I think the more appropriate question is: Which of these signs will invite another tragedy?
Never underestimate the rabidity of gun enthusiasts. The NRA (No Regulations Anywhere) is so terrified of even one iota of reasonable gun control that they have promulgated the idea that our schools would somehow be safer if teachers, principals, and presumably custodians were all packing heat.
What kind of backwards nonsense is that?
Let’s imagine some scenarios that might play out in a world where teachers carry gats:
- In the gun lovers’ favorite fantasy, a would-be shooter draws his weapon on the front steps of the school he intends to terrorize, and is promptly turned into something resembling salsa by an answering hail of bullets. The swift and violent response sends a message; other potential attackers reconsider their actions (because they’re all very rational people).
- Or…an enterprising student with basic lock-picking knowledge breaks into a teacher’s classroom while the teacher is out making copies, and helps himself to the weapon and ammunition. In this scenario, we have unwittingly armed one of the people we’re trying to protect ourselves against. The student doesn’t go on a rampage (at least, not in the school) but an investigation must now be conducted, spending taxpayer money to solve a crime that need never have happened.
- Or…same scenario as before, except this time the student does go on a rampage. He’ll be gunned down eventually, but how many people will he drop before somebody has the presence of mind to unlock their own gun cabinet, load their weapon, and fire on the attacker?
- Or…if the teacher is actually carrying the weapon on his person, a passing student might make a grab for it, resulting in somebody getting dead.
- Or…a teacher with anger management issues has finally had enough of Billy talking in class.
- Or…a teacher or administrator who has to break up a fight between two students acts too hastily and pulls his gun, resulting in mob panic and injuring many more people than would otherwise have been hurt. Teachers and administrators usually don’t have the same level of training as police officers and soldiers, so it might be more difficult for them to determine when the threat of deadly force is appropriate and when it isn’t.
Along with these (in my opinion) inevitable tragedies, you also get the elevated risk of accidental gun deaths. All of these deaths could be prevented (along with the mass shootings themselves) by making guns harder to get. Arming an entire school would make the school more dangerous, not less so. It’s a terrible, terrible idea. The solution to gun violence is not to throw more guns at the problem.
Since rationality dictates that any jerk suggesting that we arm teachers should be made to wear a chicken suit and a dunce cap for the rest of the day, and since I don’t see any dunce-capped man-sized chickens strolling around, we may conclude that the NRA’s suggestion is inherently irrational. This should come as no surprise: the NRA and its supporters are not driven by logic and rationality; they are driven by an unstable mixture of anti-government paranoia and a desire to hold on to their private arsenal of mini-WMDs. They won’t admit this, of course, but they’re as transparent as the windows of a schoolhouse. When you are so in love with guns that you’d rather see teachers, principals, and children needlessly endangered than submit to a little bit of reasonable regulation, it’s time to admit that you’re no longer firmly rooted in reality.