- Lambert, Craig. “Death by the Barrel: David Hemenway applies scientific method to the gun problem.” Harvard Magazine. Sept.-Oct. 2004. harvardmagazine.com. Web. 16 Mar. 2014.
In the article, David Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Contro Research Center at the School of Public Health, discusses how guns make crimes lethal. He argues that the issue about gun-control is not about taking away people’s guns, but is about forming strategies that will reduce harm brought about by guns. He added that reasonable gun policies are needed to be able to decrease the harm that guns cause. As an example of the harmful effects of guns on human health, Hemenway cited an incident that occured in the convention of the American Public Health Association in Indianapolis. According to Hemenway’s accounts, a participant who just bent over to pick something he dropped on the floor dropped his gun and went off as it hit the floor. The bullet hit two convention delegates who were just waiting to be seated. In this incident, Hemenway drives the danger of guns even if the owner has no desire to shoot it. Hemenway also added the dangers of having too many guns in the society. According to him, crime rates in certain places can be relatively lower in comparison to others. However, in a country like Australia where gun is difficult to obtain, a bar fight may just result to a punch or some bottle hitting. However, in countries where gun is in abundance, it could end to a shooting. Hemenway particularly points out to the problem of too many handguns, a small weapon that can be easily concealed, as a big problem in America. This kind of gun is what is usually used by criminals in most gun-related crimes, and because it is sold in America, criminals from other states also flock in the country to purchase them. Thus, the spread of crimes in many places. Hemenway argues that these problems expose people to the harmful effects of guns, thereby swift action should be taken in order to protect the people.
- Branas, Charles C., Therese S. Richmond, Dennis P. Culhane, Thomas R. Ten Have, and Douglas J. Wiebe. “Investigating the Link Between Gun Possession and Gun Assault.” American Journal of Public Health 991 (2009): 2034-2040. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Web. 16 Mar. 2014.
In this study, the researchers looked into the correlation of being shot during an assault and the possession of a gun during the time of the assault. According to the research, the issue about guns is the third concern of the American public. Cultural rift and scholarly discussion don’t seem to agree on the said issue but that the reality of almost 100 000 shooting recorded each year in the United States alone prove that guns are a threat to the people. The study was prompted by the question of whether people who possess guns are protecting themselves or are being endangered by it. Although previous researches were able to determine the relationship between homicide and having a gun inside the house, buying a gun or owning it, the risk or protection that guns bring to their owners are not identified. To answer the question, the researchers studied people who have been shot during an assault and determined the probability of their either getting shot or not if they possessed handguns during that time. Results showed that despite the success of using guns to defend ones self occuring every year, civilians using guns for the purpose of protecting themselves in urban areas proved to be low. Gun may encourage its owner to fight back which may dangerously result to an overreaction, eliciting a similar reaction from the other person also possessing a gun. Similarly, people with guns may also be influenced to enter dangerous places through the false power brought by the gun. Victims who have little or no chance to resist are usually confronted with situations that suddenly occur. In these situations, people are robbed of their opportunities to use gun to protect themselves even if they have one. The researchers conclude that gun owners should understand that possessing guns calls for careful safety countermeasures.
- Hemenway, David. “Risks and Benefits of a Gun in the Home.” (2001). American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. Web. 16 Mar. 2014.
Hemenway delves into the risks and benefits to the family of having guns in homes. His reasearch showed that health risks related to guns in homes are higher than the benefits. Americans have more private guns, in particular handguns, compared to citizens in other progressive countries. Among Americans, there are more married, older than 40-year old males living in urban areas who own guns. These owners have long guns which they mainly use for hunting and target shooting. Owning guns for sports also encourage those people around these owners to also purchase their own guns. Handguns, on the other hand, are mainly bough for protection against crimes. However, along with the benefits of having guns, Hemenway discussed the health risks of gun ownership. One of these risks is accidents. Statistics show that there are many Americans killed unintentionally with firearms every year, with most of the incidences occuring in someone else’s house and the shooter is either a friend or a family member. These data show that majority of the accidental shooting recorded are caused by guns kept in the home. Another health risk is self-harm suicides. Records show that at least 46 Americans committed suicide using handguns each day. Although suicide attempts using handguns are less frequent compared to other methods, a higher number of Americans kill themselves using guns than all the other methods combined. On the other had, intimidation is another health risk that is caused by guns at home. Not only guns are used to kill, they could also be used to intimidaet or coerce, with women as the most common victims. A study involving women in emergency shelters in California show that if there were a gun in the house, almost two thirds of the male partners would use it in order to threaten or seriously harm women. On the other hand, few women are only found inclined to use gun to protect themselves in self-defense against batterers who usd guns against them. In theory, perpetrators are less likely to attack people who are known to have guns. However, studies show that higher level of gun ownership do not necessarily deter crimes.
- Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “Guns in Schools Policy Summary.” Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, 1 Nov. 2013. Web. 16 Mar. 2014.
Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence is an organization founded by lawyers aim to support policies that are focused on preventing gun violence in the society. In the issue of arming school teachers with guns, the Center resolutely opposes the idea. As the primary provider of legal expertise in legislations and policies that aim to prevent gun violence, the Center believe that arming teachers is not the solution in reducing school shootouts. Instead, the center states that in order to reduce loss of lives in relation to gun violence, effective laws and policies should be present. According to the center, arming teachers do not really guarantee that school shootouts and other gun-related violence will be prevented. The presence of additional guns in school may just result to more danger as the Center believes that guns equate violence. With recent events that resulted to increase in the number of school shootout incidences, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence is now looking at all the possibilities of finding better laws that will advocate strict gun control. Since guns are the primary weapons involved in school shootouts, decreasing its number may similarly result to a decrease such tragic incidences. The Center cites the 1990 adoptation of restricting guns, wherein a significant decrease in school-associated student homicide was observed. Restrictions in carrying guns resulted to fewer students carrying guns, as such violence involving guns also decreased. The gun also reiterates its claim that proposals to repeal the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act and replaced it with arming teachers could promote gun violence at schools which is not only dangerous but counter-productive as well. Teachers are educators trained at teaching children, not at enforcing laws. As such, their lack of training in handling guns and confrontational situations involving guns do not guarantee protection. Instead, it may just pose higher risks to the teacher and the students. Thus, the Center calls for better policies about guns instead of arming teachers with it.
- California Teachers Association. “School Safety: CTA Opposes Efforts to Arm Educators.” California Teachers Association. California Teachers Association. 2012. Web. 16 Mar. 2014.
California Teachers Association is one of the largest teachers organization in America. They are known to be the voice for educators in California,s public schools and colleges. In the issue of arming teachers, the Association opposes this idea. CTA believes that as educators, it is their responsibility to ensure that students get equal educational opportunity. Its principles state that it is their obligation to exclude any student from participating in any program which are aimed at their improvement. In their video which shows members of the faculty stating their stand about the issue of arming teachers, their call for additional after-school activities that will help improve the students, additional school nurses and guidance counselors, and additional school supplies that the students can use for their improved education is a more sound solution. Students also speak their ideas and particularly ask for additional sports equipments and art materials. A parent asks for funds that will improve better school meals that will help his child focus more in school. CTA opposes guns in schools and having their teachers carry them around to protect their students. Their idea of protecting children is ensuring that they get the maximum quality education that they could get in school. Also, assuring that the students health are safe through clean water and facilities is also necessary. There is also the importance of making sure that hazardous chemicals that can put the health of the students in danger should also be taken away from schools or areas near them. These arguments and alternative suggestions to arming schools are in the website to support their claim. As teachers, they are one of the stakeholders whose voices should be heard loudly, and should be taken into consideration more than any other organization. Being in contact with the students armed them with more salient information about the students’ needs, and as such, their argument against arming school teachers with guns are valid and real.
- Hanford, Desiree J. “Does Concealed Carry Make Sense in Schools and on Campus?” facilitiesnet: 2014. Trade Press. Web. 16 Mar. 2014.
result of a series of shootouts that occured in the previous years. All tragic incidences are caused by armed students who gunne down unarmed students and faculty members. In light with these events, several organizations and lawmakers have proposed arming school teachers with guns as a protective measure that might save lives. While some are in agreement of this proposal, several organizations and known personalities are not. The article cites that states such as Utah and Texas have already implemented the rule of allowing their teachers to carry firearms after their required training is completed. This rule is anchored on the incident in Mississipi wherein the vice principal was able to stop a student from shooting more students after shooting his mother. The vice principal did not fire but his shotgun effectively stopped the student. However, the article states that law enforcement authorities state that introducing guns in schools carry different risks for every school. As an example, the article cited that a parent of an elementary student who does not custody of his/her children comes to school armed may put the student in danger. In universities, students are prone to leaving their rooms unlocked, thereby presenting the possibility of having their guns stolen. University students may also be provoked to act irrationally due to the influence of the gun. Despite the opposing contention coming from both sides, the article states that both agree on letting gun owners undergo rigorous training. The said training should exceed what the state requires and that various scenarios should also be provided to give them idea about what to expect and how to react on it. Close coordination between schools and law enforcement should also be present, and that all parties concerned should be in agreement on every details that have to do with the issue.
- Wartman, Scott. “Board chair: Educators oppose having guns.” cincinatii.com. 7 Mar. 2014. Gannett Company. Web. 16 Mar. 2014.
