A Good Teacher With A Gun….

Jennifer Rubin published a recent column that zeroed in on two aspects of American fatuousness: the Republican office-holders who, with a straight face, are advocating arming teachers, and the “journalists” (note quotation marks) who fail to ask them the follow-up questions that would immediately show how utterly stupid and dishonest that suggestion really is.

Rubin quoted the Secretary of Education, who enumerated several of those questions.

Those are some of the stupidest proposals I’ve heard in all my time as an educator,” he said on “The View” on Thursday. “Listen, we need to make sure we’re doing sensible legislation, making sure our schoolhouses are safe as much as possible.” He then mused about how arming grade-school teachers would work in practice. “What happens when a teacher goes out on maternity leave? Are we going to give the substitute of the day a gun?” Hmm.

Sort of like those proposals to lock all the doors–in violation of fire regulations. I guess it’s okay for the kids to burn to death if you are protecting them from gunslingers…

In fact, a lot of questions come with such a plan. For example: Should teachers sport their AR-15s when they have bus duty or lunchtime duty? Where do they store these weapons of war? In a locked case? Should the gun be loaded and ready to fire?
How could a civilian teacher access a secured gun quickly enough to take down an armed murderer? If you are going to arm teachers, should we outlaw the body armor that many shooters wear? Since 18-years-olds should be able to buy AR-15s, according to Republican lawmakers, why shouldn’t they be armed in high schools?

We can all think of others. And as Rubin notes, it is highly unlikely that Republicans actually want to arm the same teachers who they insist are indoctrinating kids into critical race theory and “grooming” them for homosexuality.

She makes another important point: where are the media interrogators who will ask those questions to the people proposing these dimwitted ideas.

 Interviewers rarely press Republicans to explain their bad-faith arguments. Instead, the media often treat ridiculous ideas respectfully and move on without follow-up questions. Perhaps TV hosts should start inviting these Republicans to discuss their ideas at length.

Until Republicans are forced to confess that their ideas would be impossible to implement, they’ll keep changing the subject and deflecting demands for gun legislation.

It is absolutely impossible to blame America’s continuing and escalating gun violence on anything other than the enormous stockpiles of guns in this country. Every other nation on earth has people who are mentally ill, people who are “bad actors,” people who play video games and people who don’t go to church–the usual scapegoats identified by legislators who don’t want to even consider keeping guns developed for the armed forces out of the hands of 18-year-olds.

What those safer countries don’t have is millions of guns and repeated mass shootings.

A FaceBook friend recently posted one of those inane memes–this one from crazy Clint Eastwood–insisting that the problem is not guns, it’s “hearts without God, homes without discipline, schools without prayer, courts without justice.” My oldest granddaughter, who lives in northern England, nailed it, replying:

Yeah, here in the UK we have plenty of schools without prayer, most people are not religious and owning a gun is very difficult. We have no school shootings. 100% it’s the guns.

What is so maddening is that everyone really knows that. Our sniveling, spineless legislators know it. The American public overwhelmingly knows it. Seventy-four percent of voters support raising the age to buy an assault weapon–and so do 59 percent of Republicans, according to the latest Quinnipiac University poll. Universal background checks are supported by 92 percent of Americans. And this isn’t just some spike in the survey research, triggered by the horrifying, continuing carnage–majorities have supported common sense restrictions like these for years, and the Ted Cruzes and Steve Scaleses of the political world know it.

No one on the “left” (i.e., anyone who wants government to exercise a modicum of control that would make the carnage abate) is proposing to confiscate people’s guns ( with the possible exception of the AR-15). We just want common-sense regulations of the sort that other free and democratic countries have had for years.

We want those sniveling legislators to respect us enough to stop offering pious bromides (“thoughts and prayers”) and moronic proposals (“arm the teachers”). And we want real reporters who will ask these embarrassing excuses for legislators the hard, follow-up questions.


  1. As a gun owner I am sick of the carnage and have been for a long while. I’ve read there have been 200 school shootings since Columbine. This was one, of many, issues that showed me the GOP was not the same GOP I’d joined in the mid-1970s. We can respect peoples right to own arms ( in a general sense) and stop the slaughter. That republicans continue to parrot the NRA nonsense ( while they usually fail to note the Militia aspect of the 2nd which in general has been over come by events) is an embarrassment for the nation and a huge tell that many in the “pro-life” party value certain hardware over lives.

