Should we give children guns to protect them from school violence?

30 posts

Flag Post

I originally posted this in Off-Topic because I didn’t think anyone would take it seriously, but a few people in chat suggested I repost this here.

Now, obviously this isn’t a realistic idea but I’d like to see you guys debate it, just for the sake of discussion.

You’ve probably heard the arguments that school staff should be armed to protect kids from shootings, but what if we take that idea a step further, making the kids themselves responsible for their own safety? Would it teach them self-reliance? Would it stop bullying, which is only possible when there’s an imbalance of power? How many kids would accidentally shoot themselves, and would it be worth the risk?

 
Flag Post

Not all kids would understand how to handle a gun properly, so some kids would actually hurt themselves or others on accident because of that.

 
Flag Post

Legitimately though Shawn I feel like they should really avoid giving the guns to minorities if this bill were to ever pass Congress, the simple fact is this, Shawn; minorities per capita have significantly higher crime rates than the Caucasian community. I think that besides that this is a great idea, and I know Obama would really appreciate your input, you should write him a letter. I think that this would put a huge damper on bullying, because kids simply wouldn’t want to get shot in the face, especially the unarmed minorities. I think that kids accidentally shooting themselves is okay, we have 7 billion people on the planet, a few murders never killed anyone.

10/10 would pass Congress.

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by Based_Sellers:

Not all kids would understand how to handle a gun properly, so some kids would actually hurt themselves or others on accident because of that.

Suppose we gave all kids weapons training? Third-world militias have successfully taught children how to handle firearms.

A few special kids would still die, but some would call that natural selection. I’d rather not, because I don’t want this to turn into a discussion on that.

 
Flag Post

If we’re going to take this seriously…
Unless it’s a pistol or something, I really wouldn’t appreciate the extra bulk, especially in winter.
If the kids have guns, I’d expect people to start shooting. People who’ve been bullied since they were wee lads would shoot the bullies, and possibly anyone else they see, such as in Columbine, and then there’d be massive shootouts in hallways just in self-defense.

Oh, let’s not forget that a lot of people would forget to turn their safeties on and would probably shoot themselves. People can’t even remember their fucking pencils.

 
Flag Post

I read a short story in which high school students were allowed guns. Within a month every teacher and student was dead, except one.

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by 1shawn1:
Originally posted by Based_Sellers:

Not all kids would understand how to handle a gun properly, so some kids would actually hurt themselves or others on accident because of that.

Suppose we gave all kids weapons training? Third-world militias have successfully taught children how to handle firearms.

Perhaps children would be more suitable to handle guns then.

 
Flag Post

You are overlooking a major part of the problem: The teaching staff.

One of a teacher’s core job requirements is to instill a sense of discipline in the children. Without discipline in the school environment, how can they effectively learn? This means they need to be an authority figure to the kids.

How can a teacher be an effective authority figure when every child they are teaching has a lethal ranged weapon capable of killing that teacher in one shot should the kid be annoyed enough to reach for it? Arming the teachers won’t help either. You’re creating an arms race that will completely destroy the pupil-teacher dynamic, replacing it with a battlefield mentality with lethal weapons on all sides.

The first real casualty will be the teaching dynamic, meaning the atmosphere conductive to learning will be lost, as will the teacher’s control of the classroom. A heavily-armored bunker mentality would be the only way to realistically survive in such a teaching environment, and that would mean sacrificing many if not most styles of teaching in lieu of personal safety of the teacher.

In other words, the schools’ ability to educate their pupils is severely, and perhaps fatally compromised. At that point, what is the point of even sending them to the facility in the first place?

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by zonoro12:

I read a short story in which high school students were allowed guns. Within a month every teacher and student was dead, except one.

CROW?
LOLz
 
Flag Post

No.

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by yeasy:

No.

Even though this responses to the OP is as simple as it is terse, is there really a serious need for there to be any further input regarding this issue?
Probably not.
But, I will do so, anyway, in the hope that the reason for a simple “NO” might be somewhat clearer for those who think arming KIDS is going to be a rational method of addressing some negativities in their lives.

On the possibility of violence from some external application of shooting: with an armed student body, this option is akin to burning down the barn to be rid of the rats.

On how to address internal negativity, such as bullying: arming students to prevent this is like hunting a rabbit w/ an elephant gun.

But, from my experiences in school, there are a host of disgruntlements (a failing grade, shitty food in the cafeteria, broken heart, etc.) experienced by a huge amount of the student body that would likely cause at least some level of consideration that an easily accessible gun would be a good option to apply to the situation.

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by Dammasta:

Or, just make everyone wear Kevlar school uniforms.Oror, everyone becomes homeschooled so that all school shootings are just family matters.

