Which teachers have guns? Utah law prevents districts from asking

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  • Elcapitan Ivins, UT
    Oct. 24, 2015 6:30 a.m.

    School shooters are opportunists and cowards. Conceal carry by school administrators and teachers will keep these creeps away from our schools hopefully. Fifty years ago there was no problem with this kind of thing.
    It is the liberal mindset that helps degrade our kids and set them up for this kind of trouble. Our higher education system is full of them. We are fortunate to live in the mountain west where it not such a big problem in our population.

  • Grandpa who loves God and you North Salt Lake, UT
    Oct. 24, 2015 4:00 a.m.

    Everyone has a right to carry a gun, even teachers. The more good people who carry guns the better in my opinion. Just make sure that they are properly trained both in their use and storage. I would hate to see innocent children killed by the improper use of guns by anyone. We need to protect our children from the probability of some homophobic person slaughtering our children in a "gun-free" zone. It is also important to post on the outside of schools, churches, universities, theaters, shopping malls, stadiums, etc. that there are many armed and trained personnel who are protecting the lives of students and participants; and, that this is a "gun-free" zone only for those who are not legally allowed to carry a concealed weapon.

  • mrjj69 bountiful, UT
    Oct. 23, 2015 5:56 p.m.

    It is nobody's business which teachers are armed. It is irrelevant.

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    Oct. 23, 2015 7:25 a.m.

    If every school had "POST" certified teachers with guns...
    Sandy Hook never happens....
    Columbine never happens....

    If students, especially Veterans, are allowed to carry in Colleges and Universities....
    Virginia Tech never happens..
    Umpqua College never happens...

    If Gun Free Zones are eliminated...
    Fort Hood never happens...
    Aurora Theater never happens....

    These killers may get a few rounds off, but the casualties will be counted on one hand and not 5 hands.

    Sadly, Little Neville Chamberlain's occupy our world today.
    And their foolish naivete' makes the world much more dangerous than it needs to be.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Oct. 21, 2015 12:06 p.m.

    To "Shaun" did you not see where the teachers were getting free training for their Conceal Carry Permits?

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Oct. 21, 2015 11:15 a.m.

    @ Janet Pete

    "I thought the whole argument for people to carry guns was so that nobody would mess them! Now you say that if someone knew an individual was carrying a gun, that person would become a target."

    LOL! Yeah, the arguments make a lot of sense, don't they? Like, when everyone is armed, the crazies wanting to make a statement will be cowed into inaction at the thought that others might be armed! Well, in a classroom of 6-year olds, who is the only one that may be armed? So who are you going to target first?

    Please. Hutterite is right. We're addressing the wrong question.

  • Mad Hatter Provo, UT
    Oct. 21, 2015 2:20 a.m.

    2 bits
    Cottonwood Heights, UT

    "#1. You are worrying about something that has never happened. A student has never been harmed by a Teacher with a Concealed Carry Permit. Never."

    From the Law of Averages: If it can happen, it will happen.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    Oct. 20, 2015 9:44 p.m.

    I think this is great!

    A retired teacher friend of mine said he carried a gun the many years he was teaching. No students or parents knew and he told no one until after he retired. Had I known I would have requested my kids be in his class.

    It is an exceptionally vunerable position to be the protector of 30 children and have no way of defending them should a violent individual enter the classroom. Teachers take this possibility seriously and cannot sleep at night when they hear in the news of one terrible individual taking out innocent children. All they can do is picture their own students and ask, what if it were them? They go through scenerios in their minds of what they would, or could do.

    It is strange to me that some talk so passionatly that teachers should not have guns like somehow they are the bad guys. It is the teachers who would save your children if faced with the threat of a real evil. We all know this is a real possibility.

    Until no bad guys can have access to guns, teachers are smart to arm themselves. Good for the Utah legislature!

  • Mel50 Nashville, TN
    Oct. 20, 2015 8:26 p.m.

    Janet Pete - it would take less time to pull a gun out from under a jacket that it would to find your keys, unlock a cabinet and retrieve a gun from a lockbox.

    No community or business that has allowed open carry (or even concealed carry) has become the lawless Wild West, with shoot outs going on, like the gun control advocates claim would happen. Most gun owners I've known take that responsibility very seriously, and put time into training and target practice. I'm not saying all do, but those I've known do. Perhaps school systems could offer incentives for teachers who take further training.

  • Gus Talwynd Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 20, 2015 5:40 p.m.

    2 bits
    Cottonwood Heights, UT

    "Teachers are American citizens... "

    I don't think you understand the Supreme Court's decision and the limitations mentioned in that decision. Your opinion may not be changeable by any discussion here, but please recognize that the Court's ruling is not all-encompassing. There remain limits and I'm sure that this confusion will be clarified with forthcoming lawsuits on gun safety issues.

    As regards the personal affairs of a teacher, the only question a parent or another teacher might have is "Does that teacher carry a concealed gun to work?" Nothing else is relevant.

    And your comment about the training necessary to obtain a concealed carry permit as I understand extremely limited. It's just a couple of hours listening to a lecture. There is not intensive training on use of a weapon as police officers must pass. It's bare bones with a lot of gun rights-NRA pontificating. People are not even checked to see if they can shoot, much less shoot accurately. It's far worse than being tested to drive a car or even ride a bicycle.

  • Janet Pete Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 20, 2015 5:20 p.m.

    Mel50
    Nashville, TN

    Ah, so this is open carry unless the teacher, men and women, must wear clothing to conceal the weapon such as a jacket at all times. Maybe you can answer this question. Does having a weapon under a closed coat delay reaction time? How long would it take a female teacher, untrained in accessing/using her weapon under threating conditions, open her jacket and pull said weapon from its holster?

    I realize that this gets to be a bit silly, but I still think you would need extremely well-trained teachers undergoing regular practice involved in such activity. Maybe those with such authorization could qualify for hazard pay if they are to engage an attacker under such circumstances. Less than five seconds?

    Perhaps the community can hire professional guards, surround schools with a high fence, have a single entrance to the campus, and have metal detectors to check each student. Interesting development, however, when schools become armed zones and we're required to send our children to those schools by state law.

    Allowing guns in the workplace makes me think of all the shootings that occur at work by disgruntled employees or their spouses.

  • Mel50 Nashville, TN
    Oct. 20, 2015 3:17 p.m.

    Janet Pete - the employee must keep the weapon on their person. The article stated the weapon should not be put into a desk drawer or locker, where a student might come across it. So if a situation did arise, the teacher would have immediate access to their gun.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 20, 2015 3:10 p.m.

    @2bits
    "Not a single child has been shot by their teacher."

    I guess the gun free school zones are working then.

  • Mad Hatter Provo, UT
    Oct. 20, 2015 3:04 p.m.

    District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)

    The Supreme Court held:

    "(1) The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.

    "(2) Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose

    "(3) . . . [the] total ban on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an entire class of “arms” that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense."

    It looks like a reading of the Supreme Court decision enumerated above requires some additional clarification. I see several lawsuits coming regarding where and when concealed handguns can be carried outside the home. The decision was made regarding an individual's right to bring his service handgun home. Nothing was said about carrying in public places.

  • Janet Pete Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 20, 2015 2:45 p.m.

    DN Subscriber
    Cottonwood Heights, UT

    "Why would anyone want to paint a target on a teacher by pointing out which ones might be carrying a legal self defense weapon?"

    I thought the whole argument for people to carry guns was so that nobody would mess them! Now you say that if someone knew an individual was carrying a gun, that person would become a target.

    It's not much of a stretch to think that if some teachers carry guns, then it may be safe to assume when a gunman enters a classroom that any teacher is carrying a gun. So, the first thing to do would to eliminate the potential threat. Talk about targets on their back~

    Since shooters on school campuses expect to die during their attack, they are not really that concerned about a teacher having possession of a gun since they would be the first person shot when the attacker comes through the door. Also, if the teacher must keep their weapon in a safe place in the classroom and not have it quickly accessible, he/she would already be at a disadvantage.

    Methinks the legislature did the painting.

  • Mad Hatter Provo, UT
    Oct. 20, 2015 2:35 p.m.

    Did the state also give teachers immunity from liability in case a student is injured by a teacher who accidentally shoots the wrong person. If a teacher does not have the training to deal with a rapidly changing situation under extremely confusing conditions, the odds of making a mistake are significantly enhanced. Perhaps a teacher wishing to carry a gun should go through police training and be qualified through that organization.

    I would also think parents have a right to know who is carrying a gun in the school their children attend. Maybe a parent would not be comfortable with the idea that a teacher carries a gun around their child. It's a little like the child climbing into a car with somebody they don't know.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 20, 2015 2:30 p.m.

    @Paul Elder
    Chicago, IL
    "Let's arm the janitors, the administration, the bus drivers...where does it end"...
    ---

    Well... are the janitors, administration, bus drivers, etc, citizens?

    Then they deserve ALL the rights of citizens (not just the ones you like)

    Of course they have to pass the same background checks every other citizen has to pass before purchasing a gun (The Brady Bill background check).

    And I think all people purchasing guns should have their background checked. Gun shows and private sales included. Almost out of words but it can easily be done. Maybe explain later.

    And they have to be trained (just like every other CC-permit holder).

    A special training class for teachers, bus drivers, etc, would be a good idea. The state or the district could provide it (gun safety in the classroom). I'm sure any CC trainer would be glad to put this type of training together for any district that wants it.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 20, 2015 2:18 p.m.

