Arming School Teachers Is A Distraction

Thinking back to my days in school and remembering the teachers that I had, I have lots of mixed feelings about them possibly carrying guns. Most were sweet ladies in grade school. Most of the men in grade school were pricks or wannabe principles. Most of the men in Junior high and High school were better and the women were very nice overall. But come on some of these teachers were way too overwhelmed with the demands that the State testing requirements and after school obligations put upon them. Teachers don’t get paid enough to also serve as armed guards. But in all fairness to those of you that think it’s a good idea for teachers to be armed let’s examine the pros and cons. In these times when we value the military much higher than education, is this a wise use of limited funds in education ? Why not use the limited funds that we are willing to allocate to saving our kids lives to the areas that actually kill the most of our children and it ain’t school shootings not even close. We already have a trained and armed militia in the National Guard. We could use them in our schools.

Our children are our country’s future, and we as a society need to recognize when they are in trouble. This disturbing trend should be a wake-up call that mental health services, injury prevention, gun safety and ongoing efforts to improve car and driver safety need support, attention, and financial resources In general, the leading causes of death among adolescents ages 15 to 19 in the United States are unintentional injuries such as car crash-related injuries, followed by suicide and homicide, according to the CDC.

Children aged 1-4 years

  • Accidents (unintentional injuries)
  • Congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities
  • Assault (Homicide)

Children aged 5-14 years

  • Accidents (unintentional injuries)
  • Cancer
  • Intentional self-harm (suicide)

Saving the lives of our children is our first concern or should be. And yes School Shootings are in everyone’s mind but this is due to the newsworthiness of such outrageous acts.

Arming teachers isn’t just a ridiculous idea. It’s a deliberate distraction.

It’s impossible to say what is truly in the NRA and Trump’s hearts and minds here or what their motivations could be. But it’s true that the discussion over arming teachers pushes the debate in the favor of those who want to keep the status quo of lax gun laws.

As we all concentrate on this, we leave aside other issues that the NRA would rather not talk about — from universal background checks to gun bans to confiscation schemes like Australia’s. So the ridiculous discussion sucks up the oxygen during the few weeks in which there’s a window to do something about guns, nothing happens, and the current situation remains.

This is also true about the focus on mental health care. Every time there’s a mass shooting, gun rights activists — including Republicans and the NRA — argue that the real problem behind mass shootings is the shooter’s mental health. As my colleague Dylan Matthews explained, that’s a very questionable claim — given that the US doesn’t have a monopoly on mental health issues but does have a monopoly on tremendous levels of gun ownership.

But even if you accept the premise that mental health is a major driver of America’s gun problem, with the exception of some individual lawmakers, Republicans are not the party proposing big boosts to mental health care in the US.

Quite the opposite: They spent much of last year trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), which expanded access to mental health care by getting people insurance that would pay for it. Trump’s budget in particular wouldn’t just eliminate Obamacare, it would also slash funding to other mental health programs — with the National Institute of Mental Health in particular seeing a 30 percent reduction in funding.

So why else would Republicans and the NRA bring up mental health? Because it lets them shift the conversation from guns. So, again, in the few weeks there’s a discussion over this issue, they can stay away from the topics that could lead to changes they don’t like.

We see this again and again. And it works. So the US continues doing little to nothing on guns, and horrific tragedies keep happening.

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