Nik Colyer: Arming teachers would only add to the problem | TheUnion.com

Nik Colyer: Arming teachers would only add to the problem

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Nik Colyer

OK, I've got to say something here. If our country is seriously looking at placing guns into the hands of teachers, which on the surface looks like it could be a deterrent to this run of senseless violence, those who are making these kind of reckless decisions have obviously never fired a gun in a high-stress, emergency situation.

There are many things that can happen when even a well-trained person reaches for a gun in defense for the first time, but one of two scenarios are sure to happen. No matter how much practice and training, one never know how a person is going to react during critical moments.

The first is, the person, however well trained, reaches for a pistol, points it and freezes, making themselves the first apparent target of the opposing side.

The second possibility is the person does exactly what they were trained to do and before they know it they are repeatedly pulling the trigger dry firing an empty gun.

If they have or have not hit their target depends on how much adrenaline is flowing through their bloodstream. The higher stress, the more shaky hands get.

Even if, by the slimmest of chances, the bullet does manage to find its mark, unless it is stopped by a substantial bone, it will pass directly through the victim and through the wall behind. If it doesn't hit anything solid, and most school wall are made of sheet rock with maybe a little insulation between, it could pass through several walls before petering out and lodging into something hard enough to stop it.

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If a .38 caliber is the smallest bullet that can stop a person in their tracks and we plan on arming our teachers with .38 service revolvers, the most reliable choice, and the gun goes off six times, that makes six projectiles traveling faster than the speed of sound plowing through several walls and whoever stands behind those walls. If the bullet goes unhampered, in a split second it could travel in a straight line for a mile before it began to loose momentum.

Sure, arming our teachers is the shoot-from-the-hip, macho answer to this highly complex problem, but it's my fear that the situation would be compounded and some innocent teacher would either become a target or be left with the lifelong nightmare of having caused some bystander's death.

Nik Colyer lives in Nevada City.

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