This post originally appeared on News Cult; since they apparently didn’t pay their hosting fees, I’m reposting it here.
Last week’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida has left the country searching for answers.
Thus far, however, no acceptable solutions have been presented. (Except, of course, for the obvious ones, which inevitably prompt Second Amendment acolytes to say No no, not that answer, another one, one that doesn’t require people to relinquish their God-given right to play Bang-Bang Cowboy in the woods.)
Fortunately, our country is led by a shit-for-brains whose extensive experience as the father of two trophy-hunting scumbags (three if you count Ivanka, heyoooo). And our dumb as hell president has just the ticket to solve all these pesky school shootings: Arm the teachers.
Needless to say, it won’t work. Here’s why.
It’s A Dumb Tactical Move
From a purely strategic standpoint, giving teachers guns is a piss-poor idea.
Trump has attempted to buttress this idea by saying that “only 20%” of teachers would actually have concealed weapons. In Trump’s mind, I assume, that element of surprise would further deter would-be school shooters from carrying out their plans.
First of all: no it wouldn’t. It would simply mean that school shooters would be sure to arm themselves with an even larger arsenal and/or wear protective gear. Because what school shootings really need is not just a maniac wielding an AR-15 — it’s a maniac wielding an AR-15 and wearing this.
Plus, what happens when an actual school shooting starts? Are we really expecting a teacher armed with a pistol to confront someone toting a literal weapon of war? Some cops feel overmatched against an AR-15; in fact, police officers in South Carolina have started bringing their own AR-15s to work, because they’re so concerned that their department-issued shotguns won’t be enough to stop someone with an AR-15.
Finally, if a school shooting did occur, how would the police know that the teacher blindly a pistol is actually a teacher?
Armed Guards Don’t Deter Anyone
If the Columbine school shooting in 1999 should have taught us anything, it’s that most mass shooters carry out their plans fully expecting not to live through them.
Pulse Nightclub, the site of the 2016 mass shooting that killed 49 people and wounded 58 others, had armed security. The Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, where Stephen Paddock set up his arsenal to gun down 58 concertgoers, has, to quote Ocean’s Eleven, enough armed personnel to occupy Paris. Fort Hood, the site of two mass shootings — one in 2009, which killed 13 people, and one in 2014, which killed three people — is an Army base.
Arming teachers only sounds like an effective deterrent for would-be murderers if you believe that someone willing to shoot up a school full of innocent children is rational enough to perform a cost-benefit analysis. In other words, it only sounds effective if you’re an idiot.
Teachers Aren’t Qualified To Carry Weapons
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School had an armed deputy on campus; the deputy did not act when the shooting started. Nobody can say for sure why, although Trump seems to think it’s because the deputy “didn’t have the courage” and “doesn’t love the children.” (This has been your periodic reminder that Donald Trump is a thoroughly detestable human being.) The exact reason for the deputy’s inaction will probably remain a mystery to everyone except the deputy, but it’s entirely feasible that the deputy either felt overmatched or simply froze when it happened.
If a person with extensive training specifically for such situations wasn’t able to act, whatever the reason, from where are we drawing the conclusion that a teacher would perform much better in a similar situation? More to the point…
Schools Aren’t Fucking Prisons
Many of the politicians supporting this argument do so by using some form of the argument that our precious children should be able to learn in peace. What these politicians — whose own children are either grown, attend private schools, or have some form of personal security — haven’t once acknowledged is that schools with armed guards, bars on the windows, and a local police force with itchy trigger fingers just a few minutes away aren’t schools at all. They’re prisons.
Writer Rob Whisman summed it up best:
And last but not least:
This Solution Only Addresses School Shootings
School shootings capture the most media attention because the victims — children — are universally sympathetic figures.
It’s a bizarre line to draw in the sand, because it implicitly argues that adult victims of mass shootings are somehow less innocent than children; moreover, it argues that shitty adults deserve to die by a random stranger’s hail of gunfire.
Even as just a solution for school shootings, Trump’s proposal is breathtakingly empty-headed. What makes it worse is that it does absolutely nothing to address the mass shooting epidemic in America writ large; in fact, Trump’s proposal reframes the debate, casting school shootings as bad and every other kind of violent massacre as “Eh, that’s America for ya. POBODY’S NERFECT.”
Innocent people are being gunned down across the country: in nightclubs, at outdoor concerts, on military bases, at church, you name it. No mass shooting should be acceptable, regardless of the setting in which it takes place.
A natural outgrowth of Trump’s proposal for schools will be that everyone has to carry guns at all times, and if they don’t, it’s their own damn fault. I don’t want to live my day-to-day life like a character in a fucking John Woo film, waiting for a gun battle to break out at any moment.