Originally published January 21 2013
Teachers to receive firearms training in wake of mass shootings
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, it is an idea that confuses and infuriates left-wing politicos and pundits, but one that has been suggested by others, including the prominent National Rifle Association, as the one that makes the most sense: Arm teachers as a way to help prevent future massacres and protect children.
While a few public schools are are indeed considering arming teachers - including school officials in northeast Indiana and one district in Ohio, 200 teachers in Utah are set to undergo firearms training so they can carry a concealed weapon while performing their duties at some point in the future, according to reports.
"We're not suggesting that teachers roam the halls" in search of armed intruders, Utah gun instructor Clark Aposhian told The Associated Press. "They should lock down the classroom. But a gun is one more option if the shooter breaks into the classroom."
'Teachers are professionals'
Aposhian, who is chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council, said the organization would waive the traditional $50 fee for its firearms training course. The instruction features a plastic gun and took place in December at a venue in Salt Lake City.
"Teachers are professionals. They will take appropriate measures to maintain a gun discreetly and safely," he told USA Today.
Already, Utah state law grants citizens the right to carry concealed weapons onto public school grounds without exception, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Also, by law, Utah gun permit records are closed to the public - a provision that honors and upholds the U.S. Constitution's privacy protections - so parents will not know which teachers in their children's schools would be packing protection.
Teachers carrying concealed weapons are "a deterrent when the bad guy comes in. He could be surprised by return fire from any direction. We are not expecting teachers to go out and actively engage the shooter. We want them to do the lock down drill they have been trained to do," says Aposhian.
"But it fails when someone breaks into a classroom. This is where having a firearm would be a better choice than diving in front of the bullets to protect the kids," he added.
December's instruction did not involve any real guns and featured "an emphasis on safety," he said.
Meanwhile, in Arizona, Attorney General Tom Horne is proposing an amendment to state law that would allow one teacher in every school to carry concealed.
And in Ohio, the Buckeye Shooting Foundation says it has received more than 400 applications from teachers, school custodians and administrators for a three-day tactical defense course the organization plans to put on in the spring.
Jim Irvine, president of the foundation, said the $1,000 fee for the Armed Teacher Training Program would be waived for 24 people selected from the 400-plus applicants.
"What better use for an educational foundation than to help educators protect our children," Irvine told USA Today.
'Make it hard to kill a kid'
In Ohio, it's legal to bring a gun on school grounds if the district has granted specific permission to do so. Irvine said he believes more Ohio districts will eventually allow teachers to arm themselves.
"School boards were just in denial," he told the paper. "That denial got ripped away in Newtown, Conn. The idea is to make it hard to kill a kid."
Not everyone agrees with the methodology, however.
Carol Lear, a top lawyer for the Utah Office of Education, said she doesn't believe allowing teachers and school administrators to carry a gun is a good idea.
In an interview with the AP, she said there is a chance that a teacher could be overpowered and her gun taken away, or that it could misfire and cause an accidental injury.
"It's a horrible, terrible, no-good, rotten idea," Lear said.
"We absolutely need to provide a safe environment, and to add more guns to the mix I'm not sure makes it safer," added Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh, president of Utah Education Association, the state's largest teachers union. "What I'm hearing from my members is that guns have no place in schools."
What makes even less sense to millions of Americans; however, is why some find it acceptable to use guns to protect our politicians, police officers and our money, but not our children.
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