrooms. And there are so many of these kinds of stories – tragedy is so much more common than moments when a person actually deescalates or stops a crime using a gun.

How can we effectively spread the message that we should care much more about protecting children than protecting guns and that the latter does not do the former?

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