Note: The opinions of this article should not be seen official positions held by SNU or the Echo on the subject matter covered, but should be seen as part of an ongoing dialogue on campus about the topic at hand.
There have been several school shootings this year already, and it’s only March. For local and national news stations, the solution is simple: allow teachers to carry guns in schools and classrooms. As this has been a popular topic lately, I decided to ask the opinion of people around campus and alumni outside of campus.
The first person I decided to talk to about this subject is Dr. Neuenschwander, a physics professor on campus. He stated, “I believe that decision should be left to the local teachers, administrators, parents, students and school boards. Overall, I think it’s a bad idea.”
I continued to ask him about his outlook to see if there was anything he wanted to add about the matter. He replied, “I would be interested to see if the SNU student body shares the Florida students concerns. I wonder if they could muster the courage and gumption to make a public gesture or statement in support of the Florida students and show solidarity with them.”
After talking with Dr. Neuenschwander, I wanted to get the perspective of an alumni off campus to see if I could get a different outlook. I decided to talk to Steve Whitson, a police lieutenant with the Oklahoma City Police Department, since he is someone that knows the impact of guns and deals with it on a daily basis.
When asked his thoughts, Whitson answered, “There has been, and will continue to be, much debate about the causes of this new danger, but I’m not sure we have the luxury of time to figure it out before the next tragedy occurs. This dilemma begs the question of how do we protect our children now while also searching for a long term solution to stop these senseless killings.”
“We must protect our schools at a level equal to their value. We must decide now that children are worth protecting and give them the highest level of protection that we can. Armed personnel should be seen at all times. It should not up to the teachers but trained professionals.”
With both of the people I interviewed, it was evident that they both disagree with the idea that teachers should have guns in the classroom. Though we can’t change the law directly, we can take a stand for what we believe in. Guns are dangerous, and they shouldn’t be given to just anyone.