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Ty Joplin: Initiative on arming US teachers represents serious threat

Added: (Wed Mar 07 2018)

Pressbox (Press Release) - The realization of the US President Donald Trump’s idea about arming teachers for self-defense, which was voiced at a meeting in the White House with students from Florida school where the teenager shot 17 people on February 14, may have dangerous and unforeseen consequences for the whole system of American education. This was stated by Al Bawaba News analyst Ty Joplin in his article “How many more guns does the US need before it’s safe?” published in a foreign media.

“After the Parkland High School shooting […] the US resumed its ongoing debate on gun control, with each side re-rehearsing their stated positions and entrenching themselves further in their own echo chambers. Gun control activists are cheering at supposed progress being made with each corporation boycotting the NRA, the US’ eminent pro-gun lobby group, while pro-gun activists are applauding moves by schools around the country to begin arming teachers and to allow concealed carry weapons on campuses,” the article says.

In Kentucky, after their own experience with a recent school shooting, both the governor and state legislature are poised to pass a bill allowing teachers to carry guns to school, saying that it would “increase that kid’s chances of surviving.”

“The basic disagreement between both groups revolves around the idea of control: do you restrict the supply of weapons to stem violence, or do you arm others to counter violence since restricting weapons goes against the Second Amendment in the US Constitution [which was adopted in 1791],” Ty Joplin explains.

In his opinion, the idea of a ‘Good Guy with a Gun’ is one that persists despite its controversy as an ideal.

“From it comes a fantasy that, the more guns you pile into the hands of Good People, the more able society is to stop Bad People from wreaking havoc. Neither side appears to seriously want to engage the others’ idea of what it means to be a Good or Bad Guy, and how weapons can tilt the scale for or against safety, especially in schools,” the analyst says.

According to him, both sides appear to be reacting quickly to each others’ provocations, more dedicated to suring their base of support than engaging in a national dialogue that listens to the other side in good faith.

“So for just a moment, let us imagine the thought experiment of arming more Good Guys in schools and evaluate the type of society it results in. The logical conclusion that follows from the Good Guy thesis is that every Good Guy should be armed against any potential Bad Guy. This means, in practice, that every teacher should be armed and trained in the use of their respective firearms. Additionally, it means school administrators should be armed, and any other relevant school employees. Beefing up school security with more guards and security checks in all entrances and exits is also logical, since it could stop a shooting before it happens or create a point for which a standoff could be prepared. […] On top of this, all university campuses ought to allow concealed carry so that licensed gun owners, Good Guys, can always be ready in case a crazed shooter, Bad Guy, threatens them or their peers,” the author of the article says.

In practical terms, this means in kindergartens, middle schools and high schools, every adult is armed and ready for a firefight; in colleges, an untold mass of students are anonymously and discreetly carrying firearms, he adds.

“What does this world seem like? How would moving through it feel? If the overwhelming consensus is that it feels safe, that feeling requires more interrogation. Students would likely fear teachers and vice versa, or view teachers’ firearms as opportunities for pranking and rebellious behavior if they can get their hands on them. Arguments that get heated then have an implicit ‘boiling point’ from which deadly violence may be expected if it gets out of hand,” the expert warns.

According to him, freedom of expression may be suppressed from fear that unpopular opinions could be coerced at gunpoint.

“When people feel in danger versus when they are actually in danger may dissolve as meaningful distinctions thanks to the potential for any sensitive situation to involve deadly weapons that could be pulled out and brandished from threatened parties,” Ty Joplin says.

In his opinion, the potential for de-escalation falls by the wayside as the much easier option of intimidation by force becomes standard procedure.

“In the case of an actual shooter arriving, the chaos from a saturation of weapons and a mixing of vigilante – Good Guy – and assailant – Bad Guy – is unimaginable. Unarmed students would likely see one armed person and be unable to discern Good from Bad. Good Guys may see other Good Guys and think they are indeed Bad, and fire upon them. This could create a chain reaction. Police arriving onto the scene may similarly be unable to discern Good from Bad amidst the chaos and be unable to act to neutralize any situation. The potential for further violence would look likely rather than a quickfire, neat exchange between Good and Bad that ends with the Bad guy dead or in prison and no harm to civilians,” the analyst explains.

Another danger of such an initiative, in his opinion, is a tight binary of Good People from Bad People.

“In this thinking too, lies a deep mistrust of other Americans, one that would subconsciously permeate the psyche of a student. The constant niggling thought, ‘which one of my peers are Bad?’ Such thinking brews simplistic categorizations […].The thinking goes that people, as a rule, are already Good or Bad, […] which means people must be anticipated before something happens. In other words, students and teachers must, as a matter of their own safety, pre-judge their pupils and peers to be Good or Bad to be on the constant lookout for the Bad ones,” Ty Joplin explains.

“Rather than foster a space where students can learn and express themselves freely, they could be chained to their own paranoid mistrust of others,” the expert stresses.

According to him, learning could fall to the wayside.

“The thought experiment […] demonstrates several dangers in the idea that more guns equals more safety in schools. Apart from Kentucky, Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania and South Dakota and South Carolina are all considering arming teachers. […] In the desire to balance protections for the Second Amendment and the safety of students, Americans may be foregoing core values of liberty and freedom from one another,” the analyst concludes.

Submitted by:PenzaNews
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