Teacher training in America
Pen, marker on paper, digital retouching
Eric Bourdon © 2018
Excerpts below are selected from an article by German Lopez published on Vox.com : www.vox.com/…/armed-teachers-gun-violence-mass-shootings (2018/03/20)
“The case against arming teachers”
More “good guys with guns” wouldn’t be enough
– and would likely make a lot of problems worse.
President Donald Trump and other lawmakers have landed on an old idea for preventing school shootings : putting more armed personnel – including teachers with guns – in schools.
The fundamental problem in the US is there are so many guns already in circulation. This makes it easier for any conflict to quickly escalate into a form of gun violence – and, as a result, the US has more shootings than its developed peers. So if more guns are added into circulation, it would very likely lead to more gun violence.
Stopping a mass shooting is hard, even with firearms training
In Trump’s comments about arming teachers, he’s suggested that this would be an easy way to end mass shootings quickly. He previously tweeted, “History shows that a school shooting lasts, on average, 3 minutes. It takes police & first responders approximately 5 to 8 minutes to get to site of crime. Highly trained, gun adept, teachers/coaches would solve the problem instantly, before police arrive. GREAT DETERRENT!”
Reality, however, is more complicated : Even when people are armed, that doesn’t mean they can properly respond to a mass shooting.
Multiple simulations have demonstrated that most people, if placed in an active shooter situation while armed, will not be able to stop the situation, and may in fact do little more than get themselves killed in the process.
The FBI’s analysis of active shooters between 2000 and 2013 has another relevant data point: “Law enforcement suffered casualties in 21 (46.7%) of the 45 incidents where they engaged the shooter to end the threat.” These are people trained to do this kind of thing full time, and nearly half of incidents resulted in at least one officer being wounded or killed. Teachers with limited training would very likely fare much worse.
That’s if armed personnel even respond. According to the local sheriff, the armed school resource officer for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School heard gunfire during the shooting but didn’t go in. Even with proper training and a weapon, the officer stalled – and allowed the shooting to continue for about four to six minutes as he stood outside the building.
If America wants to confront its gun violence problem, then, the research suggests it should look to reducing the number of guns in circulation – not putting more armed people into schools.