  2. I keep waiting for the gun nuts to arm the kids. Who will attack a school where all the kids are packin’ heat? Stupid stuff. On the reporter topic, I get tired of the one sided hand wringing about how AWFUL it is if interest rates are above 0%. Millions of retired people and other cautious investors invest in SAFE government backed CD’s in Government Backed financial institutions.
    Banks, Credit Unions and such have been paying near zero interest to these SAVERS. So if interest goes up a bit, that is GREAT news for those of us who save rather than borrow. I have yet to see that show up on any TV report so far. As our prof likes to say “Its depends and its more complicated than that” Higher interest is a GOOD thing for savers.

  3. I keep hearing that “92% of Americans want this” and “56% of Republican voters want that”, but when it comes time for that 92 or 56% of voters to show up at the polls and actually put their vote where their mouth is, where are they? We get exactly the government we deserve for every 2 years.

  4. The last that Ive heard, even the NRA is wanting back ground checks.
    But look at the outlier questions that are asked that will get us no where by those politicians in Washington. Its either my way or the highway high emotional propagandized approach to not actually being able to protect our kids. For almost two decades schools have asked for funding to protect at schools at the entrances and exits. In the UK there aren’t hardly any guns in the streets, so yes taking AR15 style guns away from 18 year olds is a start.
    Remember at one point we used to look at a higher power as a guide for decision making and morals. Even Isaac Newton in the introduction of the greatest work on physics directly inserted the his religious opinion about God.
    Our schools in their lack of morals can’t teach kids how not to bully unless we have morals. Kids are returning to their schools to get revenge it appears. What happened in Buffalo NY where an 18 year old made three separate trips to buy guns and ammunition is crazy alone. 21 year olds should be the starting age? We have evidenced that certainly 18 year olds aren’t there.
    So how do we protect our kids? If teachers are to be armed, what guidelines do we use? There are guns that only allow the owner to fire them. How do you educate a gun owner to be conservative strategically around kids when a shooter runs down the hallway or barricades themselves in a classroom. Local cops didn’t even make a move until border agents showed up.
    Our kids need protecting and the policization only causes us to drag our feet on methods to protect them.

  5. This is like every other topic in Washington – politicians accept bribes from the NRA and gun manufacturers to not do anything. Period.

    Look at the billions in “aid” we are sending to Ukraine to arm Neo Nazis in a losing proposition. No mass opposition from Democrats or Republicans. Progressives even voted for it.


    And yes, accountability and responsibility go with freedom. Let the victims bring lawsuits up the chain of ownership. Gun dealers, gun manufacturers, etc., etc.

    Also, the owners of guns should have to pay the extra liability insurance for their guns.

    The first $100,000,000 class-action suit against assorted Plaintiffs will bring about change.

  6. Arming teachers? Who then would aspire to be a school board member much less a principal. 😇

  7. The warning bell sounds.
    My well trained 7-8 yr olds file into the closet quickly and quietly, while I, the Great Gunslinger, trained to handle a pistol, move to push the closet doors shut, and pull my classroom door closed, making sure it latches.
    Then I dash across the room to the ‘safe’ and deftly unlock the door to retreive my pistol, load it and position myself behind a barricade while waiting on the shooter to break into my room.
    All this time, my 24 students are absolutely quiet and calm just like my Kindergarden hall mate’s students are in her room!
    When the shooter busts through the door, I take them out with one shot, all the while keeping my students quietly reassured that their gun-totin’, Math teaching, written language specialist can slap a band-aid on them while takin’ out the bad guy!

    I’ve become Ralphie from “The Christmas Story”

    @StateSenBlake Doriot

  8. Beth Bowers Kallimani, you made me chuckle and then cry. I’m a teacher. I don’t want a gun. My colleagues don’t want guns. I can think of. I of nothing worse than your accurate scenario of being a gun-slinging teacher. I sling words daily. But bullets. Hell, no. That’s the day I quit.

  9. No one has ever answered a question I’ve asked hundreds of times. That is, “Why do you need an assault rifle?” There has been some talk of showing the damage that’s done by weapons of war to the bodies of children. That seems like it would be adding additional horror for the parents and families of the victims, but it might be just the thing for any politician or lobbyist who promotes an historically incorrect view that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear whatever arms any citizen can get his or her hands on. Gather them up in auditoriums across the country and show the video of the autopsies of those babies.

  10. I think Liz Browning has hit the nail on the head. It’s pretty unlikely that our Republican “friends” are intending to arm those godless heathen/grooming/CRT loving/equality insisting/woke liberal slash democratic teachers. I would tend to think one of the goals of this whole push is to get the “bad” teachers to quit to make sure the ones who stay are the gun-toting, god fearing, hard-right “good” type.

