I’m in favor of eliminating gun-related violence and crime. Actually, I’ve never spoken with someone who isn’t. This is the common ground on which we all stand. In today’s social media frenzy, it is often difficult to recognize that we are on the same side. It is my hope that we (Americans with differing views) can resurrect the art of having civil discourse in this arena.

Please allow me to explain one view while respecting yours. Those who are in favor of granting teachers their right to carry (I fall into this camp) believe that the “gun-free zones” surrounding our children’s schools have failed, and that a bolder method of deterring and responding to a shooter is needed.

Gun-free zones have become easy, high-value targets to those who would do harm. I don’t think it is stupid, crazy, evil or even unrealistic to empower willing and capable teachers who choose to be armed with the ability to protect my children and your children when at school.

Please hear me on this. Nobody is suggesting that we put a gun in every teacher’s hand and train them to clear hallways and classrooms using SWAT tactics. This is about allowing competent and willing teachers to be armed and prepared to stop an active shooter from getting into their classroom(s). This is the easiest of shooting scenarios where a high level of tactical training is just not necessary. In an active shooter situation, I want our kids to be in those classrooms with those teachers who are prepared to defend.

It’s a complicated, multifaceted issue, but this is a start. Nobody wants our children to be victims. We have a common enemy, and it isn’t each other. We’re on the same side.

Ted Bennett

Scarborough


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