School shootings shock us because schools are supposed to be safe havens from guns. Bold signs in school zones declare they are “Gun and Drug Free,” but as we know, signs and laws don’t stop criminals. That’s what makes them criminals.
So why don’t we arm our teachers to protect our children?
27 year old Kasey Hansen is a special needs teacher, working at multiple schools throughout the Granite School District around Salt Lake City, UT each day, and she proudly carries a concealed weapon. Additionally, all of her students have hearing aids or a cochlear implant, which could make an emergency situation more imperative for her to handle swiftly.
“I never really thought about it before Sandy Hook,” says Hansen, who was in a classroom teaching when she heard news of the school shooting. “It just killed me. It’s something personal when you mess with students or children. …It’s as if you were messing with one of our own.”
Hansen got her concealed-carry permit and took advantage of a free training course which was offered to teachers. She then bought a Cobra 380 handgun which she named Lucy and started carrying it in K-12 classrooms.
“I think every teacher should carry,” Hansen said. “We are the first line of defense. Someone is going to call the cops and they are going to be informed, but how long is it going to take for them to get to the school? And in that time how many students are going to be affected by the gunman roaming the halls?”
She further explains, “I based it (Lucy) on Despicable Me 2, on the spy who Gru falls in love with. She’s a secret agent spy, and she likes to carry her lipstick Taser or her weapons with her and uses them on the bad guys, so I named my gun Lucy after her.”
In the 10 years since teachers have been allowed to carry guns in Utah, no fatal K-12 school shootings have occurred. With teachers like Hansen, there’s little question as to why.
Hansen goes on to declare “I want to protect my students, I’m going to stand in front of a bullet for any student that is in my protection and so I want another option to defend us.”
In 2013 more than 80 bills were introduced in at least 33 states related to arming teachers or school staff, but only Alabama, Kansas, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas enacted laws affecting public schools, according to a report by the Council of State Governments. In the state of Wisconsin, concealed carry permit holders can request permission to carry from the principal of their local school, and a new law just went into effect this year allowing both off duty and retired LEO’s to carry in schools as well. The Outdoor Channel’s in-depth documentary Safe Haven hosted by Katie Pavlich was an eye-opening look into just how ineffective gun-free zones really are.
As the fight to allow campus carry on colleges rages on, let’s not forget that primary schools deserve our attention as well. All of our children’s lives have value, regardless of their age, and they all deserve to be protected by any means necessary. I wish we had more teachers willing to arm themselves on behalf of our nation’s children. I know for my own children, I would appreciate a teacher like Kasey Hansen willing to stand and fight against the threat of any attacker wishing to harm students.