Hey, teachers: pick up an AR-15 for the new school year

Hey, teachers: pick up an AR-15 for the new school year

Feb. 14 saw tragic headlines that have become far too familiar for Americans. Seventeen high-schoolers were shot and killed by a AR-15 rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida—the 63rd school shooting since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre of 2012 that left 27 dead, 20 of them  children between the ages of 6 and 7.

Since the Parkland shooting, the gun debate has intensified as Republican legislators and members of the National Rifle Association (NRA) face increasing backlash from survivors of the shooting and other students prompted by the trending movement, “Never Again.” In response to the backlash, head of the NRA Wayne LaPierre suggested a controversial solution to school shootings: instead of eradicating guns or taking any serious measures to control their sales, we should increase their numbers by arming teachers and training them to operate guns. As LaPierre put it, “to stop a bad guy with a gun, it takes a good guy with a gun.”

Because clearly, as evidenced from the amount of shootings we have, Americans don’t have enough guns. Despite the fact that Americans consist of around 5 percent of the world’s population yet own nearly half of the guns around the globe (according to the Congressional Research Service), we need more. It’s time to fight fire with fire.

Florida’s House and Senate Appropriations Committee took LaPierre’s suggestion into practice, as Feb. 27, they approved a bill to create a “school marshal” program, costing around $67 million. According to a report by The Washington Post, this money is to be used for training teachers to use weapons and allowing them to carry weapons in school districts where the superintendent agrees to the plan.

So to congressmen and educators: I urge you to take advantage of this. Clearly, the only way for schools to get sufficient government funding isn’t through test scores that fall behind the rest of the world, but pushes from the powerful NRA for their interest in maintaining their $435 million yearly revenue.

Some teachers have expressed reluctance towards the idea of keeping guns in their classrooms, due partially to the fact that increasing the number of guns has been proven to lead to more gun deaths, as found from studies done  by the United Nations. Districts should fire these teachers, because clearly, they do not care enough about the students’ lives. It doesn’t matter that Feb. 28, one day after Florida approved the “school marshal” bill, a teacher in Georgia shot a handgun in his classroom, leading to an evacuation. This plan is foolproof, and teachers who don’t believe the NRA and their heroic interest in the safety of students should be fired immediately.

The money saved from firing such teachers should be funneled into pushing the school marshal program one step further. Instead of just arming teachers, let’s arm students. If every student is armed, there is no risk that a mass shooter could not be stopped. We can cut useless departments, such as math and history, and instead require arms-training courses for all students of all ages (the younger, the better, as many pro-gun advocates argue there are benefits to teaching young children to shoot guns).

Some companies, including Guard Dog Security and Leatherback Gear, have also begun selling bulletproof backpacks. Although a noble pursuit, we should take this innovation one step further, and start making bulletproof kids. After all, it is the 21st century. Without any kids to shoot, school shooters will simply be out of options.

In addition, instead of training the U.S. military to protect us against foreign forces, we should employ at least three military commanders at each school—possibly more. Instead of teaching during ROTC class, students enrolled should just guard the school alongside these military commanders. Eventually, when trained, the ROTC students can also take part in defending the school by purchasing their own AR-15 rifles to bring to class. Certainly, students will feel much safer with this prospect. This would certainly help boost the NRA’s revenue, as each of these commanders would need to bring a collection of assault weapons while on duty. Boosting the NRA’s revenue would subsequently better the nation as the NRA has been a huge proponent of many of these life-saving tactics. In addition, seeing as the NRA single-handedly funds many congressmen, boosting their revenue would ensure the re-election of those valued congressmen. Sure, there may be accidents—stolen guns, missed targets, mistaking a graphing calculator as a gun—but the lives spared will far outweigh the lives potentially lost. Additionally, if we manage to cut the science department as well, we may have enough money spared to provide quality training for the commanders, eradicating these potential accidents.

Not only is it effective, but the solution to arm teachers has already gained the support of the NRA and our president. After all, it, along with my additions, would be much easier, and far more realistic than placing any kinds of restrictions on guns.