At the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Thursday morning (Feb. 22), the NRA’s CEO and an NRA spokeswoman told audience members that stricter gun control laws were a threat to their freedoms and the right to bear arms. The CEO also accused the activists and #NeverAgain supporters of wanting to take away Americans' 2nd amendment rights.

Their message of disdain and opulent defiance was in response to anyone suggesting changes or restrictions on gun laws. This included the POTUS who had been vocal about considering age limitations, strengthening schools, arming teachers, and bump stock bans.

Other NRA targets were the student activists, and Senator Rubio, who the night before (Feb. 21), broke from NRA tenets during a public town hall. The meeting was hosted by CNN’s Jake Tapper, and millions of Americans watched Rubio defy the NRA, one of his largest funding contributors by agreeing with the teens that there was a need for new gun restrictions.

Although upset with both Rubio and Trump, the NRA held back Trump criticism. They did, however, agree with the POTUS on two points--fortifying schools and arming educators with weapons. Yes, teachers. The NRA loves the Annie Oakley idea.

From teacher to gunslinger

All this talk of the teachers carrying weapons began Wednesday (Feb. 22) morning, during a meeting with the POTUS, school shooting survivors, parents, and other community members.

Trump listened as parents and students, through rage and tears, detailed how their lives had been shaken by gun violence.

Midway through the meeting, the president asked for suggestions and oddly enough, one of the parents suggested giving teachers a weapon. Trump seemed to like the idea of school officials having guns. In real time, he began flushing out the idea of how many teachers would have a gun and what it would look like.

Since the preposterous utterance of teacher and gun in the same sentence, the story has gone viral.

Putting guns in the hands of teachers across the US is probably one of the worst ideas imaginable—ever; even if it would be a small percentage of school staff. The introduction of a weapon into a classroom full of kids who are developmentally impulsive is kindred to kicking over Pandora’s Box and yanking open the doors to unfathomable catastrophes.

Consider the scenario of students horse playing or fist fighting and the art teacher, Mr. Jones, comes to break it up. In a fraction of a second, the gun comes into play. What about the kid or teacher who had a bad week, and today is the day they decide they are fed up?

The list of ifs are infinite, and the potential outcomes rest on split-second decisions; the difference between life and death. Bottom line, teachers go into teaching to teach because they like kids and want to make a difference, not because of the awesome teacher’s pay.

Is the real world changing?

Have we gotten to the point where we are we now saying that it is safer to lock twenty or thirty students in a classroom where the underpaid, under-resourced, professional educator is expected to wield a steel gun in one hand and crayons in the other?

Are we expecting mousy second-grade teachers across the US, who’ve always dreamed of changing the world, to become marksmen and strap a Smith and Wesson to their hip? If so, then we have just moved into a world of pure fantasy. If this non-fantastical suggestion was the answer to American school shootings, then states would have implemented teacher and gun programs almost two decades ago after Columbine.

Not everyone is against the idea of teachers having guns in the classroom. According to a CNN report that aired on Saturday (Feb. 24), there is at least one school in Texas where teachers legally conceal and carry a weapon. Two students spoke with a CNN correspondent and shared that they felt safe that their teacher had a gun and could protect them in the event of an active shooter.

However, this school is the exception rather than the norm.

However, and to be clear, there are tens of thousands of teachers and faculty who adamantly oppose the idea of weaponizing school--and rightfully so. Educators and teacher organizations like the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) are against the idea, and there are some administrators open to the conversation. The mainstream teacher’s school of thought of having to take the life of one of their students, a former student, or stranger sits in contradiction to pedagogical principles. Teachers help build lives not take them.

This proposal to the nation is surrealism at its best. It appears to be spawned from a world where some phantasms and unicorns dwell.

Do teachers now have to add Kevlar vests to school supply lists? Instead of giving the teacher an apple, do we now give boxes of ammunition? May Zeus help us all if giving teachers guns is the best answer we’ve got to ending domestic terror in our schools and keeping our kids safe.