My objection to your comments concerns your statement “The issue boils down to the probabilities”. To use your words, you are also engaging “in emotionalism” since the facts – or probabilities as you refer to – really do not back you up. A joint U.S. Department of Education/Secret Service report estimates the odds that someone dies in a school shooting is 1 in 1 million.
I left Utah State University to join Baylor, in part, because the state of Utah passed a law that allowed students to carry concealed weapons on Utah campuses. I just could not see myself spending the rest of my career walking into my classrooms knowing that some students might be carrying weapons…. even though I understood the probabilities and knew that my decision was emotionally-based. As an educator, my job is to teach and to assess. I feel that I can do a better job at both if the students brought only a pen and paper with them to class.
If I were in a classroom where shooting erupted, would I want a ‘good guy’ there with a gun? Absolutely – and I know that’s your main point. But that is one scenario, albeit a very ugly one. I would risk that scenario – based on the probabilities – rather than see armed students and armed faculty in our classrooms. I happen to believe, based on an average of more than 11K gun murders a year in this country, that more guns do not make us a safer nation.
Baylor Department of Mathematics, Chair