Our very smart, normal president (Donald J. Trump) has been reacting...uh, not well to the recent mass shooting attack in Parkland, Florida. He's been calling the sheriff's department "cowards," claiming he would have personally run into the school (even if he didn't have a weapon), and proposing that we just start giving teachers guns as a means of preventing future massacres.



To put it lightly, this is the stupidest possible fucking idea ever envisioned, would make shootings worse AND more frequent, and holy shit why in god's name do I actually have to explain this in 2018?!



1. HITTING A TARGET IN A FIREFIGHT IS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT EVEN FOR THE MOST SKILLED, WELL-TRAINED MARKSMEN, LET ALONE YOUR GEOGRAPHY TEACHER WHO GOT SOME HALF-ASSED REQUIRED TRAINING

Here's the thing - shooting a target even under the most ideal, serene conditions isn't easy, even for cops & soldiers (aka people who are trained in firearms as a key component of their job). You know what makes things even more difficult? A live firefight, where you have kids screaming and running around and freaking out, adrenaline pumping through your veins, and an elusive shooter armed with one of the most powerful weapons available to civilians. Under those conditions, accuracy rate drops even further - like, ABYSMALLY low. The NYPD had an average hit rate of only 18% in live gunfights between 1998 and 2006. This is a  group of trained professionals, and they were able to accurately hit their targets less than 1/5th of the time - which also means that the other 82% of bullets fired MISSED their targets.

So - if  the NYPD has an accuracy level that low - what do you think your gym teacher's would be? Probably lower - much lower, since firearms training would be nowhere near as exhaustive as the NYPD's by anyone's estimates. And that means you'd have teachers firing away during school shootings - more likely to hit some random OTHER student and add more chaos and confusion than actually stop a shooter.



2. YOU'RE JUST MAKING THE MASS SHOOTINGS MORE DANGEROUS AND CHAOTIC, FOR CHRIST'S SAKE

Mass shootings are, by their nature, chaotic. They are typically places where people are wholly unprepared for any kind of danger, giving the shooter a massive advantage in being able to pick off targets and cause lots of confusion. But there is one small saving grace for the individuals present and the police force called to deal with the shooter - there's only one, so it's pretty clear who it is who needs to be stopped and where they are. What would complicate things a lot more is if people DIDN'T KNOW WHO THE 'BAD GUY' WAS. And if you have a bunch of teachers wielding guns, cops arriving on the scene and students in the hallway suddenly have no idea who the 'bad guy' shooter is and who the 'good guy' shooter is.

Communication is extremely difficult in the early stages of a mass shooting - people are reacting in terror, running from gunshots, and generally trying to get the hell away from the danger. If someone in one classroom begins shooting, you'd probably try to flee and run down the hall - but what happens if a teacher emerges from their classroom wielding THEIR gun? Maybe you'd think "Oh, cool, Mr. Peterson is gonna go John McClane on this situation!" But more likely, you'd immediately fear "Oh shit, Mr. Peterson is also shooting!" Especially if Mr. Peterson's accuracy rate is below 18%, and he misses a bunch and possibly hits another student. Inadvertently, Mr. Peterson is now the second shooter in the situation. Students are now trying to evade two shooters (assuming the music teacher isn't also stalking the halls with their AR-15) and police are trying to track down two separate shooters. In short, things have gotten a lot more complicated.



3. IT WON'T ACTUALLY DO ANYTHING TO DETER SHOOTERS

There's been a lot of talk about how 'gun-free zones' encourage shooters, as they can be assured that there will be no one present with a gun to stop them. Maybe that's true - but on the whole, armed guards have historically done little (if anything) to deter would-be shooters from carrying out their massacres.

Stoneman Douglas had an armed guard. Pulse nightclub had an armed guard. The Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas had a massive security team. Columbine had an armed guard. One of the most devastating mass shootings in this country's history took place in Ft. Hood - A MILITARY BASE.

