Arming teachers is *optional*, not mandatory. Jeez.

Evidently there’s an enormous number of people who seem to think that proposals to arm teachers (or, more accurately, to remove the prohibitions on people carrying concealed at schools) are something that would be mandatory. That is, that teachers would be forced to carry a gun.

Take, for example, this article from the Daily Beast. The summary at the top says, “The Daily Beast asked educators what they would do if they or their colleagues were asked to carry guns in their classrooms. None supported the idea.” No shit. Nobody’s going to ask them to (let alone make them) carry guns if they don’t want to. In the states that allow for armed teachers, nobody is being forced to be armed against their will and, indeed, few people other than the armed teachers themselves and a select number of administrators know who is armed.

The vast majority of the people interviewed in that article seem to think that they’d be mandated to carry, while nothing could be further from the truth. How this misconception keeps spreading, I don’t know, but I suspect it’s intentional at this point.

One interesting response from a former teacher quoted in the article is, in part, “More guns in any equation equals more death, not less.” Does it, now? If someone kills the deranged madman murdering innocent people, the life of the murderer was lost but the lives of a multitude of innocent people would have been saved. That seems like a net-positive thing to me. In other words, not all deaths are bad.

The former teacher also states, “The number of times a teacher stops a mass murder with his gun will be dwarfed by the number of times a teacher kills a fellow staff member or student, intentionally or otherwise.” without presenting any evidence of this have occurred ever in the history of armed teachers.

An elementary school teacher is quoted as Tweeting (*sigh*), “The thought of a loaded weapon in my 1st grade classroom scares the crap out of me.” The thought of a mass murderer slaughtering me and my students while we are made defenseless by immoral laws scares me a lot more, but your mileage may vary.

A recent college professor says he’s oppose being armed for several reasons: “First, education has always been collaborative, and students knowing I was armed would undermine that relationship.” Would it? I’ve collaborated with many people while one of us or the other (or both) have been armed. No issues there. Of course, you could resolve the problem entirely by not telling anyone you’re armed. Concealed means concealed, after all.

“Second, the presence of firearms leads to an increased likelihood of accidental gun related issues/deaths… even among trained individuals.” To quote the Wikipedia, “[citation needed]”.

“Third, my wife said she would divorce me if I started carrying a gun.” To each their own, I suppose. Personally, I encourage my wife (who’s a teacher) to carry if given the chance, but ultimately it’s up to her. She’s pretty supportive of the idea.

“And fourth, perhaps most importantly, this isn’t what I signed up for. Police officers and military join knowing firearms are integral. If guns become the norm among teachers, the type of person who pursue academic careers with change. I would posit, for the worse.” I seriously doubt guns would ever become “the norm” among teachers, but I can’t really see how having academic positions filled by people who are upstanding, responsible citizens with a strong sense of self-sufficiency and a desire to protect both themselves and those in their care would be a downside. If anything, that sounds like a great plan to me.

That said, I’d like to see the lawful, concealed carriage of arms (whether guns or other arms) become a normal, everyday thing for responsible, law-abiding citizens as means of resisting criminal predation.