 
Flag Post

In other words, the schools’ ability to educate their pupils is severely, and perhaps fatally compromised. At that point, what is the point of even sending them to the facility in the first place?

That implies that a school’s purpose is to educate children, though.

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by 1shawn1:

That implies that a school’s purpose is to educate children, though.

Considering that is the whole purpose of schooling, the implication that it is meant for that is perfectly fine. Schooling’s purpose is to give them a basic general education that will lead to them having the ability to be productive and at least moderately capable adults in our society.

Once you start implementing methods that diminish or remove the ability of the schools to impart these basic skills to their wards, you start removing the entire reason for having them there.

 
Flag Post
Considering that is the whole purpose of schooling, the implication that it is meant for that is perfectly fine. Schooling’s purpose is to give them a basic general education that will lead to them having the ability to be productive and at least moderately capable adults in our society.

I think 1shawn1 meant that sarcastically, however, this does bring up another issue about how schools are seen in society. I know a lot of people treat schools as though they are glorified daycare centers, simply a place to keep their kids preoccupied for 7 hours each day, instead of observing the fact that it’s a school’s goal to equip children with the tools necessary to be effective citizens.

That said, I doubt that giving children weapons indiscriminately, especially when they’re either at a hormonal stage in their life, or don’t understand the concept of death yet, is a good idea. You could MAYBE make an argument that teachers should be allowed to, however even that seems to me like a markedly BAD idea, as not all educators really are used to being put into a law enforcement role, nor do they tend to have a full grasp of how severely important accountability is when it comes to weapons.

 
Flag Post

I also vote no.

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by 1shawn1:

I originally posted this in Off-Topic because I didn’t think anyone would take it seriously, but a few people in chat suggested I repost this here.

Now, obviously this isn’t a realistic idea but I’d like to see you guys debate it, just for the sake of discussion.

You’ve probably heard the arguments that school staff should be armed to protect kids from shootings, but what if we take that idea a step further, making the kids themselves responsible for their own safety? Would it teach them self-reliance? Would it stop bullying, which is only possible when there’s an imbalance of power? How many kids would accidentally shoot themselves, and would it be worth the risk?

now give kids guns so they can shoot each other and go to jail for it! or get killed by policeman,teacher with gun etc.
 
This post has been removed by an administrator or moderator
 
This post has been removed by an administrator or moderator
 
Flag Post

Remember that the human brain technically isn’t ‘fully developed’ until the age of 25 and the last parts to mature are those involved with tasks such as rational decision making, forethought, etc (this is why kids and teens are inherently more reckless than adults)

Another thing you want to keep in mind is that most schools are already having enough of a problem getting enough supervision for kids, and dealing with the ones with behavioral problems, mental disorders, etc. (Keep in mind that in the USA every kid is still entitled to access to a free public education)

Also this is probably part of the reason all the sharp tools in art or shop classes are either kept under lock and key, or nailed to the floor. And part of the reason (apart from cost) that all the utensils in the cafeteria are plastic. Just saying, if the schools can’t even trust kids with unsupervised usage of an exacto knife, what makes you think they’ll ever trust them firearms?

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by ImplosionOfDoom:

Remember that the human brain technically isn’t ‘fully developed’ until the age of 25 and the last parts to mature are those involved with tasks such as rational decision making, forethought, etc (this is why kids and teens are inherently more reckless than adults)

I’m not disagreeing, just pointing out something you may well find interesting. Turns out we were wrong about the age 25 completion of genetic development. The prefrontal cortex continues to undergo genetic-driven changes well into the late 30s, and early 40s.

This is why personality continues to shift after the mid 20s. Development is still ongoing, part of the brain is literally still maturing. The part where you live, and controls every part of your personality not environmental stimulii based.

if the schools can’t even trust kids with unsupervised usage of an exacto knife, what makes you think they’ll ever trust them firearms?

Interestingly, a small subset of British children, usually from private schools do train with firearms as part of a holistic armed-forces-backed training regimen to install a strong sense of discipline and teamwork in the children. However, as noted, the scheme is driven by professional career military instructors, and gun training is only a tiny portion of what is taught.

 
Flag Post

Fair enough, but I’m willing to bet those British programs weed out all the problem kids before they give them any firearms, and they probably give them more supervision than the typical American public school. That and they probably limit access to fire arms to certain times of day (they probably keep them under lock and key when not in use). The problem with American public school is we are obligated to teach everyone, including the mentally ill kids and criminals of the future.

Besides I’d imagine that a class of 30 – 40 kids with guns might try to do something really crazy, like hold the teacher hostage or something (even if the teacher is packing heat, what can you do if 30 kids all decide to point their guns at you?) That and if you let kids keep fire-arms on them at all times, one of them is bound to eventually use it on impulse. I wouldn’t be surprised if a kid shot somebody else in the back of the head over some petty argument or insult that happened earlier in the day.

