On the surface, armed teachers sound silly to Progressives because it is yet another out of scope job placed on them. To the gun touting Right Winger, it is a simple solution whereas with most of their policies is never though out past its apparent simplicity. Paul Krugman explained that derangement.
Anyway, this political faction is doing all it can to push us toward becoming a society in which individuals can’t count on the community to provide them with even the most basic guarantees of security — security from crazed gunmen, security from drunken drivers, security from exorbitant medical bills (which every other advanced country treats as a right, and does in fact manage to provide).
While different sides of the ideological divide can have longwinded discussions that go on ad nauseam, there is palpable stress that parents of children of color and these kids themselves ultimately feel. Currently, the only armed people that people of color must legitimately fear is the police officer who disregards their humanity. They’ve watched people of color gunned down with video evidence. They’ve seen cops like the one that murdered Philando Castile and Eric Garner walk unscathed. Many learn how to have minimal interaction with police officers because it is impossible to discern which ones they can trust and which ones they cannot.
Armed Teachers Not The Answer
The problem with armed teachers is that the ability to have minimal contact with the potential oppressor does not exist. One must go to school and be in contact with that armed teacher.
To be clear, I continue to believe teaching is the most honorable profession. Moreover, the majority of teachers are not there for the relatively low salary but love for moving knowledge forward.
That said, teachers are a fabric of society just as police officers are. As such they share the same prejudices and proclivities. It is not hard to imagine a teacher who grew up in a homogeneously white small-town Texas who comes to teach in an urban school in Houston and is packing. There is a possibility that an aggressive student of color could rattle her. It is not inconceivable that she would use her gun claiming she feared for her life. Leaping from teacher to killer is not hard because society seeded in that teacher’s psyche the reality that some lives matter more in our justice system.
So as Donald Trump, the NRA, and gun loving fanatics push a gun-in-the-hands-of-teachers agenda, note that you are adding a new layer of stress to people of color in the country. It is legitimate stress that many are blind to but all too real.
It is important to note that the arming-teachers debate serves two purposes. It moves the discussion from the lethality of the AR-15 and other assault weapons. Doing so ensures that they remain legal. If a policy to arm teachers goes into effect, it means even more guns get sold, more profits for the gun manufacturers. If there are more guns in America, there will be more deaths by gun.
Australia is the perfect test case. They outlawed and bought back assault weapons after a gun massacre that killed dozens. There has not been a mass gun killing since.
Also published on Medium.