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Emmy Griffin / October 11, 2021

Stay in Your Lane: Teachers Unions Lecture on Guns

Besides being completely inaccurate, gun control is not the purview of teachers unions.

School shootings are terrible. Stories like the recent one out of Arlington, Texas — with the added controversy that the student responsible is unfathomably out on bail — are enough to make any mother’s blood boil. In the wake of these horrifying events, the inevitable rallying cry for gun control is brought back to the forefront of the national conversation. Appalling, since the greater issue in the case of Arlington is the grave miscarriage of justice with the assailant walking free. Instead, the president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) decided to weigh in on this tired leftist talking point.

AFT President Randi Weingarten had a lot to say in response to the shooting, even issuing the following statement:

Every day across this country — in cities, suburbs and rural communities — Americans fall victim to gun violence. It is a gut-wrenching and horrific reality of our society, and the time for action is long-overdue. Gun violence is a public health crisis, a moral epidemic and a scourge on our very way of life, whether it happens on our streets, in our houses of worship, in our workplaces or in our schools. It doesn’t happen in other countries, and we must work to end it here.

Our hearts break for the Arlington, Texas, community and everyone affected by this tragedy. We thank the educators, administrators and law enforcement officers who were present in the building for their swift action in evacuating students and staff, and we recommit to our ongoing effort to make our schools and communities safe — through red-flag laws so school staff can identify and treat warning signs of violence, background checks, safe-storage laws and programs that support student mental health.

Just last month, a law went into effect in Texas that permits anyone over the age of 21 to carry a firearm in public without a permit or training. Make no mistake, laws like this put our kids, our families and all of us at risk. We must get serious about gun violence prevention and gun safety before more people are injured and more lives are lost.

There are several inaccuracies in this statement, starting with the assertion that our society is unique when it comes to shootings. We are not. A simple Google search will destroy this myth. Even partisan news sources like PBS say that the U.S. is ranked 30th in the world for gun-related homicide.

Weingarten would also institute “red flag” laws. Even though some states already have these laws in place, they are unconstitutional. Such laws allow for the taking away of guns from people often dubiously deemed to be at risk to themselves or others. These type of laws deny due process, part of the bedrock of Rule of Law.

Weingarten tries to paint Texas as especially culpable for school shootings, so let’s look at the data. There have been 22 incidents of school shootings this school year according to Education Weekly. This is an alarming number, but it’s also disingenuous. Eight of these shootings had nothing to do with the school. Several involved stray bullets from other crimes in the area, some were acts of homicides against adults that happened to be at the school, and one was even an accidental discharge of a weapon. So that brings it down to 13 school shootings. Still not good, but how many of them were committed in Texas? Three. Of these three, one incident involved stray bullets, one was an adult criminal shooting his way into a school, and the third was this most recent case. Texas is not an outlier, nor is it more culpable than any other state.

Weingarten also mentions a Texas law that allows permit-less carry for anyone over the age of 21, which makes no sense in this context because the perpetrator was 18 and is in violation of said law.

Besides being completely inaccurate in every paragraph of her statement, gun control is not the purview of the teachers unions. Neither is abortion or policing, and yet Weingarten has also pontificated on these issues as well, regurgitating the leftist jargon each time.

If teachers unions like AFT are supposed to represent their constituents, a.k.a. the teachers, and yet only voice partisan talking points, surely this isn’t representative of all their teachers. Nor do these issues even represent teacher business. Unfortunately, educators are ultimately the losers.

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