Teachers are likely illegally carrying after Uvalde and Parkland: it’s time to legalize it

Damian Dovarganes

It happened again. A lunatic broke into a private Christian school in Nashville, TN and took the lives of three innocent 9-year-old children and three adults. Nashville police released surveillance and bodycam footage and we can see how easily the attacker shot through the glass doors, walked in, and took her own sweet time to find innocents to kill. There is no excuse for this behavior, regardless of what the attacker may have been going through, even though the cesspool that is social media has revealed enough idiots who are justifying or rationalizing the attack.


The rampage ended – as expected – when good guys with guns came in and shot her. Unfortunately, the incident lasted about 14 minutes from start to finish, and that was enough time to end six innocent lives. Press reports say that the principal charged at the shooter unarmed in a futile attempt to stop her. The principal had tremendous courage and presence of mind, far more than Officer Scot Peterson at Parkland, or the police who made poor decisions and stood down at Uvalde.

We have seen this courage before. Football coach Aaron Feis at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School used his body to shield his students during the 2018 Parkland attack.

Courage, unfortunately, is not enough to stop evil. It takes the means to do so. And when an evildoer brings a gun, more often than not it takes a gun to stop that person. In Nashville, cops had the courage and brought guns with them and stopped the shooter within seconds of making contact. At the Greenwood Mall in Indiana, or White Settlement or Sutherland Springs in Texas, it was ordinary people with courage and guns who stopped attackers.

The principal or the other slain adult victims would have had a chance if they had been armed. The sad tidbit about the Parkland attack is that Football Coach Aaron Feis himself had a carry permit, but was not allowed to carry his weapon on school property, so he was disarmed by law. That has since been rectified by changes to Florida law, but school districts can still refuse to allow armed teachers and staff.


Nationally, the story is different. There are lots of states in which teachers and staff are disarmed by the force of law. That doesn’t mean that teachers are not carrying illegally; the police response at Parkland and Uvalde has already incentivized teachers to break the law.

There are over 3 million teachers working in over 90,000 government schools around the country. Let’s say that only 0.25% of those teachers, or 1 out of every 400 teachers, are carrying illegally. That’s a whopping 7,500 teachers who are illegally carrying around the country. You can adjust the input variables and come up with your own back-of-the-envelope guesses on how many teachers are breaking the law in defense of their own lives and that of their students. At 0.1%, you get 3,000 teachers. At 1%, you get 30,000 teachers.

These teachers are not bad people. They are peaceable individuals who, like all of us, have been watching the news and seeing the evil in the world and the inability of law enforcement to stop it. Their behavior isn’t a function of malevolence; rather, it’s one grounded in love and valuing life, and they’re taking  serious professional and personal risks in doing so.

It’s high time our legislators at the local, state, and federal level play catch-up and legalize – not decriminalize, but fully legalize – arming schoolteachers and staff. Of course, no one should be forced to be armed against their will. That is just as evil as forcing someone to be unarmed when they are able and willing. There are ways to do it right. The FASTER program in Colorado and Ohio offers a great example. 


At the federal level, Congressman Thomas Massie (R, KY-04) is sponsoring a bill to repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990. He’s taking heat for it, but his courage is admirable in the face of the lunacy of repeating the same mistakes over and over again in a country with 450 million guns

Private schools have different rules in different states, but they should make note and start working on arming their teachers and staff if they’re willing and able to do so and get the training involved. 

Nothing can undo what happened in Nashville, but future attacks like those in Parkland, Uvalde, and Nashville can be stopped or mitigated quickly by allowing teachers to be armed.

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