Rep. Agema’s Bill to Put Guns in Schools

Before you read what follows, you might want to read the following article:
Will Guns Make Schools Safer?

If it disappears on you (and it likely will after a few days), here’s the gist of it. Michigan State Representative David Agema (R-Grandville) introduced a bill last week that would allow teachers to have
a gun in school.

As an added bonus, it would also allow parents to carry concealed weapons while transporting their children to and from school.

Interestingly, all the school officials and school security guards interviewed are against the bill.

Agema’s reasoning (according to the Grand Rapids Press) appears to be that it will make terrorists and potential school shooters think twice before targeting Michigan schools.

In all honesty, it seems like a horrible idea to me and not just slightly horrible, but actually horrible in a way that tempts me to make hyperbolic statements about Representative Agema.

Rude hyperbolic statements.

I’m not going to do that, however, because from what I understand he’s a decent guy. In this case, however, he’s a decent guy who’s come up with a really bad idea.

If you’ll forgive me, I’ll run through the reasons I think it’s a bad idea:

Teachers are Teachers and Not SWAT Teams: Changing That Will Be Expensive
1. While the article mentions that teachers will receive special weapons training, I can’t help but be curious about the details of that. Simply knowing how to fire a weapon at a target would not be enough.

Off the top of my head, I’d want them to know the following: small unit tactics so that they can coordinate with other gun carrying teachers, enough knowledge of police techniques that they don’t interfere with police efforts, weapons knowledge (of course), and regular refresher courses so that they don’t forget what they’ve learned.

I can’t help but think that this might be expensive. If so, I wonder if the money might be better spent on educating children as opposed to, you know, shooting them.

Mind you, they might not go with anything near as extensive as the sort of training that I’d argue for. In that case, my other objections come out in full force…

Putting More Guns Into the Mix Doesn’t Automatically Improve the Situation
2. Teachers that aren’t coordinating with the police might accidentally get into firefights with the police.

3. Also teachers that aren’t coordinating with each other might get into firefights with each other.

4. Teachers that miss their intended targets might hit students that aren’t involved.

5. The parents who might be carrying concealed weapons to school aren’t required to take any additional training at all. As such, the previous points apply to them as well.

6. Instead of making it harder for students to commit crimes, it might make it easier for them to obtain guns–if they know which of their teachers are carrying them.

Can We Solve an Improbable Situation By Sprinkling Our Schools Randomly With Guns?
7. By encouraging teachers and parents to bring guns to school, it seems that we’re replacing something improbable with a more concrete problem.

Specifically what I mean by that is that terrorist attacks and school shootings (though well publicized when they happen) are uncommon.

By contrast, people do shoot themselves (or others) accidentally while cleaning a gun or even by pulling the trigger too early. During deer season, it seems that someone almost always gets shot instead of a deer.

People also sometimes misinterpret people’s intentions. To put it another way, the more nervous people you have carrying guns and looking for school shooters (or terrorists), the more likely that someone is going to mistake an innocent occurrence for something more sinister.

Police are trained in procedures to follow to determine whether it’s wise to shoot or not (and how to avoid shooting).

The general public is not.

Do you know what? The police still make mistakes despite their training. I’m not excited about finding out whether the general public will do better without it.

4 thoughts on “Rep. Agema’s Bill to Put Guns in Schools”

  1. You seem to be stuck on the idea of using teachers as special forces. In the past, teachers have used guns in school shooting incidents to quickly take down the crazy. I suggest you look at past examples of where this has worked and gone wrong before mouthing off about tactics.

  2. I’m not looking at tactics. I’m looking at strategy/policy.

    I’m saying that making the educators responsible for “taking down crazies” is bad policy. They’re never going to be as good at it as a security guard/policeman who is trained to do it.

    Individual teachers might be capable of it, but the general group won’t. Worse, some that think they’re capable might be horribly wrong. As things stand, this bill makes it a completely self selecting group. While I’m willing to give ex-military/ex-police the benefit of the doubt, I’m not as willing to extend that doubt to “Joe Random Citizen With a Gun.”

    If you’ve got some examples of places that allow their teachers to take guns to school and have successfully protected students while not having problems with the misuse of guns, I’ll be interested to hear it.

  3. I think that the entire idea is crazy..The rules are no guns in schools..But there making an exception.. that if you have special training (if your a teacher)you can bring a gun to school. Training cannot stop a trigger happy teacher.I am a high school student and would feel very unsafe knowing that my teachers have guns.. In my school it would be more likely for a teacher to shoots someone than a student.. A teacher could also use it as a threat.. Honestly you cant trust all teachers these days i think the idea is horrific and completely dangerous.. A student could figure out where they hid the gun and easily get it if the teacher left the room. The teacher could also accidentaly get it unlocked. I know im playen what if.. but really think!!!

  4. If a security gaurd or police man would be a better situation.. Then double up on them. Honestly theve been really trained for it.. That would be and investment.. unlike holding a class for teachers to learn how to shoot..

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