    Why would anyone want to paint a target on a teacher by pointing out which ones might be carrying a legal self defense weapon?

    To the guy from Chicago who said " No child of mine would EVER attend a school with this many guns." There are lots of guns in Chicago schools, but it's not the teachers who are carrying them. Gun bans only disarm the good guys and gals.

    Rusty is right about the difference between the classroom instruction for a permit and the advanced live firing or tactical scenario training which would greatly enhance a teacher's ability (and confidence) to defend themselves and their students.

    Shaun has a good point that it would be good for schools to fund advanced firearms defensive tactics training as part of "professional development" just as if they wanted to take a class to improve their math, science, language or other skills to enable them to do a better job.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 20, 2015 2:01 p.m.

    Hutterite: "Yet no one is asking how it is as a society that we've arrived at a place where we want our schoolteachers to be armed. We just accept it."

    That's just not true. I've expressed my opinion many times in the DesNews message boards. Just because you don't like my thoughts is no reason to say they don't exist. Here are four reasons why our society is at this place:

    1) Banning prayer and religion in schools. Our society has completely lost it's moral compass.

    2) Elective abortion reflects that view human life is cheap and can be taken from another as a matter of convenience.

    3) Elimination/reduction of the death penalty says a human life can be traded for a few years in prison instead of the ultimate penalty.

    4) Open season on the most vulnerable (infants and geriatrics). If you kill me, you'll probably get five-to-life. If you kill an infant, you might get probation to a few months.

    These viewpoints have made life cheap in our society. That is why we are where we are.

  • Paul Elder Chicago, IL
    Oct. 20, 2015 1:25 p.m.

    Let's arm the janitors, the administration, the bus drivers...where does it end? If something bad happens, how do you tell the good guys from the bad? Just because someone took a course doesn't mean they should be armed. No child of mine would EVER attend a school with this many guns. Just plain wrong.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Oct. 20, 2015 1:18 p.m.

    I've seen clips twice on KSL News taken at so-called training sessions for teachers. Anyone who has had professional experience with firearms will be appalled by what's shown in those clips. It's obvious from the way the teachers were handling and holding the weapons that whatever training they have received is simply inadequate or completely wrong.

    If teachers are going to carry firearms at school, they should be required to meet the same training standards and qualifications as professional police officers. They should be compensated for spending the extra time and money to do so.

    Unless teachers are able to meet the same standards as police officers, they will be endangering their students.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Oct. 20, 2015 1:04 p.m.

    Yet no one is asking how it is as a society that we've arrived at a place where we want our schoolteachers to be armed. We just accept it.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 20, 2015 12:56 p.m.

    @Shaun

    RE: "I do not mind teachers that carry but the state should pay for additional training for these teachers"...
    ---

    #1. You are worrying about something that has never happened. A student has never been harmed by a Teacher with a Concealed Carry Permit. Never.

    #2. CC Training is already free to Teachers (in Utah). Several CC Training outfits have already offered to train teachers for free. So the State doesn't have to pay for it.

    #3. Training is already required as part of the Concealed Carry Permit process (training is a requirement). You can't get one without the training. The requirement is the same for teachers (they have to attend the training before they get the permit).

    Must they all be trained marksmen? Probably not. The more actual shooting training the better, but even firing a shot into the air is enough to stop some active shooters. Because the shooter is forced to stop shooting momentarily and take cover (giving some a chance to escape).

    Most shooters plan to take their own life before capture. When fire is returned they immediately put that plan into action (usually).

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 20, 2015 12:47 p.m.

    Good.

    Teachers are American citizens... they deserve ALL the rights of American Citizens.

    Teachers are Utah citizens... they deserve ALL the rights of Utah citizens (including Utah concealed carry permit holder rights).

    We don't have the right to know all their personal business just because they picked teaching for their profession... it doesn't take their rights away. It doesn't mean they have no privacy and their private business can be broadcast on the internet or to all parents.

    Parents don't have a right to know every private detail about their teachers. They don't have the right to know if they have problems with their spouse. Financial problems. What religion they are. What their political beliefs are. What their gun-rights beliefs are. Etc.

    These are irrelevant to their ability to teach, and to the safety of your child.

    Not a single child has been shot by their teacher. You gun-fearing people are worrying about something that has NEVER happened.

    But the opposite has happened...

    Google "Teacher hailed as hero in Lacey high school shooting"...

    And some unarmed teachers have been killed trying to protect our children.

    CC-teachers are NOT the problem.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Oct. 20, 2015 12:15 p.m.

    I do not mind teachers that carry but the state should pay for additional training for these teachers. A untrained person with a gun is not ideal scenario in a school setting.