A Matter of Debate

Debates and discussions on the big issues in education

Guns in School: Should Teachers Be Armed?

Are guns in school an effective safety measure, or are they dangerous liability? With thoughts and fears of school shootings ever present in our national consciousness, many schools are still grappling with this question. What do you think?

An Effective Safety Measure

Proponents argue that the most effective way to stop a violent attack on students is to have someone on campus with access to a gun. Some facts:

  1. Administrators have been using state gun laws to arm select school staff for years.
  2. Currently, several states, including Massachusetts, Hawaii, New Hampshire, and Texas, allow guns on campus. In all states, some type of firearms permit and training is required.
  3. After hearing shots, Sandy Hook Elementary School principal Dawn Hochsprung confronted the gunman unarmed and was fatally shot.

A Dangerous Liability

Those against guns in school say that while protecting kids from violence is critical, more guns is not the answer. Some facts:

  1. In 2010, the U.S. reported 606 accidental shooting deaths. Of those dead, 62 were children age 14 and younger.
  2. A school shooting in Scotland in 1996 led to legislation making private ownership of handguns illegal in the United Kingdom. Criminologists report a steady decline in the murder rate since the law was passed.
  3. The sheriff's deputy present at Columbine High School during the tragic 1999 shooting responded bravely, but missed four times and was unable to stop Eric Harris from continuing his killing spree.

What's Your Opinion?

Please respect this as a forum for the thoughtful exchange of ideas.

Are guns in school an effective safety measure?

Opinions (4)

  • No

    JSorrentino: I think we're focused on the wrong things here: how about we spend our energy debating access to mental health care in this country?

    Recommended by 6 users
    Voted: No, Oct 21, 2013
  • Yes

    sarahmomof6: My children are one of the most precious treasures that God has blessed my husband and I with. We homeschool and I know that I can and will do everything to effectively keep them safe while they are in my care. But, if I sent them to school away from home, I would feel a whole lot better knowing the school had taken extra safety precautions to ensure their safety. Having said that, I would expect the teachers or whoever is carrying, to be well prepared, and able to hit a target, moving or not. Practice makes perfect in just about everything so I would expect that whoever would be guarding my kids to know what they are doing. I have a pistol permit and I do carry but I also practice shooting. Guns are never the culprit or evil any more than any other inanimate object.

    Recommended by 5 users
    Voted: Yes, Oct 22, 2013
  • No

    keden10: My opinion on this issue is rooted in the fact that I don't believe civilian access to guns makes ANY place or situation safer.  On the contrary, my heart gets broken over and over again when I read stories about lives lost when guns purchased to "protect" people are fired accidentally or end up in the wrong hands.

    That said, if there was data to support that having trained gun carriers in schools would make schools safer for kids, I would consider and probably encourage that option.  However, I've not heard of a single situation where a mass-shooting was prevented, or even shortened by someone else on scene having a gun (in a school or anywhere else).  So it feels to me like the enormous risks associated with having someone in a school carrying a gun are not worth it.

    Recommended by 2 users
    Voted: No, Oct 24, 2013
  • No

    MackLevine: "Guns are never the culprit or evil any more than any other inanimate object." Well, a six year old isn't going to accidentally kill his friend because his parents didn't properly secure their tomato in a tomato safe.

    Voted: No, Oct 24, 2013
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