  11. Peggy, I think you’ll find showing the damage the guns do to bodies would only encourage the people who love assault rifles to love them more. The reason they want them (so they say) is to fight off our “tyrannical” government. The point is the damage the guns do. Showing those guns are only good at killing people only encourages them to want the guns so that they can stop the government. The argument “assault rifles are no good for hunting” will be utterly ineffective because they don’t want them for hunting.

    Now, how many of the ammosexuals would run away from an actual fight with an actual tyrannical government and are just hoarding to protect their manhood is an entirely different conversation.

  12. Hmmm,

    It seems to me the good guy with a gun argument is useless looking at the spate of gunned down Police officers trying to apprehend criminal suspects! Police officers are highly trained for the most part, depending on municipality. If they can’t keep themselves alive dealing with the criminal element, who are probably better armed, how are teachers supposed to intervene in a shooting scenario?

    Certainty of death scenarios usually will elicit a huge freak out panic which serves no purpose but to create more death and carnage!

    Is a teacher who is aiming at a criminal wanting to save their own life, concerned about who might be in the vicinity? Who else is in the line of sight? Bullets have no conscience, and the so-called “collateral” damage would be astronomical!

    The ignorant sound bites are for the stupid who lapp it up like desert traversing camels at a watering hole.

  13. James – 100% Right on!

    Why don’t journalists ask the hard questions? Easy, if they did, they would be labelled by the Right as being partisan. Why real journalism is dying….

  14. It only takes a mindless Republican to trot out the absurdities of limiting school building doors and arming teachers. As usual, Republicans can’t think past their script provided by those who bribe them.

    And please don’t trot out the argument about both sides being in on this. Yes. It’s the guns, stupid! So, naturally, Republicans embrace the notions about more guns in classrooms and everywhere else. Why? Because Republicans are stupid beyond measure and corrupt beyond that.

    The solutions to this dilemma BEGINS with removing Republicans from all elected offices. The next step is to overturn Citizens United v. FEC, that mindless decision made by mindless Republican SCOTUS Justices. The next step is in fact to confiscate the publicly owned AR-15 style firearms, their magazines and ammunition in a buyback program. THEN send all that hardware to Ukraine where it will do the most good.

    Silly me.

  15. Vernon,

    Did Sheila share the “aid” she was drinking yesterday with you?

    A toast for y’all – here’s to “Imagine….”

  16. What do Trump, Putin, Xi, Kim Jong Un, and the NRA, have in common?

    Might makes right.

    Now most Republicans, following the tradition of the color red, tend to agree with all of them.

  17. So guns in the hands of school teachers will solve the problem? What’s next? Will priests, preachers and rabbis pack heat? How about school board members? Lodges and other such voluntary associations? If, as many claim, they need guns to protect their family and property, then why do they need them to strut down the street and live out their John Wayne phantasies? And what do bank guards do in open carry states when people walk in the bank with a brace of six guns on their sides? And how about supermarket cashiers? Are we destined to be the United States of Tombstone?

    We are told by the NRA in essence that if everybody packs heat, few will use it, apparently for fear of reprisal. This, of course, is a ridiculous claim and one not backed by the evidence, i.e., in relatively gunless contries, killing by guns is rare. Why? Virtually nobody packs heat because virtually nobody has heat – a rather simple statistical outcome. Duh!

    We need common sense reform of gun laws, starting with a nationwide requirement of surrender of AR-15s and other such guns made for military use a la the Australian program which, incidentally, resulted in vast decrease in homicides in that country. When? Now.

  18. Another question to ask: if teachers will be armed, will they also be granted qualified immunity?

  19. Dick – you get the “Jennifer Rubin Award” – she finds/writes such questions…

  20. We have more guns per capita than any other nation. If more guns made us safer, we’d be the safest nation on earth by now with NO mass shootings.

  21. Lester,
    The only “aide” I use comes from the facts sheets. The Republicans have given rational people abundant data to make the same conclusions. See Dan Patrick the Lt. Gov. of Texas for the perfect example for my rants.

  22. I think arming teachers is probably the absolutely stupidest idea I’ve ever heard of. Gee whiz, what could possibly go wrong?

  23. The actions of the police in Uvalde show just how stupid the “good guy with a gun” argument is.

    Anyway, the main problem with guns is they are too lethal. It should never be that easy to kill another being. One surge of anger or depression, and a life can be ended in an instant. So, of course, more guns equals more gun deaths. I think the “protecting the home” argument is equally asinine. And here’s an article to back that up:


    Note that the article includes a link to the actual study. It’s worth reviewing. It’ll be as unsurprising as it is horrifying.

