Letter to the editor on safety


Clearly, there has been a lot of talk in the news about school safety, specifically regarding the shooting that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Democrats are proposing the idea of implementing stricter gun laws to stop potential shooters from obtaining guns. Republicans are opposing this proposition, making clear that they do not want to see a change to gun rights as they are now. The call for a solution among right-wingers has led to the idea of allowing teachers to carry firearms in school.

As a student of Ponte Vedra High School, I am not opposed to this solution, but it has become clear to me that many people do not feel safe about teachers carrying firearms. They bring up the issue of hostile teachers, and the possibility of them using their guns inappropriately. I would like to propose a solution to cater to both sides of the argument.

I firmly believe that teachers should be able to take this position of responsibility voluntarily; carrying a firearm should not be a part of an educator’s job description.

The system I am proposing operates as follows:

First, every teacher that wants to opt in should receive adequate firearm training (including safety and operation). The NRA would most likely be happy to provide this training to teachers given that they are currently under heavy fire from Democrats.

In every classroom, there should be a gun safe. These safes will have two levels of security. Unlocking the safe will require a passcode known by only faculty that have opted in, and approval of access from the centralized system. In the event of an active shooter emergency, a lockdown is initiated by administration. As a part of the lockdown’s commencement, a signal will be sent to the safes allowing them to be unlocked by the teachers.

This system takes away the possibility of having a hostile teacher use his/her gun to become a threat to others on campus. It also allows them to have access to their gun when they truly need it, satisfying the call from many for teachers to be allowed to carry their own firearm.

Everyone cares about the tragedy of the situation, and it is unfortunate that we have let it divide us. People have forgotten about the core of the argument, and instead regressed into the rhetoric of their respective side. As the push to implement solutions to this paramount issue continues, I can only hope that this suggestion does not merely add noise to the conversation, but promotes cooperation and agreement from people on both sides of the aisle.

Blake Garwood

Ponte Vedra High School junior