Gun Toting Teachers

There has been a lot of talk since the Newton massacre about arming teachers in the classroom. The NRA and Second Amendment advocates are strongly in support of the idea. Unfortunately there has been a lot of misrepresentation by some in the media that in Israel the school children’s classrooms are filled with gun toting teachers. They are not.

I’ve been in Israel dozens of times and accompanied my grandchildren to their elementary schools and high schools and not once did I see a teacher packing heat. There may be rare exceptions as in the case of disputed territories, but that does not negate the rule that teachers do not carry guns in the classroom. However there is an armed security guard at the gate of every school.

A picture has recently gone viral, portraying a teacher with a rifle slung over her shoulder protecting her students on a class trip. That photo is a misrepresentation and cynical distortion of the truth in order to further a pro-gun agenda. The woman in the picture is in fact an armed security guard, a former member of the Israel Defense Force and well trained in the use of firearms. All school sponsored class trips are protected in that way because the enemies of Israel target school children first; because that’s what terrorists do. They prey on easy targets while instilling the maximum amount of terror in the general population.

Although under the Second Amendment, in the United States we have the ‘right to bear arms’, in Israel there is no such right. In Israel it is a privilege. Granted hunting is rare in Israel so there is not the same demand for weapons as there is in the United States. Nevertheless, even if hunting were popular in Israel, you could not buy a pistol or rifle at a gun show or from a gun collector, as is the case here in the US. Assault rifles are banned, except for those who live in the disputed territories where they are under attack almost on a daily basis. And if perchance you do have a permit to carry a pistol, a privileged accorded only to those who have served in the IDF with a rank of captain or higher, you are permitted just one pistol, not an arsenal.

The old adage, “Guns don’t kill people, people do” is true, but like our Constitution which needed to be amended, so too does that old saying to read, “Guns don’t kill people, people with guns do”.



  1. siweni says

    I agree with the well vetted guards idea you suggested.

    It’s interesting to note that in Israel all inductees and volunteers are run through a battery of psychological screenings. The most obvious reason is to exclude those who are psychologically unfit for military service.

    However there is a second less well known reason and that is to accept those who may be fit for service but whose profile suggests that they should not be entrusted with a weapon. Those individuals are assigned duties not requiring the handling of weapons.

  2. Joseph B Fischer says

    Apparently having guns around contributed to this shooting spree. A suspect grabbed an officer’s gun and shot three policemen, before being killed himself. Despite being surrounded by armed policemen, he was still able to shoot three of them.

    Imagine if someone at a school grabbed a gun from an armed guard and started shooting students?

  3. says

    I have nothing against trained guards. However, it is not a panacea. Remember that

    • Columbine had an armed guard.
    • Virginia Tech had its own police force.
    • Fort Hood is a military base.

    If organizations plan to bring in volunteer guards as the NRA suggests, please make sure that they are well vetted with a psychological screening and criminal background check. We do not want to empower George Zimmerman style vigilantes thereby creating new opportunities for the very problem we are trying to prevent!

  4. Lee Bender says

    Someone at every school should have the ability and means to repel an armed attack. Whether that is the principal, VP, guidance counselor, school cop- but someone must. Otherwise, there is no defense at all to this kind of madness- which by now is not entirely unforeeable. And there ought to be safe areas inside classrooms, that make it much harder for assailants to enter unencumbered- until at least armed police can come to the scene.
    In Israel, this type of thing is less likely to happen as there are many more people around who are armed, be it citizens, patrolling soldiers, police, undercover security  who are looking for terrorists, and profiling, which in the US is still considered politically incorrect.

  5. siweni says

    The link below is an example of a misleading headline on Fox News, which implies that it is a policy in Israel to arm teacher in the classroom. If you read past the banner line you can see how the story back-peddles on its attention getting and misleading headline.

    The practice of arming teachers in the classroom has been abandoned in favor of placing armed guards at the entrance of the school.  Israeli security experts have found it more effective to thwart an attack at the point of entry rather than once the assailant is in the classroom. There may be a few exceptions in very dangerous areas but as a rule Israel does not advocate using gun toting teachers.

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