Letter: Self-Defeating Arms Escalation

To the Editor:

I am shocked and, frankly, appalled that some people suggest that we arm teachers. First of all, not every teacher might be comfortable with a deadly weapon. Should we, therefore, hire only educators who like to carry guns? Should that be part of the job description? Secondly, how is, say, a kindergarten teacher supposed to keep a weapon in the classroom? Locked safely away, I would hope. Young minds and fingers are nimble, and an unsecured gun is an accident waiting to happen. And what, in the end, would a safely stored gun accomplish? Precisely nothing. The escalation of more and more deadly firearms is self-defeating and leads nowhere, except to more unnecessary tragedies. Yes, a variety of objects and substances can be used for murder, but they have other, more benign, functions. Guns are the only ones that have one function, and one function only — to kill. A healthy society does not turn its schools into fortresses, but conveys a sense that institutes of education are places of important learning, personal enrichment, and where varied opinions are respected, heard and discussed in a civilized manner. Do we want our children to take away the lesson that violence is best countered with violence?

Ulrike Rainer