I am a Teacher. Trump Has It Dead Wrong About Guns.

Donald Trump believes that giving some teachers guns would be a “great deterrent” to killers. At a meeting on February 22, Trump discussed providing “highly adept people, people who understand weaponry, guns…. with a concealed permit.” He also suggested giving “a little bit of a bonus” to teachers who are armed.

“They’ll frankly feel more comfortable having the gun anyway,” he added.

No, Mr. Trump, I would definitely not feel more comfortable in my classroom with a gun close by.

I am a high school teacher and I am appalled by the idea of arming teachers. Here are 10 reasons why.

1. I don’t want to carry a gun. My job is to connect with my students and teach them French and Spanish. My job is not to carry a weapon. I already have more than enough responsibility and don’t need the extra responsibility that would come with bringing a gun to work. I want the people responsible for the safety of my students to do their job and make my workplace safe.

2. Randi Weingarten, head of the American Federation of Teachers, agrees: “We want to teach. We don’t want to be, and would never have the expertise to be, sharp shooters; no amount of training can prepare an armed teacher to go up against an AR-15.”

3. “Rather than arming [teachers] with a firearm, I would arm them with the knowledge of how to prevent these attacks in the first place by making sure that troubled students get the mental health and counseling services they need,” said Nicole Hockley at the White House meeting on February 21. Hockley, whose 6-year-old son Dylan died at the Sandy Hook shooting, is the co-founder of Sandy Hook promise, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting children from gun violence.

4.  The deranged shooters at Sandy Hook and Columbine killed themselves after their shooting sprees, so it’s highly unlikely that they would have been deterred by the knowledge that teachers in these schools were armed. 

5. On the contrary, bringing guns into the classroom would make schools less safe. You don’t stop gun violence by adding to the number of guns. Students could get a hold of these weapons, for example, and a classroom problem that could easily be handled might well turn deadly if there were guns involved.

6. As the New York Times points out: “In the United States, there are about 3.5 million elementary and secondary school teachers in public and private institutions. Arming 20 percent of them, as Mr. Trump suggested, would mean 700,000 or so teachers with Glocks and the like on their hips – an armed force half as large as America’s real armed forces on active duty.” Of course, Trump loves this idea because the National Rifle Association (NRA) donated $30 million to his election campaign and their chief goal is to sell weapons. Arming teachers is the dream of a gun manufacturer.

7. The best way to prevent the threat of a bad guy with a gun is not, as Wayne LaPierre, head of the NRA, would have it, to arm good guys with guns. Rather it is to keep that bad guy from getting an assault weapon such as that used by the Parkland killer. For starters, we must ban all assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and we must tighten background checks. Arming teachers does nothing to prevent those who use guns from killing innocent children and teachers.

8.  The Trump administration has taken away the measly $250 deduction teachers used to be able to take against what we spend on supplies for our classrooms. Teachers routinely spend much more than that every year; we don’t have enough markers, books, paper. And now Trump wants us to spend money on guns? Our students need art and music programs; they need more school counselors and nurses. They don’t need guns.

9. We teachers are sick of being disrespected. Did it occur to Trump to ask educators what they thought of his proposal? The government doesn’t tell doctors how to treat patients, or lawyers how to argue their cases, yet politicians feel it’s perfectly fine to tell teachers what to do in their classroom. Somewhere in there is the idea that teaching is easy, that anyone can be a teacher. Has Trump ever been inside a public school classroom? Does he have any idea what it’s like to be responsible for educating a class of 35 ninth graders? Teachers are trained professionals and we are the experts on education, not Donald Trump.

10.  “Anyone who wants guns in schools has no understanding of what goes on inside them – or worse, doesn’t care,” Weingarten stated, summing up the opinion of numerous educators.

It’s imperative that we prevent Trump’s plan to arm teachers nationwide from ever becoming a reality. You can help by signing this Care2 petition, calling on the U.S. Congress to listen to educators and drop the idea of putting guns in classrooms.

Photo Credit: thinkstock

92 comments

Marie W
Marie W3 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Danuta W
Danuta Watola6 months ago

Thank you for sharing

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Chrissie R
Chrissie R8 months ago

Thank you for posting your opinion!

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Peggy B
Peggy B8 months ago

Petition signed.

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Peggy B
Peggy B8 months ago

Good analogy, Karen H

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Danuta W
Danuta Watola8 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Sabrina D
Past Member 8 months ago

I've just signed the petition by Judy M.

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Karen H
Karen H9 months ago

This is just about as stupid as, "Hey! Somebody was attacked by a shark! Quick! Throw more sharks in!"

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Angel W
Past Member 9 months ago

trumps is a moron

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Julie D
Julie D9 months ago

Arming teachers in order to allow the sale and use of assault rifles to continue unhampered is absolutely ridiculous. I taught for 25 years, and I would never ever wish to do it armed and think this is idea would only add to the danger, not stop it.

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