Let’s Boost Gun Industry Sales By Arming Teachers and Pretending We’re Protecting School Children From Gun Violence

Elliot Fineman
CEO – Founder
National Gun Victims Action Council


August 25, 2018


Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is considering a plan to let states use federal tax dollars to buy guns for teachers to protect school children from armed intruders.


After the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012, the NRA vehemently opposed the passing of any gun safety laws and instead pushed for arming teachers as the only way to protect school children from gun intruders. Days after the February 2018 Parkland massacre, the NRA continued the refrain and Trump agreed. Lawmakers in seven states introduced bills legalizing armed teachers.



Yet arming teachers is such a reckless and dangerous idea that when Kansas passed a law in 2013 after Sandy Hook allowing concealed weapons to be carried by teachers and staff, the EMC Insurance Cos. who provided liability insurance to over 85 percent of Kansas school districts refused to insure districts that allowed guns.


In the real world, a shooting situation creates enormous stress for the person defending. Heart rates accelerate, the mind is stressed and there is limited time to steady the firearm, assess the situation and make an accurate shot. Adrenaline is released and both the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems are activated. These physical responses do not occur when at a shooting range shooting at a fixed target that does not shoot back.


Such stress affects all police officers. That is why continually trained police officers miss on average 3 out of 10 shots. Studies of police accuracy under stress in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago confirm this reality.


To imagine that an armed teacher who received minimal training could possibly be successful at defending against an armed, surprise killer who has invaded a school wearing body armor and blazing away with an assault weapon is beyond the limits of credulity.


The best way to protect our school children is to have the appropriate set of gun laws. These are the same laws that other countries with private gun ownership have, and because of them they do not have an epidemic of school shootings like the US does.


The NRA argument for arming school teachers is a vile ruse pretending to keep school children safe while avoiding the passing of appropriate gun safety laws that would. It is an unconscionable way of enriching the gun industry. There are approximately 140,000 private and public elementary and secondary schools and colleges in the US. How many teachers at each school will be provided with guns–five, ten, 20? The windfall to the gun industry is staggering.


In my upcoming book, to be released this fall, I discuss this and other critical issues. The book, “We Are Done Asking,” identifies and launches the 4 simple steps we can take to end the gun violence epidemic now.


Elliot Fineman
CEO – Founder
National Gun Victims Action Council