Poll: Strong majority favor arming teachers

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

The investigation into how everything went so horribly wrong in Uvalde is ongoing and will likely take quite a while to sort through. But the one thing’s been obvious from the beginning is that it took far too long for someone with a gun to make it into that classroom and put down the maniac who was killing innocent children and teachers. With that in mind, a question that’s been hotly debated in the past is back on the table once again. What if there had already been someone with a gun in the classroom when the shooter arrived? Might they have stopped the slaughter before it even began? What if that person was a teacher?

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At Townhall, our colleague Sarah Arnold reports on a new poll from The Trafalgar Group asking Americans whether or not they would be in favor of allowing armed teachers in public school classrooms. In what may come as a disappointing surprise to those currently calling for more gun control laws, a solid majority of respondents are open to the idea while less than a third oppose it. And those numbers are pretty much unchanged from previous surveys conducted prior to the latest round of mass shootings.

In the wake of the deadly Uvalde elementary school shooting, the heated topic of gun laws is once again a major forefront of people’s minds. Though a majority of Americans believe arming teaching will make schools more safe.

A recent poll conducted by The Trafalgar Group, surveyed 1,091 general election voters and found that 57.5 percent of voters believe schools are somewhat or much more dangerous without teachers who carry a legal firearm and are properly trained Ito use it. This leaves just over a mere 30 percent who oppose it.

While 67.5 percent of these voters are Republicans, almost half at 48.2 percent, are Democrats in favor of arming teachers.

The demographic split here is interesting. While you would never guess it by listening to all of the coverage at CNN or the Washington Post, nearly half of the Democrats canvassed in this survey are open to arming teachers. Perhaps even more surprising is the 67.5 percent of Republicans who were in favor of the idea. (I had assumed it would be higher.) The country is clearly divided on the question, but the argument in favor of arming teachers seems to be winning the battle.

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Obviously, there would need to be a number of caveats built into any such program. The teachers would need to volunteer to take on such a role. You can’t just force someone to exercise their Second Amendment rights if they’re unwilling or even uncomfortable doing so. Few teachers are trained law enforcement officers and they didn’t sign up for that sort of responsibility.

Also, any teachers taking on this role would have to be fully trained in firearms safety and proficiency. The last thing we need in a critical situation like an active shooter scenario in a school is someone blasting away wildly or forgetting to flip the safety off when the shooter appears. Also, schools should probably plan on additional expenses, such as gun safes to be used at all times when the teacher wasn’t actively carrying.

Would it have made a difference at Uvalde? That can likely never be known for sure, but it certainly seems possible. At least some staff in the school had already been alerted to a possible shooter on the property. The teacher who famously propped open the door with a rock before running inside clearly knew and could have alerted the teachers in the closest classrooms, most likely the ones where the shooting took place. With even a couple of minutes warning, the teacher could have ordered the children to take cover, gotten behind his/her own desk, and had a firearm trained on the door when it opened. There’s no guarantee that they would have been able to stop the killer in his tracks, but at least they would have had a chance. It certainly seems worth considering.

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David Strom 8:00 AM | July 25, 2024
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