  24. Dirk, every time I see your user name, it cheers me up a little bit. I thank you for that. I don’t know if Douglas Adams’ imagined worlds would be better than we have, but they’d sure be a lot funnier.

  25. As for follow-up questions, I have long been angry (not that I keep it near me) about the reporter who failed to ask then candidate GWB, about how he “knew” his god-thing “wanted” him to be president, white taping the interview. “Oh, you hear voices, do you?”
    Yes, THEY know it is silly to say what they say, but they also know that soooo many Amrikuns won’t see that, and will continueto vote for them.

  26. John H – Sadly, things have become nearly beyond parody. Anything one might write, no matter how silly and over the top, might just be a recitation of actual news. You know what they say, only the good die young, like Adams. Sounds like we’re stuck with a lot of the crazy people for the long haul. But, I try not to dwell.

  27. A century ago the orderliness of households was upped several fold by:

    “The first vacuum-cleaning device to be portable and marketed at the domestic market was built in 1905 by Walter Griffiths, a manufacturer in Birmingham, England.[12] His Griffith’s Improved Vacuum Apparatus for Removing Dust from Carpets resembled modern-day cleaners;”

    A few decades ago the disorderliness of US government was upped several fold by someone who famously quipped:

    “If you have two guys on a stage and one guy says, “I have a solution to the Middle East problem,” and the other guy falls in the orchestra pit, who do you think is going to be on the evening news?[13]”

    Yes, “Ailes was hired by News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch in 1996 to become the CEO of Fox News, effective on October 7.[22]”

    His job, of course, was to turn political entertainment, politicians falling into orchestra pits, into greater wealth for the Murdoch family which he did famously well at, of course at the expense of the country.

    Both inventors employed suction, the former of dirt and the latter of knowledge.

    Ailes had always been a fan of aristocracy by which wealth entitles power which brings more wealth so he trained a large segment of our population to support the concept by removing respect for liberal freedom from the knowledge banks of millions of Fox customers to the benefit of those paying him.

  28. Kudos to your grand daughter, Sheila. Cheryl Wheeler nailed it many years ago (1997) in her song “If It Were Up to Me….” Impeccable logic. Great music. Easy to find on You Tube.

  29. I need my guns! I need some anti-tank missiles, some anti-aircraft missiles (preferably the hand held kind), and I need my own thermonuclear device. It’s my Second Amendment right.

    Sorry – I think I was channeling Clint Eastwood or someone

    The problem isn’t guns. They problem is our attitude, our gun fetish. “I need to buy guns now, without waiting, and as many as I want. I love guns, the flag, and Jesus, not necessarily in that order, but I am sure guns come first.”

    That being said – the problem is guns — unless we follow the adage “Guns don’t kill people, bullets do. Ban bullets.”

    I recall the same day as one of our mass shootings (I forget which one) a man in China went on a rampage with a knife. He slashed and stabbed dozens of people —- no one died.

    I think the laziness of the press (or their dedication to keeping their ‘sponsors’ happy) is evident everywhere, not just on the gun issue. They just let lies and crazy ideas slide, giving them ‘equal’ time and voila – they are normalized. Yesterday’s ‘beyond the pale’ is today’s ‘well some people say’.

    I like Norris’ idea to arm the teachers where they are trying to ban books and institute Big Brother – Let them show up armed to school board meetings

    Peggy – I am with you – guns for hunting, target shooting, personal protection – fine – armor-clad paramilitary, because anyone who didn’t get their own way is being oppressed by the big bad government which must be overthrown by force – not so much — but then again, as Dirk points out, it isn’t an argument that will change many minds

  30. Dear Prof Kennedy, I read your posts daily and greatly appreciate your insight. My confidence in the breadth and depth of your experience is why I am compelled to ask you if there is an unbiased, well-written, accessible treatise on the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights that would be a good start for individuals with cognitive challenges (though not insurmountable) to gain a better understanding of the basis of our Democratic Republic? My daughter is brilliant but requires language that is not abstruse. I want to revisit the civics lessons of my youth with her in tow but I am unable to find materials that would provide a reasonable basis for this unbiased exploration. Thank you in advance for your time and attention to this request.

  31. Paula–take a look at my little book “Talking Politics? What you need to know before opening your mouth.” It’s short, and (I think) pretty accessible. If that still doesn’t fit the bill, let me know and I’ll do a survey of what else might meet your need.

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