With the increase in school shootings, many conservatives believe that training and arming teachers and other faculty members is the best line of defense. They believe that having armed teachers provides an immediate response to an active shooter and a greater chance of saving many lives.
Anti-gun liberals oppose training and arming teachers. Some say that teachers should just teach and nothing more. My response to that is asking them why teachers, over the years, have drilled their students on what to do in case of a tornado or fire? I recall having teachers not only drill their classes on a variety of safety measures, but also patrol the school grounds during recess and lunch, all in the name of safety and protection of the students. I also recall our teachers leading us in drills of what to do in the event of a nuclear attack. Are those actions any different than having teachers trained to handle another threat to the safety of their students and themselves? Is it any different for a teacher to break up a fight, disarm a kid with a knife, lead their students to safety in the case of a tornado, or nuclear attack?
Another common argument used by anti-gun liberals is that arming teachers presents a huge danger and risk of teachers getting angry and using their concealed carry guns to shoot a student or students. This is the most prevalent argument that most liberals use to fight against the concept of arming teachers, along with the argument that most teachers and law enforcement officials are against the idea of being armed in the classroom.
If these are valid arguments, then why haven’t we heard about any instances of teachers shooting their students or very few teachers seeking the training and permitting?
Nearly 6 years ago, Ohio passed a law that allows teachers and faculty members, with the approval of local school board, to undergo special training, ability to obtain a concealed permit and to carry their concealed carry weapon in the classroom.
In January 2013, I reported: (the post has since been removed)
“Knowing the Ohio laws, Buckeye Firearms Foundation has offered free attendance to educators to their Armed Teacher Training Program which will provide educators with the necessary information to help them obtain a conceal carry permit. The cost of the program is $1000 which covers room, board, ammunition and other materials supplied during the course. Since they are a non-profit organization manned by volunteers, it helps keep the cost down. They are covering the costs of the course with monies they have raised and donations from other sponsors.”
“Buckeye Firearms Foundation only has room for 24 openings in the program. By January 2, they had over 650 applicants and I just heard on the local news that the number of applicants has climbed to over 900 and more are coming in every day. Nearly 20% of the applicants are from principals and vice principals.”
President Donald Trump agrees with the idea of arming teachers, saying:
“I think a concealed permit for teachers, and letting people know there are people in the building with a gun, you won’t have, in my opinion you won’t have these shootings. Because these people are cowards. They’re not going to walk into a school if 20 percent of the teachers have guns.”
Jay McDonald, President of the Fraternal Order of Police in Ohio commented:
“We don’t even give (teachers) the school supplies they need. Now we’re going to pay to arm them and expect them to handle an active-shooter situation where they’re most likely outgunned?”
“If we can do that for legislators and judges, we can do that for students.”
In February 2018, it was reported:
“Since 2013, the nonprofit Buckeye Firearms Foundation has been offering free training specifically for educators, called FASTER, or Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response. The 26-hour class includes handgun training and tactical medical care, such as applying tourniquets and compression bandages.”
“The phone is ringing off the hook this week, said Jim Irvine, president of the foundation’s board.”
“Over the past five years, more than 1,300 teachers and staff members from 225 districts in 12 states have received FASTER training, including educators in 76 of Ohio’s 88 counties. An additional 400 educators are scheduled for sessions this year.”
“For the first time, participation in FASTER had to be limited this year to five staff members per district, Irvine said. Donations to pay for the instruction can’t keep up with demand, he said.”
Living just south of Cincinnati, Ohio, the vast majority of our news is Ohio centered and in the past 6 years, I’ve not heard of any teacher getting mad and shooting a student, or of a student stealing the teacher’s gun and using it. Instead, what I do hear is that many teachers are still clamoring to trained, permitted and armed in order to protect their students and themselves.
Ohio isn’t the only state to allow teachers to be trained and armed in the classroom. Today, there are hundreds, probably thousands of teachers and faculty, across America, that have been trained and who are armed in the classroom and on campus.
The reality is, none of the arguments being used by anti-gun liberals are nothing more than conjecture designed to prevent teachers and faculty members from being able to protect their students and themselves. The facts don’t support the arguments, but hasn’t stopped the liberals from repeating their arguments, much like a parrot repeats what it’s taught without understanding what they are really saying.
Lastly, you don’t hear of any school shooting taking place in a school where the teachers have been trained and armed, proving that the best defense is a strong offense!
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.