In the wake of this latest school shooting horror, there is a huge uproar on a call to, once again, restrict the ease of purchasing guns. New gun laws are “desperately” needed to curb gun violence.
A lot of things are being proposed as solutions, including arming school teachers. I will leave it to others to examine most of the “proposals.” I will address two of them.
Are guns really the problem? I am a “gun” owner. I do not own an assault rifle, but I do own semi-automatic rifles. These will fire as fast as I can pull the trigger.
Had I the mind to do it, I could modify the magazines to hold more bullets than the ones that come with the rifle.
I have never had a need to do so. I use these rifles to hunt. In the last twenty years, I have killed two deer, two feral hogs and three javalinas. I confess to shooting more rabbits.
All of these went into my cooking pot. For the most part, I have simply enjoyed just looking at the wild animals and being outdoors.
So, are my guns dangerous to the general public? To school students?
I conducted an experiment to find out. I loaded one of my rifles. Well, I say loaded, but I only put one bullet in it. I then placed it on a
table. I sat and watched it for a few hours. It never fired.
I found, though, that I couldn’t watch it for longer than three hours a day before I needed to rest.
The rifle stayed on the table for five days. It never once fired that bullet. It didn’t fire when I was looking at it.
It also never fired when I wasn’t.
No gun, of its own volution, will ever fire and kill anyone. Guns do not kill. People do.
Any legislation to reduce the danger of school shootings should be “aimed” at people.
Now, should teachers be armed?
NO, NO, NO and NO!
I have talked to several people, and some of them actually believe that arming them is a good idea. I do not claim, by any means, that my small poll is accurate; I only discussed this idea with five people.
Still, I found it alarming that three of them did think it was a good idea. Why do I think it is a bad one?
First of all, teachers have dedicated their lives to a thankless job that does not really pay very much. If the children don’t learn, they get blamed.
Never mind that the children may not have not been properly taught or motivated at home to come to school to learn.
They teach, however, because they love the children and are glad to be doing what they have chosen for their live’s work.
Their work: providing the children with a good foundation and preparation for life.
They do their best to protect their students in the classroom and outside their classrooms, that is: in the hall ways, the cafeteria, the school grounds and on the way to the school buses.
They demonstrate their love, care and concern for their students every single day.
Love is the term that best exemplifies teachers. Now, you want to arm these loving and caring people with weapons and expect them to be prepared to use them?
Knowing that to simply take out a weapon and pointing it at someone also includes the risk of that person’ death?
I know that any person can be trained to handle a weapon safely. I also know that there are many, many people who would shudder at the thought of killing someone else.
Heck, I know that there have been accounts of soldiers, trained to use arms, who have failed to fire in combat.
Some of these simply couldn’t bring themselves to “kill.” I suppose there are some teachers who would be able to do so. However, it is my thought that, because of the very nature of their work, most of them would find it very difficult, if not impossible, to do so.
I believe it is criminal to expect or to require them to be in this situation.
Guillermo Barrientes, Harlingen