Armed Teacher Training Program Launches In 15 States

The classroom arms race is on. ThinkProgress reports:

An Ohio gun owners’ group is launching an “Armed Teacher Training Program” to instruct teachers and school staff on how to shoot off firearms in the classroom.

Perhaps at the outlandish suggestion of the National Rifle Association, who last month called for armed guards in every school as a response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary, such programs are popping up around the country.

As of Wednesday, the Armed Teacher Training Program has attracted more than 600 applicants from several states including Ohio, Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and West Virginia. “We knew this would be popular, but the response has exceeded out expectations,” said Jim Irvine, Chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation.

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  • InfvoCuernos

    Well, this ought to be interesting…

  • Andrew

    I can think of worse things. Like the Commander in Chief having the unchallenged power to assassinate anyone and everyone I know without judicial oversight. Or flying robot murderers.

    • mannyfurious

      A country that lives by the gun… cannot act surprised when it devolves into a pseudo-fascist, hyperviolent killing machine.

      • Andrew

        Devolves? It has always been those things. Just ask the Indians and the Africans.

        • mannyfurious

          Poor word choice on my behalf. I agree completely.

        • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness

          No, it’s definitely getting worse. They’re even targeting non-Irish white people for surveillance.

          • Andrew

            I suspect the Indians and the Africans would’ve loved to be merely surveilled.

  • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness

    Aside from more children being murdered by firearms, I wonder what effect this all will have on kids. I’m especially thinking of conditioning to being surrounded by authorities with weapons. Scary.

    • Kevin Leonard

      If they take away guns from citizens, it will be nothing but a populace “surrounded by authorities with weapons.”

      I, for one, would have felt quite comfortable with my gym coach brandishing a firearm. Honestly, even moreso than having a cop patrolling the halls. I even wouldn’t have minded my English teacher (think Holly Hunter) having a pistol as long as she was trained and licensed.

      • Haystack

        How well would we be able to rely upon all these random English teachers and gym coaches to keep their arsenals secure from all the enterprising young droogs who will be constantly looking for opportunities to steal them?

        • Kevin Leonard

          Enterprising young droogs do not need teachers to steal guns from. If they are enterprising and wanting, they will find guns.

          I honestly think you and Just John have conflated views between hooligans and typical students, especially primary school students. How many of those parents from Sandy Hook do you think wouldn’t have preferred there were a few guns on that campus there specifically to protect their children?

          • mannyfurious

            I’m against most forms of gun control, but I think this argument is moronic. Most people cannot even properly defend themselves in a fistfight and yet we expect them to turn into John McClaine just because they have a gun in their hands? Please. Look up the stats for how many civilians are injured in military and police firefights. It’s insanely high, and those people are much more well-trained than the vast majority of civilians. Hell, look at drive by shootings. The target is rarely hit, even though the offenders have the element of surprise and are don’t have to worry too much about being counterattacked.

            And your argument about “young droogs” is fucking stupid. “They will find guns.” Well, let’s just make it that much easier for them then, huh? Did you go to public school? Do you know what kind of shenanigans students get themselves into when the teacher steps out of the room for 10 seconds? Or when the teacher leaves for their planning period?

          • Kevin Leonard

            I did go to public school.

            It is not a fucking stupid argument. The kids that are going to get into trouble are going to get into trouble. I never said the teacher should leave the gun sitting in their pencil cup when they go to take a piss.

            I agree that guns in the classroom is not a good idea in inner city communities where gang violence is commonplace, but those schools already have cops and armed guards. If suburban school districts want to arm their teachers to protect their students and the PTA approves, by all means, do it.

            Regarding collateral damage. WTF? Possessing a gun does not mean that you are going to get into a gunfight, it means you have some means of protecting yourself if a gunfight finds you.

            I agree 98% with your “Furthermore…” paragraph, except that with the propaganda happening right now, the message ALREADY IS that guns are the most powerful tool in existence.

            A proper education would be beautiful, but that option is not on the table. Given the option of tighter gun control or allowing registered users to have their guns in school, I vote the latter.

          • Breshvic

            But your last statement is a false dichotomy, it’s not only those two options. Both are pretty ridiculous and radical solutions in search of a problem.

            And what would the difference be between an inner city school and any other? If you suspect the presence of guns in either situation, shouldn’t your argument for more armed faculty hold, whether armed guards *or* teachers? If you believe that ‘gang members’ are capable of getting a teacher’s gun, what precludes any other enterprising suburban psychopathic mass murderer? (which is also the title of my next rap album)

            He is right about collaterals, though, as studies have shown that people with guns consistently believe themselves to be better with guns than they are. Another showed that people who carry guns are more biased to believe that others are aggressive or carrying guns as well. There have been plenty of cases of armed citizens, or even cops or security personel, make a shooting much worse with their poor aim.

