With school shootings increasing across the United States, everyone has been asking this question: Should teachers carry guns in the classroom? This topic is hotly debated on social media and is covered by all sorts of media outlets. Not only is this issue very relevant in today’s increasingly violent society, but it is also a sensitive issue since it involves education and the safety of the youth of America. I like this topic because it is another perspective on the gun control debate. Gun control debates tend to be very polar, which I found to be true about this issue as well. People either believe that guns in the classroom could potentially save many lives and be crucial in defending our schools from intruders, or believe that it is absurd to have guns in the classroom because guns are dangerous and would just make schools less safe.
Outlet: Huffington Post (Liberal)
Author: Ken Corbett
Title: “Arming Teachers: Three Reasons Why Teachers Should Not Carry Guns”
The Author starts his article by saying guns are a bad idea for kids, and here’s why. The first reason given is that kids get their hands on anything and everything. The author argues that even with the laws about placing guns in the hands of trained adults, kids will find a way to get ahold of a gun. His second point is that kids will be afraid if guns are present in the classroom. He believes that a violent force in the classroom will put fear into the kids and create a toxic learning environment where kids are scared to express themselves. The authors final point is that having guns in the classroom hinders good counseling of kids and teaches them to solve problems with their hands and not their minds. The authors viewpoint on this issue shows that he is more left leaning on the political spectrum since liberal people tend to favor stricter gun control laws. The language that is used in the article shows bias as well by wording questions to make their viewpoint seem like the only logical answer. It makes sense that this article was in The Huffington post since that platform is generally pretty liberal.
Outlet: The Guardian (Liberal)
Author: Ashley Lauren Samsa
Title: “Keep the Guns Out of My Classroom”
The Guardian reports another liberals opinion on this issue with this article. This article argues that our first reaction to violence shouldn’t be violence. The Author is a teacher herself and explains how the nation is divided on this issue with the recent school shootings. She thinks that there is another solution to this problem. Samsa explains how a school shooter was stopped by an unarmed teacher who used compassion to convince the shooter to surrender. The Author believes that we don’t need more guns in schools, instead we need more empathy and compassion. We need to prioritize dealing with the mental health of students and preventing these violent acts from students. This Article is written from a more liberal view, but in my opinion doesn’t show as much bias as the Huffington Post article. This Author states her opinion on this issue but doesn’t talk down on the opposing position. She just states how she thinks violence isn’t the answer to our problem.
Outlet: NBC News (Neutral)
Author: Kate Murphy
Title: “ ‘F’ is for Firearm: More Teachers Authorized to Carry Weapons in the Classroom”
NBC News takes a more neutral stance to the issue of teachers carrying guns in the classroom. The article starts by explaining that legally gun-owning adults are now allowed to carry guns in public schools in more than two dozen states. It also explains how these laws vary greatly from state to state and how guns in the classroom are becoming more common. NBC news also interviewed many teachers and asked them what they thought about having weapons in public schools. Some stated that they feel obligated to protect their students and that carrying guns would be the first line of defense. NBC News also had some statements from people who believed that a gun in school is far more likely to lead to the harm of an innocent person than to the protection of innocent people. You can tell that NBC News is relatively neutral because they show arguments from both sides and don’t include obvious biases. The article is more informative than persuasive like the two left-leaning articles.
Outlet: CNN (Nuetral)
Author: Chris Boyette
Title: “Teachers With Guns”
CNN is reporting on a small town in Texas who has adopted a Teacher with Guns society. The Schools in this town permit teachers to carry guns in the classroom and everyone there seems to have gotten used to it. The article shows that the students feel safer knowing that the teachers can protect them from intruders. The Author talks about one of the superintendents and how he sees guns as a tool to defend oneself and loved ones. This town is 30 miles from the nearest law enforcement agency, meaning it would be a long time before any help came to the school if there was an emergency. CNN takes an objective position in this article, and just reports on how a small town feels about teachers carrying guns in the classroom. Like the other neutral article, they show the views of one side of the argument without putting down the other side.
Outlet: Fox News (Conservative)
Author: Maxim Lott
Title: “Teachers need guns, says lawmaker whose son attended school with Colorado shooter”
Fox News interviews a Republican state Senator Ted Harvey and how his son attended a school where a school shooter killed multiple students and eventually took his own life as well. In the article Harvey says that he doesn’t want his wife and kids to be “sitting ducks” , and that stricter gun laws are not the answer. He believes that schools are not safer when they are gun-free zones and criminals are the only people with guns. Like most gun-rights activists, Harvey believes that having somebody as armed as the assailant is the only way to ensure that our kids are protected. Fox News shows its political bias by interviewing an obvious conservative whose views are as far right as they get. The article uses loaded language like “sitting ducks” to try and push their views on the readers. Fox News does a lot of the same things that the liberal outlets did except their viewpoints were opposites.
From researching this topic using outlets from the entire political spectrum, I got better at seeing biases in news articles. The Liberal/Conservative sources report things that go along with their agendas and ignore the ideas and opinions of everyone else. Looking at a topic from all sides of the political spectrum you can see the biases that each side uses that you wouldn’t see if you only looked at one source.