Teachers locked and loaded (Feb. 28)

Picture this; as a matter of fact you don’t have to “picture this” or use your imagination, just go to YouTube and do a search on students assaulting teachers and you will find plenty of videos of teachers trying to calm violent students. I can only imagine if the teachers had a gun. If I was a teacher in some of these instances I would be terrified. What if the student is able to get the gun from the teacher or the teacher thinks the student has a weapon and they really don’t?
The debate of arming teachers began after the latest school shooting in Florida. There were 17 people killed by a person carrying an AR-15. The President of the United States has suggested that if a percentage of teachers were armed this would not have happened or a teacher could have stopped the shooter before more lives were lost. At no time did the President mention that there is not a need for regular people to own this type of rifle. According to the Washington Post the gun used in the Florida massacre is manufactured by dozens of companies nationwide, the ubiquitous synthetic and aluminum rifle, known as the AR-15. It’s a civilian variant of the military’s M-16 series of rifles and carbines. It’s favored because of its relative light weight and anchor points for numerous modifications, and serves as a type of lethal erector set for millions of Americans. Although the AR-15 has been standard issue for American service members for decades, the weapon’s ascension to a nationwide staple is a bit of a mystery. Conceived by a company started in a Hollywood garage and solicited by an unlikely trio made up of an aeronautical engineer, an arms salesman and a Marine, the AR-15, (AR standing for ArmaLite Rifle) was born in the late 1950s and came of age during the Vietnam War as an answer to Mikhail Kalashnikov’s AK-47.
When supporters of the rifle are asked why the AR-15 is needed by a civilian, the answer has been “it is a hunting rifle.” My question is what are you hunting? The price of the gun varies between $800-1800 and it comes in matte black but some brands can also be purchased in pink if you don’t want that military look.
Let’s look at the question again: should teachers be armed with guns? I say no, I believe there is not a need for this type of weapon to be owned by civilians. The question I ask is why is it even available for sale?
Mark your calendars for BASH—Black Association of South Hills Annual Scholarship fundraiser luncheon on Saturday, March 24 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Meadowlands Hotel in Washington, Pa. This year’s theme is 40 and Fabulous as BASH turns 40. This luncheon is always a good time, I’ll see you there. For information, visit www.bashforwomen.com.
The latest book winner is Denise Johnson, she walks away with “Writing to Save a Life: The Louis Till File.” Watch for another chance to win next week.
(Email Debbie at debbienorrell@aol.com)
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