The Panther's Paw

Bearing arms in the Classroom

Judson Warren, staff writer

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Guns. I don’t have to tell you that guns and the second amendment are very controversial topics, you hear them being debated all the time. It also seems there is a shooting of some sort every other week. And according to John Haltiwanger in an article on October 2, 2017 by NEWSWEEK there were actually 383 mass shootings in 2016 alone. With these massive fatalities, there is no wonder that gun control is a hot topic. However, my research uncovered a disturbing fact-most of these took place in already deemed and regulated “gun free” zones. Does this trend suggest that aggressors choose “gun free” zones for their attacks, or is it just a coincident? Will more regulations really help? Will removing “gun free” zones be the answer? The question is, how do we protect students and teachers and all vulnerable, unarmed citizens from attacks?

Betsy DeVos’, US secretary of Education, is proposing an alternative. She said that federal funds should be able to be used for firearms for teachers. Immediately, I had strong opinions against the use of federal funding. I asked several of my close friends and they agreed there should be no funding for firearms. There is one exception, freshman Jacob Donahue, who thinks federal funding should go towards arming teachers in places with high gun crime, meaning any place that has a higher rate of gun violence than that of the national average. He mentioned Chicago which has had 762 homicides, and over 4,000 wounded due to people with guns.even Jacob agrees that there should be guns in schools. Only, of course, in the hands of people who are licensed, mentally capable, and qualified to carry. We know from recent history that some of this criteria is hard to validate. My select sample of students, my friends, don’t think that a limited number of on-site guns should be allowed and proper training must take place. The group also indicated that trained armed guards would be an effective deterrent to a potential crime.  According to a quote from a study by the CDC, there are between 500,000 to 3 million cases of firearms being used in defense, compared to the 36,252 firearm deaths according to the CDC.

As of August 2018 all schools in East Texas, with the exception of Union Grove, are “gun-free zones,” meaning it is illegal to carry on the premises, licensed or not. Recent shootings, such as Parkland, Waffle House shooting in antioch Tennessee, cascade mall shooting in Burlington, Washington,and others, have occured in “gun free” zones. according to the Crime Prevention Research Center at crimeresearch.org, in 97.8 of the “mass public shootings” since 1950, and in 96.2 from 1998-December 2015 all happened in areas that were “gun-free.” I conclude that unarmed campuses are a bigger target,

“I trust my son or daughter’s fifth-grade math teacher’s  chance of hitting something more than I trust a terrorist’s chance of missing.” Jared Monroe  As a student, I agree with this wholeheartedly, I’d rather trust my teacher with a gun, instead of hoping the shooter misses.

I go to a great school, especially when it comes to the teacher-student involvement, and I feel safe. But, could it get better if we took steps towards arming some of our faculty or getting armed guards? The jury is still out. If you have an opinion on the topic, please post it below.

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Bearing arms in the Classroom