After a deadly school shooting took place in Parkland, Florida on February 14th, many have been debating how to prevent mass shootings. While some have argued for stricter gun control laws, others claim that the only way to stop a shooting is for more people to have guns, with one Alabama politician even calling for teachers to be armed. And now, Alabama’s recently elected Democrat, Senator Doug Jones is speaking out against this proposal to arm teachers.
State Representative Will Ainsworth introduced a bill on February 20th that would allow Alabama teachers and school administrators to carry guns. Ainsworth said that teachers would have to receive 40 hours of training and mental health evaluation, and students would not know which teachers were armed. On Monday, February 19th, Jones criticized the proposal, citing the cost of the program.
Ainsworth’s proposal is currently supported by at least three Republican lawmakers in the state. If the program is implemented, the state would not pay for teachers’ guns, although it would pay for firearm training.
Jones is best known for narrowly defeating alleged child molester Roy Moore in December’s Alabama Senate race. Although the Democrat described himself as a “Second Amendment guy” in September, he also called for more thorough background checks in a September interview on NBC’s Meet the Press. In December, Mother Jones reported that the NRA had spent nearly $55,000 on anti-Jones postcards prior to the election.
Although the idea of a hero saving the day with a gun has been idealized in movies and on TV, arming civilians is not the solution to gun violence. An FBI study of mass shootings between 2000 and 2013 found that armed civilians were able to stop only 3 percent of shootings. So in reality, the Alabama proposal to arm teachers probably wouldn’t do much to solve school shootings, and it would place an unnecessary financial burden on educators. We agree with Jones: We don’t need to arm teachers. We need better gun control laws.