Do Teachers Want to Go Armed at School?

Do Teachers Want to Go Armed at School?
Do Teachers Want to Go Armed at School?

U.S.A. -(Ammoland.com)- Are teachers a bunch of gun nuts? Is this the root of a hidden conspiracy where school teachers are really the secret strength of the NRA? I doubt it. Fortunately we have real data so we don’t need to rely on my opinion. Facts show that a surprisingly large percentage of teachers want to carry a firearm at school. The fraction of teachers who want to go armed is several times higher than the average concealed carry rate across the US. That makes sense once we dig into it.

The conventional talking point is that teachers don’t like guns. Unionized teachers are broadly considered to be more liberal than the general populace. The president of the National Education Association said, “Bringing more guns into our schools does nothing to protect our students and educators from gun violence.” If guns are not the answer, then perhaps the teachers union president wants us to call animal control when a school is attacked. Most of us would call a good guy with a gun.

Union members are also reluctant to ask to do the work currently done by the members of another union. According to that meme, it is the job of the police to protect our kids at school, not armed teachers.

Unfortunately, it isn’t really the job of the police to protect us. Law enforcement gathers evidence for prosecution. Cops will arrest a suspect after they’ve built a case. The only time I can count on a cop to protect me is if I’ve hired an off duty police officer to work security for my private event.

A recent Gallup poll gives us some insights into what teachers think. The poll results are largely unsurprising. Most teachers don’t like guns. What is a surprise is that 18 percent of teachers would apply to take training and carry a firearm at work if their school district allowed it. 18 percent is certainly not a majority, but a majority of us don’t carry a concealed firearm in public either. On average, only 6 percent of adults have their concealed carry permits. That means teachers are about three times more eager than the average citizen to carry a firearm for personal protection.

That is both surprising and significant. I doubt we'd have attacks on our schools if 1 out of 6 teachers were armed. Who knew, and I wish the news reports had included that perspective when the poll numbers came out.

Teachers are about three times more eager than the average citizen to carry a firearm for personal protection.

The teacher’s desire to go armed makes sense when we think about it. In general, gun control becomes more popular after a mass murder. We all want to save lives, and our first impulse is to consider another law. Seeing the opposite effect among teachers seems counterintuitive.

The teachers perspective makes sense when we change our perspective. While most of us have a general interest in school safety, teachers have a particular interest. We both share our desire to protect students, but teachers will be on scene if a school is attacked. For teachers, school attacks are personal. Their response is personal as well.

..to which I say, “Thank you!” Every teacher I’ve talked to calls their students “my kids”. I love it that teachers want to protect “our kids”. I want teachers to save their own lives as well.

Don’t you?


About Rob MorseSlow Facts

The original article is here.  Rob Morse writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily, and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob is an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.

  • 16 thoughts on “Do Teachers Want to Go Armed at School?

    1. I’m a teacher and former LEO trained in ASR. I’m all for arming teachers, as long as certain conditions are met:
      * The names of teachers that are armed are kept secret, even to peers;
      * The firearms are kept ON THEIR PERSON;
      * The teachers choose their firearm; and
      * Enhanced firearms raining with bi-annual qualifications are provided.

      1. These requirements sound good (and necessary).
        Just one question: why the requirement that the firearms be “on their person”, as opposed to in a lockbox in the classroom, as some schools have recommended?
        — Is it just so that the teacher is *always* prepared, whether they are in their classroom or not?
        — Is it so the armed teacher has quicker access, “when seconds count”?
        — Is it to further support their anonymity, since lockboxes (unless in *every* classroom, whether used or not) would tend to give away which teachers were armed?

    2. I disputed this point with a former SWAT officer. Context is important. Officers are trained to seek out the threat and bring them down quickly and efficiently. I don’t know any teacher who would leave their classroom of students to pursue an attacker, they would protect their students. With that context I teach teachers two techniques: 1) Close the door, lock the door, get the kids out a window or in the safest place in the room, hide behind a desk, point your firearm at the door, and if anyone comes through the door who is not a police officer or known admin, shoot them; 2) If you choose to evacuate, position yourself next to a wall facing away from the exit/egress point, draw your firearm, and shoot any bad person who tries to enter the area your students are evacuating. When the last student is out, follow them to the rally point with your firearm holstered unless attacked. Teachers with military or law enforcement experience can pursue the threat after their students have evacuated.

