Evidence Arming Teachers Works

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For all the states demanding stricter gun laws, there are as many arming teachers. Schools should increase security and police response and training are key. But, arming teachers does work. It is a deterrent. There is  also evidence it works.

It isn’t by coincidence that all mass public shootings in Europe since at least 1990 – and many in other parts of the world – have occurred in areas where law-abiding citizens are banned from carrying firearms for protection, John Lott writes.

This was the case, for example, in mass public shootings in New Zealand, Brazil and the Netherlands. That has also held true for 98 percent of mass public shootings in the U.S. since 1950.

The study found 306 cases of gunshots on school property, 48 of which were suicides. Not counting suicides, 193 people died and 267 were injured in these incidents. Four cases were simply instances of accidental gunshots by police officers.

The rate of shootings and people killed by them has increased significantly since 2000. The yearly average number of people who died between 2001 and 2008 versus 2009 and 2018 has doubled (regardless of whether one excludes gang fights and suicides).

“This increase occurred entirely among schools that don’t let teachers carry guns. Outside of suicides or gang violence in the wee hours of the morning, there has yet to be a single case of someone being wounded or killed from a shooting when armed teachers are around,” Lott reports.

“There haven’t been any serious accidents. No student has ever got hold of his or her teacher’s gun. And the one accidental firearms discharge by a teacher occurred outside of school hours. The teacher had only very minor injuries.”

Police are important but they can’t be everywhere.

THE STUDY

The 2019 study conducted by gun violence expert, Professor John Lott Jr., shows there wasn’t one school where a teacher was armed that had a non-suicidal gun violence incident during school hours.

“While there have not been any problems at schools with armed teachers, the number of people killed at other schools has increased significantly – doubling between 2001 and 2008 versus 2009 and 2018,” the report adds.

2020 to 2022

The study’s dataset shows only a few schools with potential qualifying incidents where teachers were armed, but the cases were either suicides or fell outside of school hours (5 total incidents). The one case that came the closest to qualifying was a 2017 incident that took place in a school parking lot outside of Spanish Fork High School at 2:30 a.m. in the morning. The shooter shot an 18-year-old victim who ran off. The shooter then killed himself.

Of 10 cases, 3 incidents in states that permit armed teachers or school resource officers occurred outside of the school building itself (Florida, Ohio, Texas), and 4 incidents appear to be accidental discharges (California, Florida, Texas). (This is consistent with many — but not all —mass shooting reports in 2021 and 2022.)

There was one case that took place inside a school gym in Dallas, Texas in January 2020. A 15-year-old shot and killed an 18-year-old after a brawl over a basketball game and also wounded a police officer. The teenage suspect later turned himself in.

It is 2022 and the number of mass shootings have increased. Unfortunately, the media and politicians have decided to include every gangland shoot-out in the numbers. It obfuscates the issue. They also suggest the killers are white supremacists while not releasing the race of the shooters, who are almost solely black males killing other black people in our cities.

UVALDE

Uvalde is a horror that stands alone, but it was unprotected. The Commander wouldn’t allow police to do their job. There was no school officer on site. The door the killer entered was unlocked and he just witnessed a teacher entering through it. We still don’t know what went on.

There were 140 officers standing around outside Robb Elementary until several Border Patrol and DHS disobeyed orders and shot the killer dead.

The New York Times reports that the “actions by Chief Arredondo and the array of officers he suddenly directed — which grew to number more than 140, from local, state and federal agencies, including state troopers, sheriff’s deputies, constables and game wardens — are now the subject of overlapping investigations by the Texas Rangers, the Justice Department and the local district attorney’s office.”

If one of the two teachers killed got to a gun, would this story have played out differently? We will never know.


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