Gun group offers training for Utah teachers

Jessica Fiveash sees nothing wrong with arming teachers. She's one herself, and learned Thursday how to safely use her 9 mm Ruger with a laser sight.
Associated Press
Dec 30, 2012

"If we have the ability to stop something, we should do it," said the elementary school teacher, who along with nearly 200 other teachers in Utah took six hours of free gun training offered by the state's leading gun lobby.

It is among the latest efforts to arm or train teachers to confront assailants after a gunman killed his mother and then went on a rampage through Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., killing 20 children and six adults before killing himself.

In Ohio, a firearms group said it was launching a test program in tactical firearms training for 24 teachers. In Arizona, the attorney general is proposing a change to state law that would allow an educator in each school to carry a gun.

The moves to train teachers come after the National Rifle Association proposed placing an armed officer at each of the nation's schools, though some schools already have police officers. Parents and educators have questioned how safe the proposal would keep kids and whether it would be economically feasible.

Some educators say it is dangerous to allow guns on campus. Among the potential dangers they point to are teachers being overpowered for their weapons or students getting them and accidentally or purposely shooting classmates.

"It's a terrible idea," said Carol Lear, a chief lawyer for the Utah Office of Education. "It's a horrible, terrible, no-good, rotten idea."

Kristen Rand, the legislative director for the Violence Policy Center, a gun control advocacy organization, said to believe that a "teacher would be successful in stopping someone who has made the decision to engage in a shootout is just not rationale."

"No teacher is ever going to be as effective as a trained law enforcement officer," Rand said. Even trained police officers don't always hit their targets, and arming teachers could put innocent students at risk of crossfire, she said.

Gun-rights advocates say teachers can act more quickly than law enforcement in the critical first few minutes to protect children from the kind of deadly shooting that took place in Connecticut. They emphasized the importance of reacting appropriately under pressure.

"We're not suggesting that teachers roam the halls" looking for an armed intruder, said Clark Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council, the state's biggest gun lobby. "They should lock down the classroom. But a gun is one more option if the shooter" breaks into a classroom.

The group waived its $50 fee for the training. Instruction featured plastic guns and emphasized that people facing deadly threats should announce or show their gun and take cover before trying to shoot. They cautioned teachers about the liability that comes with packing a gun in public.

"It's going to be a hassle. It's another responsibility. You can't just leave your gun lying around," Aposhian said. "Not for a minute."

The teachers at the basic gun training applied for a concealed-weapons permit, submitting fingerprints and a mug shot for a criminal background check. The class kicked off as an instructor in the "psychology of mass violence" offered various tactics to disrupt an assailant.

The first, the instructor said, was to start with the command: "Stop right there!"

"I wouldn't hesitate to shoot if the danger was immediate," said Fiveash, adding that her laser sight would make shooting in tight quarters safer.

English teacher Kevin Leatherbarrow said he often felt threatened while working at an inner-city school in Buffalo, N.Y., where he got a license to carry a pistol. He moved less than a year ago to Utah, where he feels safer. But he said gun violence can break out anywhere.

Leatherbarrow said he was highly trained in handling guns — and was taking criticism from parents who don't appreciate his views on school safety.

"I'm in agreement not everybody should be carrying firearms in school. They're not trained. But for some parents to think we're cowboys, that frustrates me," he said. "I wish parents would understand."

In the U.S., the number of homicides at schools of children, ages 5-18, have been lower year-by-year in the 2000s than they were in the mid- to late-1990s, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics report on school crime released in 2012. At 32 deaths, the 2006-2007 school year was the only one that reached the levels from the 1990s. The manner of death was not listed.

Utah is among a few states that let people carry licensed concealed weapons into public schools without exception, the National Conference of State Legislatures says in a 2012 compendium of state gun laws.

Utah educators say they would ban guns if they could, but legislators left them with no choice. State law forbids schools, districts or college campuses from imposing their own gun restrictions.

Educators say they have no way of knowing how many teachers are armed. Gun-rights advocates estimate 1 percent of Utah teachers, or 240, are licensed to carry concealed weapons. It's not known how many do so at school.

