Tuesday, August 9, 2022

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Arming teachers to prevent school shootings is illogical



I was confused by Mike Kooker’s Guest View article in the April 18 issue of Cityview. I’m not sure what point he was trying to make or which side of the gun debate he was trying to support. His words seemed to indicate that he was in favor of increased private gun ownership, but when one follows his directions to “look it up,” all the statistics seem to support the other side of the argument.

He asked readers to look at crime and murder rates in the U.K. and Australia, so I did and found statistics from 2010 indicating that the rate of murders committed with firearms in the U.K. were 0.07 per 100,000 inhabitants, compared with three per 100,000 in the United States (40 times higher in the U.S. than in England). He refers to Australia’s confiscation of all privately owned guns and increasing murder rates. I looked but could find no indication that any such confiscation has taken place and that 5.2 percent of Australians currently possess privately owned firearms. There was mention of some gun buy-backs and increased regulation on obtaining a firearm, but it appears to me that Australians can still possess firearms. Additionally, the articles I read all seem to point to the fact that since this regulation was increased, the number of killings (and the incidence of suicides committed with a firearm) in Australia has decreased.

As in the U.K., the rate of homicides committed with firearms in Australia appears to be significantly lower than in the U.S.

The thought that it’s a good idea to have teachers bring firearms into the classroom baffles me. It seems extremely unlikely that the teacher (remember, this is not a warrior or law enforcement professional, rather an educator) would be able to: retrieve the weapon from its secure location (locked in a gun safe); load the weapon; choose to run toward the danger rather than away from it; and would use the weapon in an effective manner preventing a shooting rather than accidentally shooting innocent parties.

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The people who commit gun massacres don’t seem like big planners and are not likely to be thinking of risks/consequences of their actions, so it would seem doubtful that the fact that a teacher may be armed would serve as any sort of deterrent. Additionally, the presence of weapons in the classroom would increase risks of accidental or intentional shootings.

It would be enlightening to see the facts and statistics used by Mr. Kooker in preparing his article which support his illogical and counter-intuitive position that increased numbers of guns will decrease violent crime.

Charles Kiehne
–Des Moines

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