Gun training for teacher bill headed to governor

AP Photo/ Rick Bowmer

On the heels of the shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, it’s unsurprising to see many states taking steps they believe would prevent such a shooting.


Others may be taking steps they were going to take anyway, it just looks like a response to Nashville because of timing.

A bill over state-funded gun training for teachers in Indiana could fall into either category, though I don’t really care which. I don’t care because it’s a good idea.

Luckily, it seems lawmakers agree with me.

Indiana state lawmakers have sent the state’s Republican governor a bill that would create a state-funded handgun training program available for teachers, something critics have said could wrongly increase the number of guns in schools.

The state Senate gave the bill its final approval Wednesday evening after the House concurred with changes to the legislation earlier that day.

The bill, which passed the Senate 41-8 without debate and now goes to the desk of Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, is the cumulation of efforts by state lawmakers to offer additional training that have failed in recent years. That legislation was previously halted by opposition from both gun-rights advocates, who said training mandates would overstep local control, and gun-control proponents, who argued against steps they see as arming teachers.

Supporters have also said the 40 hours of optional training could help teachers learn how to defend themselves and students if needed, especially in situations with an active shooter.


Now, 40 hours is a lot, but based on similar training in other states, it includes a lot of training involving decision-making in stressful situations, including school-based scenarios.

If that’s the model this follows, it’s likely good training that teachers can and should avail themselves of, especially if the state is funding it.

The fact that it’s optional is good because there is no mandate. Teachers who come from, say, a military background may not need such a course–though I still think there’s benefit in taking it anyway–and it doesn’t delay a teacher from carrying until they have a spare 40 hours.

That’s also good.

The truth is that while many critics are bothered by the idea that teachers are carrying guns, the truth is that they just aren’t comfortable with anyone carrying guns.

That’s fine. They have a right to feel that way.

Where we depart is that they want their own feelings codified in law. They want to bar teachers from being able to defend themselves in the event of a school shooting like Parkland or Uvalde.


While I get they want to prevent those shootings too, they’re not going to. After all, these same people oppose hardening our schools on a regular basis, which means anyone with a firearm can stroll in and start killing.

Allowing teachers to carry, however, puts an end to that. Funding the training that lets them protect themselves and, by extension, our children also makes sense.

Indiana is making the right move on this one. The governor needs to sign it and allow the state to take a very big step toward preventing school shootings.

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