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Henry Blodget: Will arming teachers guns help stop school shootings?

Henry Blodget: Will arming teachers guns help stop school shootings?

Business Insider Editorial Director Henry Blodget explains why arming teachers, Trump’s favored strategy to prevent more school shootings, is unlikely to solve the problem. 

 Will giving teachers guns help stop school shootings? Gun massacres are an American crisis. They aren’t a “price of freedom.” If we do nothing, they will happen again and again and again. The inaction of Congress over the past decade has been a disgrace. Doing (almost) anything is better than doing nothing.

So the deepest respect to the students in Florida who are demanding more than “thoughts and prayers.” Kudos to President Trump and lawmakers for at least talking about doing something.

The favored solution of President Trump and many in Congress is more guns. Specifically, giving teachers guns so they can kill school shooters before the shooters kill kids. Will that help?

Well, first, arming teachers is indeed an emotionally appealing solution. If a crazy person does charge into my kids’ school to shoot children, I would like a whole platoon in there to take him out.

But the reality is more complex.

First, the evidence suggests that right-to-carry laws that allow citizens to carry guns do not reduce violent crime. In fact, they increase it. A 2018 study found that: “Right-to-carry laws are associated with higher aggregate violent crime rates, and the size of the deleterious effects…climbs over time.”

“Ten years after the adoption of right-to-carry laws, violent crime is estimated to be 13-15 percent higher than it would have been without the law.”

Second, even trained professionals in the right place at the right time can’t always stop an assailant with a gun. For example, the Parkland school did have an armed security guard on the campus at the time of the shooting. He did not stop the shooter.

As another example, look at this picture of President Ronald Reagan just before he and his aides were shot. The President was surrounded by trained, armed professionals. They did not stop the shots.

In short: maybe some deterrent effect, maybe in some cases less devastation, but not likely to solve the problem. And not likely to be nearly as effective as sensible gun-control laws.

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