The NRA and Donald Trump seem serious in suggesting that arming teachers will make schools safe.
So much is wrong with this, from cost to effectiveness — even if you can dig a pistol out of a bra holster or briefcase fast enough, who do you like as winner in a showdown with a crazed person shooting a semi-automatic assault-style weapon with a 50-round magazine? (See this article by a trauma physician on the relevant damage done by a 9-mm and an AR-15.)
But here’s a local angle. Back in 2013, when Asa Hutchinson fronted an NRA task force that supported more guns in schools, Hutchinson himself took very specific pains to distance himself from the notion that the guns should be carried by teachers. Here’s his direct quote in refuting a news article that suggested he’d said that:
“The story is flat wrong,” he said. “I’ve said consistently since the whole debate began that teachers should teach and others should protect. The story line gave the opposite impression.”
It IS true, though, that the options he outlined, after a trained resource officer, might include a specifically trained staff member — teacher, administrator or otherwise — who served the protective role of a resource officer, if a local school district chose to do it that way. He said he couldn’t envision more than one person on a staff with such a designation because multiple people with weapons could create a problem should law enforcement have to respond to a school emergency. Coordination would be important, he said. He acknowledged the budgetary problems schools faced, including in security issues including fencing, doors, entrances and the like.
Today, Hutchinson faces the nuttiest of gun nuts in the Republican primary, Jan Morgan. I await the evolution of this specific debate point.