Activist Claims Armed Teacher Laws All About Sellilng Guns

Creede Newton/Amarillo Globe-News via AP

David Reidman is a data scientist and the guy behind the K-12 School Shooting Database, which purports to document school shooting incidents. Reidman's been criticized for an overly broad definition that includes shootings that occur off-campus and after school hours. Basically, if shots are fired anywhere near a school, no matter what time of day or night, the database considers that to be a school shooting. 


Reidman's apparently also not a big fan of using armed school staff as a deterrent against shootings inside school buildings when students and staff are around. On X, the school shooting database account recently laid out a conspiracy theory that laws allowing for armed school staff are just a ploy to pad the pockets of the gun industry. 

I hate to break it to Reidman (or whoever runs the database's social media), but there are several gaping flaws in his theory. 

First, the vast majority of folks who volunteer to serve as armed school staff are already gun owners and concealed carry holders, which means they don't need to run out and buy another pistol once they take on the responsibility of acting as a first line of defense in case of an active shooter on campus. If Reidman doubts that the case, all he needs to do is reach out to FASTER Colorado or Buckeye Firearms (which runs Ohio's FASTER training program for school staff) and ask them about the background of the teachers and staff who attend their training courses. 

Reidman also ignores the fact that these programs are voluntary. There's not a state in the union that mandates a district have a single armed school staffer in place, much less ten percent of their employees. If having armed school staff is just a backdoor way to sell guns, allowing every educator in the country to opt out seems pretty stupid.


Then there's the assertion that, by using NRA-certified firearms instructors, more revenue is going back to "the gun lobby". Does Reidman think that the NRA gets a percentage of the proceeds from every training session put on by a certified instructor? That's not how it works. Once an instructor has received his or her certification, it's up to them to decide how much to charge for their classes and what they do with the money they receive from students. 

If armed school staff supposedly exist because politicians want to enrich the gun industry, what does Reidman think about school resource officers? After all, they too are armed. For that matter, maybe the only reason that police officers carry guns is to add to the bottom line of companies like Glock and Smith & Wesson!

Opposition to armed school staff is nothing new, but this is the first time I've seen anyone suggest that entire reason why states like Iowa and Tennessee approved legislation this year empowering districts to adopt the policy if they choose is to generate more customers for the gun industry. 

As we've detailed previously here at Bearing Arms, research suggests that the fastest way to stop an active shooter attack in a school is to have both armed school staff who can shelter in place with students and a school resource officer who can pursue and engage the attacker. Many smaller school districts and private schools may not be able to afford the cost of an SRO, but so long as they've got staffers willing to shoulder the responsibility of serving as an armed guardian in a worst-case scenario, they can at least provide an additional layer of security for the kids in their care. 


The real reason behind the push for armed school staff is the safety of students, not the profits of the firearms industry or the NRA. The crackpot theory promoted by the K-12 School Shooting Database just doesn't make sense, but that doesn't mean it won't be accepted and promoted by anti-gunners going forward. 

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