As a retired middle school principal and U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam veteran, I sympathize with families of the Newtown massacre but disagree with gun-toting teachers and armed guards on campus.
America’s more than 130,000 K-12 schools serve 55 million students and employ 4 million teachers. As tragic as Newtown was, it makes no sense to put weapons in the hands of more people. It would not stop school violence.
In 1989, an off-campus gunman shot several Stockton elementary students on a playground. The Columbine student gunmen brought weapons on campus under trench coats. As a middle school principal, we expelled several students with various weapons brought to school in backpacks.
To arm teachers is not the answer. Shall we also ask tellers in banks to carry concealed weapons?
When I came home from Vietnam, I vowed I would never own or again fire a weapon. I have kept that pledge. I worked in public schools for more than 25 years. Had I been told to carry a gun, I would have sought other employment.
I don’t have the answer to stop gun violence, but I do not believe the solution is to arm more individuals.