One of the issues brought up in the debate over permitting teachers to carry firearms in the classroom is that educators aren’t properly trained. Some claim that since they lack police training, they have no business having a gun because they’ll do something stupid.
In Indiana, a new bill seeks to help address that criticism.
Republican Indiana lawmakers want the state to pay for handgun training for teachers.
Indiana law allows school districts to determine their own gun carry policy. That wouldn’t change under House Bill 1177, but the legislation would create statewide training standards for teachers with guns in the classroom.
“Gun-free zones do not mean it’s a gun-free zone,” State Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) told the House Education committee Wednesday.
Lucas, the bill’s author, said that’s why he’d like to see more teachers armed at school.
“The ultimate goal would be to have such a deterrent out there that nobody ever even considers this,” Lucas said.
The teachers union there in Indiana is neutral on the issue, apparently. It seems since it doesn’t mandate teachers be armed and leaves it up to the individual, they’re staying out of the fight.
That’s surprising to me.
What’s unsurprising is that Democrats in the state object. Of course, the fact that funding training negates part of their opposition to armed teachers is ignored in these objections, but that’s precisely what this bill does.
It funds the exact same number of hours of training with a firearm that law enforcement undergoes.
Democrats in Indiana think that this money should instead go toward things like having guards in schools–a plan that didn’t work worth a flip in Parkland, it should be noted–barriers and “proper locking systems,” whatever that’s actually supposed to mean.
The thing is, there’s nothing wrong with most of those things. I support school resources officers in our schools and hardening them as well. There are undoubtedly some benefits.
However, studies found that SROs aren’t a deterrent to mass shootings.
Yet we don’t find mass shootings happening in states like Utah, that have permitted school staff to carry firearms for years.
See, the SRO is just one person. They’re a single point that can either be eliminated or avoided.
But an unknown number of armed teachers or staff? That’s something that can’t be quantified in the mind of a potential mass shooter. That’s something that they can’t account for.
That makes them a deterrent.
Indiana is doing the right thing. Allowing teachers to carry firearms if they so wish is a good thing. No one should be required to carry a gun, but those who want to shouldn’t be prohibited from doing so. In the process, allowing that freedom also makes all of the kids in those schools that much safer.
Can we do other things to protect them? Absolutely.
Should we do the other things? Again, absolutely.
But these are children’s lives. Putting guns in teachers’ hands on top of those other things is simply leaving as little to chance as possible.