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Arming Teachers and Staff Members With Guns

by Bob Conner, published

Arming Teachers in Arkansas


Photo credit // Wikipedia

As we continue talking about ways to stop the proliferation of firearms in the United States; as we seek a civilized discussion about the best way to treat the gun violence in this nation; as we continue to maintain the number one slot in gun related deaths/homicides in the world, Arkansas is arming teachers and staff members with guns.

Some seem to have forgotten while they're arming teachers the lessons (we should have) learned of arms proliferation during the Cold War, the message repeated time and again throughout history; one nation builds a bigger and better weapon, so others must follow suit; massive battleships, faster fighter aircraft, aircraft carriers, giant nuclear submarines.  The lesson that arms races bring with them a quick and violent, albeit seemingly not long remembered, end to the race.

More guns lead to battles with more guns!  How long will it be before we're arming teachers with fully automatic assault weapons in order for them to "outgun" their more heavily armed opponents?

I sincerely hope I’m wrong on this count, but I remember arms and troop build-up during the War in Vietnam, the arms proliferation during the cold war wherein we quite literally lived face-to-face with the end of the planet in a war no one could possibly win.

I hope beyond hope I'm wrong, yet I feel the same unsettling, gut-wrenching, worry creeping into my mind that I had during the utter insanity of the nuclear arms race and the very strong possibility of world-wide nuclear warfare.  Now Arkansas has begun its own arms race by arming teachers and staff members, giving them the oh so extraordinarily heavy burden of strapping on a very deadly weapon before going to work; going to work to educate our children.

Let’s, for a short moment, not consider the insanity of a misinterpreting Arkansas' law which entitles Arkansas schools to use armed guards, a law that now has as many as 20 staff members from teachers to principles packing loaded weapons among children in Clarksville, Arkansas.

Let’s not consider the insanity that some arbitrary number of 53 hours makes one capable of making decisions with a gun in their hands.  53 hours!  That’s little more than 4 days!  In 4 days one can mingle with rowdy children who do unruly things daily, sometimes very unruly things and they can mingle with those children with loaded guns, despite the warnings of a PROFESSIONAL school security service.

New York State Police require law enforcement officers to undergo 90 hours and must score a minimum of 80%  accuracy and they must do this semi-annually.  These are trained professionals, not educators carrying the responsibilities of a secondary role as an armed guard.

Let’s not consider for a moment that very few people, even those who are trained for all of 53 hours, can react rapidly and skillfully to a stressful event, much less to a stressful event with a gun in their hands, a gun that may in all likelihood kill innocent students by accident, either through misinterpretation of what a student is doing, or via a ricochet fired by a 53 hour trainee.

Let’s do consider one very serious issue I see on the horizon; the issue that tells our children it’s OK to pack heat for protection, children who will in all likelihood parrot the educators, for that’s what children do.  Let’s consider the implications that this will, not may, but WILL promote gun proliferation among students.

Arkansas is a wonderful place, but if I had children attending school in Clarksville, I would either be home-schooling or moving to a city with sanity in its school board.

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