Should teachers be allowed to carry fire arms in school?
Teachers should not be allowed guns in school. Kids can get their hands on the guns, or teachers could misuse them.
1,448 children died as a result of gun violence in 2010, 165 of those deaths were at the hands of other children. (Huffington Post) In contrast to this, since 1980 (around 30 years) only 297 have died from school shootings. (Slate) That is around 10 deaths per year. Of course, measures should be taken to stop school shootings and to keep a school safe, but arming teachers is not the way to do it. Students are not going to be oblivious to the fact that their teachers have guns. Kids are smarter than we think. In 2001, Paediatrics (a journal) published a study in which children were placed in a room with a hidden gun. 48 out of 64 boys found the gun, 30 of them handled it, and 90% of the boys who handled the gun pulled the trigger. If teachers bring guns to school, they most likely will not carry them everywhere they go, giving students opportunities to search the room and find the gun. Mistakes can happen with younger kids, and if older kids have malicious intentions, they will be more likely to actually obtain guns.
Psych tests are not always accurate.
Psychological tests cannot always adequately evaluate whether a teacher should be able to carry a firearm or not. David L. Mount, a professor at Wake Forest School of Medicine, notes that "Just because someone tests one way does not necessarily mean that they are that way. People are made up by a combination of several personality traits. There also is the chance of incorrectly labelling a person. Employers should be aware that there is no hard evidence that personality tests, like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® test, are accurate measures of one's personality." This shows that psych tests cannot really prove weather a teacher is fit to have a gun or not. There is always a chance that a teacher could misuse their gun privileges and end up hurting a student or colleague.
For example, "LANCASTER, Ohio — A firearms instructor accidentally shot a student while teaching a gun-safety class on Saturday in Fairfield County to people seeking permits to carry concealed weapons." (CNN) Things always have the potential to go very wrong. Even those who know what they are doing with guns make mistakes. This is why teachers really should not carry firearms. If a school is going to have guns, they should be carried by law enforcement officials who actually know what they are doing. Also, opponents of the plan to arm teachers have argued that putting more guns on campus could be more dangerous because if police have to respond to a school shooting, they could mistake a teacher for a suspect. (Houston Chronicle)
Arming teachers will actually have little effect of the safety of students.
In Texas, laws were made that allowed employees to carry guns. Members of the National Rifle Association said the guardian plan would have little effect, they only expect a handful of districts to take advantage of the laws. (Campus Safety Magazine) It isn't right to allow teachers to carry guns when it will actually not positively effect the safety of the students. The things that I mentioned in my introduction are the things that will really positively impact students' safety in a school environment. Even if the school is unable to afford a security system, monthly lockdown drills can give students and teachers a feel for what to do in the event of a shooting. Like I stated before, if a school has guns, the guns need to be handled by law enforcement officials who know what they are doing.
Although the things that you listed above would make us more secure, we already have these systems in place and we are still hearing about incidents like Newtown and Columbine. I believe that it is time for us to arm the victims so that they may be prepared to protect them selves and not be another number on the body count. If teachers were armed, they could either stop or contain a massacre before it even beings. I await your arguments. Also, please read the sources...
Students obtaining the gun: Here my opponent talked about how students would not be able to obtain the gun for several reasons. Firstly they said that teachers do not leave the classroom for long periods of time. This is not the case. I would agree that while class is going on, teachers generally don't leave the class room. However, teachers have things such as plan periods, lunch duty, and department meetings that keep them from their classroom. Students generally are not unaware of such goings on. A student with malicious intentions could easily take advantage of this and go snooping around the room, looking for a gun. My opponent also talked about how the gun would be carried in a case with a lock. This, of course, cannot be guaranteed. Even if it was in a case with a lock, there is always a possibility that students would be able to get it open. The study I cited with the students who found guns was done with a group of kindnergarteners. If kindergarteners have the ability to find a well concealed gun, then middle schoolers and high schoolers certianly do as well. In Jacksonville highschool, a teacher carried a handgun in her purse and the student was able to steal it. Jeniffer Ellen Paul, the teacher, claimed that she simply forgot she had the gun with her (1). Incidents like this are bound to happen if teachers start carrying guns on a regular basis.
The credibility of the person handling the gun: My opponent talks about how if teachers have a conceal and carry lisence, they should be allowed to carry a weapon in school. This is not true. A conceal and carry lisence should not qualify a teacher to bring firearms to school. Here are four major mistakes that individuals new to conceal and carry make (2):
1. Not understanding the great responsibility of carrying a concealed weapon, nor adopting the related mindset and training plan.
2. Initally not getting sufficient fundamentals classroom and range live-fire training. This one is especially important. Often the process of obtaining a conceal and carry lisence only requires the individual to take a 45 minute course on how to actually fire the gun.
3. Not regularly getting refresher firearms' fundamentals training and legal updates for your state residence. Like I said in the point above, the training to get a conceal and carry lisence is minimal. It's not as if teachers have time to regularly take refresher courses and check on the legal implacations of taking a firearm into a school.
