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NY Teacher: How a Lockdown Changed My Mind on Guns in School

On July 29, Breitbart News spoke to Mary Anne Marcella, a New York City school teacher who explained that a lockdown at her school caused her to realize that the teacher’s ultimate defense is a firearm.

Mary Anne was teaching at the end of spring semester 2016 when the loudspeaker boomed, “We are in lockdown. This is not a drill.” It was the first actual lockdown she had experienced. And while part of her kept thinking it was not real — i.e., perhaps it was a false alarm — her training for such situations kicked in and she locked her classroom door, covered up the glass in the door, pulled down the shades on the windows and turned off the lights. She moved her 30 students to a corner away from the door and they waited together in the silence for nearly 5 minutes.

She asked herself different questions with each passing minute. At the 60 second point, her thoughts revolved around the self-assuring tendency that the alarm had to be false. Two minutes into the lockdown, she saw worry on her students’ faces and tried to reassure them. In do doing, she fought to be sure they could not see that concern was welling up in her too.

Writing in American Thinker, Mary Anne explained how the anxiety grew as the third minute crept by:

Seconds dragged. I could see worry on their tiny faces. Could they sense my concern? I again reassured them that we were fine. I almost hated myself for giving them what could have been a false sense of security. Though I resented feeling defenseless, my main concern was protecting in the event of the unthinkable. My heart sank as I realized that I couldn’t.

I started to wonder how long it would take for the cops to arrive. Would it matter? Somebody had called the cops, right? I heard walking in the hallway. I gave a smile and a nod to the children. I don’t know why, and I didn’t know who was walking in the hallway.

All was quiet. That was a good sign, right? No. It was too quiet.

Amid the quietness, she realized she needed a gun — that teachers need guns. The vulnerability of being unarmed was just too great.

The lockdown ended after approximately five minutes. It had been a false alarm after all, but it stirred something in Mary Anne. She told Breitbart News:

I know the idea will never fly in NYC — the idea of arming teachers — but I wish other teachers even thought about it. I keep thinking, if people actually gave it thought like I did, maybe they would see the need, but it’s almost like the lockdown didn’t even happen. But if people actually sat down and thought about it, they might say, “Hmmm, it is true that the only way we would be able to do anything is if we had a gun.”

But again, this is NYC and I don’t see it ever happening.

In light of the vulnerability and anxiety Mary Anne felt during the lockdown, we asked her opinion of school systems that have canned food drives with the goal of providing teachers with cans of vegetables they can throw at a gunman, should one enter the classroom. She dismissed it out of hand as impractical. She said having a gun gives you “the only chance you have.”

It is interesting to note that in the wake of Sandy Hook, the Obama administration recommended that teachers defend themselves and their students by throwing “fire extinguishers” or “chairs” at would-be gunmen.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.

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