"I never felt threatened in 14 years of teaching, but I don't think you can be too prepared," said Tiffany Parry, a dance teacher in the Salt Lake City suburb of Sandy who applied for Thursday for a license to carry a concealed gun. "I think it could come in handy."




From the photo - Its so big!


Where is the teacher going to keep the gun? I guarantee a significant number of guns would be stolen from teachers every year. Most teachers would not stand a chance against an armed shooter no matter what the teacher was carrying. Tactics teens learn from playing MW3 would give a well trained SWAT team a tough time. The teacher must go on offense during an attack and become a killer.


So we are admitting video games are part of the problem???


Shakespeare has been taught in classrooms for hundreds of years now... as well as greek and roman mythology, the Iliad, and Christian theology for thousands of years... in each of these teaching there is mass murders, genocide, child killing, mutilation, torture, homosexuality, brutality, and countless other frowned upon things in modern society... and you guys are trying to blame video games with their 30 year run against the titans of wrath and carnage which is ever major religion for the violence in schools? and what's worse is you people are trying to get these things to be put back into the school arena? i could sit here for hours spouting off about how god is the single largest mass murder in history and how this teaching has been around for thousands of years, but im going to leave it at the killing of all of the first born children of egypt... this story displays child killing in the most blatant of ways... and yet you're going to try to blame a style of video games that's only been around for near a decade? get real people...

if we blame video games for their violence we have to also look at the bible and many other works of fiction that also pertain to violence.

when a person blames video games because they turned out to be a violent idiot, it's a blame the society thing... but when someone blames the bible for being an idiot, that person is just seen as an idiot... how can this be?

Dr. Information

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Remarks that discriminate based on age, race, religion, disability, etc..


And now Facebook is censoring !!!!


Just to check this out, I posted it. It is still there!

"Following is a summary of the 2013 legislation:
Bans the sale, transfer, importation, or manufacturing of:
120 specifically-named firearms;
Certain other semiautomatic rifles, handguns, shotguns that can accept a detachable magazine and have one or more military characteristics; and
Semiautomatic rifles and handguns with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds."
"The proposed new law by Feinstein would:

• Outlaw all AR-15s and anything resembling an "assault rifle," including .22LR varmint rifles.

• Outlaw ALL semi-automatic rifles, period.

• Outlaws nearly all handguns.

• Allow you to own "permanently disabled weapons." That's your new Second Amendment right under the tyranny of the federal government.

• Massive funding expansion of the ATF to conduct raids on gun owners, during which the plan is to have the government murder and / or arrest and imprison all gun owners.

• Outlawing the domestic manufacture of nearly all firearms, further gutting the U.S. economy and costing hundreds of thousands of jobs lost while our freedoms are gutted.

• Outlawing all magazines over 10 rounds, instantly turning tens of millions of Americans into felony criminals.

• Require nationwide registration of all guns and gun owners, complete with fingerprinting (to build a federal database of all gun owners) and a certification from your local police chief who must vouch for you being "allowed" to own a weapon."


Most of this is trash talk from the NRA - especially the ATF raiding and murdering gun owners - come on people. And the 2nd amendment has been read over and over by myself and I found nothing that gives an absolute guarantee of the type of guns you are allowed to possess. I'm not sure that all 22 hunting rifles have magazines (clips) on them. My grandfather's hunting 22 did not.


actually no, anyone who knows anything about firearms can make these deductions from reading the liner notes available on Her website. And since you've been over the 2nd Amendment so much you'll notice that it mentions hunting not once.

here i'll help.

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

let's break this down.

A well regulated militia: When written the word regulated meant nothing more than organized. Militias where in large privately formed entities, Self trained, self supplied, Self armed.

being necessary to the security of a free state: Here we find the belief that a well armed populace is important to the freedom of the state, from enemies external and internal

the right of the people: No where in the Founding documents does the world people appear that it doesn't apply individually to the Citizenry of the country, this doesn't apply to the Military, the Nat'l Guard, or anything besides the People of the country.

to keep and bear arms: To own and possess weapons.

Shall not be infringed: should not be acted upon.

See also Supreme court decisions in our favor, and the Militia act of 1792, which i suggest you read. but if you're an able bodied man, between 17 and 45, guess what bub, you're in the Militia.


