Op-Ed Fearmongers About Things That Haven't Happened

AP Photo/Philip Kamrass, File

School shootings happen.

They're not nearly as common as some might like for you to believe, but mass murders in our educational facilities happen often enough that people are rightly concerned about it.


One proposal to deal with this issue is to arm teachers and school staff.

Not everyone is thrilled with this proposal. Some people are completely put off by the idea of there being any guns on school campuses.

It seems they think that we can create enough laws that potential mass murderers can be prevented from committing mass murder--as if laws regarding guns would be more of a safeguard than those against killing people. 

People like the author of this op-ed:

Growing up in Iowa, the fear of gun violence has been a constant presence in my life. I've learned to choose my classroom seats strategically, always near an exit. But even that didn’t prepare me for the day when my school went into lockdown because of a gun on campus. I'll never forget the fear I felt texting my parents to tell them I was OK. It's a memory that still gives me chills.

That terrifying day is exactly why proposals like House File 2586 in the Iowa Legislature, which would allow school staff to carry firearms, strike fear into my heart. It goes against everything I've been taught about community, safety, and the sacredness of our educational environments.


Let's note that the gun on campus was not in the hands of a teacher or staff member, yet the author somehow thinks that somehow the laws against guns in schools provide some kind of protection, even as they failed to provide protection.

"But it'll go 'against everything I've been taught about community, safety, and the sacredness of our educational environments!'"

Then what you were taught was wrong. If you think the presence of guns goes against community, whatever the hell that means, then you don't realize how many guns are in your community as it is. If you think it violates what you've been taught about safety, then no one explained to you why the police carry guns.

And schools are schools, not churches. They're important, but they're far from sacred.

Let me make this clear: this bill is a disaster waiting to happen. It's an ill-advised attempt to arm school personnel without the necessary safeguards. Do we honestly believe that a brief training session is enough for teachers to handle firearms responsibly? 

A number of states already have armed staff and do so with a varying degree of training required.


So far, there haven't been this plethora of problems we've been assured are inevitable. Especially considering how many private citizens carry firearms daily without incident, often without any required training in place.

See, the issue is that the author is lamenting the potential for problems while, in this case, almost pretending the real issue--school shootings--isn't a much bigger concern. We know those happen. They happen with enough regularity we don't think of them as anomalies anymore.

But she would have us leave teachers and students defenseless just to satisfy her own sense of safety, all predicated on what might happen but hasn't instead of what has.

Sorry, but that's not remotely sane.

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