    3. This is an interesting article that I put to my wife a now ex teacher. In her opinion, yes she was always concerned about the children in her care but on the other hand she is also concerned as to whether or not, even in a dire situation, she would be prepared to take another’s life and for that reason if she were still teaching she would not consider being armed with a lethal weapon. However, she would consider concealed carry of a taser.

      Again in discussion about this with her, she also reckons that those teachers who would consider using the firearm, should be allowed to carry but due to the highly sensitive nature of the environment within which the firearm is being deployed, that armed teachers ought to have appropriate firearms training. This should not be just restricted to marksmanship (although undoubtedly this is very important in an environment filled with kids), but also in how to handle and escalating situation.

    4. I agree with most of your article, Rob, but think that you mis-stated a particular statistic. You said, “Teachers are about three times more eager than the average citizen to carry a firearm for personal protection, when I think a more accurate interpretation is, “Teachers are about three times more eager to carry a firearm to protect their students, than the average citizen is to carry a firearm to protect themselves”.

      1. Agreed … but that’s not the point.

        The point is that teachers who *want* to be armed should be *allowed* to carry, if they of course get all the necessary training.

        1. “Training” being the key word here. I just love how the naysayers complain about putting a weapon in a teachers hands as if they wouldn’t know where to point the muzzle or even pull the trigger.

          1. @g, I completely agree.
            The two keys: (1) VOLUNTEERS and (2) TRAINING.

            And usually there is mention of giving them a small additional monthly stipend, for providing that extra protective service (which seems reasonable). And the district should provide the initial and recurrent training (you’d think that they would *have* to, for liability reasons if nothing else)

    5. No doubt, any teacher (educator) whose only option was to cower in fear inside their classroom full of children during an actual, or reported, active shooter incident would prefer having the means of protecting themselves and their students. Any teacher who says otherwise is either a complete fool or is lying.

    6. I’m always surprised by the number of people who have no experience with any kind of firearm and are downright fearful of them. Even when I went through Navy boot camp, many of my fellow recruits had never touched a rifle, much less a pistol. Therefore, when students take their education courses to become educators, they are easily indoctrinated by their liberal professors to become anti-gun activists. On the other hand though, for those of us who have grown up in families with guns of all types, hunted, and grew up in the outdoors where firearms were part of the adventure, we have been taught the facts of life safety from every aspect imaginable, and most importantly, to value the well-being of those around us. I personally know quite a few educators in our own community who want to conceal carry on campus, but the school board will not approve the issue that has been brought up for vote. One thing I am aware of is that educators, as a whole, are very protective of their students and will do anything to protect them. But for some, a great many, no one will ever be able to help them overcome their fear of firearms.

      1. “I’m always surprised by the number of people who have no experience with any kind of firearm and are downright fearful of them”:

        That’s, unfortunately, human nature. We’re often afraid of anything that we don’t understand. So the key is provide (positive) exposure and understanding. …Sadly, once the tide turns heavily against firearms, even if it’s for no good reason, it’s tough to get people to even *consider* some exposure, to educate themselves. (esp in highly “progressive” metro areas like SF Bay, LA, NYC, etc) I hesitate to invite friends or neighbors to the range, lest it draw a very negative, hateful reaction :-(.

    7. Yes they do want to be armed for defense of their students and themselves. Witnessed over 80 teachers and administrative personnel qualify for their CCW permit in the last two months here in Illinois, and that is in just one location. Now if their school system will let them carry in the school is another question.

    8. Teachers also have to face off against a room full of students, which may also factor in, especially in liberal 3rd world school systems like Chicago and Baltimore…

      1. Funny how no one else has addressed this issue. It certainly is
        more prevalent than school shooting incidents. As a retired teacher,
        I can vouch for those who are courageous enough to reveal that
        teachers are verbally abused and even physically assaulted in schools
        all across the country on a daily basis. This is the primary reason for
        so many teachers leaving the profession.

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