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Ever since the tragedy of Sandy Hook, there has been an incline of school shootings. Many innocent teachers and kids have lost their lives due to these shootings. When I think about these incidents I find myself wondering if there was a way that we could have prevented a large number of these deaths. There are many proposals that people have put out there to protect our teachers and students. The only proposal that I see is fit to protect our schools is allowing teachers to carry guns and bringing in armed guards.
November 5, 2017, 11:20 am, Sutherland Springs, Texas. The lives of 27 innocent people were lost in a tragic church shooting. Local resident, Stephen Willeford, heard close gunshots and quickly took action. He grabbed his AR-15 and went on to defend his neighborhood. When arriving at the church he saw the shooter and was able to shoot and knock him down. Disabling him from shooting any other people. If it wasn’t for this brave hero then many more lives could have been lost.
This is just one out of many cases that people with concealed carry permits have stopped a mass shooter to protect the lives of citizens. If guns can be used in a public place to protect people, what is the problem with having them in schools?
Our schools are “Gun Free, Zones” which means that there are no guns allowed on the premises. The problem is that gun free zones work just about as good as drug-free zones do, they don’t.
According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, ‘gun free zones’ (areas where guns are prohibited) have been the target of more than 98% of all mass shootings because of this gun free zones are often referred to as “soft targets”, which means unprotected and vulnerable. These places are so unprotected that all but two mass shootings have occurred in gun free zones since 1950. (This is according to statistics from 2014.)
The United States has the highest number of guns owned by citizens, but when comparing gun homicide rates worldwide we aren’t even in the top twenty-five. In 2016, there was a total of 33,594 deaths by gun, 22,938 suicidal deaths, 14,415 homicidal deaths. Only 71 of those deaths were by mass shootings. When putting homicides into account 80% of these homicides were drug-related. A person is more likely to be poisoned to death than be killed by a gun. In fact, someone is statistically more likely to die falling out of bed than in a mass shooting.
The largest portion of gun deaths are suicides and many people would like to think that the United States has an incredibly high suicide rate. When in reality, per capita, the United States does not have an abnormally high suicide rate. On a list of the top twenty-five countries with the highest suicide rates, our name is nowhere to be found. In fact, most of the countries on this list are unfree countries with highly regulated gun control. If you look at the Australia gun buyback the suicide death rate remains virtually unchanged. Banning guns has proven not to be effective in the rates of suicide.
The CDC says that 500,000 to potentially three million lives are saved per year because of guns. This is a remarkably larger number than the number of lives lost by guns. This number could be even larger if we would allow teachers to carry in school. At the moment most schools only allow school resource officers to have a gun in the school but how could you expect a few resource officers to protect a whole school full of teachers and children. Unless a school was to hire at least twenty resource officers in their school there is no way that they could protect all of the people in the school.
The average school shooting last about twelve and a half minutes, while the average police response time is eighteen minutes. This could allow a shooter to kill as many people as he wants and flee the site before the police would even arrive. What schools do to protect students in lockdowns right now are absolutely impractical. All that teachers do are close their blinds, lock their doors, and take everyone to a corner of the room. If someone was to bust into the room the people in the room would not be protected at all. The teacher would just be left to block the bullets with their body.
When parents send their kids to school they are leaving them in the hands of their teachers to protect them but how are teachers supposed to protect their students if they can’t even protect themselves. The statement that teachers do not want to carry guns in school is absolutely false. After school shootings in Ohio local sheriff, Richard Jones, created a program where teachers could go get there concealed carry for no cost and an overwhelming number of teacher contacted him wanting to be a part of this. In Ohio, you can carry a concealed carry permit in the school if the school board allows you to. These teachers were so desperate to protect themselves and there students that they were willing to carry guns in their classrooms.
Money is something that people who are against guns in school like to use to support their opinion. There will, of course, be a big cost if we hire a bunch of school resource officers but there are other options that we can use that have little to no cost. There are many police officers that would be willing and happy to stand and guard the doors of our schools for no charge at all They would volunteer to stand there and protect the students and teachers while they are in school. Another option is a program called “FASTER saves lives.” This program was created by parents and law enforcement after a school shooting. FASTER is a groundbreaking, nonprofit program that gives educators practical violence response training for no charge. This is a program in Ohio that can easily be put in place in any other state. These options would allow our schools to be much safer for no charge. They would be very effective and would increase our schools’ safety drastically.
In conclusion, school shootings continue to increase as do gun laws but we see no decrease in gun violence. Many “gun free zones” have been put into place to try and stop the rising gun violence but they are actually inviting criminals in. Guns save more lives than they cost and they could save many students and teachers in the future if we allow teachers to go through the appropriate training to be allowed to carry their guns on campus. They could be a great asset to providing safety to our students and teachers.
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