Thoughts on having teachers carry loaded weapons | Letter

The Second Amendment was written by men who were fearful of a powerful federal government.

Part of my reaction is rational:

1) The Second Amendment (“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed”) was written by men who were fearful of a powerful federal government, to sanction the keeping of firearms by members of well-regulated state militias. The Virginians were particularly concerned to preserve their “slave patrols,” something we might prefer not to remember. Much of our problem is that the amendment has been construed as a blanket liberty to own and carry firearms without training and with minimal regulation. Clearly, I am not convinced that the NRA’s interpretation of the Second Amendment is a correct reading of the minds of those who wrote it, or of a growing portion of the general public.

2) Teachers are not typically members of a well-regulated militia. As a body, teachers are not experts in armed combat.

3) Arming teachers greatly increases the imbalance of power in the learning environment.

4) The presence of weapons tends to increase the likelihood of serious injury and death in any environment where they are present.

Part of my reaction is personal and emotional:

I spent formative years in war ravaged countries. My personal experience with sexual abuse and domestic violence has sharpened my awareness of how an imbalance of power makes people, including women and children, more vulnerable to abuse. Though I’ve worked on my PTSD, I still feel unsafe in the presence of people bearing arms, and cringe whenever I hear gunfire.

Putting all this together, I would not be comfortable working in a school with a gun-toting faculty, nor would I want to send my children or grandchildren into such an environment. I suspect that many refugee families here would feel the same way.

Elizabeth Maupin