Since the shooting in Connecticut two camps have emerged. The first camp are those who demand stricter gun control laws and the second camp are those who demand loosening current gun control laws. I’m firmly in the second camp. As I’ve continued to advocate for the elimination of legally established gun-free zones I’ve heard many arguments against allowing those who can carry firearms to do so on school grounds. Most of these arguments are rather absurd.
Some proponents of gun control claim that students will wrestle guns from teachers and begin shooting their fellow students. This argument is irrelevant because, as these school shootings have demonstrated, students wanting to shoot fellow students are already brining guns into schools. In addition to that fact it’s unlikely that students will know which teachers are carrying. Another common argument against legalizing carry on school grounds is the concern about negligent discharges. Again this argument holds almost no water because negligent discharges can only happen if a firearm is removed from its holster. What reason would a teacher have to remove their firearm from its holster unless there was an active shooting? It’s not like a teacher is going to pull their gun out to show the kids. Other opponents to legalizing carry on school grounds claim teachers won’t have sufficient training to properly engage an active shooter. This claim, like the previously mentioned ones, is almost entirely irrelevant. If you look at the history of these mass shootings the shooter almost always commits suicide upon meeting any form of armed resistance. In a vast majority of cases a teacher wouldn’t have had to engage the shooter, they would have simply needed to present a firearm and the shooter would have committed suicide.
This brings us to the point I want to make. What would legalizing carry on school grounds do? The first and most important thing it would do is reduce response times. When an active shooting occurs they usually last until armed resistance arrives. Usually armed resistance comes in the form of police officers. Unfortunately police are unable to appear instantly when a shooting begins so the shooter has free reign for several minutes. Arming teachers would allow response times to be lowered from minutes to seconds. Having an individual on site able to present armed resistance would mean an almost immediate response could be available. During an active shooting response time is the most important factor since, as I mentioned above, shooters often commit suicide upon meeting any armed resistance. Furthermore even if the shooter doesn’t commit suicide upon meeting armed resistance their attention will likely be diverted to the armed resister and not directed at the children.
In addition to reducing response times legalizing carry on school grounds would raise the cost of performing shootings on school grounds. Since schools are legal gun-free zones those with murder in their hearts know that they are almost guaranteed several minutes of free reign before armed resistance arrives. This makes schools relatively cheap targets for wannabe murderers. The low cost of performing violence on school grounds is a likely factor for the frequency at which mass shootings occur on school grounds. Most mass shootings seem to take place in legal gun-free zones. Knowing that there could be armed teachers or faculty members on school grounds increases the odds of encountering armed resistance from almost nothing to highly probable. Increasing the cost of performing violence will likely lead to a reduced rate of violence being committed.
Legalizing carry on school grounds stands a real chance of deterring mass shootings at schools. Unlike gun control, which relies on murders obeying the law, legalizing carry on school grounds doesn’t rely on the behavior of murders. Instead legalizing carry on school grounds merely erects a barrier between school grounds and those wanting to commit violent acts on those grounds. It’s a far more intelligent response to school shootings than enacting more laws for murderers to ignore.