As a teacher, I was stunned at the horror and marveled at the bravery that took place up in an Elementary School in Connecticut on Friday. It is inevitable that when a tragedy like this happens, that gun control enters into the debate. I have always been a believer in the phrase, “guns don’t kill people; people kill people”, but this simplistic statement lacks the depth of conversation that this tragedy deserves.
I am a gun owner, and I am licensed to conceal. Even I have a difficult time determining if a school is the right place to carry. As it stands, Georgia law prevents me from carrying a firearm into school and I am thankful that I am allowed to leave my piece locked up in the car in the parking lot. I am also at a school with a dedicated School Resource Officer (SRO), but I know that they SROs are only at middle and high schools here in Hall County. Until recently, I wondered if the SROs were a productive use of tax payer dollars; now I wonder if they will become a requirement at all schools.
I have never liked deferring my safety over to the police or SROs. I have to wonder, however, if an environment with a bunch of 12-15 year old boys is a good place to pack a gun. I know that several teachers have had purses and other private property stolen. I would hate for my weapon to end up in the wrong hands. But there is something to be said about having more than one person with the ability to defend the wellbeing of the kids. If, by ducking shots, a person with bad intentions is at least delayed, I have to believe that lives would be saved.
It is time for a serious conversation concerning the safety of our kids, but I don’t think that gun control is the answer. It is my hope that we look at all options, including some that might make us uncomfortable, like arming teachers or administration. While I observe my moment of silence in honor of those at Sandy Hook, I can’t help but to think about what I would do if the same thing happened in Hall County while my gun was locked up out in the parking lot.