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Armed Teacher Training Program In Ohio
Concealed Carry For Teachers
Ohio became one of the first 15 US States to opt into the Armed Teacher Training Program after the gun-related massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School dismayed the USA again with unwanted mayhem and murder.
Ohio is one of the first 15 states interested in the training, because an Ohio company originated the program. That is the Tactical Defense Institute, which is promoted by the Buckeye Firearms Association (see links below).
Will the ability to carry firearms in the classrooms Pre-K through 12 help to prevent school shootings perpetrated by outsiders or students in the future? What I do know is that some efficient action is required, because I cannot forget a playground incident in Columbus, Ohio that occurred a few months ago.
In that event, two eight-year-old boys were arguing while one pointed a loaded handgun at the other in the front play area of their elementary school before classes began for the day. The play area was connected to the narrow parking lot and located very near a high-trafficked street. Other boys and girls of various ages through 5th grade were standing around watching. Police officers arrived on the scene to intervene before a shot was fired, but the incident would have resulted in several injuries and deaths.
This brings up the question of what a teacher that is trained in firearms use and issued a concealed carry permit, then permitted to carry a firearm into the school on a daily basis, would do in the playground situation described above. Would any such teacher become anxious and shoot, inadvertently ending the life of an elementary school child? Would any teacher run a greater risk of shooting a student in a similar or worse situation if the student were older: middle- or high-school aged? In cases like Columbine in which students enter shooting, are teachers trained to shoot these youth in the leg to stop them, rather than to shoot to the head or chest and kill? Further, how does teacher possession and use of guns in school reconcile with the rules that teachers are not permitted to touch students, much less use physical force in their contact?
Some Teachers Want Guns
I understand the desire of some teachers' reaction to Sandy Hook resulting in wanting to own and carry a handgun in school. I understand this, because I was a gunshot target at one place of employment.
Drive by shootings were becoming more frequent on the street adjacent to the company building in which I worked serving students and families. One day, I was sitting at the reception desk to fill in for a staff person, when someone opened the front door and fired a starter pistol into the lobby. It was as loud as a handgun and left discharge debris, and I had ducked under the large reception station base as quickly as possible. While the bullet was not live ammunition, the location of the building was in a high crime area, involving firearms. The company had had a security guard, but eliminated that position to save costs. What was more upsetting than the attack was the "so-what" attitude of the company leadership - no safety measures were added.
In the school systems of our nation, however, the attitude in anything but, "So what?" Some teachers and administrators want guns of their own.
Some Ohio school districts already allow concealed carry in the classroom by some trained teachers. Some other districts will not allow any teachers to bring guns to school.
Caring for a handgun while teaching a roomful of second graders or high school seniors will not be an easy task. Does the teacher wear a shoulder holster throughout the day? Some teacher somewhere will become tired of this, or for some other reason take off the holster for "just a minute" - but that's all the time needed to begin a tragedy around children.
- Texas school employee shoots self at training class to arm teachers
Post- Sandy Hook, a number of Texas schools have decided to arm teachers, until one of them shot themselves in the leg by accident this week.
Armed Teacher Training Program
Only 100 years or a few more ago, our city's large, upscale northwestern suburb was a Wild West town, complete with saloons, cowboys, shootouts, and various fights. Guns were not checked at the sheriff's office or at the door of the saloons. They were used.
Today, Dublin OH is as far from a gunslinger's town as one can get, but Ohio is training teachers to carry firearms and to shoot attackers in the schools. The first class of teachers did well in training, which was paid by donations, rather than by taxpayer dollars. Still, many people ask why the training in necessary -- Outsider and student violence is far out of hand, it if requires gun protection in the classroom.*
- Buckeye Firearms Association | Defending Your Firearm Rights
Buckeye Firearm Foundation, a nonprofit with the BFA, paid $30,000 for 24 Ohio educators to learn how to react to a shooter in a school (March 2013).
- Buckeye Firearms Foundation
Ongoing articles and commentary about the Armed Teacher Pilot Program in Ohio.
- Tactical Defense Institute -- Ohio Firearms - Gun - Rifle - Shotgun - Pistol - CCW - Concealed Carry
Training in handgun, shotgun, rifle, pistol, physical defense and edged weapons provided for civilians, law enforcement and military personnel. Located in Southern Ohio.
From the Buckeye Firearms Association Website Q and A
'Q: Can you legally have a gun in school?
A: In general, schools in Ohio are "gun-free" zones by law. However, the Ohio Revised Code, specifically 2923.122, allows a board of education to authorize employees who are otherwise allowed to own and carry firearms to carry those firearms in their schools...
Q: Can you guarantee that armed teachers will stop a mass murder?
A: No. Even a full SWAT team can't guarantee absolute safety in any given school. What we can guarantee is that if a school has no one on-site who can respond to an active killer threat, people are going to die until someone can respond. Dozens of people can be killed in just 5 or 10 minutes. So fast response is essential.'
Ohio Attorney General Michael DeWine’s office offers a four-hour “Active Shooter” class. This training is provided by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy. Teachers and administrators attending the training learn what to do, if a shooter enters their schools.
The Active Shooter training in this program comcentrates heavily on how to keep a shooter from finding and accessing students. This might mean running, jumping out windows, blocking doors with desks, and other evasive action. However, It does not include arming teachers with handguns, training them to shoot, and equipping them with concealed carry permits.
Additional Ammunition For Decision Making
In the late 1990s, I volunteered with an agency located three doors down from an empty storefront building for several years. One day, a gunstore moved into the empty space. It had little security in place - no bars on the large front window where guns were displayed, a lack of dead bolt locks, an absence of an alarm system, and some other problems.
In just a few months, the gunstore owner locked himself inside his business one afternoon, called the local police department and reported that he was holding himself hostage with many loaded firearms. Police officers arrived and were able to talk the man out of the store pretty quickly. Television newscasts that night explained that the gunstore owner was a patient with a Severe Mental Disorder (SMD) and a felony record, and therefore was not legally permitted to own a firearm.
How was he able to purchase rifles, handguns, and semiautomatic weapons without a background check? Perhaps he was able to do this through attending gun shows and purchasing from private individuals (the "gun show loop hole").
This was another situation that could have resulted in many injuries and deaths. Are there ways in which we can prevent these occurrences without carrying firearms ourselves?
Gun carrying or not seems almost a quality of cultural differences. The Metropolitan Police of London do not carry firearms, but American school teachers do.
- Sandy Hook Promise
I Promise to do everything I can to encourage and support common sense solutions that make my community and our country safer from similar acts of violence.