Not too many events have shocked America as the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newtown, CT on the morning of December 14, 2012. Even though it only took less than 3 minutes for law enforcement officers to arrive, this tragic shooting still claimed the lives of 20 kids and 6 adults. In the dust of the shooting, debates on how future attacks on schools could be prevented quickly emerged.
In this case, the school’s physical security did little to prevent the attack. The gunman was easily able to shoot his way through the locked security door. The video cameras only recorded the incident and did nothing to protect the people or provide early warning.
A week after this tragedy, the NRA held a press conference during which the NRA’s Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre stated “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” He also announced the creation of the NRA’s National School Shield Emergency Response Program to provide resources for schools to cover everything “From armed security to building design and access control to information technology to student and teacher training”. (National School Shield website: https://nraschoolshield.com/)
This message wasn’t received by everyone. CBS DC reports that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said that “posting armed guards outside classrooms won’t make classrooms safer or encourage learning”. The Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter also agrees that arming every school would be “ludicrous”. Nutter said “That we would face the prospects of shootouts in our schools, and utilize the precious and declining resources in public education to put armed personnel in every school is insane.”
Meanwhile other organizations started to create their own training mechanisms to help secure schools by training teachers and school employees to be armed. The Buckeye Firearms Association founded the FASTER (https://fastersaveslives.org/) program to provide free training to school employees on how to use a gun to respond to a school shooting. “Since we started this in 2013 we have run over 300 Ohio teachers through it from about 50 districts throughout Ohio” said Joe Eaton who is the program director of FasterSavesLives.org. Jim Otte from Springfield News-Sun reports that “An estimated 30 Ohio school districts include in their security plans guns that are locked in safes, ready to be used by trained staff in case an active shooter enters school grounds.”
Teachers with guns is a very controversial issue that needs to be explored. A team of film makers are looking to make a film that looks at the issues behind the controversy from Ohio’s perspective. The film project is entitled “Good Guys With A Gun – The Arming of Teachers in America” (https://www.goodguywithagunthefilm.com/). The film makers have created a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the video. The fund goal is $20,000 and at the time of publishing this post, they have already received $1,790 from 13 backers. The fundraiser will end On June 5, 2015.
If you’re interested in a video that explores arming Ohio’s teachers, then you can help support their project by donating through https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kateandjulie/good-guy-with-a-gun-the-arming-of-teachers-in-amer.
“Sandy Hook shooting: What happened?”. CNN. https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2012/12/us/sandy-hook-timeline/.
“NRA Press Conference December 21, 2012”. NRA. https://home.nra.org/pdf/Transcript_PDF.pdf.
“NRA: ‘Only Way To Stop A Bad Guy With A Gun Is With A Good Guy With A Gun’”. CBS DC. https://washington.cbslocal.com/2012/12/21/nra-only-way-to-stop-a-bad-guy-with-a-gun-is-with-a-good-guy-with-a-gun/.
“Some Ohio school districts have guns at the ready”. Springfield News-Sun. https://www.springfieldnewssun.com/news/news/local-education/some-ohio-school-districts-have-guns-at-the-ready/nk2bp/
Written by Kevin Sadeski – Chief Instructor for Armed2Defend