          • Kevin Leonard

            I’m sorry, which other options are being discussed right now?

          • Breshvic

            How about more pushes for registration? How about funding a better mental health care infrastructure in this country? How about regulating the interests of lobbying groups and manufacturers to incentivize safety (and not just profits)? How about pushing for the smart guns? How about funding independent research studies to discover just what are the underlying causes of violence?

            I’m not saying I would support all of these, just showing that it is a complex issue and would require more nuanced approaches. Propose your own solutions! It just doesn’t come down to “ban all weapons” or “arm everybody.”

          • Kevin Leonard

            Unfortunately, none of these things are going to stop criminals.
            Dumb guns will be available no matter how many tax dollars we spend to understand why people do the hideous things they do.

          • Breshvic

            Of course criminals will always have guns! It’s true in Sudan and it’s true here! That is a constant given, so it’s true whether the gun advocates get their way, it’s true if the gun control advocates have their way. So the correct solution is to do… nothing?

          • Kevin Leonard

            Have you lost the plot? If I recall correctly, you were criticizing my stance that guns in schools would be acceptable.

            Please do not think I desire that. But the other options being discussed either scare me more (disarming the law-abiding registered users) or won’t change anything (independent research studies/ smart guns).

            Also, I never said “arm everybody.” In fact, I do not own a gun. I do not want a gun. But if I were in a hairy situation. I would much prefer standing on Alex Jones’ side, rather than Piers Morgan’s. I would much rather know that there were a handful of firearms on the premise to (attempt to) protect me and my friends/ family against the criminals, rather than remember the day the government asked us to turn our guns in and the law-abiding citizens did so.

            And I prefer to live in a country where a woman can arm herself to protect herself from rape, rather than having alarmist laws that leave her defenseless.

          • Breshvic

            Ok, I am sorry if I mischaracterized your position. There’s just so much looniness coming from ever angle on this issue, that it’s easy to get lost.

            If we rationally discount ‘arming everybody’ and ‘ban all the guns,’ then we can maybe agree on centrist, reasonable proposals. Most of the libs I’ve seen are only talking about banning certain military firearms (and we already ban ordnance) or clip sizes. If that’s not ok, then what about more thorough registration and background checks. Is that too tyrannical?

            Look, I get it, I really do. I don’t want an encroachment on any of our rights. But I don’t see how a fully automatic rifle is necessary to protect against burglars and rapists, and I’m not amenable to ‘slippery slope’ arguments.

          • Kevin Leonard

            It is a complex issue. And I don’t think anyone in the debate (myself included) isn’t guilty of a knee-jerk reaction at some point.

            Jon Stewart’s first two segments on Jan. 8 are worth a watch. I’m not standing 100% beside him, but he does bring some much needed humor and rationality (mostly) to the topic. His points on certain laws that are protecting gun rights are incredibly valid.
            http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-january-8-2013/scapegoat-hunter
            http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-january-8-2013/scapegoat-hunter—gun-control

            I don’t have a problem with thorough background checks for the right to carry a weapon, nor provisions preventing certain people from owning them (for instance those people on psychotropic drugs). But that is simply not going to stop any black markets.

            I agree with you about automatic and semi-automatic rifles, but the Virgina Tech shooter had handguns, killed 32. Getting rid of the rifles isn’t going to stop the shootings.

            And, yep, there are plenty of slippery slope arguments, but the truth is that some slopes are slippery. Jeez, just look at the TSA and the new directions they are going.

          • Breshvic

            I think I agree with you more than I don’t, (the devil is always in the details). It is faulty when people use automatic rifles as their sole example, VT is a good example why, but the statistics themselves are even more evidence. I honestly don’t know where I fall on those weapons. I mean, we don’t let people own RPGs, so it’s a matter of figuring out where we stand as a society on classifying those weapons.

            As for stopping black markets and mass shootings; these are two different questions, each complex and requiring their own set of solutions in their own ways. It is absolutely correct that just banning guns will somehow solve both. That would be the ‘fallacy of the single cause.’

            Jon Stewart is indeed masterful. And don’t get me started on the TSA.

          • Calypso_1

            You might be surprised how many police & mil personnel are thoroughly embarrassed at civilian shooting competitions.