Besides there are better solutions to the problems of school security
-You could give the teachers and other faculty members fire arms and train them how to use them in a crisis situation (The training could be provided via the police department) This would be a nice cost saving measure, because then you don’t have to hire separate security personal (school resource officers) by allowing your regular personal to double as security personal. (Granted we may have to plant cameras in the class rooms to make sure none of the teachers are tempted to threaten the kids at gunpoint, and we’ll need to make that sort of misuse of power grounds for immediate termination of employment.)
-We could also make Kevlar the new school uniform
-We can also institute other security measures, such as adding new alarms, locks, etc to prevent people from breaking in during the day or other off hours.
-We could also institute some air-port style security to prevent kids from bringing guns, drugs and other contraband into the school (If you’re late to school, too bad, we won’t let you in)

- We could do something more to address the problem of mental illness in the country (I know we closed down all the asylums in a knee jerk response to the abuses going on there, but doing nothing to help the mentally ill and letting them run free in the streets is not a good alternative. Besides a lot of them end up in prison or homeless anyway.)
-In addition we could require a mental health assessment as a requirement for getting a gun license. Perhaps even go as far as require a mental health assessment every 5 years to renew the gun license.
-We could also make a law banning the storage of guns on a property where a mentally ill person resides (If you’ve got a mentally ill relative but still like to hunt, sport shoot or whatever you’ll just have to rent out a secure off-site storage unit for your firearms and ammo.)

 
Flag Post
Originally posted by ImplosionOfDoom:

Fair enough, but I’m willing to bet those British programs weed out all the problem kids before they give them any firearms, and they probably give them more supervision than the typical American public school.

Full military training program, so yes. Very heavy on the discipline, and continues out of school as well as in.

That and they probably limit access to fire arms to certain times of day (they probably keep them under lock and key when not in use). The problem with American public school is we are obligated to teach everyone, including the mentally ill kids and criminals of the future.

Isn’t NCLB a wonderful initiative we can thank the previous administraton for? (sarcasm, in case you’re unaware)

You could give the teachers and other faculty members fire arms and train them how to use them in a crisis situation (The training could be provided via the police department)

you would lose a lot of good teachers that way. When the subject was last discussed, there were many stating they’d refuse to teach if they were expected to carry a gun in class. I can fully understand that, since you’re destroying the teacher-student bond with an implied threat of deadly force. Plus of course a lot of teachers are crap, and will use the firearms to augment their teaching style if the kid isn’t behaving.

Granted we may have to plant cameras in the class rooms to make sure none of the teachers are tempted to threaten the kids at gunpoint, and we’ll need to make that sort of misuse of power grounds for immediate termination of employment.)

Cameras in classrooms are standard anyway these days. But you still have problems. What happens with cover teachers? They’re only in the school for one day, maybe two, then they’re gone again. Immediate termination of employment doesn’t work too well if you are no-longer employing them.

We can also institute other security measures, such as adding new alarms, locks, etc to prevent people from breaking in during the day or other off hours.

That’s increasingly being done, anyhow. The problem is cost there as well. Classrooms are typically large, well-lit rooms with (as a consequence) lots of large windows. Replacing them with security glass would cost millions. Likely millions per school.

We could also institute some air-port style security to prevent kids from bringing guns, drugs and other contraband into the school (If you’re late to school, too bad, we won’t let you in)

Some schools already do initiate lockdown procedures, and metal detectors are present at some US schools already. I’m interested in the development of the gunpowder sniffer, an electronic nose that can detect even a few parts per million in the air and track it back to source, but I’ve written to the developers before, and the thing’s still in lab development, not ready for deployment yet.

- We could do something more to address the problem of mental illness in the country (I know we closed down all the asylums in a knee jerk response to the abuses going on there, but doing nothing to help the mentally ill and letting them run free in the streets is not a good alternative. Besides a lot of them end up in prison or homeless anyway.)

Falls under socialised healthcare, and I’m certain you are well aware of the flak the Affordible Care Act has already received. Socialised healthcare is an extremely controvercial subject in the US (The only first world nation without it), as there is still a strong tendency to wish not to pay for the healthcare of others.

In addition we could require a mental health assessment as a requirement for getting a gun license. Perhaps even go as far as require a mental health assessment every 5 years to renew the gun license.

We could, but the NRA would likely block it. It would mean creating a registrar of who owns firearms in the country, and that is something they are dead set against, because of the imagined boogeyman of a government armed takeover. Unfortunately they have enough money and influence to make that idea a non-starter.

We could also make a law banning the storage of guns on a property where a mentally ill person resides (If you’ve got a mentally ill relative but still like to hunt, sport shoot or whatever you’ll just have to rent out a secure off-site storage unit for your firearms and ammo.)

