Some folks may remember a story I shared from years back when an armed gunman entered the middle school only a few miles from our home and took five girls hostage in the locker room next to the school gymnasium. That was my oldest daughter’s school. And she had just played basketball in that very gym a few weeks prior to the incident.

Thankfully, an armed resource officer was at the school and was able to diffuse the situation within 20 minutes. It was another incredible example of a good guy with a gun being able to stop a bad guy with a gun. But I could not help but wonder: What if the safety officer hadn’t been there? None of the teachers or staff were armed. They weren’t — and still aren’t — allowed to carry firearms. And the situation that developed that afternoon could have turned out terribly. With no one else having an equalizer or a tool for that last resort of self-defense, none of us know what may have occurred.

Debate Over Guns in Schools

The debate about whether or not school employees should be able to legally carry a firearm has been a hot-button topic for many years. Some claim that having guns or arming teachers puts people at risk. But others argue that banning guns and disarming law-abiding citizens puts people at even more risk.

My personal belief is that teachers and school staff should be able to carry their personal defense guns if they choose. Especially if they are already armed and trained, it’s disheartening that these folks are disarmed, simply because of where they work. I would want the good people who already have the community’s trust to watch, teach and guide our children to have the ability and opportunity to protect them, as well.

What the Survey Says About Arming Teachers

It seems that gun owners, including those who have very recently purchased guns, also support teachers in schools having a means for protection. A recent survey from the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago showed that a majority of first-time gun buyers support qualified teachers being able to carry concealed in order to protect themselves and their students.

In the survey, 1,106 respondents were asked to indicate whether they would favor or oppose allowing teachers and school officials to carry guns in K–12 schools. Results (in percentages) showed the following:

Overall

(1,106 participants)

Non-Gun Owners

(758 participants)

Pre-Pandemic Gun Owners

(295 participants)

Pandemic First-Time Gun Buyers

(41 participants)

Strongly favor 16 10 31 26
Somewhat favor 25 23 29 44
Somewhat oppose 24 25 25 12
Strongly oppose 34 43 15 19
Don’t Know/ Skipped/Refused 1 0 1 0

(Note: Pre-pandemic gun owners owned a gun before March 2020. Pandemic First-Time Gun Buyers bought their first gun since March 2020.)

While I am not surprised that most of the non-gun owners indicated they “somewhat oppose” or “strongly oppose,” it’s refreshing to see that the majority of even the newest members of our 2A community are “strongly” in favor or “somewhat” favor qualified school employees having their right to keep and bear arms recognized and protected.