Teacher training day: 200 educators take weapons course

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  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Jan. 1, 2013 9:44 a.m.

    In the past 30 years homicides in this nation have dropped in half. Europe has not seen a drop in homicides when they put in strict gun laws. In England gangs are armed so now the Bobbies are carrying weapons. On the other hand incidents with those having concealed permits are very rare. Every home should have a gun and any teacher that wishes to carry. If I were a teacher I would want to protect my students.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 29, 2012 1:58 p.m.

    I have a question for those of you who think teachers at high schools or students at public universities should be able to concealed carry to help improve safety...

    if that really did help safety, then shouldn't we be peacefully petitioning private church schools in the state like BYU to change their policy against guns on campus?

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Dec. 29, 2012 7:19 a.m.

    I do agree that more shooting training is appropriate. The problem? No ranges here in Salt Lake, except the cop ranges can give that type of training. A Hogan's alley at Lee Kay could help remedy that situation. OR give the public better access to the Sheriff's range or the SLC PD range, or the Murray PD's indoor range. After all, the taxpayers own those ranges. They should be able to use them any time they want.

  • HotGlobe SAN RAFAEL, CA
    Dec. 29, 2012 2:42 a.m.

    "There's two different kinds of guns: guns in the good guys' hands and guns in the bad guys' hands," No, guns change hands and they work the same either way.

    Disturbed children fascinated by guns will figure out who is packing and will appreciate that the teacher got the gun into the school for them. Now all they need to get started on mass murder is a heavy book to the back of that teacher's head. Seriously folks, don't we have a better idea than pouring gasoline on the fire?

  • I Bleed Blue Las Vegas, NV
    Dec. 28, 2012 10:56 p.m.

    Hope the state of Utah is ready for the multiple million dollar law suit that comes from the first 'accidental' shooting in a school. It is not a question of 'if' but when.

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 9:28 p.m.

    The answer is clearly that we all need to pack heat. In fact, lets make teachers eligible for combat pay, those who are willing to get a "concealed carry" permit and use it. And those who carry a "semi-automatic" weapon to school will get bonus pay. Talk about a perfect lead-in or advertisement for home schooling, this is it.

  • Knowsabunch Ogden, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 8:43 p.m.

    An art teacher at the school I teach at weighs in at 100 lbs...maybe. She is also the one that is most outspoken about the need for teachers to have guns. Our middle linebacker is 250 lbs, and a little crazy. What would happen if he wanted to take her gun? What if a whole group of kids ganged up on her? Schools are no place for guns, except for police officers. Period.

  • Utah Teacher Orem, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 7:50 p.m.

    I've worked in several different schools here in Utah and I can say that there are only about one or two that I would trust with a gun. The thought of some of these teachers carrying a weapon is far scarier than a possible armed intruder. No, I'm not joking.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    Dec. 28, 2012 7:27 p.m.

    A lawyer's dream.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 1:20 p.m.

    Unfortunately, when one lives in a society damaged by improper raising of so many children these things will happen. Until we fix this, willing teachers need to be armed.

    Bandaid solutions wont help. If they did, China wouldn't have more school attacks than we do. Their people aren't allowed to own guns.

  • bricha lehi, ut
    Dec. 28, 2012 12:11 p.m.


    I have one problem with your argument, if the person wants to kill himself chances are he is going to do it. My brother killed himself a few years ago he didn't have access to a firearm, but was able to do it just fine. Taking away peoples guns will not change their state of mind!

  • IJ Hyrum, Ut
    Dec. 28, 2012 11:53 a.m.

    "Giving a gun to a teacher is not going to protect the school. That gun will protect that teacher only (and hopefully a few students). If a teacher heard shots fired in the office, the LAST thing the teacher should do is leave the classroom. That leaves the students unprotected, which was the point in allowing the gun."

    right - and that is why, if every teacher and staff member had a gun, they could protect their own little corner of the world, and the whole would be taken care of.

    "School teachers with guns? How can that be good?"

    If those Conn. teachers had guns there would have been fewer casualties. They could have taken care of the problem when it walked through their door.

    "I hope any teacher who brings a gun to class is fired immediately, ..."

    And I would hope your son or daughter's teacher would be able to give him a chance for survival.

    No one in their right mind is crazy about this whole situation, but we must give our kids and teacher a chance at survival. And like has already been posted - many times they back down at the sight of a gun

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 28, 2012 11:03 a.m.

    " I believe they may find they are less prepared than they believe they are."

    Uh, yeah.

    For what are teachers going to do when the assailant shows up wearing a bullet-proof vest and helmet? Will the teachers also have Bushmaster's with high magazine capacity?

    Are there any studies which show more guns and less regulation results in lower rates of homicide and firearm deaths?

  • I-am-I South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 11:00 a.m.

