Wednesday, 9 January 2013

To protect our children, Teachers flock to free gun training classes!

Dear Readers,

Today, I bring you more discussion about a most contentious subject...about protecting our kids at school. The following article, verbatim about U.S. teachers flocking to free gun training classes is by  Kim Palmer and Jim Forsyth (Reuters) was just published in the Toronto Star. My response is below and below that is space for your comment but please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent...

Teachers in Ohio and Texas are rushing to accept free firearms training, joining Utah counterparts such as Christine Caldwell, left, who received instruction last month in handling a 9mm Glock. Some teachers are determined to take weapons into the classroom to defend themselves and their students from assailants.
                                                                                                       Rick Bowmer/AP photo
CLEVELAND/SAN ANTONIO—Teachers in Texas and Ohio are flocking to free firearms classes in the wake of the Connecticut elementary school massacre, some vowing to use guns to protect their students even at the risk of losing their jobs.

In Ohio, more than 900 teachers, administrators and school employees asked to take part in a new three-day gun training program, the Buckeye Firearms Association said. In Texas, an $85 Concealed Handgun Licence course offered at no cost to teachers filled 400 spots immediately, forcing the school to offer another class, one instructor said.

“Any teacher who is licensed and chooses to be armed should be able to be armed,” Gerald Valentino, co-founder of the Buckeye Firearms Association, said. “It should be every teacher’s choice.”
The Dec. 14 tragedy in Newtown, Conn., sparked a national debate about whether to arm teachers, prompting passionate arguments on both sides.

The deaths of six- and seven-year-old schoolchildren led U. S. President Barack Obama to promise “meaningful action” to curtail gun violence, while the National Rifle Association has advocated arming teachers and placing trained guards in each of the country’s 100,000 schools. Ohio and Texas are not the first to offer no-cost arms training to teachers. Just days after the Connecticut mass murder, about 200 teachers in Utah underwent free instruction from gun activists.

Critics ridicule arming teachers as a foolhardy idea promoted by overzealous gun enthusiasts, saying it would add danger to the classroom while distracting teachers from their job of educating children. Supporters say an armed teacher could have stopped the massacre at Sandy Hook, where a 20-year-old man armed with a military-style assault rifle killed 20 children and six adults before killing himself.

“What we know is that these spree killers are looking for the highest death toll possible,” Valentino said. “They look for no-gun zones like schools. It doesn’t make sense that we guard our gold with guns and we guard our kids with hope.” The Buckeye Firearms Association is offering all eligible state educators free admission to what it calls “an intensive three-day class where you will learn many of the same skills and tactics used by first responders.”

Of the more than 900 applicants so far, 73 per cent are teachers and 10 per cent are kindergarten teachers, Valentino said. Sixty per cent are male and 51 per cent work in high schools, he said. Ohio law does not expressly prohibit guns in schools and leaves it to each school board to set policy. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine referred to teachers as “first responders” after the Connecticut shootings and announced his office would expand safety training for Ohio school employees.

Texas state law allows teachers who have concealed handgun permits to carry weapons into public school classrooms as long as they have permission from the district superintendent. Measures introduced in the Texas legislature since the Sandy Hook shooting would make it easier to carry firearms on to college campuses and into schools and other public places where weapons are now banned.

Josh Felker, who teaches the firearms classes in San Antonio, said many of the teachers have told him they plan to carry weapons into their classrooms, even at risk of losing their jobs. “They are upset at what happened, and no one is going to hurt their kids,” said Felker, who offered the class to teachers for free over the holiday break. “One teacher said flat out, ‘I don’t care if the law changes or not, I’m going to take it to school.’ Most of them just want to protect their kids.”

On Thursday, the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy will offer its first “Active Shooter Training Response for Educators Course,” which up to now has been reserved for police officers. A Texas superintendent, David Thweatt, since 2008 has given permission to teachers with handgun licences to carry a gun in school. Thweatt heads the rural Harrold Independent School District, about 280 km northwest of Dallas.

“First they have to have a concealed handgun license, they have to be approved to carry on our campus, they have to undergo additional training, and they are limited to ammunition which breaks apart when it hits a hard object,” Thweatt said. He said he decided to allow teachers to carry weapons in class because in his rural district “law enforcement would never make it here on time” in case of an emergency. Although the names of teachers who carry weapons were meant to remain confidential, their identities were known in town, Thweatt said.

Valentino was adamant Ohio’s armed teachers would remain anonymous, citing concerns that media might reveal who was taking the course. “The idea is for no one to know what teachers might be carrying. It would be very dangerous to identify these teachers. We don’t want to put a target on them,” Valentino said.

Texas Republican State Representative Debbie Riddle has introduced a measure to require school boards and superintendents to give permission to teachers who have completed the concealed handgun licensing course to carry weapons into the classroom. “It would have a chilling effect on any copycats who wanted to replicate what was done at Sandy Hook,” Riddle said.

                                                         Kids in School...
my response.....

Seldom has a subject been so divisive, judging by comments from local taxpayers! Good for the teachers, says Colin P! Without this you condemn the teachers to fighting armed ``nutbars`` with their bare hands. Teachers are ready to defend the children in their care is a positive and it's been done in parts of the US for years without incident. Indictment rates for CCW holders is around 1%. A person with a CCW holder is the least of your worries.
                                                               more Kids in School...

Good to see thousands of teachers VOLUNTARILY exercising their Second Amendment rights, ... and wanting to protect their students, according to Andrew E. Meanwhile in Ontario, teachers have demonized the gun, to the point where a father was strip searched because his 4-year old drew a PICTURE of one. These same Ontario teachers conduct drills where students barricade themselves in a classroom and .... what? Hope? Pray?
                                                        and still more Kids in School...

Consider this report from The Weekly Standard: “David Gregory mocked the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre for proposing that armed guards be at every school in America. But the NBC host seems to have no problem with armed guards protecting his kids everyday where they attend school in Washington, D.C.” “The Gregory children go to school with the children of President Barack Obama", according to the Washington Post. That school is the co-ed Quaker school Sidwell Friends. According to a scan of the school’s online faculty-staff directory, Sidwell has a security department made up of at least 11 people. Many of those are police officers, who are presumably armed. Typical Liberal hypocrisy; protection for me but not for thee.

                                                     and even more Kids in School...

It`s possible that some lone shooter will think twice about going on the campus of a school where it is known that folks are armed. It only stands to reason that folks should be armed if they are known targets of gun violence, but, who will be convinced until our deficient legal system in Canada; that values the perpetrator of crime before the victim is taken seriously; considering just two weeks prior to the murder of 23 year-old hairdresser Georgina (Vivi) Leimonis at Just Deserts in Toronto, one of the suspects was arrested with a unregistered semi automatic handgun in his car and was then released the next day!

                                                     and finally, more Kids in School...

I`ll leave the last word to H Rosenthal with his thank you to teachers ``because being defenseless worked out so great at Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech.``



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 Today's tweet......
Who will protect our children... Teachers flock to free gun training classes! /yorkregion /toronto


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