I am a teacher. I teach high school. Ever since Columbine, I have had the possibility of death by gun in my mind, although in the back of my mind. It has just been so prevalent. How many school shootings have there been since Columbine?? 31. Yes, that's right. 31. And only 14 in the rest of the world.
All of us here are upset beyond measure. We all want something done. The NRA is quiet, we exclaim!! They have been silenced!! Well, don't bet on it. I don't believe it. They are just revamping, with some shiny new, poll tested language, ready to roll out when the emotions die down a bit. They will not go away easily.
So, until (if?) new gun laws are enacted, how do we protect our kids? What do we do? Maybe we do need to consider some kind of armed guard/police in our schools. Because what we are doing now is not working.
I know, I can hear you already.
"More guns??? Are you insane???"
No, I am not insane, but it IS insane to take no action while we have such easy access to semi-automatic weapons in this country.
"More guns = more violence"
We won't know this until we try. 31 shootings is a lot of dead kids we have created just following the status quo for the past 16 years.
"Teachers should NOT have guns!"
No, we should not. I am a teacher, not a law enforcement officer. A bunch of teachers trying to ID the shooter and take him down would be total chaos, and lead to more dead students and teachers.
I find it sadly ironic, though, that the same Republicans who don't trust me to follow a curriculum would trust me with a gun in my desk.
"Better security at the doors is what is needed!"
Of course. Goes without saying. In my area, none of the schools lock their front doors. A student or other killer could just walk right in, shoot the Greeter, and move on. There is NO security at my school. None. This is nuts. It has to change.
"One guard can't control an entire school."
You are right. But a guard could control the front entrance, and the fact that there is an armed guard may deter some of these crazies who want to go out in a blaze of glory, rather than shot dead before getting a shot off.
Look, I hate this idea. I think it is terrible, to make our schools fortresses. But between the lack of gun control, and the attention the media gives to those who shoot up schools, this is not going to stop any time soon. It will happen again and again. And I can't take this anymore. I can barely read the paper, won't watch the news or look at the pictures. It is too much. If there is no meaningful change in gun control, we have to do something. We owe this to the children in our care.
(Written and edited on my lunch break. I won't be back until the end of day.)