Colorado State Rep. Patrick Neville thinks teachers in his state should be able to protect their students with firearms, and has a very good reason behind his bill to arm teachers. Rep. Neville is a survivor of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre.
Reflecting on that day as an adult, he realizes, “I truly believe that had some of them had the legal authority to be armed, more of my friends might be with me today.”
Tuesday, Neville re-introduced legislation that would allow Colorado teachers with concealed carry permits to carry in the classroom to protect themselves and their students.
“The only thing that is going to stop murderers intent on doing harm is to give good people the legal authority to carry a gun to protect themselves and our children,” Neville said in a statement.
The young Republican introduced a similar bill last year which failed to pass in the Democrat-controlled house. His new bill, while also not expected to pass, is part of a national trend in discussing what can be done to keep school children safe.
Proponents of the bill compare it’s potential success to Utah, where teachers frequently carry in schools to protect their students in the event of an active shooter entering the school.
“We don’t see the mass shootings in Utah,” says Anthony Bouchard, executive director of the gun rights group Wyoming Gun Owners. “[Potential shooters] don’t know who’s inside, who’s armed, who’s going to fight back, and that’s why we need to follow Utah’s model.”
That’s exactly what Rep. Neville is hoping to enact in his home state of Colorado.
“Parents wake up everyday and bring their children to school on blind faith that their kids will return home safe,” Neville said. “Unfortunately, the current system continues to leave our children as sitting targets for criminals intent on doing harm.”