UK & World News
Pro-Gun Group Offers Teachers Weapons Training
Gun-rights advocates in Utah have trained 200 teachers how to handle concealed weapons in the latest effort to confront school assailants.
The course follows the murder of 20 children and six staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
English teacher Kevin Leatherbarrow, who holds a licence to carry a concealed weapon, says he does not see anything wrong with arming teachers in the aftermath of the school shooting.
"We're sitting ducks," said Mr Leatherbarrow, who works at a Utah charter school. "You don't have a chance in hell. You're dead - no ifs, ands or buts."
In Ohio, a firearms group said it was launching a test programme in tactical firearms training for 24 teachers.
The Arizona attorney general is proposing a change to state law to allow an educator in each school to carry a gun.
The moves come after the National Rifle Association proposed placing an armed officer at every US school.
Some education officials say they believe it is dangerous to allow guns in schools, suggesting teachers could be overpowered by an assailant, or that students could get hold of firearms and accidentally or deliberatley shoot classmates.
"It's a terrible idea," said Carol Lear, a chief lawyer for the Utah Office of Education. "It's a horrible, terrible, no-good, rotten idea."
Utah educators say they would ban guns if they could, but legislators left them with no choice. State law forbids schools, districts or college campuses from imposing their own gun restrictions.
Educators say they have no way of knowing how many teachers are armed. Gun-rights advocates estimate 1% of Utah teachers, some 240, are licensed to carry concealed weapons. It is not known how many do so at school.
Pro-guns activists say teachers can act more quickly than law enforcement in the critical first few minutes to protect children from the kind of deadly shooting that took place in Connecticut.
The free firearm instruction - which involves using plastic weapons - emphasises the need for people who are facing deadly threats to announce they have a gun and retreat or take cover before trying to shoot, said Clark Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council, the state's leading gun lobby.
"I just bought a bra holster," said Jessica Fiveash, a 32-year-old Utah teacher and wife of a retired Army sergeant who grew up shooting and said she had no hesitation packing a gun at school.
Mr Leatherbarrow said he often felt threatened while working at an inner-city school in Buffalo, New York, where he got a licence to carry a pistol. He moved less than a year ago to Utah, where he feels safer.
But he said gun violence can break out anywhere. He said he was highly trained in handling guns - and was taking criticism from parents who do not appreciate his views on school safety.
"I'm in agreement not everybody should be carrying firearms in school. They're not trained. But for some parents to think we're cowboys, that frustrates me," he said. "I wish parents would understand."
what do you think?
Great idea. Teachers having guns at school. Is it me or has America got some of the dumbest people on this planet.
This actually scares me, armed teachers? What's next? Armed nurses? What's the Colective iq of these people? 4? Saying that guns are the solution to gun crime is like saying the cure for HIV is for everyone to have it! Utter idiocy!
1 mass murder =more guns in circulation. Problem solved American style.
ali baba - It does make one wonder about the US and the sheer quantity of dumb assness that exists. Remember, this is the country that voted for Bush Jnr not once but twice and that fell for the line that Bush was a decorated war hero and John Kerry was somehow 'yellow' when the truth was that Kerry had fought (and been decorated) in Vietnam and Bush had dodged the draft - thanks to daddy's conections.
Quite glad that on this side of the Atlantic we can sit and watch as America sows the seeds of it's own destruction. There are all completely mad. It's not the 19th century wild west frontier. It's the 21st. Crazy people carry out mass killings they need some sort of approval process to prevent the mentally ill getting hold of guns. I know what we have is not perfect, think Dunblain and Cumbria, but at least we try. I do think however that movies and video games have got something to do with the idea that blasting away is the soliution to all gun problems.
You where making some sense till you mentioned movies and video games. Movies and video games don't kill, people do that.
This is old news to me as we have HAD POLICE AND METAL DECTORS FOR YEARS IN TEXAS.
Aaaah, Texas. The state with some of the most lenient gun laws in America and also has 3 of the top 10 worst mass shootings in US history. That seems to have worked well for you, doesn't it. Coincidentally, considering Texas has one of the highest number of armed civilians, all of the above massacres (Killeen, Uni of Texas and Fort Hood) were ended by legitimate authorities or the suicide of the shooter and not by some Lone Ranger type 'hero'. You could also look at places which DO have armed people in place. There was a sheriff's deputy present at the Columbine massacre who shot and missed 4 times. Virginia Tech has it's own police force and yet the massacre was only ended when the gunman committed suicide. The shootout at the Empire State building saw several (presumably) highly trained police officers exchange fire with the gunman, wounding 9 innocent bystanders in the process. Can you imagine the carnage in a school when you've got people running about in a panic and an armed teacher(s) who's running on pure adrenaline? Two words.....BAD idea.
Mark, El Bubsio has a very good point. So, next time some nutter decides to go on a killing spree! The attention will be turned to the teacher before he slaughters the children. Also, a crazed gunman has nothing to live for and will be heavily armed!
Innocent children have been murdered and they want more guns in school? It's crazy! How many children will be killed/injured when you have a sressed teacher hitting a child in a panic too? It's not a game...
Uni of texas austin 1966 fort hood a madtaliban kilian a diner in1991viriginia tech had 4 campas police at the time now there is both police and usmc unit close by my girls go to virginia tech.obama will not get a gun ban so wot do you do?
Thank you for the votes down! Some people need to wake up! To reality......
Jasmin i did not vote you down.we are used to guns everywere .were you have probley never seen a real gun
Hmm! Mark, you're wrong. I've served in the army and now a police officer. Actually, those that do vote down! Hopefully they can make a New Year resolution and speak up! :)
Jasmin i served in us army for ten years .i am also a uk gun owner
Mark, no worries. I don't vote people down! For having an opinion :) It just bloody annoys me when they don't speak up! :) I'm always ready for a good old debate.Friendly of course :) Goodnight to you.
OK, Mark. A few questions for you. What do the dates of the shootings in your reply have to do with anything? Where have you got it from that the fort hood shooter was a "mad taliban"? He was born in Arlington, Virginia and was a major in the army. Also, this quote from his boo on Wikipedia - "investigators in the FBI and U.S. Army determined that Hasan acted alone and as of yet have found no evidence of links to terrorist groups". What do the number of police at Virginia tech have to do with anything? Is 4 not enough to stop 1 gunman? I noticed you don't even touch the empire state building shootout, as that basically demonstrates how flawed your view is. As for 'we won't get a ban so what can you do?', how about making it more difficult for people to get guns. How about banning assault weapons that have no sensible place in civilian life, how about limiting magazine sizes or how about improving your mental healthcare (or would that be too 'socialist' for Americans?
Having easy accessibility of guns! Can now be solved by having MORE guns available is nothing short of mind boggling!!
this is utter stupid stop the guns not give out more power.more people just going to have the power to shoot for the sake of shooting.its makes me so angry . put it this way a wouldnt want any of mine kids at there schools.
When we were allowed to own guns legally we had very few armed police and any armed robbery that took place used illegal guns Now they made guns illegal because of one man. Illegal guns are easier to get hold of a very large percentage of are police are armed and yet armed robbery has not really increased. Guns are not the problem it's people are we going to ban all cars as the kill more people worldwide. Than guns do. excluding wars But it's easy to just follow the media hype like sheep
Kids will behave anyway! Only in America!! That's a step too far. Armed guards at gates maybe but not that
Just goes to show how desperate the pro- gun lobby are to keep their right to bear arms and believe me their personal arsenals are awesome in some cases, I saw one chaps first hand which he had in a secure cabinet in his home.