As Donald Trump appeared to suggest teachers should have guns to prevent mass shootings, creative writing teacher and US Navy veteran William Lapham rejects the idea of any teacher being armed.
The 61-year-old from Michigan tells Sky News giving guns to teachers would only "contribute to carnage" as the President insists he only wanted to "look at the possibility of giving concealed guns to gun adept teachers with military or special training experience".
President Donald Trump has suggested we should arm a few teachers with concealed weapons. I believe this is a terrible idea. Both as a teacher – I teach college writing at a small, Midwestern community college – and as a 30-year veteran of the US Navy submarine service, trained in the use of small arms defence.
We only need to look at how highly-trained soldiers on the battlefield find it tough to deal with rounds of bullets flying at them to realise how impossible it would be for teachers.
In a television interview, highly decorated US marine Dakota Meyer described being shot at saying: "There was so much fire it sounded like static over the top of your head. I was just waiting for one of those rounds to hit me in the face."
Meyer was out in the open and it was tough. But teachers are stuck in the corner of a classroom with 20-30 students working on the lesson of the day. Military strategists call what Meyer experienced "the fog of war".
Imagine the fog inside a schoolroom packed with kids learning the alphabet, or college physics, when an angry shooter enters firing an AR-15 or a 9mm handgun into hapless bodies. Now add to the fog the return fire from a terrified teacher.
We're talking about introducing more guns into the already out of control fog of gunfire: screaming kids, bullets snapping through the air, bodies getting hit, friends dying before horrified eyes, the smell of cordite in the blue haze that fills the air.
The shooter has many targets; the teacher, only one, and it would help if he or she squeezes the trigger in a state of utter calm, at a target not made of paper, but of flesh and blood. A target that is shooting back. The chance of the teacher contributing to the carnage is high.
First, from kindergarten to university, schools in the US are looking for ways to cut costs, not add to them. K-12 teachers here often buy their own classroom supplies, even books, in order to conduct classes conducive to learning.
Will the National Rifle Association (NRA) buy guns and training for the president's "specially trained teachers" or will these teachers have to purchase their own firearms?
Secondly, say the ensuing investigation determines the teacher killed a student in the melee. Will law enforcement and prosecutors hold the teacher criminally accountable? Will the grieving victims' parents hold the teacher accountable for the wrongful death of their child? The United States is a litigious society.
Thirdly, teachers join the profession out of genuine desire to educate for the good of the community in which they live.
In my case, I consider teaching a return on the debt I owe the world for hauling nuclear weapons around the Atlantic waiting to unbridle havoc from the deep. Teachers cannot properly perform their function in the classroom while standing watch for an armed intruder.
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Sadly, we should treat schools in the United States like the combat zones they have become. The place to stop the violence is at the front door. Reduce access points to just one. Station a guard as a barrier to the unwelcome. These measures seem doable at minimum expense.
The biggest concern parents and students should have is how much homework teachers are doling out, not their teachers' shooting scores.