TPT One-Shots: How Many Guns Would Be in Schools If Trump’s “Arm Teachers” Plan Were Enacted?

President Trump’s plan of arming teachers looks to be a position that he isn’t backing down from. So that begs the question, how many more guns would there be in schools if Trump’s plan of arming teachers became reality?



(TPT One-Shots are smaller questions that we find interesting, but don’t necessarily think they need a dedicated Issue to explore. Also, it’s a good way for us to answer questions and comment on current political trends while we create the larger Issues. In this installment, we try and answer how many guns would be present in schools if President Trump’s plan to let teachers carry guns were put into practice?)


With the Parkland School Shooting still fresh in many people’s minds, the topic of preventing school shootings have entered the national conversation once again. As usual, gun rights advocates and gun control supporters look to be clashing over solutions that is sadly becoming a uniquely American problem. While both sides are throwing out a multitude of solutions, one of the most polarizing ideas came from President Donald Trump, during a “listening session” with those that have been affected by school shootings.



As the week went on, President Trump doubled-down on the idea of arming teachers by throwing out various details. These included from only allowing those that are “the best” to be carrying (which in a tweet, he ballparked that number to be around 20%) to proposing that teachers would get a “significant raise” if they decided to bring a gun to school.


As you may have guessed, not everyone was as enthused by the idea of teachers carrying guns to school as President Trump currently is. For the time being, let’s put aside all the logistical and social nightmares concerns that President Trump’s plan brings. Instead, try and focus specifically on this specific question; how many more guns would be in schools if President Trump’s “Arming Teachers” Plan were implemented?


To answer this, we first have to estimate how many K-12 teachers are in the US. According to the US Department of Education, they estimated that there were around 3.2 million full-time equivalent (FTE) teachers in the beginning of the school year in 2017. Going on that base number, if we were to take the 20% number that President Trump has thrown out for the number that teachers should be carrying guns, that means there would be 640,000 teachers carrying guns to school. Now the assumption we’re going to make here is that each teacher would carry only one firearm; that means there would be 640,000 more guns in schools if President Trump’s school shooting counter-measure would become a reality.


Not surprisingly, adding 640,000 guns in public schools across the country would make any gun control supporter extremely nervous. While the majority of Americans look at the problem of school shootings as one that revolves around the ease of access to guns, gun rights advocates (like the NRA and many conservative lawmakers) look at the problem as “the right people” not having enough access to them. President Trump’s plan to arm teachers not only gets to the heart of the debate on how to stop school shootings, but at its core, it’s the synthases of America’s debate on guns in general.



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