    I don't think the person that wrote this article actually took the 29 minutes to watch the actual NRA press conference. I'm actually convinced that very few of our media practitioners actually did so because they make outlandish comments about what the NRA "said" in that press conference and none of them are true. In the press conference the NRA basically said, "we need to do something to protect our children. Each individual school needs to come up with its own plan. We recommend armed guards. We think there are people with military and police training that would volunteer to do this kind of work." Shame on our media practitioners and ourselves for not being informed. Kudos to the schools for finally waking up and realizing the truth. How can we protect our kids with chalkboards and desks when the enemy, legally or illegally, has superior weapons, be they assault rifles, bombs made from household chemicals, knives, or expert knowledge of martial arts? We can't.

  • TruthTalker Crystal River, FL
    Dec. 28, 2012 10:49 a.m.

    Excellent! I love seeing this. Now the school systems need to allow teachers to carry firearms to school. They also should provide a lock box in each classroom so teachers can leave firearms in their class if they like. If school teachers are not responsible enough to handle this, then they are not responsible enough to have my children all day. I think safely driving a car is harder than safely handling a firearm. It is not really that hard like some people try to make it out to be.

  • Shawnm750 West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 10:49 a.m.

    Regardless of whether a teacher who goes through a course like concealed-carry class decides to carry a gun to school or not, it's still a good idea for teachers (and everyone) to be familiar with how to handle a gun. And I don't just mean how to fire it. I'm talking about how to make sure the safety is on, how to load/unload it and even how to dismantle it. I certainly don't think arming every teacher is the answer, but I think offering advanced training to some could be beneficial.

    We can't always live in fear, expecting the worst, and we certainly can't let our children live their lives that way either. But we do need to make sure that we take appropriate precautions where we can. We need to look at the Sandy Hook incident, learn what we can, and adjust our school policies where necessary. Too many bad decisions/laws are made in the heat of moment. We need to take time to process everything, and look at things with more rational eyes.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 9:46 a.m.

    I do not think the person who feels the need to carry a gun into a class room full of children is the kind of person to be a teacher. Teachers tend to be role models to the children they teach, control and befriend. Children often imitate the attitudes and mannerisms actions of teachers and other adults. That coupled with the extreme fascination of a gun and it’s use may be just the wrong thing to impose on the character building of children.

    Rather than spend the money on guns, training and such, I would prefer that we spend the money on the revision of the structure of the school building. While letting teachers do the job they are hired for, the building and it’s controlled access handles the security part.

    The part of the building for classrooms, teachers and students should not be accessible except by controlled access. As needed different parts of the building should also be controlled access. Likewise, the cafeteria, auditorium, playground, pickup and drop off areas, all need visual and controlled access.

    Dec. 28, 2012 9:42 a.m.

    To "justamacguy": In order to become POST certified, a law enforcement office must first complete and pass a 40-hour weapons handling class. The 16-hours is an annual refresher course

  • Swedish reader Stockholm, Sweden
    Dec. 28, 2012 9:39 a.m.

    To a European, this seems beyond absurd. If teachers start carrying guns too, you might as well dismantle the whole educational system, hide in a bunker below ground and wait for the world to end. Is society turning into a giant shootout?! It would be better to concentrate on trying to make firearms less ubiquitous. The solution to a conflict is to calm things down, not to escalate it.

    Dec. 28, 2012 9:35 a.m.

    While I do not support this idea, I recognize that there is a distinct possibility it may be put into effect. My suggestion is to stage a mock disaster at an elementary school. Let those who think they are now prepared to protect students find out what it might be like in a true terrorist situation - with gunfire from an unidentified source, with 30 8-year-olds screaming and running around, with hysterical parents trying to enter the building to get their children, with all the uncertainity that can be similated. I believe they may find they are less prepared than they believe they are.

  • Noodlekaboodle Millcreek, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 9:26 a.m.

    An average of 9 people have been killed in school shootings since 1980. An average of 9 per year. Heck, if we are so worried why don't we start a new government agency to protect our kids. We will call it the ESA, Education Security Administration, Kids will go through metal detectors, bomb sniffing dogs will roam the schools and an announcement will go out over the intercom reminding kids not to leave their backpacks unattended and to report any unattended bags to the ESA. Don't forget that you will not be able to enter the school without a ticket and to drop them off 2 hours before school for domestic teachers and 3 hours for international teachers.

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 9:05 a.m.

    Most of the critics ignore a couple of basic facts:

    1. No one is encouraging or expecting armed teachers to take the place of cops or SWAT teams chasing down killers. They are strictly voluntarily (and wisely!) taking on the option of having a tool to protect themselves, and their students, if a killer comes into their classroom.

