Over the last decade, school shootings have become common in the country. Each time such acts of violence occur, they claim more than a dozen of lives. In most cases, children and teachers are defenseless and at the mercy of perpetrators. The current state of affairs has had some states contemplating on whether to introduce guns in schools for protection, a move that has been vehemently opposed by left-wing politicians. With such outright divisions in opinion, it is prudent to look at the current law governing guns in schools.
The Current Law
The Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 currently makes it illegal for an individual to carry a firearm to school or within 1000 feet of a school. Some state legislators are reviewing this legislation in a bid to allow permit holders to bring firearms to school. Proponents argue that people should protect themselves in school just like they do throughout the state.
Why schools should NOT be gun free zones
While most people will argue otherwise, the situation in our schools now calls for decisive action on our current guns legislation. Here are a few reasons why it makes sense to have guns in schools
Lesser Violent Shootings
Revoking the gun ban in schools would make our institutions safer. When a school instructor is armed, they will offer protection to potential victims who would otherwise be defenseless against shooters. Secondly, allowing concealed guns in schools will make attackers think twice before attacking learners thus decreasing violent incidences.
Right to carry laws decrease violent attacks.
In his book, The bias against guns, Dr. John Lott, a leading economist argues that schools were safer before the current legislation was introduced. He cites statistics between 1977 to 1989 where states that had passed the right to carry law witnessed a 60% decrease in school gun violence. Also, there was a 78% reduction in fatalities that occur from such attacks. With such statistics, it is clear that the ban on guns fueled attackers’ resolve to attack schools. It is also clear that a reasonable and law-abiding citizen harboring a gun can help reinforce security.
There were lesser shootings before “Gun Free Zones.”
Before the year 1995, teachers in some stated did have the ability to bring guns to schools. Student shootings increased after the ban on guns was implemented. Supporting this fact via digital survivors, David Thweatt of Harrold Independent School District, the sole school district that permits teachers to carry concealed guns argues, “When the government made passed the gun ban legislation, that’s the shootings commenced. Does it make sense to make it public that a group of individuals are not able to themselves?” Harrold Independent School district promotes proper gun training for teachers and has had no incidences of violent shootings.
Teachers with guns offer the first line of defense.
This school of thought has received overwhelming support from a lot of state legislatures in the country. For example in Arizona, there is a bill that has been tabled seeking to repeal gun free zones and allow teachers to be the first line of defense. Proponents argue that the purpose of the guns is not to scare away children or other school workers but to offer much-needed protection. With proper gun training and discipline, teachers can reinforce the school’s security.
Back to Arizona, Senator Jack Harper, the drafter of the bill argues that attackers target schools because they know they are defenseless. He further argues that, if the attackers know that law-abiding citizens in the school carry guns then they will not unleash terror on our children.
The debate around schools as gun free zones is, by all means, controversial at the moment. However, looking critically at the recent development in our schools, this is definitely a national conversation that we should have. We can start by entertaining the idea that law-abiding citizens can carry concealed guns and use them appropriately. After all, we live in a country where we use guns to protect our businesses and homes. Why not make the same sacrifice for the safety of school going children?