Readers write, Feb. 12

STUDENT SAFETY

Classroom dynamics

make guns impractical

The author of the letter, “To protect children, let staff carry guns” (Readers write, Opinion, Feb. 7), is way off the mark.

I worked in education for 10 years. I weigh 135 pounds. In the classroom, I was constantly on the move — walking around, kneeling at desks, helping students do their work and, occasionally, disrupting an argument. I frequently had to turn my back to write on the board. I walked students to other classes, recess, lunch, arrival and dismissal. From about the third grade on, there were always students in my classrooms who were as tall as me, and students who outweighed me.

By 5th grade, it became a running joke that many of my students were bigger than me. And this letter writer thinks that I should have been carrying a gun? Where does he suggest I keep the gun — in a holster on my waist, where it is accessible to everyone in the building? Locked in my desk drawer, where I wouldn’t be able to get to it? Around my ankle?

Think about an actual classroom that is full of active children doing what active children do — and then think: Do you really want a gun in that mix?

LAURIE MCDOWELL, ATLANTA

Firearms in schools

won’t deter attackers

I have to take issue with the assertions made by a recent letter writer (“To protect children, let staff carry guns,” Readers write, Opinion, Feb. 7).

Referring to “terrorists, both foreign and domestic,” the writer avers that “killers are going to avoid any target where there is a good likelihood that there will be someone else shooting back.” I fear the facts are quite the opposite.

It seems to me that the very point of many attacks has been for the perpetrator to die in what they tragically perceive to be a blaze of glory. They do not fear death but welcome it, if only they can take a number of lives first.

I think the truth is that as long as an attacker can take his targets by surprise, the first kills will be his. I believe that arming school employees will only ensure that the terrorist arrives even more heavily armed, so as to wreak maximum havoc before being brought down.

ROBERT WOLFSON, MARIETTA

CONGRESS

As they cut, politicians

should look in mirror

It seems that as the two parties work on their budget plans and argue about what to cut, and they talk about responsibility — particularly, personal responsibility — perhaps they need to look at themselves. Their base salaries, excellent health insurance, ridiculously generous pensions, paid time off and everything else they receive for “serving their country” should shame them.

Instead, they are sacrosanct. Apparently we can’t afford funding for so many things this country used to be about. Every day, news outlets report on what must be cut next. How can we afford Congress?

JOYCE ALARCON, ATLANTA

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