Should Teachers be Armed in School?

Dr. Andrew Baranauskas, Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice, published a paper on the ways that racial sentiment shapes public support for arming teachers with guns in U.S. schools.

The paper “Racial Sentiment and Public Support for Arming Teachers with Guns in the United States” was authored by Dr. Andrew Baranauskas and published in the peer-reviewed journal Race and Justice.


In the effort to prevent school shootings in the United States, policies that aim to arm teachers with guns have received considerable attention.  Recent research on public support for these policies finds that African Americans are substantially less likely to support them, indicating that support for arming teachers is a racial issue.  Given the racialized nature of support for punitive crime policies in the U.S., it is possible that racial sentiment shapes support for arming teachers as well.  This study aims to determine the association between two types of racial sentiment – explicit negative feelings toward racial/ethnic minority groups and racial resentment – and support for arming teachers using a nationally representative data set.  While explicit negative feelings towards African Americans and Hispanics are not associated with support for arming teachers, those with racial resentments are significantly more likely to support arming teachers.  Racial resentment also weakens the effect of other variables found to be associated with support for arming teachers, including conservative ideology and economic pessimism.  Implications for policy and research are discussed.

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Posted: October 01, 2021