4. Not regulary practicing. If teachers don't practice, their skills will deteriorate. Gun professionals note that... "Our shooting skills and accuracy during a real-life encounter do not come close to our worse day of accurate shooting at the Range, but actually decrease. Your body is going to dump massive amounts of adrenaline into your bloodstream which will make you temporarily stronger and faster, but it adversely affects fine motor coordination such as your ability to focus on the front sight and press the trigger without disrupting the sight alignment." It is actually suggested that individuals with a conceal and carry lisence should practice at least once a month. Busy teachers will generally not have time to practice this much, and since it is not required by law, they most likely won't bother.
For these reason, teachers really should not bring guns to school. There is not telling how they will react in a dangeous situation where they actually may need to use their firearm. The possibility that they may make a mistake is high. My opponent talks about how psych tests are generally accurate. However, I have proved through my evidence that they generally are not completely reliable. Even if you, as a reader, do not buy my psych test argument, look to the four reasons I listed above. These show that teachers should not be the ones who carry guns in the school.
Alternatives to prevent shootings: My opponent exlained that most of the alternatives I listed that attempt to prevent shootings are actaully already in place, except for lock down drills. I would agree that most schools have such things, but do they really know how to use them? Monthly lock down drills are what the school needs to really show them how to use such features in the time of the emergency.
Accidental shootings: My opponent notes that a student has never actually shot a teacher as a result of paranoia, nor has a teacher been the shooter in a mass school shooting. I agree with this point. However, this is only the case because most schools do not allow their teachers to carry guns. Teachers do have the potential to act out and harm a child. For example, Micheal Yeager, a school teacher was charged with second degree harassment for acting out and hitting a student with a ruler (3). This, of course, is nothing close to shooting up a school, but it shows that teachers do have potential act out and harm a student due to annoyance or paranoia. Imagine what could happen if Yeager was armed.
Effect on the safety of the students: My oponent stated, "If you pay careful attention, you will notice that quite often teachers are among those who are shot, meaning, they had made contact with said student and if said teacher were armed they could have stopped student before massacre ended." This brings me to three main points. Firstly, there is a high probability that the teacher has never shot anyone before. It takes a lot of courage to actually end a life. The probability that a teacher wouldn't want to harm the shooter is actually very high, especially if the shooter is one of their students. Also, the legal implacations of a teacher shooting the shooter could be complicated. Secondly, look at my evidence where I discussed four major reasons why a conceal and carry lisence is not enough to qualify a teacher to carry a weapon inside school. In the heat of the moment, especially if the teacher is out of practice, there is a possibility they could miss. Lastly, if a teacher pulls out a gun in front of an shooter, he/she will most likely be shot.
Solvency: My opponent failed to address the point. It is, in my opinion, the most important point in this debate. According to the Campus Safety Magazine, "Members of the National Rifle Association said the gaurdian plan would have little effect, they only expect a handful of districts to take advantage of the laws." If a plan to arm teachers would have little effect, what is the point in putting it in to place. Arming teachers will most likely not solve for anything, but it has the potential to cause numerous problems. Look to my evidence from Slate and Huffington Post: 1,448 children died as a result of gun violence in 2010, 165 of those deaths were at the hands of other children. (Huffington Post) In contrast to this, since 1980 (around 30 years) only 297 have died from school shootings. (Slate) Because arming teachers has much more potential to create problems, then to solve them, vote con.
labarum forfeited this round.
Extend my arguments.
I would like to begin this round by pointing out a point that my opponent made. "If this law were to be put in place then we are likely to see a rise in students finding their teachers weapons." However, my opponent would greatly exaggerate the flaws in conceal and carry. To start, they stated that students with malicious intentions would go snooping around the room looking for a gun while teachers are away for long periods of time. They then stated that even though cases will be available for these weapons that they may not be secured with a lock at all times. This may be the case at some times, however, occasions such as this are expected to be very rare and for two reasons:
1. The teachers whom possess these weapons are likely to keep these weapons on their person at all times during the school day and after.
2. For the times that teachers do put their guns in their cases, the odds of them putting a lock over said case are very likely.
Of course there will be times were this is not the case. Eventually, some one will forget to put a lock over their case. Even if this did happen, in order for a student to find the case and open it, it would require that the teacher leave for an extended period of time without a help to watch over the class, and it would require a student to go looking for the gun case which they are unlikely to know the position, let alone know its existence in that classroom on that certain day. All of these statistics factored would mean that the odds of a student finding the gun unsecured are without over watch is very very unlikely. If there was no help watching over the class but still a lock over the case, the odds a elementary school student picking said lock are, needless to say, unlikely. If a highschooler were to be put under the same situation, they would likely have an easier time picking said lock depending on what kind of lock it was. However,in 86% of all high schools in America, camera systems are in place in every room ( that includes showers and bathrooms, ever wonder what those slanted mirrors are for?) So, even if a highschool student were to try and lock pick a case, then cameras would be able to spot him and proper authorities or armed school faculty would immediately be dispatched to said classroom. And the study that you keep referring to, could you please she me an online reference to it? It seems that the room was not over watched and that the gun was not that well hidden. I would very much so like to see this study.