Having armed guards doesn't actually do anything to deter shooters for a lot of reasons, namely that these people aren't really thinking straight and aren't going to be so logical as to consider the potential dangers they might encounter in their sociopathic plan to murder a bunch of innocent people for no reason. Also, many shooters go in with the intention to die. So the assumption that just the KNOWLEDGE that there MAY be teachers who are armed would be enough to stop a shooter from even attempting a rampage has a few flaws in it.



4. TEACHERS CAN'T EVEN GET ENOUGH MONEY TO DO THEIR ACTUAL JOBS

Have you taken a look at the state of the American education system lately? I'll save you some time: it's not good. It's chronically underfunded, budgets are being slashed regularly, classroom size has ballooned in recent years, and every indicator available has pointed to one key trend: the government has little interest in providing more money to help teachers actually teach. As of this writing, every single public school teacher in the state of West Virginia is on strike, demanding higher wages. That's how bad things are - they're demanding higher wages because a shocking number of teachers can only make ends meet by subsisting on federal assistance in addition to their salaries. Shouldn't we as a nation put SOME value on the individuals entrusted in teaching and guiding our children? Shouldn't they be paid appropriately and not have to worry about not getting reimbursed for buying classroom supplies?

The answer is that we don't really care about giving teachers more money to do their job - but we are totally fine with giving them enough money to purchase firearms and train them, apparently.



5. TEACHERS DON'T EVEN WANT TO DO THIS

Hey so every major teachers' organization has come out against this incredibly stupid idea, explaining that they have enough to deal with between babysitting a bunch of kids all day, trying to prep them for standardized tests, dealing with administrators and bureaucrats, dealing with underfunded systems, not being paid appropriately, and all that other stuff - so adding "being responsible for weapons of death and possibly having to turn into John Rambo" might not be the best idea, especially considering there's literally no evidence supporting the idea working in any shape or form.

Here's what Suzanne Cohen of the Portland Teachers' Union had to say about it:

"There are many, many reasons why it's a ridiculous proposal. We already have a lot to do, our schools are underfunded, all the research shows more guns leads to more injuries, not less injuries and we also have a teacher shortage and we've also heard from a lot of educators who would absolutely quit and leave the profession if that is where they had to show up to work."

Your average teacher puts up with enough shit on a day-to-day basis as it is - they do not want to have "being responsible for the life and death of every student in my class" to that, especially not for the pay they're getting.



6. MORE GUNS WILL JUST EQUATE TO MORE DEATHS

MORE GUNS MEAN MORE DEATHS. It's that simple. Since we already know that armed guards do nothing to deter mass shooters AND that teachers with guns will likely be incredibly inaccurate in a firefight (and cause more confusion), we have to assume all the INTENTIONAL positive aspects of additional guns are basically nil. So what are the NEGATIVES?

  • Risk of students being able to access guns in the classroom (while it's not that difficult to get your hands on guns in the United States, it sure would be a lot more convenient for potential shooters to be able to just break open a gun case in the classroom and start firing, instead of having to worry about sneaking the gun in)
  • Risk of accidental gun use (maybe a false alarm leads the teacher to whip out an AR-15 and start firing, maybe some kids break into the gun case to fool around with it and it accidentally goes off, etc.)
  • Risk of intentional (but not mass shooting) gun use (targeted homicides or suicides)

While many of these risks may not be super-likely, they are suddenly NEW RISKS that are being introduced. And the fact is, guns are almost never used for self-defense in this country. Actually using a gun in self-defense is incredibly, incredibly rare - out of around 14,000 crimes in the US over a 5 year period where there was some contact between the victim and the perpetrator (burglars, attackers, etc.), guns were used in some manner to deter or defend against the perpetrator in less than 1% of cases. And that's in a nation with over 300 million guns. So what are the guns being used for the rest of the time? Suicides (gun suicides are more frequent than gun homicides!) and homicides, mostly.

There's a reason your insurance rates go UP when you get a gun - if insurance companies believed gun ownership made you safer, ostensibly gun ownership would cause your premiums to drop (because you'd be better protected). But all available data points to the presence of guns making you more dangerous and more likely to be the victim of gun violence - so your insurance rates go up.

In short, DO NOT MAKE TEACHERS CARRY GUNS. WHY DOES THIS NEED TO BE EXPLAINED?!