Danielle Rasouli is a junior journalism major and writes "Dig in with Dani" for The Daily News. Her views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Danielle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We lost 14 kids. Fourteen kids could have been doctors. They could have been teachers. They could have grown up to be the next president. Fourteen kids that could have really made a difference. Either way, they could have been something … But they’re gone now, and the chance to say that those kids “could be” is gone too. Their life ironically ended in a setting where they were building their future, yet their potential got taken away from them almost instantly and painfully.
Most would consider high school to be a milestone and a new chapter in their life. Out of the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting, most of them were 14-year-old freshmen who very well could have had the same excitement many of us did when starting high school. But what did they get out of it? Death — death by a military grade weapon that was legally obtained by the shooter, Nikolas Cruz.
In the five to seven minutes it takes for police to respond to an active shooting, a lot of lives can be taken, especially when going against an AR-15. Our country’s current laws somehow allow 18-year-olds to purchase weapons that should only be exclusive to military personnel. With the current laws in place, there is not much we can do to avoid what happened at Stoneman Douglas High School. But arming teachers is an option as we continue the demand for change and complexity. With arming teachers, a gunman will get taken down quicker because the response time is immediate, and imposing this law can even result in the lessened chance of a shooter entering because of the threat of getting shot back.
It’s incredibly important to note that providing a firearm for a teacher should be an option for them, and something that they are willing to do. We cannot force anyone to be courageous enough to shoot at someone firing bullets. This is a prime argument I have come across from the opposing side. Many individuals believe it is not a teacher’s job to own a gun. That’s why it’s important to stress that this should be a voluntary concept exclusive to those that receive annual training on proper gun use and safe storage.
I have had many teachers throughout the years, and I can think of quite a few of them that went beyond to not only teach, but to build relationships with their students and inspire them. These passionate teachers are the ones whom I see taking up the opportunity to own a firearm and protect their students in an emergency situation. Annie Marie Murphy, the hero that died to guard her students in the Sandy Hook massacre, would be an example of a teacher that I see utilizing a gun. She had nothing else to go against Adam Lanza besides the use of her body as a shield.
Another prime argument I have come across is the belief that banning guns will solve everything, so there should be no need to arm teachers. I just want to note that we should not rely on one solution to solve America’s gun crisis. I am not aggressively opposed to banning guns because I’m aware these dangerous weapons have the intent to kill. But the problem is not the gun, it’s about how terribly easy they are to obtain. If America (hopefully) makes the adjustment to complicate the process of obtainment, then it will be time consuming. Banning guns completely will be even more time consuming. According to the Washington Post, America reached the point of having more guns in our nation than people.
While we are in this rut of gun problem solving, then we need to have a safety precaution in place, and that starts with the teachers who are willing to be trained in the case of an emergency. Because as of now, an American is able to wake up and say, “Hey, I want to get a gun today,” and is actually able to go through with it. Arming teachers can take action almost immediately while we wait for other laws to shift into gear.
Remember to consider that schools and college campuses seem to be targeted when looking at our nation’s history with mass shootings. Arming teachers will be an additional prevention method to help students feel safer while this unfortunate trend is in place. Our current options haven’t worked. We cannot continue to sit around and wait.
It’s time that we begin to take the steps in stopping these murderous acts. Gun legislation may come later, but we cannot continue to wait to protect our children. Because sitting around, twiddling your thumbs and hoping a gunman doesn’t walk in will do nothing. That’s what we’ve been doing so far, and look at where we are at now — in the midst of one of the worst cases of division this nation has ever experienced, and a filthy worldview reputation to go along with it.