The topic of gun control on campuses is a sensitive subject. The fact that this conversation even needs to take place is disturbing. But, it is an important subject to discuss. There is no easy way to come to an agreement on whether or not teachers should be armed because there are such differing opinions on this topic.
One thing to take into account is the training that should go into making sure whoever has a gun knows how and when to properly use it. Although it may seem smart to give guns to teachers who have previous military experience, this could come with negative side effects. There is no clear way to tell if these teachers, or any teacher for that matter, could experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). As defined by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), PTSD is “a serious, potentially debilitating, condition that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed life-threatening events.” These events include not only war, but natural disasters, the death of a loved one, rape and assault. Granting someone who has gone through a traumatic experience access to a gun might not be the safest alternative to solving this school shooting crisis.
Although if there will be firearms given to campus personnel, there should be serious background checks and mental screenings. Properly pinpointing what certain mental illnesses really are is crucial when it comes to avoiding further tragedies on campuses. Some students were surprised when they found out that Campus Safety Officers at Keene State College do not carry guns. But, it might not be completely necessary for them to carry a firearm. KSC is located just a six minute drive away from the Keene Police Department (KPD). In the case of an emergency, there is always an officer located on or two minutes away from campus. Because of the close proximity of the police department and police officers, arming teachers is not necessary.
If there were to be firearms allowed on campus, campus safety officers should be the only ones allowed to carry a weapon on them at any time. And if they were granted access to guns, they should go through a rigorous training course to ensure that they know how to properly handle the gun. The idea of having a special unit, separate from campus safety and KPD, might sound like a better idea to some campus members. This group should be a highly skilled, trained, and willing group who actually wants to do their job to protect the campus.
If teachers were allowed to have guns in the classroom, it could be a distraction for students. The thought of there being an accessible firearm in the room could make students feel more unsafe or anxious. Teachers and professors did not sign up to go into combat for their students. Granted, there are some teachers who risked their own lives for the safety of their students, it is not in their job description to wield a weapon. The justification used by people who are pro teachers having guns is the Second Amendment. They bring up that it is their Second Amendment right to own and carry guns. Be that as it may, amendment means make a change or addition. While it was legal at one point in our country’s history to own slaves, the people realized a change needed to take place and they amended that law. It was also illegal to drink alcohol, that law was amended as well. Maybe it is time to make an amendment to other laws that will benefit the safety of our country.