“AFT, NEA: Arming Educators Won’t Keep Schools Safe; Focus Needs to Be on Investments in Mental Health Services, Reasonable Gun Safety Legislation”
So they argue in a press release:
NEA President Dennis Van Roekel and AFT President Randi Weingarten react to proposals by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, and William Bennett to arm teachers as a way to prevent school violence.
“Our duty to every child is to provide safe and secure public schools. That is the vow we take as educators. It is both astounding and disturbing that following this tragedy, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, Bill Bennett, and other politicians and pundits have taken to the airwaves to call for arming our teachers. As the rest of the country debates how to keep guns out of schools, some are actually proposing bringing more guns in, turning our educators into objects of fear and increasing the danger in our schools.
“Guns have no place in our schools. Period. We must do everything we can to reduce the possibility of any gunfire in schools, and concentrate on ways to keep all guns off school property and ensure the safety of children and school employees.
“But this is not just about guns. Long-term and sustainable school safety also requires a commitment to preventive measures. We must continue to do more to prevent bullying in our schools. And we must dramatically expand our investment in mental health services. Proper diagnosis can and often starts in our schools, yet we continue to cut funding for school counselors, school social workers, and school psychologists. States have cut at least $4.35 billion in public mental health spending from 2009 to 2012, according to the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors. It is well past time to reverse this trend and ensure that these services are available and accessible to those who need our support.
“Greater access to mental health services, bullying prevention, and meaningful action on gun control—this is where we need to focus our efforts, not on staggeringly misguided ideas about filling our schools with firearms. Lawmakers at every level of government should dismiss this dangerous idea and instead focus on measures that will create the safe and supportive learning environments our children deserve.”
Let’s go through this bit by bit, shall we?
First, simply asserting that it is “astounding and disturbing” that some politicians and pundits have called for the rights of teachers to carry concealed weapons (meaning they are trained, have been finger printed, and were vetted locally by law enforcement) into schools does not make so. In fact, what is “astounding and disturbing” is that, even though nearly all of these mass shootings take place in gun-free zones — and too often in schools, where children are compelled to go and are left as sitting ducks — the NEA and AFT continue to pretend that a gun-free zone policy is somehow even defensible.
Secondly, look at the hamfisted rhetorical maneuver that follows: “As the rest of the country debates how to keep guns out of schools, some are actually proposing bringing more guns in, turning our educators into objects of fear and increasing the danger in our schools.” Parsing this, we find a false equivalence, an assertion presented as fact, and an attempt at fearmongering. To wit: the country is looking for ways to keep madmen with guns out of schools, and many of us are proposing the threat of being met with armed defense as a deterrent to prevent madmen with guns to believe they will meet no resistance.
Utah, for instance, allows teachers who have carry licenses to carry in schools. And Utah has never had such a massacre.
And what proof is offered for the assertion that having responsible teachers who have been trained and licensed in the use of firearms inside the schools increases the danger? There are schools and school districts throughout the country that have allowed concealed carry by teachers and staff. Have those schools proven more dangerous than schools holding fast to advertising themselves as soft targets? How’d that work out in CT? At Virginia Tech? And so on?
The fact is, the data is available. Why is no proof offered? More, what does this idea that responsible adult teachers and administrators, many of whom get tenured, can’t be trusted with a concealed firearm to defend the otherwise defenseless in the unlikely event of an attempted mass shooting, say about what union leaders think about those they supposedly represent?
The bromide that “guns have no place in our schools. Period” is nothing more than a foot-stomping insistence that violence will be banned — and the very fact of the ban, coupled with the insistence that we support it — is enough to prevent said violence, once we begin taking away every possible implement that can be used violently.
The fact is this: so long as people can legally obtain firearms, a right protected in the Bill of Rights as a natural right that the government is expressly forbidden to infringe upon, the potential exists for bad things to be done with guns, be they hunting rifles, semi-auto pistols, or “military-style” semi-auto rifles, which are really nothing more than rifles that look scary but that function like any other semi-automatic weapon.
And so long as that potentiality exists, the way to prevent the bad things from happening is to deter people from attempting them. Knowing that their slaughter fantasy could end before it really even gets started by a responsible and legally armed citizen tends to focus the mind of those bent on creating a spectacle of mass death. Which is why they look for soft targets, where they know people are unarmed. Like, for instance, many schools or malls or theaters marked as gun-free zones.
Hell, no teacher even need necessarily be carrying. Because it’s the potential that they are that is the deterrent. And yet the left is so tied to its perverse ideological pieties that it refuses to even allow for the possibility of a solution if that solution flies in the face of one of their deepest held biases.
The rest of the press release — expressing a veiled desire to turn every behavioral problem noted in a child or teenager into a mental health issue — is just the method by which the left can further restrict the pool of potential free men and women. Because as we know, it was this push to “destigmatize” mental illness that lead to the closing of many mental health facilities in the first place. And we all know who pushed that agenda. If legitimate concerns exist about potentially dangerous mental disorders, I’m all in favor of having children seen by qualified mental health professionals, with court oversight regarding any attempts at categorization that would lead to a loss of natural rights. But I’m talking here about things like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, not a tendency to “bully”.
And while we’re ramping up screening for mental defectiveness, it seems prudent to remind these union mouthpieces that one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Like, for instance, “assault weapons bans” and “gun-free zones.”
We are constantly having to deal with crises created by presumptuous politicians and delusional bureaucrats — who then tell us the answer to fixing the crises is to adopt the solutions being offered by those very same people who created it in the first place. And in nearly every instance, the “solution” involves the usurpation of individual liberty.
Here, we have the head of the two major teachers unions chiding lawmakers who recognize that wishful thinking and moral posturing won’t stop spree killing.
What they are calling for is peace through strength. And to the left, this has never been palatable, regardless of its effectiveness.
Leading me to believe that the teachers’ unions care less about the safety of the children than they do about their own ideological agenda.