April 12 Letters to the Editor
Arm teachers? There's a better approach
After reading Isaac Herrin's column ("Arming teachers isn't crazy; it's a practical thing to do" BMN March 29), I was struck by all of his reasons for why arming teachers is practical. It is not practical to even imagine the cost of arming even a few teachers in every school.
The common sense solution is for Congress to ban assault style weapons. AR-15 and AK-47 are weapons of war and should not be in the hands of the public. This common sense solution can be done without denying anyone the right of self-defense.
Cheryl A. Harper
Teachers weren't trained to be police officers
I am writing in reply to Mr. Herrin's column in the March 29 edition of the Black Mountain News. I sincerely hope that teachers in North Carolina's public schools are never armed. There are so many inherent faults and pitfalls in the "arm the teachers" idea that it should be eliminated from any debate on school safety.
Teachers are not police officers, nor should they be asked to become police officers within the few seconds that they may have in which to register that they are encountering a deranged person with an assault rifle.
Mr. Herrin gives the teacher four rounds to kill the shooter, (once s/he gets the Glock out of the box). Recent events have shown that trained police officers have a hard time carrying out that requirement even with their firearms in their hands. We are asking educators to do that with a couple of weeks of
"training" and for a $1,000-a-year tip.
Missing from the debate is "the fog of war" and Murphy's Law, which do guarantee that nothing will go as planned. You miss with your four rounds and you are dead, the kids are next and it's your fault. Or in many ways worse, a student gets caught in the crossfire and you are responsible. You live with the heartache of being the "teacher that missed," and you are the one on the news. Once again we make the teacher the scapegoat for society's ills.
No teacher should be put in the position of providing the kind of protection that others undertake only after extensive, focused training. Once the bullet leaves the barrel it goes somewhere, and for sure it will take a path that leads to a whole nest of problems.