    2. No one is saying that the free training provided is all that they need to be a safe and capable user of a self defense weapon. It is the first step- to find out the legal requirements; the burden of responsibility that comes with carrying a gun; when it can be used; and the consequences of using it to defend yourself. They are encouraged to practice on a range for proficiency, and to think about the mental mindset needed for self defense.

    3. No teacher is forced to participate, and some may decide after the training not to arm themselves. But, that does not mean we should prohibit capable teachers from participating.

    4. Critics offer no real options for a last line of defense. Tell a killer to write "I will not kill" on the blackboard 100 times?

  • justamacguy Manti, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 9:00 a.m.

    @ Noodlekaboodle. Your facts are valid. It is a knee-jerk reaction fueled by a crowd that has its sight on eliminating a specific tool, rather than solving a problem with a much wider scope.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Dec. 28, 2012 8:46 a.m.

    This is not an anti second amendment argument..but rather simply an observation..it strikes me as insanity that a society where violence in schools is actually going down reacts to a rare (particularly rare when compared to the number of classrooms across the nation) gun tragedy by exposing our children to more guns. There's nothing sensible about it.

    Mukkake, talks about the hundreds of hours of training cops and the military in gun training..yet when the action starts, has anyone heard of friendly fire. How many of our military are killed by our own troops..look it up it's sad..but a part of war. Just something to think of teacher before you go packing in your classroom.

  • justamacguy Manti, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 8:40 a.m.

    This is so funny with people saying police officers go through so many hours of training with a gun. Hours of training to remain POST certified per year 40 hours, of which only 16 hours can be firearms. Give the teachers one more day on the range and they have as much annual training as a police officer.

  • Noodlekaboodle Millcreek, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 8:37 a.m.

    According to a 12/19/12 article on Slate there have been 137 school shootings(All schools, including college) and 297 deaths since 1980. Your kid is significantly more likely to get the gun out of your closet and kill themselves than they are to die at the hand of a mass shooter. The American Foundation For Suicide Prevention says 38,634 people killed themselves in 2010 and 50% used guns. Also 83% of gun related deaths in the home are suicide. Why are we up in arms over a small amount of lives, but we ignore almost 40,000 deaths a year that are preventable? Finally, If we arm teachers, and someone still is intent on going on a killing spree whats to stop them from bombing the school or lighting the doorway of a classroom of fire preventing escape. If a person is bound and determined to kill someone unfortunately they usually will do it. Whether someone around them might have a concealed weapon or not.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Dec. 28, 2012 8:35 a.m.

    Good on them.

    The article is incorrect, however, as in Texas a Concealed Carry permit holder may carry on school grounds, just not in buildings or at school sponsored activities. They may also have their gun in the vehicle in the parking lot.

    There is a law already at the State Legislator to allow concealed carry in all schools, and one school district already allows it for teachers, without the state statute.

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 8:17 a.m.

    It's totally amazing that so many people are so phobic about people becoming familiar and/or proficient with a common tool. But it's flat frightening that so many people want the government to monitor and control every facet of their lives, when government can't even control its spending and other responsibilities that ARE the proper role of government. No wonder we are such easy prey for not only crime, but so many other factions and forces which appear determined to totally destroy our country and culture.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 8:19 a.m.

    Ok, if teachers can carry guns and shoot people at schools, then I want accountability. If they accidentally shoot a student or other innocent person, whether in a cross-fire situation or not, then they need to go to jail. If someone takes their gun and uses it, they should go to jail. No excuses. I do not want some Reacher-wannabe "protecting" my kids at school. Police officers go through hours and hours of training and we think some little afternoon class is an acceptable substitute? Ridiculous.

  • dotGone Puyallup, WA
    Dec. 28, 2012 8:01 a.m.

    As a school employee (substitute teacher) this subject is so raw. However, I want to be able to do more than shield children with my body as we are all just shot like ducks. I am not willing to carry a gun, but I am totally in support of the principal, vice principal or even those sweet secretaries having a gun and knowing how to use it. They're the first line of defense anyway.
    Read about the Clackamas Oregon mall shooting - a young man with a concealed weapons permit aimed his gun at the shooter - he didn't shoot because he saw the innocent bystanders and didn't want to be part of the problem- But the shooter stopped and his next shot went into his own head. Did the gun pointed at him give him pause? Maybe. It's worth a try.

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 7:52 a.m.

    I'll think this is a feasible solution the day I hear about a single teacher who stopped a shooting spree by wielding a gun. Until then, I really don't trust a 2nd grade teacher to handle a gun in a classroom anymore than I trust a 2nd grader to do so.

    Cops and military spend hundreds of hours on the shooting range and in training scenarios. It isn't just a matter of being able to "handle a gun" or even to hit your target. It's being able to quickly identify a friend or foe, a skill I doubt any of these teachers have. Chances are they'd just shoot somebody else by accident.

