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Richson: No guns in schools

BY BRIANNE RICHSON | MARCH 14, 2013 5:00 AM

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There is a belief in this country that is a product of skewed logic — and perhaps also fear — that the only solution to countering those who mean to do harm through unlawful and malevolent gun use is for the innocent to also arm themselves.

Recently, this belief manifested itself into state legislation. As of last week, South Dakota is the first state to pass a law that explicitly states school faculty may have guns on them while working.

When school lockdown and counter-procedure training have not been thorough or effective, why would we ever trust guns in untrained hands?

Fortunately, Iowa City seems to be taking a more rational approach to safety procedures by revamping its training of faculty and students to include more of a counter focus, as opposed to the somewhat helpless lockdown procedures, but one can’t help but wonder what other states might follow South Dakota’s lead. It is a slippery, irrational slope.

The year 2010 alone saw more than 600 unintentional deaths due to firearms. The U.S. General Accounting Office states that roughly 10 percent of such deaths might have been halted by the presence of a childproof safety lock on the firearms.

So, yes, let’s put guns in schools. Places dominated by children. Logically.

Even as a college student, I can honestly say I wouldn’t be entirely comfortable should my professor casually have a gun under his lecture podium. But the question underlying this entire issue is this: Is an active reaction better than a passive reaction?

As the University of Iowa police website states, “Society has trained us to react to fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, and other types of disasters.”

No one hears a tornado warning and decides to go sit on the porch (unless storm-chasing is your career of choice). It is embedded in our brains to respond by taking cover, this being a counter tactic in itself.

So why should teachers be allowed to have guns? Are they the storm-chasers of their given profession? This logic is concerning, but only time will tell if it becomes the norm.


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