The United States constitution is very clear on gun ownership and control. The 2nd amendment protects citizens’ right to keep and bear arms. In addition, it gives militia the right to keep and bear arms as detailed in the constitution. This right to keep and bear guns has been infringed in a number of occasions. First, there have been massive shootings in schools. For instance, in 1997, a 16 year old Luke Woodham shot his girl friend, a close friend and 7 other students (Lott, para 9). In 1998, James Strand used his gun to kill one teacher, and wounded three people, two students and one teacher. In addition, there were five public school shootings in the same year which prompted the federal to ban guns, including permitted concealed guns near schools, approximately 1000 feet of a school. However, this did not stop the Newtown, Connecticut shootings in December. Thus, law makers have gone extra miles to find ways of curbing these shootings. Top on their list is gun control (Weissert, para 1). However, many people have disagreed with this view since gun is not the problem. Instead, they think the shooter is at fault, thus no need of controlling gun ownership. In addition, the law makers have pointed out that, schools should hire a fully armed guard or allow teachers to carry loaded guns to school. However, this has been strongly opposed by many. Indeed, the law that allows teachers to carry gun to classes has received widespread support with nearly 60% of the citizens in agreement. However, as part of the gun control, Utah law maker has come up with a bill that will let the parents know if the teachers are in possession of the firearms.
The law proposed by the Utah law maker has been supported by nearly 82% of the parents. The proponents of the bill have hinted that this bill is the best because of a number of reasons. First, this bill allows parents to know if the teacher instructing their children is carrying firearm. Therefore, if the parent does not like their children to be instructed by armed teachers, they have the choice and the right to reassign their children to teachers who are not armed with firearms. In addition, the proponents of the bill have hinted that, this bill allows the parents to provide consent for their children who are still unable to make informed consent. In addition, the co-founder of Utah Parents against Violence, Mirriam Walkingshaw, stated that he is completely supporting the bill (Molner, para 5). This is because; a gun is a weapon which is intended to kill people. Therefore, guns present danger in classrooms and parents should be informed if the people they entrust children to are carrying firearms. Furthermore, many proponents have argued that, people are never 100%, thus accidents can occur. Thu, when the parents are informed of the gun possession, they can choose to risk or to entrust their children to teachers who are not armed. Since this bill has raised polarized reactions, the opponents have argued that the bill will infringe the teachers’ right. This is because; teachers with right to carry firearms have been doing so for over a decade, thus there is no need of invasion of their privacy. They have also argued that, there is no points of letting the parents know the teacher carrying the gun, because, that teacher will be permitted to have that gun. Thus, with the current gun control policies, only the right teacher will be in possession of the gun, thus no harm (Davis).
After the Newtown, Connecticut incident, gun control and schools is an unavoidable topic. There are those who are in agreement with the teachers to own guns as well as to be trained on the gun usage. However, there are those who are in disagreement with the same. In addition to letting the teachers own guns, there is a debate whether the parents whose children are instructed by these teachers should be informed of the specific teachers who are in possession of firearms. As discussed above, I am totally in agreement with the bill. This is because; teachers are entrusted with the duty of teaching and guiding the children throughout their school activities. Thus, an additional responsibility given to them should be made known to the parents. Furthermore, as discussed earlier, guns impose danger to the children. Thus, parents should be well informed of this dangerous responsibility that is given to teachers. Secondly, parents should be informed of the teachers with firearms so that they are not left to gaze which teacher is permitted to posses the guns. This information will help the parents to wisely choose whether they should risk leaving their children to a teacher with firearms or to choose teachers without firearms. In addition, a school going child cannot make an informed consent on whether to go for a teacher without a gun or not. However, it is only proper if the child is aware of the weapons that his/her instructors posses. Moreover, after the December mass shooting in Newtown Connecticut, it is just proper for teachers to posses guns. This is because they can use them for self defense, and in the process, they can save lives of many children. Thus, there is nothing wrong with this. However, parents must be put into the picture of the person who is handling their children. This can give them the chance to consider whether it is proper to have their children in the hands of a protected person who can assist them in case of a similar incident (McKinley, para 6).
Nevertheless, the opponents of the bill can also be slightly justified in their arguments. This is because; parents have trust and faith the teachers who educate their children. Thus, the same trust should be transferred to the issue of firearm possessions. Hence, instead of infringing the privacy of the teachers possessing the gun, it is only proper and fair to let them be. Indeed, the parents should not be worried of the danger that these teachers posses to their students. This is because, these teachers will only be permitted to carry gun to class after meeting strict regulations on guns and ammunition acquisition, ownership and use (Stoller, para 22). Thus, the teachers will only be allowed to posses the guns if they posses eligibility certificates. In addition, the teachers must meet the safety standards of the school buildings in their gun use. Moreover, there will be mental health training for teachers as well as gun use training. Even so, the parents should be informed of the teachers who posses guns because failure to do so is a great risk to the child.
Davies, Tom. “Indiana Senate Leader against School Guns Mandate”. April, 2013. The Associated Press. Accessed on 04.04.2013. Web http://tribstar.com/indianalegislature/x2055657615/Indiana-Senate-leader-against-school-guns-mandate
Lott, Landes. "Multiple Victim Public Shootings, Bombings, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handgun Laws: Contrasting Private and Public Law Enforcement". University of Chicago, Working Paper #73, 1999
McKinley, James. “In Texas, Teachers Carry Books and Guns”. New York Times. August, 2008. Accessed on 04.04.2013. Web http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/29/us/29texas.html?_r=0
Molnar, Michael. Teachers with Guns in School: Bill Would Let Parents Know. Guest Blogger, Francesca Duffy. 12.03.2013 accessed on 04.04.2013. Web http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/parentsandthepublic/2013/03/teachers_with_guns_in_school_bill_would_let_parents_know.html
Stoller, Garry. Conn. governor signs USA’s toughest gun law. The Associated Press. April, 2013. Accessed on 04.04.2013. Web http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/04/04/connecticut-gun-control/2052235/
Weissert, Will. Teacher gun training bill headed to full senate. The Associated Press. April, 2013. Accessed on 04.04.2013. Web http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/texas/article/Teacher-gun-training-bill-headed-to-full-Senate-4408710.php