Is Arming Teachers the Right Course?
Some 600 educators have reportedly applied to take part in a free firearms-training course being offered this spring by Ohio's Buckeye Firearms Association in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings.
In an interview with StateImpact Ohio, BFA Chairman Jim Irvine says that, to provide an authentic learning experience, the training will likely take place in a customized environment:
In a traditional shooting range you're in a shooting lane, but classrooms aren't conducted in lanes. The threat can come from anywhere; the threat can come from multiple directions. You have to analyze the threat in a 3D environment. We want to train for the real event.
He's a bit less clear when questioned about the argument that placing guns in the classroom could be particularly hazardous because teachers have been known to lose their cool from time to time:
If the teacher's going to snap, the teacher's going to snap. There's nothing that prevents that from happening. It's not a bigger threat now than it will be then. It could happen, but it hasn't happened yet.
While some teachers have been quick to sign up for the training, others in Ohio have been less enthusiastic about the prospect of putting more lethal weapons in schools. When the idea of arming teachers began circulating last month, a political blog based in Columbus sought the opinion of a former homicide detective. His take: "Introducing John Wayne and more guns into this mess seems like insanity to me."