The modern world has many tensions and much violence. While Americans often can’t control fighting abroad, I hope that we can take steps to curb violence in our own country. Recently, gunmen have attacked many educational institutions and killed people. I’m frustrated that we are not trying harder to control the spread of guns and that we have not passed laws that make it illegal to carry a gun outside the home unless one is hunting. Even loaded guns inside of homes are problems: people are often maimed or killed in homes by impulsive or accidental shootings.
Some commentators have suggested arming teachers in schools. I taught college courses for 35 years, and I also taught grades four through eight in religious schools. My job was to teach composition, literature, creative writing, linguistics, and women’s studies and to teach students to think more analytically and more creatively. I believe that having guns in classrooms is a terrible idea. What if a teacher misses and shoots the wrong student? What if students find hidden guns and start shooting other students and teachers? What if a teacher explodes and starts firing at someone who has irritated him or her? All of us have moments when we lose control. However, we need to make sure that guns are not around when we experience meltdowns.
Schools need to be safe so that young people can learn and grow and develop social skills. If students fear gun violence in the educational system, how can they flourish?
Originally posted on June 14, 2014