The news article presents a debate that occured between those who are for and those who are against arming school teachers with guns. With the arguments presented, the news state that Boone County school officials are not convinced that arming school teachers will keep the school safe and prevent shootings. Chairman of the school board stated that even if no action was taken, the board is seen to to take up this issue further. Principals and educators, in particular are strongly opposing the idea. Boone County Constable and firearms instructor, however, proposes that training a small percentage of teachers in schools may help in keeping the school and the students safe. Parents of three children who have moved from upstate New York to Boone County were adamant that they do not want their children to go to school where teachers are armed because teachers are not trained for such weapons aside from the additional responsibility that it will give them. The news stated that a series of representatives from Kentucky School Boards Association, Kentucky Education Association and Kentucky Center for School Safety were heard by the Boone County School Board. All representatives are concensus in their stand that teachers should not be armed. Similarly, the sheriffs of Campbell, Kenton, Boone and Grant have also expressed their support of the educators’ proposal. Boone County teachers proposed that in place of purchasing guns for teachers to carry in school, hiring school resource officers is better. They added that arming teachers create too much risk that are difficult to ignore. Although organizations who are supporting the idea don’t agree with the way the school board handled the debate, Karen Byrd, chairman of the Boone County School Board stated that despite the supporters, majority of the stakeholders in attendance opposed the idea. As such, the decision of the majority will rule.
- Great Lakes Area Regional Resource Center. “Gun-Free School Laws and Implications.”
dpi.state.nd.us: Dec. 1995. Web. 16 Mar. 2014.
The document contains salient information about the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990. This helps in providing additional information as to why arming teachers in schools should not be allowed. According to the document, possessing a gun within 1000 feet of any school, whether it may be private, public or parochial, is a federal crime. The prescribed punishment for the violation of the said criminal law could be imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $5000. A new legislation, titled Gun-Free School Zones Amendments Act of 1995,
as an emendment to Title 18 of the US Code, states that it is unlawful for any individual to knowingly possess a firearm at any place that s/he knows or believes is a school zone. The legislation further states that it is also unlawful for any individual to discharge or attemtp to discharge a firearm at a place that the said person knows is a school zone. The document also contains information about the Goals of 2000: Educate America Act (1994), which aims to provide a national framework for education reform and a framework for reauthorization of all Federal education programs, specifically Goal 7 for safe, disciplined and alcohol and drug-free schools. These goals have served as catalysts for other federal, state and local gun-free legislative and reform initiatives. Another act, the Gun-Free Schools Act, was enacted as an amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 andwas reauthorized by President Clinton. It was titled The Improving America’s Schoools Act. The act states that local education agencies are required to expel any student who brings weapon to school for a minimum of one year. This must be done in order for schools to receive federal financial assistance. It is within the power of the chief administrative officer of the school district to modify the expulsion requirement based on the case.
- Asa Hutchinson. “The National School Shield: Report of the National School Shield Task Force.” nraschoolshield.com. National Rifle Association. 2013. Web. 16 Mar. 2014.
The National School Shield Report, led by Asa Hutcherson in 2013, is a study funded by the National Rifle Association, an organization that supports the legislation of arming school teachers with guns. The said report state that schools are going to benefit from posting local police officers who are trained to work in school, or arming teachers and administrators with guns. LaPierre, the CEO of the NRA states that since it is okay to use guns in order to protect the president, then it should also be okay to use them in protecting children in school. He argued further that a bad guy with a gun can only be stopped by a good guy with a gun. NRA is known as the largest gun lobbying organization in America, and the standard bearer for protecting the Second Amendment which protects the right of every American to own guns. the organization’s history goes way back to 1971, when it was formed by Union veterans Col. William Churchill and Gen George Wingate. Today, the organization is reputed for giving campaign donations to those who are in support of gun laws. Although the association’s stand in this issue is an opposition to the government’s planned measures to implement stricter gun rules, the study shows results that supports NRA’s position. Hutchinson was clear in stating that NRA did not influence the said report except for the fund that it provided for its completion. He further stated that the rationale behind the study was for NRA to better determine actions that can be taken in order to better protect the lives of the young students. The National School Shield Report presents an outline that emphasizes how teachers and principals should get their training for them to be qualified to carry guns in school. This, according to the study, are just some of the steps that could be taken to prevent shootout in schools.
- Problem: California school teachers should not be allowed to carry guns in school in order to protect themselves and their students from possible attackers
Root cause: Teachers are not trained to handle firearms, thereby carrying guns in school could only result to bigger problems
Proposed solution: Stricter gun rules should be implemented, along with the establishment of close collaboration between local law enforcers and schools
- Opposing target audience
Gun owners’ associations such as the National Rifle Association may disagree with my argument as implementing strict gun rules may affect their organizations. It is possible that with the implementation, gun ownership laws may be reformed.
Parents, teachers and students from all over California may take interest in looking into my argument as they are the primary stakeholders in the issue. The issue affects them directly and appeal to their protective instincts, with special focus on the safety of the students in school, and their belief in a peaceful and violence-free environment. The use of logic will be utilized in framing the argument, which will center on the data of gun-related accidents and the number of children as victims in the said accidents. Pre-emptive use of argument will also be used, in such a way that guns may be used to defend but that there are more risks involve that overweighs the benefits.