President Trump's most dangerous tweet

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

President Donald Trump recently reiterated, via tweet, his support for a controversial measure offering bonuses to teachers who receive arms training and will carry weapons in schools nationwide.

"Armed Educators (and trusted people who work within a school) love our students and will protect them," Trump tweeted Saturday, Feb. 24. "Very smart people. Must be firearms adept and have annual training. Should get yearly bonus. Shootings will not happen again a big and very inexpensive deterrent. Up to States."

This is not the first time the president has offered arming teachers as a potential solution to school shootings around the country. The president has also indicated, during a listening session with victims and activists from several school shootings, he wants to end the sale of bump fire stocks and to advocate for comprehensive background checks to emphasize mental health, according to CNN.

While I applaud the efforts to limit bump fire stocks, which allow weapons to fire bullets rapidly, and to increase the level of scrutiny going into background checks, I fear the president's focus on arming teachers and ending gun-free zones is a recipe for disaster.

The president frames the issue of gun-free zones as if they attract shooters by calling a gun free school "a magnet for bad people."

A gun-free zone is intended to keep guns out of everyone's hands. The rash of school shootings around the country are not caused by a lack of arms. The argument that if we give the "good guys" guns, they will protect us is short-sighted and will only make school a potential site for accidental shootings.

I know the president suggests only 20 percent of "the best" teachers with military or special training experience carry firearms on school grounds, but our schools are not a place for guns. Guns could make students and educators nervous, hurting school and job performance.

According to a Washington Post analysis, arming 20 percent of teachers would cost a minimum of $251 million up to in excess of $1 billion. Why couldn't we use that money to improve education and mental health services in our schools?

Arming teachers would send a message to our children and young adults that violence is a viable answer to their problems. Placing guns in our schools may also deter students considering the profession who do not want to be in an environment where guns are present.

This is the United States of America and one of the rights we treasure most is access to quality public education. Introducing guns in schools is an unnecessary distraction to the mission of our schools. The second amendment has yet to penetrate school walls, let's keep it that way and ensure the safety of another generation.