At that time we had just been through a revolution with England, fighting a war on our turf. Of course none of this should be considered.

Dr. Information

@'s says nowhere in there that certain guns should be banned! Read the words, you are trying to make concrete out of pudding.


Actually your comprehension is off a little - I did NOT say that at all - wha tI said is that there was no place in the amendment that says what guns you have the right to have. This is not an absolute right as is any of the amendments - there can be exceptions unless it is spelled out in the amendment specifically prohibiting exceptions.


No to mention they say where would they get the money to put an armed guard in schools, but they don't seem to worry about where the money to enforce these policies would come from, plus you know that police aren't going to try and confiscate anything en masse, and neither will the military


Add to that some other proposed legislation I've seen which, along with a laundry list of banned weapons, includes a paragraph that states "...and any other firearm deemed by the Attorney General to have no legitimate sporting purpose," and you can see why so many fear the Second Amendment is about to be effectively nullified!


"have one or more military characteristics" Interesting as in having sights, a stock for example? You have to watch these types of words and phrases that are put into a law.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

Dr. Information

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

The Big Dog's back

Yeah, some people spout right wing stuff thinking they are serious, but really are being Comedians.

Dr. Information

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

Dr. Information

Kurt you aren't a comedian. Stop trying to be funny. Moderators keep deleting this. Oh we'll. must be slow at the Sandumpy Refluctor.

"The Constitution was written to restrain the government. No amendment is more important for this purpose than the 2nd amendment. The 2nd amendment was written so the power could be kept with the citizenry in the face of a tyrannical government."


The 2nd Amendment of the Bill of Rights -

"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

I'm sorry I see nothing in there about attacking the government - I see nothing about the types of arms - although there are some history professors who believe that the personal arms were not to include those which were specifically made for the military. There were also many many supreme court cases surrounding this issue. The only one that supports the NRA's view is the most recent one. And that judge had previously stated the complete opposite view. Of course, it is also believed that that judge receives kick-backs from the gun manufacturers and the NRA (same difference anyway). There is nothing about restraining our government and I found nothing to even mentioned such a thing. There is mention in some of the founders papers about tyrannical governments trying to take over our government. And, of course, this would be a natural concern in the 1700's. Where do we go now? The crap about Obama trying to take away your guns is BS and most of you know it - however, eliminating the easy access to guns and eliminating certain types of guns, I do not believe infringes on the bill of rights since it doesn't specify the types of guns you are entitled to bear or keep. Of course, the only guns then were muzzle loaders. Trust me I have no problem with you guys having those.


i believe the "security of a free state" is the part where it's talking about standing up against a corrupt government there chief...

and that whole part about not infringing on the rights to bare arms doesnt exactly regulate what arms we are allowed to bare... to technically our current law structure is already infringing on our rights if you want to get really technical...


Haven't read much history, have you? Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Madison ALL wrote further clarifications on the Second Amendment, including the fact that the "militia" is defined as "all able-bodied" citizens. They all spoke and wrote excellent English, so there's no excuse for your failure to understand. Unless, of course, it's deliberate...

The Big Dog's back

sam, you got Jefferson's quote a little twisted, not that you would do that purposely. I'll help you.
"[The] governor [is] constitutionally the commander of the militia of the State, that is to say, of every man in it able to bear arms." --Thomas Jefferson to A. L. C. Destutt de Tracy, 1811.


Uh, I didn't quote Jefferson. But I can if you like:

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government" from The Thomas Jefferson Papers

Or, perhaps more apropos to the current gun-grabber call for "sensible" gun laws:

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” Thomas Jefferson, partially quoting Cesare Beccaria


By " All able-bodied citizens " they probably meant white male , landowners . No Blacks , or women . Kinda dated you think ? Shouldn't our laws appropriately grow and change with the times ?

"I know the sense of helplessness that people feel. I know the urge to arm yourself because that's what I did. I was trained in firearms. I walked to the hospital when my husband was sick. I carried a concealed weapon and I made the determination if somebody was going to try and take me out, I was going to take them with me."

"In 2010, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) joined NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre for the grand opening of the Clark County Shooting Park and praised guns for their protective and recreational use."