America’s Focus Shouldn’t Be Shooting Back


The recent shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, has many on-edge about gun policy in America. Disputes on the age of legal gun purchases and the types of guns available to civilians have taken off, leaving the American people to decipher and advocate for their chosen policies. Recent ideas even include equipping our teachers with guns of their own to defend students. Students around the country have created an uproar against this idea,  questioning their safety in schools where weapons are in the hands of teachers.

Many students, including my friends and I are horrified by the idea of weapons in their classrooms. Whether they are held by an intruder, a teacher or another student, the threat of a gun possibly used against them is terrifying on all fronts.

For Madeline Spath, ‘21, whose mother is a teacher in Albany NY, this issue hits close to home. “I don’t see how bringing guns into schools will make our schools safer,” she expressed. “I love my mother, but I don’t think her having a gun will make her students safer and neither does she.”

As the daughter of a teacher, Spath has always held strong views concerning guns in school zones. However, when the idea of legally equipping teachers with guns was brought forth, she quickly realized that this was unreasonable in any context.

“I don’t want my teachers having guns. I don’t want my little sister’s teachers having guns. It just creates more opportunities for potential shooters to have access to guns. Giving more people guns will not help the immense gun problem in this country,” Spath said.

A gun in the classroom isn’t a safety precaution – it’s a series of unintended consequences just waiting to happen. What if a teacher doesn’t understand how or when to operate a gun? What if a student gets hold of a gun? What if a shooter makes plans to steal the gun from the classroom?

Students understand the inability to entirely prevent potential shooters from carrying through, but we also understand that keeping guns in our classrooms only adds to the list of chance situations we already face in the classroom environment.

Especially considering the recent gun violence in schools, we don’t want to be near guns. We don’t want another eminent threat to our safety – we want to be safe. We want gun laws to change, we want advanced security systems in our schools, we want programs in place designed to protect us. Most of us don’t even care which party or politician comes up with the best solution – we just want the best possible solution, and that solution is not to equip our teachers with guns.

We don’t want to fight violence with more violence. We don’t want to solve the problem of gun violence with the same weapons used to harm us. We, the students of America, want better policy. We want to go to schools protected by gun-restrictive laws. Most importantly, we want the focus of our politicians and lawmakers to be our safety – not shooting back.