Push to arm teachers met with backlash from some in education community
Just over seven years since the worst school shooting in U.S. history and the push to prevent the next one continues. The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary that left 27 dead, including 20 children, and the many that followed continue to shake Americans, but efforts to stop school shootings remain controversial. One of those proposals, putting firepower in the hands of teachers, is a hotly disputed safety measure attempt.
Teachers are the students at Master Arms and Tactical in Glen Burnie, Maryland.
“We’ll ask them probably if they’ve had any active shooting training,” said Matt Frye, owner of the gun training facility.
Frye says if teachers want to start carrying guns to protect their students and themselves, he wants to give them proper training.
“You have to understand before you start to squeeze that trigger what you’re about to do has the strong probability of killing or injuring someone for the rest of their life,” said Frye.
Frye’s training runs through first aid basics, then moves on to active shooter situations. He thinks teachers could stop these tragedies with training.
“I think it’s a good idea for them to have the option (to carry firearms),” said Frye.
He thinks exercising Second Amendment rights is important, including for teachers if they are allowed to do so according to their local or state laws. He dismisses those who might be uncomfortable going to schools where teachers are carrying.
“I think discomfort is something that we need to overcome,” said Frye.
The National Education Association says this is not the learning teachers should be focused on.
“Arming teachers is possibly the worst thing that they could do to keep kids safe,” said Lily Eskelson Garcia, president of the NEA.
Garcia used to teach in Utah, one of eight states that allow concealed carry in K-12 schools. Garcia says incentivizing teachers to carry loaded firearms is dangerous.
She doesn’t think parents want their kids surrounded by firearms all day. Garcia argues stricter gun control is the answer.
“How do we prevent dangerous people from easy access to dangerous weapons? Why isn’t that what we’re talking about?” said Garcia.
21 states currently give schools the power to decide whether guns are allowed on their campus.