Arming teachers with guns could be one of the smartest things the education system could put into play. Of course liberals will cry that it is unsafe and that no one should have guns. Here’s the thing though: criminals don’t obey the law. Therefore a “gun free zone” is just another business to them. They will still bring their illegal guns into that safe zone to cause harm, just like they would if the personnel were carrying.
Here’s the difference: if the personnel are carrying, they can fire back and protect themselves, rather than twiddling their thumbs like sitting ducks.
Colorado teachers are learning valuable gun skills in order to protect their students. More than a dozen school employees spent three days at a shooting range near Denver, learning the ins and outs of shooting.
Kelly Blake, an agricultural teacher at Flemming School said, “I don’t have any children of my own, so these students are my children.” She attended the training in order to make sure her students are “protected at all times.”
The training comes from a group called FASTER, which stands for Faculty/Administrator Safety Training & Emergency Response. According to the group, it formed as a response to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.
Each participant received about a $1,000 scholarship from Coloradans for Civil Liberties, a second amendment rights group, to attend.
“People are scared,” says Laura Carno, the head of that group. “What I am hearing is that parents are saying to their school boards, ‘What are you doing to keep my kids safe?’ Up to and including armed staff.”
And in a state like Colorado, with many rural schools, the argument sometimes boils down to time. “To be realistic, from a police officer perspective, we simply are not going to be there in time,” says Graham Dunne, a local police officer who came to lend his hand. And it’s true, schools in the state can sometimes be 30 to 45 minutes away from the nearest law enforcement.
It’s clear that educators here would like to consider themselves first responders — stopping possible shooters and treating victims. The training stressed tactics, such as how to round a corner safely to stay protected from a shooter, or how to attend to gunshot wounds.
And instructors spent time on this question: Do these educators, who normally work as caretakers, have the right mindset to kill a shooter? What if the shooter is a student?
Other teachers worry having guns in the classroom is a bad idea, no matter which way you cut it.
“I think all teachers would prefer to be given the tools and resources to help our students, as opposed to being forced to shoot them,” says Rachel Barnes of Denver. She teaches kindergarten through second grade, and is a member of a new national gun control group called Educators Demand Action.