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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Guns in schools is a terrible idea (rough draft)

One guy on one flight tried to light his shoe on fire and now everybody has to take off their shoes, yet many shrug their shoulders at the prospect of restrictions on guns.

Nobody says, you know what, we need more countries to have nuclear weapons, that would keep the world safer. No, the world says the opposite and is trying to dispose of what nuclear weapons we have.

Where would I keep the gun, in a holster on my side? I couldn’t keep it in my desk or my filing cabinet, neither of which have a lock. Is the district going to pay for a lock? They won’t pay for copier paper. Will I have to carry the gun wherever I go? What happens if the school is invaded when I am in a meeting or at lunch? Or are we going to strategically place guns all over the school in glass boxes that say, break in case of gunman?

Statistics say people are more likely to shoot themselves or a family member or a friend if they have a gun rather than an assailant or an intruder. What’s going to happen when a teacher drops a gun and takes out little Suzie’s eye? Or what’s going to happen when a teacher feels threatened by a student. I don’t know one veteran teacher who couldn’t tell a story about how one time this kid did this or this kid did that.

Or what’s going to happen when a student steals a gun from a teacher, who is overworked, stressed and who has a million things going on all at the same moment? I know three teachers at my school who have had their cell phones stolen this year alone. Two years ago I had a projector stolen and it would only take one gun in the wrong kid’s hands to have another tragedy. Then I think it is just a bad idea to put guns in close proximity to students some of whom I would check my calendar and then get two sources if they told me today was Tuesday.

How many art teachers and music teachers are districts going to have to cut to pay for more security. Are we going to turn schools into fortresses to protect somebody’s right to own semi automatic weapons with 30 shot or more clips, something our founding fathers couldn’t have envisioned?

Gun control is not the end of the story, we also need mental health counseling and wrap around services (see my lack of copier paper to know how optimist I am that is going to happen) but gun control is a huge part of the solution.

The tragedy in Connecticut was bound to happen and it will happen again unless we do something, however the one thing we shouldn’t do is to put more guns in schools.

Chris Guerrieri
School Teacher


  1. So you feel safe not having a gun? You would wear a concealed weapon like the rest of us and you would be useful to yourself and others if something terrible happened. Locking a door and hiding in a corner is not an answer.

  2. I feel much safer without a gun and statistics bear out that I am. There are answers to this problem and they start with stricter gun control and additional resources for mental illness...

  3. I think your statement, "Statistics say people are more likely to shoot themselves or a family member or a friend if they have a gun rather than an assailant or an intruder" is technically accurate because you're around family and friends (and of course 24/7. There are (and thank God) thousands more interactions in my life with friends and family than with murderous assailants. So, by the sheer amount of those occasions, statistics should always reflect the increased likelihood. It applies the same logic that says you're more likely to die in a car accident just a few miles from home. Of course you are because that’s where people spend the majority of their time. It doesn't mean I will change my driving habits and insist on driving only “far” from home in an effort to decrease my likelihood of dying in a car accident. Everyone would agree how futile that strategy would be. I'm not giving my car away either despite the thousands of innocent lives lost on the highways when people drive under the influence. In those situations, people seem to accept the "drink more responsibly" campaigns, the age limits, etc as sufficient effort to reduce the problem. We accept this because the violence and spilled blood of an alcohol related car crash is not breaking news on CNN that gets 24 hour coverage (unless it involves someone famous) so we're not forced to deal with the emotional dissonance. We rarely see the faces of those left behind; the children left without parents, the parents who are suddenly childless; the agony and expense that follow. We don’t, through our HDTV’s and high speed internet connection, see the mourning at their funerals, the lengthy trials and the pain that continues for a lifetime. Despite the mounting death toll year after year, there still remains no emergency task force to deal with the problem of alcohol and cars. We create more social services, increase education and create slick marketing campaigns to persuade people to be more “responsible”. There is too much money being pumped into the economy from these industries to do anything other than ask people to do the right thing and silently agree on the acceptable price in lost lives. There is a lot of good that comes from these industries as well but death, as long as we’re not forced to stare at it, is an acceptable form of payment for us to continue to drink and travel wherever we want.

    Our reactions to gun violence follow a very different pattern. We don’t see education or safety awareness as potential solutions. We demand that magazines hold 10 instead of 20 which is like selling beer in 3-packs; people who want 6 will just buy 2 packs. The government may try to tax people out of the product like they did with cigarettes but people are still free to buy them and manufacturers will continue to produce them as long as there is money to be made. We ban scary looking weapons because of their form rather than function; assault rifles, as they are so labeled, can only fire one bullet at a time just like a pistol or shotgun. And it only takes about 2 seconds to switch out magazines. Do I want an assault rifle? No, because it’s not consistent with my goal of self defense.

    I’m not proclaiming that gun control, in any form, would be ineffective. But we already have gun control. I had to pass safety courses, be of age, have a criminal background check, hand over multiple forms of ID, submit my fingerprints, answer a dozen questions pertaining to my mental health, wait 3 days and hand over $112 for the permit. The industry is also making guns safer. We now have manual safeties, firing pin blocks, trigger safeties, grip safeties, chamber indicators, magazine disconnects, hammer stops, chamber locks and the list goes on and on. Most anti-gun supporters probably don’t know any of this.

    If someone argues that public safety outweighs the individual’s right, let’s be serious about it and apply that to all public safety issues including the others mentioned above.

  4. Mental Midgets........the idea is not to put more guns INTO the school, but to have police or guards to keep them from coming into the school. For an educated person, you let the media lead your thinking around by the proverbial nose. That's why you have guards at the entrance to any base, plant, or facility. to keep unwanted people out. They don't ask for I.D. once you're inside, they ask you at the freakin gate.

  5. First calling people names is not a great way to sell your point. Second if you had been following the debate you would have seen that several politicians and gun advocates have called for arming teachers. I know people on your side don't like facts or anything but it would really help if you followed along with what your own side is saying. Finally I would rather not turn our schools into armed camps but that’s just my opinion.