Guns Or Books? Is Arming Pakistani School Teachers Really Necessary?

One Child, One Teacher, One Book, and One Pen can change the World

This quote by Malala Yousafzai, the Nobel Peace Prize Winner, would be more apt if we change it to “One Child, One Teacher, ONE GUN, One Book, and One Pen can change the World.” The whole of the world felt the turmoil of what happened in Peshawar on December 16, 2014 when seven Pakistani Taliban’s terrorists (formerly known as Tehreek-e-Taliban) jumped over the walls of Army Public School, Peshawar, and executed 141 people, including as much as 132 school children.

This ruthless mass killing was not taken lightly and all the seven terrorists were assassinated by the Special Services Group of Pakistan’s Army. Though the incident ended there, but it posed a big question mark in the face of Pakistan’s government as well as the people throughout the world that can schools be called SAFE anymore?

After this attack, various security measures have been taken in almost all the schools throughout the world, a few of which being installation of Closed Circuit  Televisions in educational campuses throughout the country, raising the schools’ boundary walls, and hiring private security teams. But the one measure that has put the whole world in a state of dilemma is arming of school teachers. The various school teachers who are licensed to carry arms have started bringing them to schools and keep them close just in case of another such massacre. But the question is if carrying of these weapons to a place that imparts education to infants really necessary, or even ethical.

To answer this question, a simple statement can be made that though a non-violent, non-biased infant education is the essence of life, but this essence won’t exist if the infant simply dies. This is a harsh but true reality staring right at us in our faces! Are 65,000 policemen of Pakistan enough to handle about 50,000 schools spread throughout the country, along with handling other crime scenes? Are those few security guards at the entrance of the school more than enough to handle such a terrorist attack? The obvious answer to this is NO! At least not till the security of the country tightens up, or till the Talibanis and other terrorist groups start getting some rest and leaving such places of teaching alone, which doesn’t seem to happen anytime sooner.

The Talibanis or the ISIS have numerous demands from this world. Even if their demands are fulfilled, they will start asking to agree with them at each and every stage of life. Say this wish is also granted to them, they still will keep on asking for a better rule and will start ruling in the name of religion. One thing that needs to be taught to everyone, beginning from the innocent students of that school to the teachers teaching there to the terrorists that attacked them, is that Religion doesn’t teach us to kill anyone. As a matter of fact, it has been taught in almost every religion that killing someone is a sin. These facts have been molded by the present generation just so that they could take the control over the people.

The provincial president of All Teachers Association of Peshawar states his view that “Pens belong in our hands, not guns.” But what happens when Talibanis, or as a matter of fact, any other terrorist group, plans to attack another random school tomorrow? Will Khan bring his pens and poke these terrorists to death?

Tit for Tat is never a solution to anything, and nor is Violence for Violence. Gandhiji kept on asking the population to embrace non-violence, but in the present generation, no one even cares about what anyone said! All they care about is showcasing the people what they can do? And what for? To get their demands fulfilled? Is this how these terrorists asked for toys from their parents when they were infants? Well, NO. Many, or at least a few of these terrorists were studying in schools, not afraid of getting killed at the next moment! So yes, carrying guns by the teachers and getting arms training in the school campus might seem to be a violent and absurd step, but is a necessity if the present scenario is taken into consideration.