    Maybe if they played more violent video games they'd have quicker reflexes and quicker critical thinking skills, but I doubt they do.

    I hope any teacher who brings a gun to class is fired immediately, just like any kid should be expelled.

  • Albert Maslar CPA (Retired) Absecon, NJ
    Dec. 28, 2012 7:17 a.m.

    School teachers with guns? How can that be good? Every solution creates at least two new problems that need solutions that will in turn create two more new problems. Next thing you know the National Guard will be teaching in schools, teaching how to use guns. Enough already.

  • Pilot70 Orem, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 7:03 a.m.

    We have to have common sense. Those who are opposed to faculty and staff having weapons or access to them have put forth no alternatives to keep kids safe beyond saying 'we have to keep guns ... all guns ... out of schools.' What?? How is that supposed to happen? If we are really prepared to make schools absolutely secure, with metal detectors, bullet-proof, shatter-proof windows, and walled-in playgrounds impossible to access, fine. But that will NEVER happen. We'll never spend that kind of money. So, we CAN'T keep assailants out of our schools ... unless they don't want to bother because they know their target will fight back.

    Reality: Schools are a target, just as much as courtrooms, airports, stadiums and The White House. In recent years, schools have been attacked more than any of the above. I teach in Utah. A teacher at my school asked, 'What if a gunman gets into our classroom? What can we do?' Our principal responded, with great sadness and sincerity, 'Nothing. It's probably over.' School children need better protection than that, and it's clear the government isn't going to provide it. I'm glad someone is.

  • Salsa Libre Provo, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 12:56 a.m.

    DN Subscriber 2

    SLC, UT

    Perhaps these teachers need to have a mental health assessment if they are going to play at being "Jack Bauer".

    Reminds me of the guy who heard someone breaking into a neighbor's house, went and got his gun and sat in his living room, waiting in the dark, in case they tried to break into his house. I'm sure glad I didn't go and knock on his door to see if he was OK. Fear and high stress does strange things in people.

    And why should I trust that you are a "good guy"?

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 12:21 a.m.

    Giving a gun to a teacher is not going to protect the school. That gun will protect that teacher only (and hopefully a few students). If a teacher heard shots fired in the office, the LAST thing the teacher should do is leave the classroom. That leaves the students unprotected, which was the point in allowing the gun.

  • Dr. Fortuitous SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 27, 2012 11:20 p.m.

    We protect our president, our celebrities,our airports, downtown streets and even high school sporting events with armed gunmen; yet our most precious commodity, our children, have been left in the hands of selfless educators willing to serve as human shields in the classroom. This is a commonsense solution in which government and free enterprise has partnered. . .and teachers have proactively stepped forward, as has already been required in Israel, to assume their elevated and required role as protectors. Thanks to all!

  • mcdugall Layton, UT
    Dec. 27, 2012 11:14 p.m.

    These classes fast food courses provide nothing more than a false sense of comfort and experience to the "students". It takes more than the state minimum of 4 hours of instruction to make sure someone is capable and educated enough to operate a firearm. If the state decides to arm school staff they should provide more advanced training to make sure these staff have the capacity and expertise to remove a threat not become one.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 27, 2012 10:57 p.m.

    TWENTY MINUTES before police arrived in Connecticut. Of course these 200 teachers are thinking sensibly. Thanks to them and the weapons instructors.

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    Dec. 27, 2012 8:07 p.m.

    Great work! A practical, real world tool to help make our kids safer, and being done in a way that does not require a massive government bureaucracy and billions of dollars.

    A special thanks has to go to those dedicated educators who have considered the risks that exist in today's world, and decided that they might want to have options other than just be an unarmed victim in a "gun free zone" that protects no one.

    Finally thank you to the wise Utah legislators who so many years ago established Utah's concealed carry laws so that law abiding citizens can carry legal self defense weapons in our schools. (The success of which has thoroughly discredited the anti-gun extremists' claims that this would make schools less safe.)

    I hope many more classes will be offered by other concerned instructors and that many educators take advantage of such opportunities. The lives of our kids may depend on some brave teacher willing to look evil in the eye and do what has to be done.

    "A bad guy with a gun IS only stopped by a good guy with a gun." Support the good guys (and gals)!

  • Willie deG CALGARY, 00
    Dec. 27, 2012 7:34 p.m.

    I know that as a Canadian some may feel I am not qualified to make a comment but I do and here goes. If you have a gun do the world a favour and spend time on the range monthly to hone your skills to a high level and keep them there. If your marksmanship is not too good then get instruction. A person with a gun who is a poor shot is just as much danger to the victims as the perpetrator is. Just another thought, If the kid in Utah who brought a gun to school had known that some of his teachers had guns for his protection do you think he would have brought one? I don't think so.
    God bless us all and have a Happy New Year.