The paragraph were you addressed the credibility of the person handling the gun will now be addressed. First off, the teachers whom take advantage of this new law would undoubtedly know the one reason why this law was set up in the first place. To defend human life, even at the expense of aggressor. They would without doubt know the kind of responsibility that they are taking up and why. Secondly, you would state that "Often the process of obtaining a conceal and carry lisence only requires the individual to take a 45 minute course on how to actually fire the gun." This would be false. I am sure that you honestly did not know this, as I have read over your source and you practically quoted it word for word. The state required training course is on average around 8 hours of training, not just for firing said gun, but also, safety, cleaning, repair, and proper etiquette for guns. I have a few sources all from different states to back my statements. Another point that you made was " It's not as if teachers have time to regularly take refresher courses and check on the legal implacations of taking a firearm into a school." This is also false. Reason why. Teachers have, weekends, holidays, snow days, and summer vacations off to do as they please. Actually, teachers have more off days than nearly job in America. Yes, many of these days are taken up grading papers and going to meetings and such, however, the fact remains that they have more time then most professions. Also, from the prospective of most gun owners, shooting is fun! Practicing with your weapon, doesn't really seem like practice and people often do it as a hobby. Practice will not be an issues in this case.
Another point my opponent liked to argue was that " Teachers do have the potential to act out and harm a child. For example, Micheal Yeager, a school teacher was charged with second degree harassment for acting out and hitting a student with a ruler (3). This, of course, is nothing close to shooting up a school, but it shows that teachers do have potential act out and harm a student due to annoyance or paranoia." Your right, hitting your student is a shameful act however not an uncommon one. Punishing students weather it be spankings, warping wrists with a ruler, or the highly noted 'dunce' cap, were all common place punishments until 2 to 3 decades ago. Secondly, although teachers do the potential to act out or harm their students in school due to paranoia or annoyance, no student has ever been intentionally killed by a teacher at school. There have of course been accidental killings, but no purposeful killings. Is the potential there? Yes. Is the evidence? No. Even if said gun law is not passed in any district, teachers would still have the ability to bring knives to school, and many do currently. Knives, are just as much tools as they are weapons, and no killings with these weapons by a teacher have ever been recorded, anywhere! Just like there have never been any gun killings by teachers, anywhere!
My opponent goes on to say that "there is a high probability that the teacher has never shot anyone before. It takes a lot of courage to actually end a life. The probability that a teacher wouldn't want to harm the shooter is actually very high, especially if the shooter is one of their students." First off, I would like to say " I hope they have never shot anyone before." Yes, it does take a lot of courage to end a life. However, in the heat of the moment, where its kill or be killed, the reptilian brain ( primitive side of our brain controlling fight or flight) tends to take over. If an individual has the potential to stop an attacker from killing themselves or loved ones ( in this case a student) then they will most likely kill said individual, even if it is one of their own students. The teacher may not want to harm said student ( I certainly hope not) but out of protection of the larger group, they will hopefully not hesitate. Another point my opponent made was " Also, the legal implacations of a teacher shooting the shooter could be complicated." I highly doubt that ' legal implications' are going through the teacher's mind as they are being shot at. I will not address the qualifying factors of a carrier as I have already addressed them above. There is the possibility that the student will shoot the teacher if the teacher pulls out a gun, and there is a distinct possibility that the student will miss. There is a high likely hood that the student on the shooting rampage has never touched a gun prior in their life. However, it is a guarantee that the teacher whom is carrying a firearm has. This difference in skill could give a crucial advantage to the teacher whom most likely has more experience then the student.
As for solvency. I did forget to mention this in my last round, my apologies. your own argument can be turned against you. Observe " Members of the National Rifle Association said the gaurdian plan would have little effect, they only expect a handful of districts to take advantage of the laws.' If a plan to arm teachers would have little effect, what is the point in putting it in to place. " If you notice, the reason why the NRA said the guardian plan would have little effect was because only a handful of districts would take advantage of it. If more districts were too take advantage of these laws, then we could expect more positive effects to take place. Also, the list of how only 297 children have died from school shootings ( were not sure how many teachers have died, I bet that would crank the number up) since 1980, may seem small for thirty years, when in actuality, this number has been rising in the last 30 years. I have records below. And since Newtown, we have had 44 mass school shootings. this number is not stagnant it is increasing and our current security systems are failing too much. It is time that we arm the teachers so that they may not become victims to what ever malevolent peoples may lurking and be able to defend themselves, their class, and their schools for when no one else can. Vote for everyone's favorite conservative, gun totting, bible thumping, right wing extremist nut. And vote pro.
I will begin by going over the major arguments made in the round; I will then move on to some key voting issues.
Alternatives to prevent shootings: Dropped. I will address this in the voting issues.
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