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Guns on Campus? Life-Saving or Potential for Disaster?

On July 1, laws permitting concealed firearms on college campuses went into effect in Georgia and Kansas.

Expanding gun rights, not just on college campuses, but on elementary and high school campuses as well, is a controversial topic. Some say it may have helped save lives. During the Virginia Tech shooting on April 16, 2007, for example, 32 people were murdered. Proponents of campus carry say if students had been armed, they may have been able to stop the shooter, resulting in fewer casualties. Many say the same regarding teachers or administrators at the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on December 14, 2012. Twenty children were fatally shot as well as six staff members. No one is suggesting that children carry firearms, but if some teachers and administrators were trained and armed, could that save lives?

Schools are soft targets for killers. Many have good security, but that security is no match for an armed madman. What if these killers knew they would be met with an armed staff? Would they even attempt a massacre at all? Would it be a deterrent?  

Eighteen states allow adults to carry a loaded gun on campus provided they have permission from the principal or school board.

An Ohio nonprofit is training educators to fire a gun, keep it safe and prevent tragedy in the classroom. Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response (FASTER) sprung from concern by parents, safety experts and law enforcement over classroom shootings. So far hundreds of educators in Ohio and Colorado have completed FASTER’s program.  

According to FASTER’s website: The program offers a carefully-structured curriculum offering more than 26 hours of hands-on training over a 3-day class that exceeds the requirements of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy.

The purpose is not to replace police and EMT, but to allow teachers, administrators, and other personnel on-site to stop school violence rapidly and render medical aid immediately.

When violence strikes and students’ lives are on the line, every second matters. Faster response is better response.

Opponents of gun-toting teachers are naturally concerned about firearms getting into the hands of students. Some say having guns within reach of children is tantamount to an invitation for children to obtain the teachers’ firearms. Some parents and students will no doubt be uncomfortable with a gun in the classroom. And what of the instance where an educator needs to break up a tense situation or melee in the school? Would the teacher pull out their gun to subdue the students? The scenarios are worth pondering. These would not be trained law officers, but teachers trained in a matter of days.

And so the question remains: Will guns in the classroom make our children safer from the rare classroom shooting occurrence, however tragic, or put them at more of a danger day-to-day?  

Let us know what you think! Please leave your comments below.

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