That one might work, and is worth pursuing. However, you would have to narrow your focus to what types of mental illness you are barring, as many mental illnesses will not make the person a greater threat than anyone else. Some will even reduce the threat.

 
Flag Post
The problem with American public school is we are obligated to teach everyone, including the mentally ill kids and criminals of the future.

Treat someone like a criminal and you’re only encouraging them to become one. The problem is not that we teach everyone. It’s a very good thing that we teach everyone. If we could teach everyone better and more to individual needs, there would be far less crime.

You could give the teachers and other faculty members fire arms and train them how to use them in a crisis situation (The training could be provided via the police department) This would be a nice cost saving measure, because then you don’t have to hire separate security personal (school resource officers) by allowing your regular personal to double as security personal. (Granted we may have to plant cameras in the class rooms to make sure none of the teachers are tempted to threaten the kids at gunpoint, and we’ll need to make that sort of misuse of power grounds for immediate termination of employment.)

Two major issues with arming school teachers. The first is that you have now introduced another source for potential harm. The teacher may abuse their power or the gun may be stolen by a student. The second is that the more you turn school into a prison, the more tension and fear and rebellion there’s going to be from the students. Implicitly threatening children isn’t really the answer. Also, it’s not really a cost saving measure to train all the teachers, provide them with a firearm, and install cameras.

-We could also make Kevlar the new school uniform

Expensive, hot, bulky, ineffective for limbs.

-We can also institute other security measures, such as adding new alarms, locks, etc to prevent people from breaking in during the day or other off hours.

The vast majority of shootings at schools are done by students. A break in isn’t the problem.

-We could also institute some air-port style security to prevent kids from bringing guns, drugs and other contraband into the school (If you’re late to school, too bad, we won’t let you in)

1) Expensive.
2) Very time consuming.
3) Impedes education.

There are dozens of common reasons someone would arrive at school late or have to leave and come back. A bus could be late, car could break down, doctor’s appointment, was sick but started feeling better, etc.

- We could do something more to address the problem of mental illness in the country (I know we closed down all the asylums in a knee jerk response to the abuses going on there, but doing nothing to help the mentally ill and letting them run free in the streets is not a good alternative. Besides a lot of them end up in prison or homeless anyway.)
-In addition we could require a mental health assessment as a requirement for getting a gun license. Perhaps even go as far as require a mental health assessment every 5 years to renew the gun license.

Here’s what I really wanted to talk about, though I addressed your other points too. Mental illness is an extremely broad term and 50% of people have one sometime in their life. While an untreated mental illness is an issue (as is an untreated physical illness) when symptoms are addressed there isn’t a problem. Locking away everyone is a terrible solution. You’re correct that not helping them even while abandoning the idea of asylums isn’t helping, but it’s one less injustice. Anyways, the facts are that the vast majority of crimes are not committed by mentally ill people (although the most notorious probably are).

-In addition we could require a mental health assessment as a requirement for getting a gun license. Perhaps even go as far as require a mental health assessment every 5 years to renew the gun license.

An actual background check would help, but it isn’t the solution itself. I wouldn’t be against an evaluation to see if someone is competent to handle the responsibility and investigating whether they have a history of impulsive/irresponsible actions and anger issues (lots of car crashes/citations for example).

-We could also make a law banning the storage of guns on a property where a mentally ill person resides (If you’ve got a mentally ill relative but still like to hunt, sport shoot or whatever you’ll just have to rent out a secure off-site storage unit for your firearms and ammo.)

Secure storage at home is enough. It would be extremely hard to break into a locked safe. The problem is that most home storage is something akin to a pistol in the bedside drawer, under the bed, in the glove compartment in a car, or in a glass cabinet, stored with the ammo and ready to fire.

 
Flag Post

“Isn’t NCLB a wonderful initiative we can thank the previous administraton for? (sarcasm, in case you’re unaware)”

Actually the reason public school is obligated to educate mentally ill / mentally disabled kids probably falls under the Americans with Disabilities Act or something similar, NCLB is relatively recent and public schools have been obligated to teach the mentally ill / disabled since long before NCLB was enacted. And yes the ACLU would probably throw a fit if you arm all the kids excepts the ones diagnosed with mental problems (I’m willing to bet the NRA would join them in that tantrum as well)

In regards to the NRA throwing a fit over having a registry of those qualified to own fire arms, we could simply make a "no fly list’ of people who aren’t allowed to own fire arms so dealers know who they shouldn’t sell to. (Come to think of it that might actually be easier, since violent mental illnesses are fairly uncommon) Besides a list doesn’t need to be completely public, it just needs to be available to any establishment with a permit to sell firearms. (We may have to make some new regulation in regards to gun shows to make sure they are able to check this database as well, but I suppose the issue of regulating gun show sales might be a topic for another thread)