War in the classroom

Nieuws | de redactie
3 april 2013 | While proponents of gun control start receiving death threats, America’s National Rifle Association suggests training teachers to use firearms: they think 40 to 60 hours will turn any educator into a Lara Croft or Rambo.

This week Republican congresswoman Carolyn Maloney received menacing phone calls that referred to the gun control bill she introduced. The bill is meant to require liability insurance of gun buyers. While she also supports bans on assault rifles and background checks for gun  buyers, Maloney pushes for the market-based approach, allow the insurance markets to begin to price the risks involved consistently nationwide..

Safe sanctuaries or armed fortresses

At the height of the national debate on gun control, the NRA put forward a report, arguing for armed security personnel in schools and – as a second best option – training the teachers how to use a gun.

Earlier the American Federation of Teachers responded to comparable statements that “Schools must be safe sanctuaries, not armed fortresses. Anyone who would suggest otherwise doesn’t understand that our public schools must first and foremost be places where teachers can safely educate and nurture our students.”

In the report, the NRA tried to put gun massacres into historical perspective, by stating that “School violence of this nature has been occurring in the U.S. for almost 300 years. The first recorded school shooting occurred on July 26, 1764, when four men entered a one-room schoolhouse, killing the schoolmaster and ten children.”

Never fast enough

The premise of the NRA – that arming school personnel would save lives – is not supported by scientific research. Caught by surprise in a classroom, even the best shooter is not fast enough to respond accurately.

Other myths about firing arms are debunked by the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research,  like the fact that ‘Right-to-carry’-gun laws do not reduce violent crime. Many other topics were covered at their recent Summit on Reducing Gun Violence in America.

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