I read the story of an FBI agent accidentally shooting someone in a bar. I thought of all the education and training someone from the upper echelon of American law enforcement must undergo before being issued a service firearm. Yet still, that FBI agent made a careless mistake that seriously injured a bystander.

As a teacher at a large public high school, I think about folks who are in support of allowing educators to be armed for protection at work, much like that FBI agent was carrying his service firearm. Here’s my view: in most public schools, including mine, we can’t afford to provide each student with their own textbooks. If we can’t afford to give each student their own textbook, we can’t afford all the training and equipment required for safe and responsible gun ownership. It would be disingenuous to purport to support any type of scenario that allows arming anyone in schools other than trained and qualified law enforcement officers.

As a math teacher, I can assure you, as the number of firearms increase in a given area, the greater the possibility of accidents and deaths from firearms — it’s a statistical fact. But regardless of where you stand on common-sense gun reform, safe and responsible gun ownership must become a requirement in our country. This includes 14-day waiting periods to purchase a firearm, mandatory background checks for private and public firearm sales, assault-style rifle bans, and mandatory testing where gun owners must demonstrated proficiency in firearm storage safety, testing of firearm knowledge and proficiency in cleaning and maintaining a firearm.

We wouldn’t allow someone to operate a motor vehicle without demonstrated knowledge of the laws and expectations on our roads and highways — why would expectations for owning a firearm be any different?

Jacob Darveau

Gardiner