16-year-old Erin Werner isn’t marching alongside other teens her age demanding that the U.S. government impose further restrictions on guns and confiscate certain types of firearms. In the wake of her school experiencing the worst mass shooting in the nation months, she has another idea in mind for common sense school security.
Like the other students at Santa Fe High School in Texas, Erin is dealing with the loss of eight fellow students and two teachers after a gunman opened fire in a classroom May 18 and held off the police for 30 minutes of pure terror, according to USA Today. Like many, she is looking for a solution to better protect herself, her friends, and every other student in America amidst a spate of deadly school violence.
What does Erin support? Arming teachers.
“If you can’t trust the teachers with a way to protect us, who are you going to trust?” Erin explained. “Even with the best police force ever, you can’t get there fast enough.”
She says a number of her friend agree, and she shared her opinion with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at a vigil for the victims. She added that keeping the teachers’ firearms stored in a safe place would be paramount.
Guns are a normal part of life for the Texas girl, but she does also advocate for more extensive mental health background checks for people wanting to own a gun. Her state’s lieutenant governor also likes the idea of equipping educators to be able to immediately pacify active shooters.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is pushing for arming and training volunteers as well as reducing the number of unsecured entrances and exits at all schools in the Lone Star state. He added that having four or five people per campus able to shoot back at an attacker would be even more effective.
In Florida, where a mass shooting at a school in February took 17 lives, the Legislature recently agreed to fund a massive increase in armed school resource officers and school guardians — armed volunteers who received extensive active shooter training. While some teachers have rejected the idea of being forced to carry a gun, advocates for arming educators have simply focused on equipping and training those willing and able to take on that responsibility.
Recent polls also show that a growing percentage of Americans are rejecting heftier gun control and favoring better school security and mental health help instead.
President Trump advocated for a similar plan shortly after the horrendous Parkland, Florida attack. He felt that people would be far less willing to shoot up a school where they knew someone would fire back.
A number of school districts, especially in rural areas, have already been training teachers and administrators how to have effective armed responses to school shooters, according to the Denver Post. Watch the brief report below: