Armed Teachers and Guards Won't Make Schools Safer
Amid the understandable, almost unbearable, sorrow in the aftermath of the shootings in Newtown, Conn., last month, we must try to put this tragedy into perspective. Accordingly, educational leaders, parents (including some who gathered to discuss options for safe schools soon after their own children died at Sandy Hook Elementary School), and lawmakers must work together.
As a follow-up to Vice President Joe Biden's task force on gun-related violence, President Barack Obama issued 23 executive orders and offered preventive proposals, including background checks for all gun purchasers, a ban on semiautomatic assault-style weapons, a limit on the capacity of ammunition magazines to 10 rounds, and new support for mental health and school security.
Initially, it is worth noting that insofar as school shootings are rare, political and school leaders must think safety plans through rather than overreact with knee-jerk responses. Among the proposals being bandied about, two, in particular, are best left on the drawing board. As well-intentioned as proponents of these suggestions may be, calls for arming teachers and placing armed guards in schools to defend students, teachers, and others are,...
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