Scottsdale students: giving more people more guns is just going to create more havoc

Scottsdale students Kaitlyn Crane and Rachel Zimmerman who attend the 8th grade at Copper Ridge. (Submitted photo)

“How would you feel if you knew some adults in your school were carrying concealed weapons?” asks Natalie Proulx, a staff editor for the New York Times and a language arts teacher.

Currently, the U.S. is debating whether or not they should arm their teachers with guns to “protect” their students. One side thinks that guns will help the teachers by injuring an attacker.

The other side thinks adding more guns will create more of a problem and that gun control is the answer to this problem. At least for us, as students, having guns in our school would make us feel even more unsafe and it would carry heavy burdens on the teachers.

There are safer ways to prevent more school shootings than giving more guns to people. In fact, it might be the worst possible idea — ever — to give guns to teachers.

Giving teachers the responsibility of a gun is an extreme burden on them that they may not want to have. Teachers have to make sure that they keep track of the gun and keep it out of the hands of others.

“Others have pointed out other problems with the idea, such as the possibility that teachers might leave their guns in unlocked desk drawers, and that schools would have the extra burden of ensuring that teachers are safe to carry guns.”

Teachers already have a tremendous responsibility to prepare their students for the future, and giving them a highly dangerous weapon to keep safe will just add more weight to their shoulders. They have to keep it safe and make sure that it does not get lost. There is also the huge burden of what they would have to do if there was an intruder.

“I’m not a police officer, I am an English teacher. My job is to nurture the kids that I teach and I don’t want to have to worry about if I would have what it takes to use a gun on an intruder,” says our Copper Ridge 8th grade English teacher, Casey Kadavy.

No teacher deserves to have to deal with the stress of handling a gun.

What if the gun ends up in the wrong hands? What if the hands it ends up in are the hands of a student? Lorraine Stein-Wiener of Rancho Palos Verdes worries, “Not all teachers can even keep track of their own cell phones or their students’ work; imagine if you give them a gun. Heck, if these kids can hack computers at schools so easily, what would stop them from going after guns?”

As we have seen from the recent shooting in Florida, it was not a grown man who was the shooter, it was a 19-year-old, Nikolas Cruz. He was a former student at the school that he attacked. According to CNN, “‘The FBI said the caller provided information about ‘Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting.’”

The fact that it was a teenager who was the shooter should show people that if guns end up in the hands of another troubled student, incidents just like the one at Stoneman Douglas High School could occur. Also, as students, if guns were given to the teachers at our school, we would not feel like we were in a safe environment. Giving guns to teachers makes a lot of students feel unsafe.

There are multiple ways to help solve the problem of school shootings that don’t involve giving teachers guns.

Mary Cathryn Rider, the president for St. Paul Federation of Teachers, powerfully expresses:

“You want to arm me? Good. Then arm me with a school psychologist at my school who has time to do more than test and sit in meetings about testing. Arm me with enough counselors so we can build skills to prevent violence, have meaningful discussions with students about their future and not merely frantically adjust student schedules like a Jenga game. Arm me with social workers who can thoughtfully attend to a student’s and her family’s needs so I. Can. Teach.”

This quote so thoughtfully communicates how many people are feeling all around our country. Adding guns to the school environment is not going to help get rid of school shooters. Rider explains how counselors and psychologists could help more than arming teachers with guns.

Giving more people more guns is just going to create more havoc.

Teachers have a lot on their plates already and adding the extra stress of a gun will have a negative affect. Teachers will also be left with the burden of having to harm and even kill an intruder if they were to come across a teacher.

There is also the possibility that a student will get it and use it against the school. No teacher should have to deal with this when there are better ways to solve the problem of school shootings. Things like arming schools with better resources and staff, can be done instead. Teachers should not be left with the responsibility of guns.
Just let them teach.

Editor’s note: Kaitlyn and Rachel are 8th graders at Copper Ridge Middle School in north Scottsdale

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