Thomas Gallatin / March 23, 2018

Teachers Reject Real-World Solutions, Favor the Impractical

Polls say a majority of Americans believe gun ownership makes them safer, while a majority of teachers disagree.

Two recently released polls indicate that a majority of America’s teachers are out of touch with the majority of Americans when it comes to the issue of gun control. According to a Gallup poll, a whopping 73% of teachers are opposed to the idea of arming teachers, one of several solutions floated to help better defend schools. Meanwhile, an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that 58% of Americans believe that gun ownership increases safety. This represents a significant change from 19 years ago, when 52% of Americans believed the opposite. The disconnect is interesting.

A wise refrain that used to be referenced in schools is, “Just wait until you get into the real world” — the obvious point being that the school environment is most often focused (by necessity) on the theoretical rather than the practical side of life. As a result, it comes as little surprise that a majority of teachers would view the very practical idea of arming teachers as a theoretical idea they find repulsive, simply because the need to wield lethal power within a school setting is counter to their idealized safe place.

There may also be another reason — one that is rooted in a fundamentally flawed philosophical perception of the nature of humanity. The flawed view is that people are born with a basically good nature, and thus the evil that may come from some individuals is the fault of society. Hence the cry for broad-reaching legislation that will supposedly “solve” the problem. As a result, we get more laws limiting guns and the creation of “gun free” zones (which are often targeted by criminals), all with the belief that barriers in society will somehow end the evil.

The truth is that evil exists in the heart of every individual. Everyone has the potential to do violence and hurt others. To deny this is to deny reality. And pretending it doesn’t exist while teaching children to “be true to themselves” or to “not let anyone else define them” or, as Oprah recently put it, to listen to your “heartsong,” actually only feeds the beast within. Discipline, instruction, directions, boundaries and responsibilities are what children need so that they are better prepared to enter the real world. It’s a real world in which there are those who, out of the uncontrolled evil within themselves, seek to hurt and kill others; a real world where we must take on the responsibility of defending ourselves and our loved ones. Instead, even our educators would rather shirk the responsibility and demand that everyone else be stripped of their rights to self-defense, all so they can feel that life would be safer.

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