SUNY Oswego faculty, staff react to Trump’s gun proposal

OSWEGO, N.Y. — In response to President Trump’s proposal to train and require some teachers to possess a firearm in school, SUNY Oswego faculty and staff have expressed mixed opinions on the issue.

The proposal is in response to the Florida high shooting that killed 17 people Feb. 14.

SUNY Oswego staff member Jim Kearns says having a firearm may serve as an advantage in protecting a classroom.

“As a responsible gun owner, I think to myself, if I were a teacher, I would think I would want to be armed. If I’m going to be a shield for my student, I would rather be a shield for a student with a gun than without a gun,” said Kearns.

Oswego State Visiting Assistant Professor Diane Brand teaches public justice. She has also worked as a police officer.  She says guns would contribute to the problem instead of preventing future incidents.

“I don’t think that arming teachers is the way to go about it. Coming from a law enforcement perspective, when you are in an active shooter situation, and if you don’t have the training and the experience, and the background, you’re not going to be part of the solution you’re going to be part of the problem,” Brand said.

Both Kearns and Brand have opposing points of view  on President Trump’s proposal. However, Vic Licatese, an at-risk youth intervention counselor, says that if a teacher has a gun with him or her, it may not make a difference at all.

“The mental health of these shooters seems to certainly be in question, and I don’t think that any of these people that are planning these attacks are thinking ‘hey a teacher is armed so I’m not gonna do it,’” Licatese said.