“The only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
This was what @onesoldiersmom tweeted in response to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, near Miami, on 14th February.
The only thing that will stop a bad guy with gun is a good guy with a gun. #ArmTheTeachers
— onesoldiersmom (@onesoldiersmom) February 15, 2018
It’s certainly an intriguing idea. A very tempting solution, since gun control is so strongly resisted in the United States, which has just seen its 18th school shooting in 2018 – and it’s only February.
Despite the carnage, nothing looks set to change. The current POTUS won’t even mention the word “gun” in his statement to the country about the massacre.
But the American public is getting angrier. And more worried. And now they’re starting to realise that this isn’t about gun control at all – this about saving children’s lives.
Because if the killing spree is allowed to go unchecked, if literally nothing is done to curb the violence, history will record these mass murders as a genocide. Because the adults owe the children a higher standard of responsibility, and they should have done better.
Listen: Amelia Lester explains why US gun laws remain unchanged, despite massacre after massacre.
In every civilised society, we agree that the adults owe a duty of care to the children. In America, that duty has been significantly breached. In Florida yesterday, 17 students were shot by the shooter; but really, he just pulled the trigger. Who loaded the gun? The people who have the power to unload it – the American government. But they just don’t seem to care enough.
Because just as it is the case with seat belts, and smoking, and vaccinations – it’s the government’s responsibility to be the adults and look after the nation’s future. To safeguard it. And not allow it to be wantonly decimated.
If they continue to simply refuse to do that, do teachers need to step up? It’s a last resort – but surely something has to be done?
In an op-ed to the New York Times, commentator David Leonhardt said, “A recent study in the journal Health Affairs concluded that the United States has become ‘the most dangerous of wealthy nations for a child to be born into.'”