Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Costs and Benefits of Arming the Teachers

The lead editorial by Monte F. Bourjaily, IV (“No Guns in the Classroom,” Connection March 7-13, 2018) warns of many ills that would attend the arming of school personnel. Whether that is a good idea or not, it bears consideration that hundreds of U.S. school districts have done so for some years, apparently without untoward consequence (at least so far), as detailed by a recent New York Times news article (available at http://nyti.ms/2oLEem0). That experience should not be overlooked in forming a necessarily probabilistic judgment as to whether the benefits (such as more rapid response to active shooters and general deterrence) are likely to outweigh the costs (such as the potential for accidental shootings and general unease).

As for the supposed "gag rule," the Dickey Amendment does not prohibit research into the effects of gun violence, only CDC advocacy for gun control, reading in relevant part: "none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may be used to advocate or promote gun control" (available at http://bit.ly/22zCqKD, pdf page 245).

Griselda Farthing

Great Falls

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