On January 25, South Carolina state representative Phillip Lowe (R-Florence) introduced legislation allowing teachers with concealed carry permits to take a special training course then carry a pistol for the defense of themselves and their students.
The bill creates a layer of security called—”School Protection Officers”—who could “be teachers, administrators or any other school employees who would be allowed to carry guns or pepper spray at school.”
According to WJBF, representative Lowe said, “Schools are gun-free zones now, and that makes them a target.” He stressed that would-be attackers would steer clear of South Carolina schools if they knew some of the teachers and/or staff in the buildings could shoot back.
Lowe introduced a similar bill in 2012, but it did not pass because teachers would have been allowed to carry on the basis of a concealed permit alone. This time around, Lowe coupled the requirement of a concealed carry permit with a two-week intensive training that includes:
Shoot/don’t shoot training; school safety protection training; rapid response training; identifying and containing potential threats and occurring threats training; defusing volatile situations and resolving conflict; communicating with law enforcement that has jurisdiction over the school; and first responder first aid.
Palmetto State Teachers Association executive director Kathy Maness said, “I am very concerned that this bill would allow other people besides law enforcement agencies to carry guns inside the classroom.” This observation fails to take into account the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission findings that teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary were trapped in that school without law enforcement from the moment Adam Lanza arrived—just before 9:30 a.m. on December 14, 2012—until 9:39 a.m, when the first officer reached the school.
Might armed teachers have prevented the attack or at least reduced its magnitude?
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