          • mannyfurious

            I mean, maybe, maybe not. I might be a little surprised. I think you and I have had this discussion before. And again, I’m actually against most forms of gun control, but I think it’s a little dangerous to rely on an argument that relies on the fact that there are a relatively small amount of the population who are more than capable with a firearm. I don’t doubt that there might be thousands of human beings who are with a gun what Musashi was with a sword. But I’m also well aware that there are millions who are not.

          • Calypso_1

            My point was more to address the comparison between the results of mil & LE training and how well trained civilians prepare. First the military has a wholly different mission most of which is not direct combat thus only basic training. Those that are combat trained are not primarily done so in individual & handgun tactics.
            With many LE agencies officers only train to qualification levels w/ any additional training coming at their own time & expense. Granted, there are many highly skilled pros and many civilians that don’t train.
            Check out an IDPA or 3-gun event & see what you think of the general skill level.

          • mannyfurious

            Yeah, I’ll give them a look-see. Thanks for the tip.

          • mannyfurious

            Furthermore, what kind of message are we sending students and what kind of culture are we bringing them up in? That guns are the most powerful tool in existence? Fuck that. They should be learning about the real tools of submission–propaganda, income disparity, consumerism, globalism. Get with it. You’re already surrounded by “authorities with weapons.” I’ve said it too many times, but I will continue to say it. The government will never have to subjugate its people by force in this country. As long as there are iPhones, and iPads and Xboxes and BMWs and Kardashian TV shows, the populace will never, ever rebel. And if by some miracle I am wrong, your stupid hand guns and rifles will have no real chance against a government armed with tanks and fighter jets and drones.

          • Apathesis

            “As long as there are iPhones, and iPads and Xboxes and BMWs and Kardashian TV shows, the populace will never, ever rebel.”

            So painfully true. My coworkers ogle their iPhones like bewildered chimps. Entertainment is the opiate of the masses.

          • Breshvic

            The Second Amendment entitles me to tanks and fighter jets and drones, btw.

          • mannyfurious

            Wow. That sounds like an utterly enjoyable society to me. What I don’t understand is that everybody always talks about how stupid most people are, and then everyone turns around and wants all those idiots to own guns… and apparently tanks, drones and fighter jets. The first fallacy is believing the constitution is infallible.

          • Haystack

            I’m sure it would have been helpful at that particular school, on that particular day, but if you’re suggesting that teachers throughout the country start bringing firearms to school, we have to consider the wider implications. These include both the increased opportunities for theft, misuse, and accidents, not to mention the environmental signals it would send to small children (i.e., be afraid of the world).

            Let’s keep this in proportion. Over the last 15 years, deaths from school shootings average to 21.5 per year–less than half the number of Americans who die annually from lightning strikes. By contrast, something like 165 kids go to the emergency room every day from accidental poisoning. When you pick it apart, Mr. Yuk stickers would do more to protect children than an equivalent investment in guns–and unlike guns, there is no risk that they’ll create new problems where none existed before.

          • Kevin Leonard

            Good call. Let’s put Mr. Yuk stickers on all the kids taking anti-depressants.

          • Haystack

            Works for me.

          • Breshvic

            I don’t think I’d be pleased to know that school faculty were packing heat, and I don’t hate guns, I just don’t trust school faculty.

            Your statement assumes the Sandy Hook parents would have known that a school shooting was going to happen, in order to have that preference. They could not have been psychic. I hope that the media hasn’t made these massacres seem so run-of-the-mill and ‘normalized’ that the default preference of parents would be to arm the authority figures (as opposed to, say, school lunches, getting the kids to soccer practice, PTA, etc).

      • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness

        Listen. I’m the last person that wants to take away your precious security blanket. And I infer from your statement we are of a mind, as to why that would be bad. But look at the issue critically, please.

        More guns in closer proximity to children will equate to more child deaths as a direct result from firearm discharges. It’s exquisitely simple math. Accidents, theft, friendly fire, murder (teachers can lose their tempers). I’m not saying teachers shouldn’t be able to arm themselves and conceal and carry. I just think if this hysteria continues, people are going to get hurt. Everyone is getting so worked up. People seriously need to smoke a joint and chill the fuck out.

        • http://www.facebook.com/Hardleg Kevin Harkness

          SO tell us bluebird….from your obviously vast experience with this, how you came to the conclusion that this will equate to more child deaths??? I mean you’ve obviously seen it happen or surely you wouldn’t make such a bold premonition.

          • Breshvic

            It seems pretty clear that having more guns around your immediate locale could only potentially *increase* the probability of gun injuries or death. It might not happen, sure, but it doesn’t *decrease* the odds, it only increases them.

