In the wake of a mass shooting that has left 17 students and teachers dead, on the year of the 19th anniversary of Columbine, 6 years after Sandy Hook, it is more important now than it has ever been for teachers voices to be heard when it comes to gun control.
I don't want to have a gun.
I don't want to have to be in the position to shoot a former student, current student, or even a child a do not know at all.
I am not attending college and getting my degree to be obligated to carry a weapon I don't want to carry at all.
Carrying a weapon is not something that I am interested in doing, but don't misunderstand me - I do not care if you do. If you would like to have a gun in your home and you want to have a gun in your car because it makes you feel safe, please do what you want and as long as it is legal I will not be upset about it.
Putting a gun into the classroom is only going to intimidate my students and I, but having a security guard or police officer in the building constantly that has one won't.
The difference between that officer holding a gun in case of an emergency and me, the teacher, holding a gun is that the officer was trained to handle situations in the safest manner for everyone involved, while I was not. I was trained in educating students effectively, and writing lesson plans that will make students turn out to have a successful suture.
I was not trained in firing a deadly weapon over a crowd of people to hit one person — but a public safety official was.
I also became an educator to HELP students, not HURT them. I don't want to be put in the position of possibly shooting one of my students. That is an unfair spot to put me in, when better mental health screenings and assistance, along with professionally trained safety officers would be sufficient help.
I completely understand that I am supposed to educate them and protect them with my life, but I don't need a gun to do that.
Along with the students that were killed in Parkland, Sandy Hook, and Columbine — several were saved and the teachers didn't do it with guns. Bulletproof glass, metal doors, metal detectors... those are the safety choices we should be making. Another safety choice we could make without guns is taking mental health seriously. The people that are able to walk into a school and kill innocent students are not mentally stable. They needed help and no one did anything about it. They went under the radar, and people died.
The answer is not arming teachers, it's arming a school. Arm the school with people willing to help, arm the school with safety professionals, arm the school with protective barriers in case of a serious emergency. Do not put weapons in the hands of people that want to change the world, you cannot fight violence with violence.