Teachers and guns don't mix | Letters
February 1, 2013 · Updated 3:27 PM
There is a GOP bill that allows teachers to carry concealed weapons, accepted in Utah and Texas, but rejected in Colorado.
Arming teachers with guns creates a potentially dangerous situation. A recent Time Magazine article notes that "even cops aren't trained well enough to engage in gunfights. It's not enough to just carry a gun; a gun is only as good as its user's training."
Picture a gun in the hands of a novice unexpectedly confronted by a deranged person determined to kill anyone in sight. A Rand study conducted in the New York City Police Department found that supposedly trained individuals hit intended targets only 18 percent of the time. Misdirected bullets can kill the innocent bystanders that they were meant to protect. Besides, the sight of a challenger will only serve to agitate the aggressor to act more aggressively.
There is no way to predict how one's brain will respond in a life or death confrontation. The brain could freeze, immobilizing the defender. Not everyone experiences the adrenaline surge we read about. The situation can only escalate to a disastrous end.
A safer and saner alternative is the use of non-lethal electro-shock weapons, which temporarily immobilize the aggressor until trained help arrives. These devices stop the villain in his tracks without causing permanent damage or death. These include taser and stun guns that are approved in most Washington state districts and capable of emitting thousands of volt charges.
They are inexpensive, require little training, and available on the Internet. These devices are hidden inside cameras, cellphones and flashlights, and meet the restrictions of carrying concealed weapons. Consider the cost savings this encompasses for schools where there are no security people on site.
Keep our schools as centers for learning and not gun battle sites.
Liz Pribble, former educator, Northeast Tacoma