            Right now, you have a very rare statistical chance that somebody is going to come into your school and kill you or someone with a gun. It’s happening, it’s horrible, but it’s not like it is happening in every county in every school district in every school. But if you put a one or more guns in ever school, the odds go up that in some more of those schools than before, injuries occur.

            Most schools ban switchblades. Some kids still bring them in and hurt or kill others with them. But if you put a switchblade in every school and/or classroom, more people will have access and potential to use them that didn’t before. It is simple math.

  • http://just-john.com just john

    I suppose it would be in bad taste to start a betting pool on how long it’ll take for some kid to steal a teacher’s gun, or to solicit side bets on who or what gets shot by the student.

    • Kevin Leonard

      I have considered this possibility, but with training, I dont’ see how it is any more of a possibility than crooks stealing guns away from police.

      • http://just-john.com just john

        There are millions and millions of school kids, and what, thousands of crooks? Also, each crook doesn’t spend a whole schoolday five times a week for dozens of weeks a year with the police.

        Now, maybe today’s kids are all well-behaved and not total bastards like I was when I was in school. So maybe they’re not going to spend time whispering and speculating on where Mr. Whipplewhite keeps his gun. Because if they do, they’ll have all school year to think about it and to plot the heist …

        • Kevin Leonard

          There are millions and millions of citizens who don’t tangle with the police.

          You think those millions and millions of kids would all want those guns?

          The guns, obviously, would need to be under lock and key, though quickly accessible in case of an emergency.

          • http://just-john.com just john

            If the millions and millions of people were forced to sit in a classroom for hours everyday with a single police officer in front of them, there’d be lots of tangles.

            So … Lock and key? Keys are easy to swipe.

            And Googling on “teacher’s car stolen” comes up with “About 21,300 results”.

          • Breshvic

            maybe all those stories are about the same teacher’s car?

          • Breshvic

            Students mess with teachers all the time. Teachers and school administrators also lose their cool all the time. Add guns into the equation.

            Also, what if none of the teachers in a certain school want to have guns in classrooms? What if they all ask for raises, since they are all doubling as security? Who is going to pay for the training and firearms for schools across the country, since schools are so well-funded now?

            And the biggest question in my mind, what if teacher has a gun but a school shooter makes sure to kill that teacher first, or just brings more firepower?

            It seems like we’d be treating a symptom and not the cause.

          • Kevin Leonard

            by all means, let’s treat the cause.
            how do you suggest going about it?

          • Breshvic

            a massive taxpayer-funded but independent research study into the underlying causes of school violence and mass shooting, whether they end up being psychogenic, psychological, environmental, or even due to the prevalence of guns. Collect the data over years and have several groups run the analysis.

          • http://just-john.com just john

            (By the way, this would not satisfy the betting pool, since it’s not a teacher– it’s a gun-handling PRO! — no kid got the gun and nobody got shot.)

            But still …

            http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/01/18/newly-hired-school-guard-leaves-unattended-handgun-in-student-bathroom/

          • Kevin Leonard

            The devil is in the details.

            http://www.9news.com/rss/story.aspx?storyid=247387
            Perhaps police chiefs shouldn’t be allowed guns.
            Perhaps no one with a gun should be able to go to the restroom.

            Maybe we should make shooting people illegal, that will solve everything.

            How about smart guns for gun-toting officials on school premises?
            There. Problem solved.

  • DeepCough

    Does this mean that bulletproof vests will have to be a part of school uniforms? Because you know there are teachers who always have their sights on that one trouble student……

  • Apathesis

    Here’s a great combo: ‘Shithead’ teachers trapped in a room with a couple of ‘shithead’ kids for 90 minutes–what could possibly go wrong?

  • BuzzCoastin

    What’s good for the Afghani
    is good for Der Homelander
    let’s arm-up & have a party!

  • http://www.zoboprepublic.wordpress.com/ zobop republic

    Oh, I see. Metal detectors for the Urban schools and armed teachers for the Suburban schools. Is that it? Don’t we have this reversed?

    • Kevin Leonard

      Urban schools, especially the ones in high-crime areas, already have police patrolling the halls. Oh, and guess what? No mass shootings there.

      • Breshvic

        So let’s just pay the police to patrol *every* school. Let’s have them patrol every shopping mall constantly, because shootings have happened there. Grocery stores and movie theaters, because shootings have happened there. Let’s get more armed guards, police officers, and other government-paid officials on evert street corner and in front of every residence. Lord knows, we need as many guns out there as we can to keep us safe from a police state!