According to the BBC:

US President Donald Trump has said arming teachers could prevent school shootings like that which left 17 people dead last week in Florida.

A staff member with a gun could end an attack "very quickly", he said.

Similar to this question but not opinion based (so hoping it won't get closed), I'm wondering is there any data supporting or refuting the effectiveness of arming teachers as a way to prevent or reduce the severity of gun violence at schools? I'm also wondering how the effectiveness of arming teachers compares to the effectiveness of other approaches to reduce school gun violence, such as gun control legislation.

Note I don't see this as a duplicate of What is the value of armed bystanders in preventing gun deaths? as I'm specifically asking for data about teachers.

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    I added a notable claim. Feb 25, 2018 at 4:37
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    It'll just mean that the attacker will start by taking out the teacher first - just in case s/he has a gun. The teacher is a clear, unsuspecting target.
    – hdhondt
    Feb 25, 2018 at 8:58
  • @hdhondt Schools nowadays normally have more than one teacher. I would assume the second, third, fourth, and fourty-fifth teacher would probably not be "unsuspecting", although that doesn't mean allowing them to carry is a good idea.
    – Clay07g
    Feb 27, 2018 at 18:49

1 Answer 1


There are reasons to believe risk reduction can't be evaluated

German experts addressing the danger of school shootings in this article have said:

Generally speaking, it is difficult to evaluate prevention efforts because the nonoccurrence of an incident, such as a school shooting, cannot be identified and attributed to the intervention measure. Because of the low base rate of school shootings and the non-specificity of known risk factors, most German experts hold that such acts cannot be predicted in the long run.

While the German policies and the Virginian policy agree that threat assessment and other preparations can be effective, both also point to the difficulties in providing evidence about any kind of prevention program against mass shootings in schools.

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