Whenever our nation faces a school shooting, Republicans offer a mix of solutions. One of the solutions that is frequently offered is that if only we armed teachers, the teachers would be the firewall that could stop the killing in a school. Teachers, who are making less after inflation adjustment today than they were 10 years ago. The pay of a police officer as an average is less, but now teachers are asked to do both. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has recently put out his alternative plan, which, of course, includes arming teachers:

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There is a fundamental problem with this belief system: Those students who come into schools and conduct a shooting? These kids with guns who murder aren’t just criminals, they are also former students of the educators. When teachers say that they don’t want to be armed, there are very valid reasons.

I have had experience with great police officers and bad ones. I’ve had a police officer be part of saving my life from a violent crime, and I’ve seen an officer protect someone from abuse. What even someone with the right training will tell you is that these events have an emotional impact, and they had no personal relationship with the person beforehand.

Imagine, if you will, having a gun in your drawer as an educator and being expected to shoot and kill someone you taught as a young student. You might have known them as a second-grader or a fifth-grader. Maybe you knew them as a sixth-grader. You remember them helping your class, the fun of teaching them how to tie their shoes or read. 

Suddenly, that same student is armed with a weapon of mass destruction and you are expected to forget all of that and take down the student. Students can be frustrating, but they can also be a source of great personal pride. Many of us have fond memories of our teachers. Many teachers have fond memories of students. Certainly it is the love of the profession that keeps teachers doing it, not the money. 

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Republicans are far less concerned about solving problems and far more concerned about promoting gun sales. 

That isn’t a solution, it’s mental cruelty. Plain and simple.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

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