Will GCHS Pull the Trigger?

March 16, 2018

With the recent events in Parkland, Florida, everyone wants to know: should we be allowed to carry guns? Is it our constitutional right, or are we misconstruing old meanings? What guns should be allowed, who should be allowed to have them, and where should we have them? There is no straight answer to any of these questions that will please everyone.

One of the main areas of concern is mass school shootings. No wonder that people are concerned about our youth’s safety. After so many catastrophes, many feel that a ban on firearms all together is the only solution. But, could there be another way?

Your collection of guns doesn’t matter to me.”

— Alex McLaren

In December of 2016, one Denver school decided to take a big leap. (http://denver.cbslocal.com/2016/12/15/school-district-to-allow-teachers-staff-to-carry-guns-on-campus/)Their school board elected to allow teachers and other staff to be trained and utilize conceal and carry licenses on school property. Backlash followed the decision, but it was not an absent minded verdict. Many believed that with the threat of armed individuals present, criminals may be deterred from that particular school.

Shortly after, many other school districts across the country followed suit. Slowly, the idea of allowing teachers to be armed became more and more accepted. The question still remains: is conceal and carry right for us?

This popular controversy has spread even to the student population here at GCHS. Students of all different backgrounds and political views have their own differing opinions on this hot topic.

Senior Cody Trittschuh sees the potential benefits of letting our teachers and staff discretely conceal weapons. “I can see how both sides agree and disagree…[but] the extra protection could help prevent shootings.” He thinks that if steps are taken to arm teachers and it proves to be safer, others may be more willing to participate. “I think they should start with training of the teachers that agree with the idea of conceal carry and, over time, if it works, maybe the teachers against it will see differently.”

With how things are now, if we arm teachers I personally would feel even more scared of a student taking the gun or a teacher going crazy with their gun.”

— Joshua Raynor

Sophomore Joshua Raynor, however, isn’t eager to see teachers armed anytime soon. He fears that “With how things are now, if we arm teachers I personally would feel even more scared of a student taking the gun or a teacher going crazy with their gun.” He instead thinks higher security would be a more stable option. “We have one officer and no metal detectors…I’d say we for sure need metal detectors at all entrances and more staff around the building.”

Senior Alex McLaren thinks that we should have stricter gun control in the entire country, let alone arm our teachers. “I would rather, as a student, have no guns in the school, and stricter regulations on guns in the country…Your collection of guns doesn’t matter to me.” But, how does she think we should protect ourselves? “Protecting ourselves is getting rid of the problem before it happens…[it] is thinking ahead.”

So, do our students think we will make the leap and arm our teachers? Cody thinks we will in favor of being proactive. “I believe at one point, we will if we don’t take action now. More school shootings happen every year, and the number keeps growing little by little.” Joshua doesn’t see it in the cards for us in the future, though. “Ultimately, no, I don’t think the state will. Our state already has one of, if not the strictest gun control laws in the United States…With more shootings going on, they will know that just adding more guns will only feed the problem and make it worse.”

In the end, only time will tell whether we decide to arm our teachers and staff. Rest assured, if we end up deciding to, it will be in the hopes of protecting the students and staff of the Granite City School District. So, what will it be, Granite City? Will we pull the trigger on arming our teachers, or will we lock it away?

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