In the wake of the latest mass shooting that resulted in dead children, the debate over the usefulness of armed citizens took a new turn: should we arm teachers as a protection measure against mass shooters?
In addition to teaching our kids, teachers are now being asked to take up the role of the “good guy with a gun.” The pitfalls to this logic are many. After the Sutherland Springs church shooting in Texas, conservative media used the tragic event as an example of what can happen if a good guy with a gun is on the scene. But as Vox pointed out last November, that claim doesn’t quite add up.
Before another armed person intervened against the Sutherland Springs gunman, he had already killed at least 26 people and injured approximately 20 others. He managed to shoot more than 40 people before “a good guy with a gun” reportedly helped stop him.
Around the same time, an NRA member and firearms instructor gave an interview to a local news station and spelled out the problems with entrusting private citizens with our safety in the even that someone opens fire with an assault weapon.
“[If] you’re sitting in a church and you’re praying and, you know, it’s a moment of quiet and solitude and everything else, even if you’ve got a gun, and somebody comes in, opens the front door and starts blasting away, you’re going to do what everybody does: You’re going to hit the floor,” Mike Weisser said in an interview with WBUR. “The idea that the average citizen, even if he’s had a little bit of — I don’t want to call it training, just experience in using a gun, because it’s not training — you don’t get trained by just a little time at the range and having some guy tell you, ‘OK, you know, point the gun here. Bang, bang, bang.’ That’s not training.”
His words can easily be applied to the armed teacher scenario.
But there’s an even simpler refutation to this logic: What if the good guy with a gun is mistaken for a bad guy when cops arrive on the scene of a mass shooting? This question caused me to immediately think of the following comic by artist Ruben Bolling:
[This article has been updated to reflect current events]