Usually, saying that a measure seeking to train teachers to carry firearms at schools failed would be a bad thing. After all, many places don’t allow teachers to carry guns at all, so training volunteers to carry is an unmitigated win in the grand scheme of things.
However, such a measure is failing in Indiana amid opposition, and that’s actually a good thing as well.
A legislative proposal for requiring annual training for teachers who carry guns inside Indiana schools was scuttled amid a disagreement over whether it infringed on gun rights.
The state Senate approved the bill this month, but a House committee chairman said Monday that he wouldn’t be taking any action on the proposal ahead of this week’s deadline for advancing it.
The proposal specifies a 40-hour training program for teachers volunteering to be armed. It included 20 hours of scenario-based training and six hours of marksmanship, along with reviews about lawful use of force and personality screening, followed by 16 hours of additional training each year.
Republican Sen. Chris Garten of Charlestown urged support for the proposal because teachers can be armed with permission of their school districts but the state doesn’t have any training requirements. The proposal faced opposition from gun-rights supporters as being too heavy-handed and usurping local control.
House Education Committee Chairman Robert Behning, an Indianapolis Republican, said he was troubled by the bill mandating the training in such detail.
Perhaps more important than the amount of detail the bill mandated, though, was that it was a step backward for gun rights.
Look, I usually applaud states that create training for armed teachers, but that’s because it’s necessary to get armed teachers into schools in the first place. That’s a positive step forward for gun rights, even if it’s not as broad a step forward as I might prefer.
Yet in Indiana, the law already provides for teachers to carry guns in schools if the districts permit it. Adding a training requirement would be heading in the wrong direction. More importantly, it’s not necessary in the least.
The idea of armed teachers isn’t new. Some states, such as Utah, have allowed armed teachers for a while and they’re not required to undergo some special training to do so. Guess what? They’ve never had an issue because teachers didn’t undergo a week of special firearms training. It’s just not a thing.
Now, I believe people should get training. I have no issue with school districts encouraging their armed teachers to get school-specific training. I think it’s wise to get as much training as you can. Hell, I have no issue with districts footing the bill or even hosting such training. Training is a very good thing.
I just don’t think anyone should be required to undergo training unless that’s the only way to get them armed in the first place.
In Indiana, that’s not an issue so this bill falling apart now doesn’t bother me. Not in the least. In fact, I hope it falls apart even faster.