The National Rifle Association (NRA) and President Donald Trump have come out united in their response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting which left 17 dead and several injured. Earning the $30 million the NRA gave him during the Presidential campaign. Trump cited the very same language that NRA Vice-President Wayne LaPierre spoke the day before, wanting to “harden schools,” and arm teachers with concealed weapons. Trump suggested as many as “40%” of teachers might be armed, possibly getting bonuses to carry while most teachers are using their own money to buy classroom supplies.
In addition to all the immediate responses as to why the NRA/Trump plan is insane; teachers could be mistakenly killed by first responders who mistake an armed teacher for a shooter, teachers accidentally students in friendly fire, more accidental shootings, and teachers who handle workplace disputes with a readily available lethal remedy. There’s another reason people of color should be concerned about more guns in schools. It’s the existence in Florida and over half of America’s States, of Stand Your Ground Laws. Most of which were written and pushed by the NRA and enacted by Governor’s and state legislators, beholden to NRA campaign contributions. In those states, including Florida where the most recent school shooting took place, the teacher would be able to legally shoot someone who they believe threatens them, whether true or not.
It is already well-documented that children of color are viewed differently in our schools. They are suspended and expelled disproportionately, they are charged with criminal offenses disproportionately. With teachers carrying weapons and the only criteria is that the teacher is afraid to discharge their gun, children of color will be shot and killed disproportionately as well.
The NRA sponsored law is insidious in that the person claiming they are standing their ground is assumed to be telling the truth. The other person with a version of the incident is often dead, unable to tell their tale. Florida Governor Rick Scott (who refused to appear at the Town Hall following the Stoneman Douglas shooting) and the Republican legislature passed an amended Stand Your Ground bill further encouraging people to shoot first, but the bill was later found to be unconstitutional.
I wanted to write that we must not be governed by gun laws, written by the NRA and implemented by their paid cronies, but that ship has already sailed. What we must do, is make a stand to protect teachers, students, and particularly students of color, and reject the foolish idea of arming teachers in schools. The only way that ends is with more shootings, more deaths, and more disparity.