The Dispatch

Arming teachers is not the solution

Photo by: Avy Friedman

Editorial

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In today’s America, it seems as if we are forced into a sick routine of anticipating the next school shooting. It is never a surprise when it eventually happens again and the media blows up, but it is forgotten about in days until the next massacre happens.

Citizens have continued to demand change regarding gun control for years but politicians, as well as Donald J. Trump and his administration argue that it is too soon to discuss this because it’s insensitive to the families who are mourning. They tweet their “thoughts and prayers” and the issue is quietly ignored until the cycle repeats.

However, it’s rather insensitive to keep allowing innocent children die in a place where they should feel safe. With the recent Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, something disrupted this national clockwork. The youth of America became fed up with inaction and kept the conversation of gun safety in mainstream news media.

They attempted to hold their politicians accountable and took to the streets because voting was not an option for many. Some right-wing citizens retaliated and argued they shouldn’t be allowed to have such a strong opinion because they’re too young to even vote. But a student should not have to be 18 to not want to be murdered in school.

Finally, the Trump administration could no longer ignore the gun violence issue as they had done in the past. They were forced to hear the demands for overdue change in America.

In wake of the most recent mass shooting, Trump offered what he thought was the solution to mental illnesses, not gun violence. Trump proposed that we should be arming teachers in schools. This “solution” is extremely flawed and would continue to add to the national problem rather than work toward solving it.

Of course it would not be all teachers who would be armed with Trump’s plan, but only a select few. But what would the standards be that qualified these teachers? Would it be decided by school districts, the state, or federal government? He offered that teachers who took up this training would receive a bonus. However, teachers should be motivated to receive promotions through the work they do rather than gun practice.

One of the many problems with this idea is budgetary because America does not have the funds to support it. Trump’s proposal to buy guns for every school in the nation is something America cannot afford. He did not make it clear if he wanted schools, the government, or individual teachers to fund these guns but any of these options lack sensibility. AISD would prefer to use their bond money on projects that will help the district change for the better rather than firearms. The American teacher force is underpaid and under-appreciated so the federal government should put this money he speaks of towards their budgets rather than guns.

Teachers are trained to teach, not to shoot and kill others, especially children. We, as a country, cannot burden teachers with the responsibility of potentially shooting a child. In the case of a school shooting, it’s important teachers stay with their children in classrooms rather than running off to find and try and attack the shooter.

In order to solve this major issue, there needs to be stricter background checks and a ban on assault rifles. Nobody wants to take away the 2nd Amendment but rather make it harder for people who can’t be trusted with guns. In addition, assault rifles have no place in American homes. Their sole purpose is to kill, not to defend or hunt.

No student would be able to kill 17 others with a knife so it is very clear that guns are the problem. It’s time to stop blaming it on mental health and ignoring the issue. If these steps are taken, we may see a decrease in mass shootings.

It is also clear Trump has no understanding that teachers are part of the workforce, not the military. It is also clear that his decision and opinion, along with many other conservative politicians, are heavily influenced by the National Rifle Association. With this interest group’s large financial supportive, these people in power would never support any form of gun control.

The gun control issue is much bigger than just schools and until the Trump administration realizes this, gun violence will continually increase. How many more children have to die before America realizes guns are the problem?

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Arming teachers is not the solution