School shootings aren’t really a modern concept. They’ve been around as long as our nation has existed–probably for as long as the gun has existed–but they do actually seem to be happening far more often in our modern day.
As such, teachers have concerns. They most definitely should.
Over at the Harvard Political Review, one writer penned a piece recently which was titled, “Teachers: Soldiers Against School Shootings.”
Being a teacher is a tough job for several reasons. Challenges such as student behavior and the technical challenges wrought by a shift to “remote” teaching, for instance, have only accelerated after the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, low pay and plummeting school funding have contributed to the loss of 40,000 aspiring teachers, a decline of nearly one-third since 2010. Nearly one-third of new teachers, including all the teachers interviewed by the HPR, have taken up several jobs along with teaching. In recent years, another challenge has arisen: the rising number of school shootings in the United States. Teachers are one of the groups who are most affected by school shootings and it is more important than ever to highlight their voices — voices which are calling for meaningful safety measures, tighter gun control, and increased investment into the education system. Teachers are calling for help against a war.
Fighting a War Within a Classroom
The Memorial to Fallen Educators was installed in 2013 to honor educators who have died protecting their students. The memorial honors fallen educators “who had lost their lives ‘in the line of duty,’” a line that seemingly belongs on a memorial honoring soldiers. In recent years, the rise of school shootings has called teachers to this grave responsibility: fighting a war against school shooters.
Now, I think that last sentence is more than a little hyperbolic, to say the least. However, let’s say they’re actually “fighting a war against school shooters.”
Well, if we’re to accept that premise, then they’re doing a pretty poor job of it.
No, I’m not disparaging teachers with that. It’s not their fault. They’ve been playing with a stacked deck, one that keeps them from being able to fight this war effectively.
In the Battle of Stalingrad, the Red Army reportedly sent thousands of men to the field without rifles. They were told to pick one up from the corpse of a dead comrade. Some say it’s a myth while others think it happened.
Yet even if those Red Army troops really did have an insufficient number of rifles, they’re still better armed than the teachers who are supposedly fighting the war on school shootings.
Look, gun control is a fool’s bargain at best. It’s an idea that banks on evil people being insufficiently motivated to find a way to murder the innocent. Considering the worst mass killings in American history involved airplanes or rental trucks filled with fuel and fertilizer, it’s downright silly to argue that without access to guns, schools wouldn’t be vulnerable.
If teachers are going to be “soldiers” in a war against mass shootings, then just maybe it’s time to arm them so they can fight back effectively.
Mass shootings aren’t going to just go away. We’ve seen them in other countries with far stricter gun control rules than we have, so imagining they’ll just stop if we pass one more gun control law is pure fantasy.
But we can better protect our children.
Schools need to be hardened so as to protect those kids. Teachers need to have the means to defend themselves from violent attacks if they so choose. Police departments need to understand that they can’t wait outside while kids are being brutally murdered outside.
A lot needs to happen, but gun control isn’t the answer to any of it.