Fighting violence with guns: a paradox

After the mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida, people all over the country have been calling for teachers and school administrators to be armed in order to stop or mitigate mass school shootings. Combating guns with guns is not logical, especially not in a school setting.

According to a YouTube video from last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference, National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre said, “In every community in America school districts, PTAs, teacher’s unions, local law enforcement, moms and dads, they all must come together to implement the very best strategy to ‘harden’ their schools including effective trained armed security that will absolutely protect every innocent child in this country.”

Arming teachers is a clear admission that mass school shootings will continue. The only way to combat school shootings is to pass sensible gun laws.

Although I respect the Second Amendment and people wanting to protect themselves, it is also important to remember the words “well regulated” in the first part of the Second Amendment.

Michael Flesher, an English teacher at Pacifica High School, said teachers are not trained security guards and cannot be expected to play the part.

“The best thing I can do as a teacher to protect my students is to use a lock on my door, not to leave them and attempt to shoot some kid while hundreds of other kids are running across campus,” Flesher said.

According to a poll conducted on Twitter by The Echo, 88 percent of the 82 voters said they did not agree with arming teachers.

The 88  percent of people against arming teachers reflect what law enforcement and teacher’s unions throughout the country have been echoing, arming teachers is not the solution.

Last week, President Donald J. Trump said via Twitter that he was in favor of arming teachers and even handing out bonuses to those who would bear arms.

“Armed Educators (and trusted people who work within a school) love our students and will protect them. Very smart people. Must be firearms adept & have annual training. Should get yearly bonus. Shootings will not happen again – a big & very inexpensive deterrent. Up to States,” Trump said.

According to a Vox article, President Trump said he would arm 10 to 20 percent of the teaching population he called “gun adept.” Unfortunately for President Trump, studies have shown that the administration will have trouble finding “gun adept” teachers among the 3.2 million public school teachers in America.

Another question is financial feasibility. Schools across the country are cash-strapped as it is. Adding millions of dollars for gun equipment is immoral and foolish. For example, according to an article on Mother Jones, some schools are struggling to even keep clean.

The article in Mother Jones also reported that, “In 2015, the City Controller deemed crumbling Philadelphia schools, full of cockroaches, leaking pipes, and chronically clogged toilets, a public health emergency.”

Let’s say the Trump administration arms just 10 percent of teachers in the U.S. America’s favorite handgun is the Smith & Wesson M&P shield, and sells for $449, according to an article on CBS. Arming 10 percent of American teachers with a handgun would cost $143,680,000, not including permits, training or accessories.

Katie Knapp, walkout organizer for the National School Walkout at California Lutheran University, said the weapon situation in the United States is very saddening

“It’s sad how this is reflecting on our country. We now think our teachers have to be armed in order to feel safe at school. Teachers should be focused on teaching. Kids should just be focused on learning,” Knapp said.

Arming teachers is essentially putting a Band-Aid on a broken leg. The fundamental problem with school shootings is the weapons of war that individuals have access to, not the lack of weapons in our school districts.

Manny Lira