Letter: Arming teachers?
Having already ticked off half the population of Garfield County by suggesting that rapid fire semi-auto weapons are the problem, not the solution, I’ll take a stab at ticking off the remainder with thoughts on armed teachers.
There are several questions to cover.
First, is the teacher willing to take the shot for their students? Simply possessing a firearm is no guarantee the teacher would escape a fire fight unscathed. A teacher with a family of their own might consciously or unconsciously opt to try to survive for their own family.
Second, President Trump suggests that such teachers would remain secret. All this idea proves is that he didn’t go to a public high school, where the students know everything about their teachers … who was in the armed forces, who smokes weed, who is gay, who is conservative, who is liberal… .
Third, while retired now, I would have been a natural selection. Ex-military, competent with firearms … all those things he listed. The problem: I would have serious doubts about taking out a child, even armed and coming for me. I’d be far more inclined to talk him down, which, admittedly, might get me and students killed.
Fourth, although I shot expert with rifle in the Army, I was only marksman with pistol. That means I missed a few… . Analyses of accuracy of New York City’s police department show the cops, who practice regularly, hit their target only 1⁄3 of the time. And in a high stress situation, that accuracy can drop to 13 percent. That’s far too much chance of collateral damage in a populous environment like a school.
Fifth, there is always that chance of a negligent discharge (accidental firing). Even the best of us have had them, including a good friend of mine, an ex-cop with as much knowledge and practice with firearms as anybody I know.
And finally, has it really come to this? Our public schools as armed camps? Not the world I’d like to teach in or send my kids to school in. More people would opt to send their kids to private schools, putting another nail in the coffin of public education.