GOOD

Research Shows Why It’s A Terrible Idea To Arm School Teachers

The gun control debate needs more fact-based solutions.

Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school reopened on Feb. 28, 2018, two weeks after 17 people were fatally shot by a former student. Photo by Rhona Wise/Getty Images.

One of the biggest problems with the gun control debate is that so little of it revolves around facts. If lawmakers were serious about public safety, there’s a wealth of knowledge available that can lead them to create effective policy.


But instead of looking for a serious solution to America’s mass shooting epidemic, President Trump simply took a page out of the National Rifle Association’s playbook and suggested that the country should arm as many as 20% of its school teachers.

He even said it with a straight face.

\n

What’s wrong with Mr. Crabtree coming to homeroom packing heat? According to an FBI study on mass shootings from 2000 to 2013, not a single shooting was stopped by a concealed carry permit holder who was not a security guard, police officer, or active duty military. 21 were stopped by unarmed civilians.

FBI statistics also show that opening fire on a mass shooter is a very dangerous proposition. In 21 of the 45 instances in which a police officer opened fire on the shooter, an officer was shot (28) or died (9).

Studies also suggest that arming 20% of the nation’s 3.2 million school teachers could result in an increase in crime across the board. John J. Donohue III, a Stanford law professor, used more than 30 years of research to determine that right-to-carry laws increase violent crime in states by up to 15% over a 10-year period.

Prevailing logic says that an armed society is a polite society and that fewer people consider committing crimes if they believe that they may be around someone who’s armed. But research shows that non-threatening situations such as road rage and intimate partner violence are much more likely to escalate into deadly encounters when there’s a firearm involved.

Till now, if Mr. Crabtree got cut off in traffic and didn’t have a gun, there was little chance he’d kill the other motorist. But now that he has his school-issued Glock in his glove compartment, all bets are off. The same logic applies to scuffles in a classroom, whether between students or with a teacher (or security guards or police). A run-of-the-mill fistfight now has a much greater chance of becoming deadly.

Arming 20% of the nation’s school teachers would also put over 600,000 more guns into circulation. Research shows that people who routinely carry guns outside the home are at least three times as likely to have one stolen. So arming teachers would, in turn, increase the number of illegally owned guns in circulation.

A sound, evidence-based policy would disarm shooters, not arm teachers. While banning assault rifles wouldn’t end the grisly mass-shooting phenomenon altogether, the assault weapons ban that was in place from 1994 to 2004 proved to be effective at lowering the number of massacres.

\n

According to research by Louis Klarevas of the University of Massachusetts at Boston, while the assault weapons ban was in place, the number of gun massacres with six-plus deaths fell by 37% and the number of people dying from gun massacres fell by 43%. But when the ban lapsed in 2004, there was a 183% increase in massacres and a 239% increase in massacre deaths.

There were zero gun massacres with six-plus deaths from 1994 to 1998.

\n

The best way for the U.S. to tackle the mass shooting epidemic is for our citizens and politicians to be armed — with the proper facts and research to create meaningful gun policies that will save lives.

Articles
AFP News Agency / Twitter

A study out of Belgium found that smart people are much less likely to be bigoted. The same study also found that people who are bigoted are more likely to overestimate their own intelligence.

A horrifying story out of Germany is a perfect example of this truth on full display: an anti-Semite was so dumb the was unable to open a door at the temple he tried to attack.

On Wednesday, October 9, congregants gathered at a synagogue in Humboldtstrasse, Germany for a Yom Kippur service, and an anti-Semite armed with explosives and carrying a rifle attempted to barge in through the door.

Keep Reading Show less
Communities
via Andi-Graf / Pixabay

The old saying goes something like, "Possessions don't make you happy." A more dire version is, "What you own, ends up owning you."

Are these old adages true or just the empty words of ancient party-poopers challenging you not to buy an iPhone 11? According to a new study of 968 young adults by the University of Arizona, being materialistic only brings us misery.

The study examined how engaging in pro-environmental behaviors affects the well-being of millenials. The study found two ways in which they modify their behaviors to help the environment: they either reduce what they consume or purchase green items.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

One of the biggest obstacles to getting assault weapons banned in the United States is the amount of money they generate.

There were around 10 million guns manufactured in the U.S. in 2016 of which around 2 million were semiautomatic, assault-style weapons. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry's trade association, the U.S. industry's total economic impact in 2016 alone was $51 billion.

In 2016, the NRA gave over $50 million to buy support from lawmakers. When one considers the tens of millions of dollars spent on commerce and corruption, it's no wonder gun control advocates have an uphill battle.

That, of course, assumes that money can control just about anyone in the equation. However, there are a few brave souls who actually value human life over profit.

Keep Reading Show less
Health
via Reddit and NASA / Wikimedia Commons

Trees give us a unique glimpse into our past. An examination of tree rings can show us what the climate was like in a given year. Was it a wet winter? Were there hurricanes in the summer? Did a forest fire ravage the area?

An ancient tree in New Zealand is the first to provide evidence of the near reversal of the Earth's magnetic field over 41,000 years ago.

Over the past 83 million years there have been 183 magnetic pole reversals, a process that takes about 7,000 years to complete.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Pixabay

The final episode of "The Sopranos" made a lot of people angry because it ends with mob boss Tony Soprano and his family eating at an ice cream parlor while "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey plays in the background … and then, suddenly, the screen turns black.

Some thought the ending was a dirty trick, while others saw it as a stroke of brilliance. A popular theory is that Tony gets shot, but doesn't know it because, as his brother-in-law Bobby Baccala said, "You probably don't even hear it when it happens, right?"

So the show gives us all an idea of what it's like to die. We're here and then we're not.

Keep Reading Show less
Health