Should Teachers Take Firearms Training?

Should teachers take firearms training and what are the potential consequences of an educator having a gun? Dozens of school shootings happen every year. High schools were once the most common target, but now elementary and middle schools are seemingly unsafe. Likewise, these tragedies unfold as public officials offer “thoughts and prayers” yet fail to take legislative action. One of the most common solutions proposed by lawmakers is arming educators with firearms. Though some say this would be an effective antidote to gun violence, many others point out that raising the number of guns in schools may increase the risk of shootings. Learn about the pros and cons of this potential policy.

Pro: Could Minimize Fatalities

The possible benefit most commonly cited by proponents of arming teachers is the potential to minimize the fatalities from a shooting. Indeed, it’s likely that an armed teacher may be able to engage an active shooter and stop them from continuing to shoot. The saying goes, “the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” To achieve this outcome, teachers would need extensive training in handling a gun and effectively hitting a target.

Con: Teachers May Not Have the Skills

Critics of the aforementioned benefit insist that armed teachers may not be skilled enough to use a gun in an active shooter crisis effectively. Given the extensive training that an educator would need to complete to become a skilled gunman, it is possible that they would not be able to stop an active shooter — even if they were armed. Research shows that police, who undergo extensive firearm training, only hit their target a fraction of the time. It’s questionable whether teachers with less training would have better success.

Pro: Guns May Be a Deterrent

Some policymakers say that the presence of an armed teacher may deter an active shooter from entering a school. Though this is possible, it’s worth questioning whether an armed shooter would discourage an active shooter. Shooters often initiate a rampage, knowing they will not survive. It may even be part of their intention. It’s unlikely, then, that the presence of an armed teacher would be a powerful deterrent.

Con: Teachers May Misuse Guns

The possibility of a teacher misusing a gun is a possibility. Also, arming and training teachers to prevent violence relies on the assumption that a teacher will never misuse a firearm. There have unfortunately have been instances where teachers are responsible for gun violence. Ultimately, it illuminates the risk of arming teachers and casts doubt on the assumption that doing so would prevent fatalities.

About PGUI

Professional Governmental Underwriters, LLC., is a full-service risk management company dedicated to assisting public, educational and non-profit entities in the management of their professional liability exposures including educators liability insurance. We are dedicated to providing state-of-the-art professional underwriting management and loss control advisory services on behalf of our designated carriers. For more information, call us toll-free at (800) 586-6502.