SOUTH JORDAN, UTAH — Getting teachers to become comfortable with guns in the classroom has traditionally been an uphill battle. With most schools being designated “gun free zones” by state legislatures, it’s difficult to have a fast response system in place should a mass shooter arrive. The Utah Shooting Sports Council is trying to change all that by offering teachers in South Jordan a free concealed carry training course.
According to the Deseret News, teachers who undertake the course will be allowed to apply for their concealed carry permit for only $49 versus the usual additional cost of having to pay for training privately. Utah is a state that requires applicants to have undergone an approved training course prior to application.
In the words of Clark Aposhian, one of the instructors in the course, he feels that this type of training makes it more dangerous for potential gunmen to attack without resistance.
“A shooter who wants to end his life via suicide but take a whole bunch of other people with him, probably wants to pick a place to exact that evil plan without getting return fire,” Clark Aposhian said. “We are hoping to show that Utah schools and universities are not a place to do that.”
Teachers enthusiastically attended the course — some immediately seeing the need that it fulfills and hoping to make full use of that training.
“Crises happen,” Salt Lake County elementary teacher Janette said. “It’s one thing to hide and be quiet, but there are times when people break into those classrooms, and if you have a gun, you’re more likely to be able to handle that at the same level as the shooter than if you are just covered by chairs.”
And, of course, there are the opponents who argue that teachers already have too much on their plate. The addition of a firearm, Retired elementary educator Malinda Lund said, “they just aren’t equipped to handle firearms.”
That begs the question: is it better to have trained and armed teachers ready to respond or just wait until a gunman arrives and stack chairs against the door? You tell us in the comments section below.