Since the tragic death of 20 young children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012, the debate on the role of guns in an educational setting has been raging furiously.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) waited a week before announcing that their proposed solution to reduce mass shootings like the one in Newtown was to put armed guards in every school in America. “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” stated Wayne LaPierre.
U.S. Secretary of Education William J. Bennett and Representative Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, agreed, arguing that such incidents like the one at Sandy Hook could be prevented if teachers and principals carried weapons
Texas Governor Rick Perry became one of the first prominent officials after the December 14 shootings to call for teachers to be allowed to carry firearms to work, while other lawmakers across the country are introducing laws that would let school staff members arm themselves.
Many lawmakers and most teachers, along with the nation’s two largest teachers’ unions, vehemently disagree, arguing that meeting violence with violence will only exacerbate the situation.
What both sides may not realize is that more than one-third of all states already allow teachers and adults to carry loaded guns onto school grounds with few restrictions.
NBC News reviewed the firearms and education laws in all 50 states and found that 18 of them allow adults to have a loaded gun on school grounds, usually as long as they have written permission.
That’s for pretty much any reason; the list doesn’t include states that generally ban guns but carve out narrow exceptions for specific activities like safety demonstrations or military formations and parades.
You can see a list of those 18 states by clicking here.
The media has been delighted to inform us that 200 Utah teachers lined up for free instruction in the handling of firearms, an event organized by the Utah Shooting Sports Council, and that in Texas, an $85 Concealed Handgun License (CHL) course offered at no cost to teachers filled 400 spots immediately, forcing the school to offer another class, one instructor said.
In fact, both Utah and Texas already allow teachers to carry guns.
These reports would seem to imply that the majority of teachers are rushing to sign up for firearms lessons, whereas in reality this is a tiny percentage of the 3.3 million public school teachers in the US.
Nevertheless, I was shocked to discover that as a public school teacher, I can legally carry a gun in 18 states. Even the smallest glass of wine is strictly banned at our public schools, but it’s OK to carry a gun?
What do you think?
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