Arming Teachers:-No Silver Bullet

Feb 27, 2018 by

Arming teachers with guns is so ludicrous and appalling from so many ethical, logical and logistical standpoints that it is impossible to scratch the surface in the space of this letter.

It is over-the-top cynicism. Just a few practical considerations, aggravating the rudimentary lunacy of the proposal:

Teaching is not a law-enforcement position. Designating teachers to carry a gun when on duty implies authority to use it, thus making readiness a job condition. That in effect creates a new position from which the teacher was hired under a contract and title description with different terms.

Under “LEO”  (Law Enforcement Officer) status, they would be entitled to a package of benefits not available to teachers, including 20-year retirement. Though perhaps tempting for a nanosecond, it would be a moot point, since a huge majority of teachers would passionately reject that role for themselves. Carrying a gun, whether or not concealed, demands a mindset that is inimical to most educators. Many view it as a degradation of their nurturing vocation.

They’d also need to undergo a full-field background investigation, but if Paul Manafort can pass it, anybody can.

Proficiency at shooting would need be tested several times each year and a high standard maintained to qualify law-enforcement officers to continue to carry the weapon. Who would be selected and on what basis? Seniority? Ideological purity? Volunteerism? Loyalty to the principal? Who will pay for the extravagant costs, including periodic psychological tests?

This is the stuff for a Broadway dark comedy.

The fantasy of action heroes picking off villains in frenetic movie screen confrontations with no collateral damage except by magic of special effects, does not translate into real-life environments such as airline terminals or schools. Where there are crowds moving around in confined spaces, even when the area is secured, it is certain that innocent people will be hit.

What is the solution? None has yet been realized though several have been proposed. Mayor DeBlasio’s ideas are feeble and we all know the beast known as the NRA. If portable, personalized nuclear bombs could be compressed into capsules of fish oil, they would lobby for a  free bottle for every citizen. They and their elective surrogates are culpable for the gun laws that make our nation, in this respect, the shame and flagrant curiosity of the modern world.

Our mental health care system abets the madness in our society because of exaggerated human rights and privacy protections that cripple clinicians from taking prudent action that could preempt slaughter in our schools and streets.

Everybody has an answer, which proves that nobody really knows. There are so many angles, but every vantage point translates into a disadvantage point.

But there are two inescapable truths: teachers must not be armed. And there is no “silver bullet”!

Ron Isaac

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