Should Teachers carry Firearms

The program Faster helps teachers prepare for school shootings

Should Teachers carry Firearms

Vincent Towne, Staff Writer

School gun laws have been a talked about topic for decades, and have come up as a very heated debate as of recent. The terrible, growing trend of school shootings has affected hundreds of people that have had a family member or friend killed.

One of the worst school shootings in history took place in Newtown, Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary on Dec. 14, 2012. The shooting was reported to police at 9:35 a.m., and officers arrived less than four minutes later; within a minute, they heard the gunman shoot himself. He had already killed 20 children and six adults inside the school.

If a school’s only solution is to rely on outside help, it will never get any better than what happened at Sandy Hook. Joe Eaton, a family friend of mine, is from the Buckeye Firearms Association, a gun-owners group in Ohio. After Sandy Hook, Jim Irvine set up Faster with the Buckeye Firearms Association. Faster is a program that trains teachers to respond to mass shootings. This program might not only help with preparedness for school shootings, but it also might inspire other schools to incorporate guns or other means of defense for their campus.

The program includes first aid, moving through crowds and firearms training – that is, how to kill a school gunman. So far, Faster has trained 1,300 school staff, usually on three-day courses.

“Teachers, administrators, superintendents, bus drivers, even the lunch lady,” Eaton said.

In the US, 10 states ban guns in schools, outright. Another eight allow them only in locked cars. But in the other 32 states, it’s possible for teachers to carry guns, if the school allows it. Faster has trained staff from 225 districts in 12 states. Another 200 to 400 will be trained this year.

Faster doesn’t want to force people to carry firearms, but those who are willing to, will receive training for it.

“Inside of every school, there are certain teachers who will willingly run towards the sound of gunfire,” Eaton said. “The schools identify these people, and tell them: Whatever tool and training you’re comfortable with, we’re going to give it to you.”

And if teachers really don’t want to carry guns, there should at least be an armed cop in the school at all times. This would stop so many preventable deaths.

“It’s sad that it’s come to a point for teachers to need guns, when they started their teaching career they never would have imagined carrying firearms to protect kids, or having their schools ask them to, Eaton said. “But I bet if you ask every airline pilot, they would have answered the same way until 9/11 happened.” Some pilots in the US carry guns on board.

In a perfect world we wouldn’t have shootings to debate about, but sadly it is a growing occurrence that needs to be stopped. And I think that the best solution at the moment is to arm willing teachers and prepare them for situations like Sandy Hook and many others.