Though we must protect the children,
What I’m seeing is bewilderin’—
There’s a call to arm the teachers in the name of common sense
Cos it wouldn’t quite be prudent
To give guns to every student
But we’ve got to pack some pistols to provide for our defense!
Now, in truth, my grade school teachers
Weren’t the stablest of creatures,
And I can’t imagine anyone who’d like to see them armed
But tough times demand tough measures
And our children are our treasures
Introducing deadly weapons will ensure that they’re unharmed.
Though this notion’s been suggested
It has never quite been tested;
Are there data showing guns will make a school a safer place?
Cos it really takes some gumption
To declare it by assumption
After cutting off the data you could use to make your case.
Bit of a rant, after the jump:
So, yeah, I saw a sign outside a business today: “Protect Our Kids–Arm Willing Teachers” (not the only such sign, I see). Looking back on my teachers, though, they fell roughly, but not perfectly, into two mutually exclusive categories–those who would not be willing to carry a weapon at school, and those who no sane person would want carrying a weapon at school. Mister K would have loved to pack heat. He also had real anger issues, and loved the authority his position gave him over students. There was Mr. F., in his first teaching job, who was hounded by students until he broke down. There were the strike years, when non-union teachers (and school administrators) got their tires slashes and windshields shot out. I’m sure you have your own examples; if not, consider yourself extraordinarily fortunate.
Now, I could be wrong. I could be remembering all the bad stuff, which was the case in part because the teachers I remember were not, themselves, armed. It could be that carrying a concealed weapon would have given these teachers the confidence they needed to be good teachers and reasonable human beings. I don’t think so, but hey, it’s a testable question.
Except that it isn’t testable, because the NRA more or less got to write its own legislation, prohibiting doctors from asking about gun use, prohibiting the CDC from compiling and analyzing gun death information. “Arm the teachers!” assumes that this will reduce rather than increase gun deaths in schools; what do the data say? What? There are no data? What, then, makes your belief that guns will help any more reasonable than my belief that they will not? Actually, I have a bit more reason to trust my assumption (again, perfectly willing to be proven wrong!) simply by looking at who it is that wanted to hide the data.
The NRA, I suggest, is afraid of the data. The second amendment does not include a clause that says “because it’s safer”, and my gun-owning friends admit they’d rather have dangerous freedom than safe control. Their right to bear arms is not contingent on any data showing that it’s a good idea. (Oh, but they are really good at generating hypothetical situations that show that it is. All the best examples are hypothetical.)
But this is different. They are claiming that this particular intervention will make schools safer. This is an empirical claim; a claim that can be tested with data. And the very people making that claim are the ones refusing to let anyone gather the data that could support it. Or, yeah, refute it, but who really thinks that?
More guns in schools. What could possibly go wrong?