Archive | 8:15 pm

More Guns Does Equal More Crime

19 Apr

       I read a very interesting article in The New York Times this past weekend. As most of us know, following the Newtown, Connecticut shooting the National Rifle Association called for a renewed effort to place more armed police officers in the public schools to…you know…make them safer…because more guns equal more safety which consequently also saves more lives.

Even the White House jumped on board and has since proposed an increased police presence in the public schools.

And the NRA is always happy to site previous instances where a gun wielding principal or resource officer has helped to stop or thwart a student or intruder who was attempting to do harm.

However, as those of us who have worked in the public schools know, and as many NRA officials and gun advocates also like to point out when citing their statistics, there aren’t that many horrific acts of violence that do take place in the public schools and are in need of thwarting.

So, what has been the impact so far of an increased police presence in our public schools?

There has been an increase in arrests and misdemeanor charges for what most teachers have always seen as essentially non violent behaviors… like scuffles, truancy and even cursing. As a result more students are finding themselves in court and in fact in Texas, where I am assuming there has already been a police presence in the public schools for quite some time, over 100,000 tickets are written each year by police officers in schools…which of course leads to fines and police records etc. where none would have been incurred before.

Experts have noted that it’s not necessarily the policemen’s or resource officers fault,  it’s just that hanging around kids all day who behave…like kids…can be, as any veteran teacher will tell you, enough to drive you over the edge of sanity. And I have known many teachers who would have arrested the better part of their  school’s student population each and every day, if only their most fervent dream had come true and they had somehow been deputized and allowed to carry a gun and wear a badge.

However, when properly trained and taught how to work with students and young adults and schooled in adolescent psychology and mediation techniques, life in the public schools returns to normal because, well…the policemen start to interact with the students more like…teachers… and life in the public schools gets back to normal.

And, even though one horrific act of violence is always one too many, walking the halls every day trying to prevent it can be a pretty boring job…especially when you are a gun toting officer of the law who is probably not used to such boredom…and then of course one would have to be in the right place at the right time anyway. (I think that my high school alone had over 50 different entrances and exits…not counting windows.)

So until we can come up with a way to prevent violence before it happens rather than try to be there to stop it when it does, it looks like more guns will equal more crime and parents will have to just make sure to add their lawyer’s number to their child’s speed dial and keep a bailout fund in the cookie jar next to the milk money.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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