Arm Teachers

Prevent Another Sandy Hook By Protecting Students

By Eswar Dhinakaran

On December 14, 2012, an armed gunman, Adam Lanza, opened fire in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. After viciously killing 20 students and 6 staff members, Lanza took his own life. The aftermath of this horrific tragedy was not only a wave of grief felt around the world, but a tsunami of differing opinions about how America should handle gun issues. Many argued that the second amendment’s guarantee of the right to bear arms was what led to massacres like Sandy Hook, Columbine, and Virginia Tech. Many have argued that the ready availability of firearms in the United States is what leads to tragic massacres like the ones we have been witnesses too. Even President Obama has called for stricter gun laws.

Yet the uproar for stricter gun laws and even the civilian ban of firearms has been met by the National Rifle Assosciation’s (NRA) more logical response of allowing school officials to carry firearms. Considering America’s current situation, it is obvious that allowing for looser gun laws would prevent senseless massacres like in Sandy Hook. Elementary schools and middle schools do not have police officers present at all times. Even Irvington High School has only one school resource officer, not enough to overpower an enraged shooter with multiple firearms. Teachers and other school officials, if allowed to carry concealed firearms, can respond to these situations in seconds, rather than in the precious minutes it would take for police officers to arrive at the school. In these minutes, the massacre would be well underway, with perhaps dozens of lives already lost. If school officials are allowed to carry concealed firearms, they can increase the school’s safety without distracting students from their education. In fact, when civilians are able to stop a shooter in a mass shooting situation, the average number of civilians shot are 2.5. When the police are the ones who stop a shooter in the same such situation, the average number rises to 14. The reason behind it is simple. The civilians with firearms were there from the start. It takes on average 2-3 minutes for the police to respond.

I believe that repealing the 1990 Gun Free School Zones Act would prevent another Sandy Hook from happening. Allowing administrators to carry concealed firearms into classrooms would protect the students. It would also stop gunmen from entering a school in the first place, as they would know that adults on campus would be ready to meet them with fire.
Yet, we have to understand that the teachers aren’t going to be serving as police officers or SWAT members in these situations. They would pose a threat to the shooter and protect students in those precious minutes till law enforcement does arrive.
NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre said, “Politicans pass laws for gun free school zones, they issue press releases bragging about them, they post signs advertising them, and in doing so, they tell every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem, with minimum risk.” Preventing teachers from carrying guns just leaves schools as the prime place for massacres.
Semi-automatic rifles, like the one used by Adam Lanza, are much more dangerous than handguns and are unnecessary for civilian protection. Banning semi-auto rifles would take the deadliest guns out of the public’s hands while allowing handguns and pistols, self-defense weapons.

Allowing school officials to carry concealed weapons and banning semi-automatic rifles would make America a safer place. Hopefully, we don’t have to bear witness to another horrific massacre at schools, havens of learning and sanctuaries for our children.

Photo: concealedguns.procon.org