Charm City is up to 254 murders this year as of the this morning, though tragically it may be higher by the time you read this considering the way things are going. The new mayor, Catherine Pugh, has actually made some efforts to push tougher gun laws and bring in additional federal help, but she’s fighting her own City Council in addition to the gang bangers when it comes to such proposals.
As the data has revealed, all too often both the shooters and the victims are teenagers of high school age or even younger. And sometimes those shooting are taking place right on school grounds. So what are the teachers to do? In the case of at least some of them, they’re off to Ohio to take free, private firearms training so they can be ready if the lethal violence plaguing Baltimore comes to their door. (CBS Baltimore)
Some Maryland teachers who believe the answer to school shootings is to arm themselves, are taking a firearms training course in Ohio.
The Maryland teachers are among 1,000 educators from 12 states in a three-day firearms course in rural Ohio, called “Faster Saves Lives.”
Instructors test participants on taking down a gunman and treating wounds…
One elementary school principal says the course is preparation for protecting his students.
“When I walk down the halls I actually think about where I would go, how would I react,” he said.
Virtually all of the teachers only spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity. One reason for that is that Maryland has a law prohibiting anyone (including staff) from bringing a firearm onto school property. At least one teacher admitted that she already does it anyway, keeping a 9 mm. with her at her desk. From the sound of the support that this training program is drawing, she’s not alone.
As CBS reports, there have been bills proposed in the state legislature in each of the past two years which would allow school employees to be armed. Unfortunately the Democrats voted them down in both cases. But I suppose if your choice is between being arrested after the fact on a weapons charge or keeping your students (not to mention yourself) alive during an active shooter scenario, you’ll probably risk the trial.
The Faster Saves Lives program in Ohio was started in response to the Sandy Hook shootings. They’ve been training plenty of teachers for free ever since then, but I was a bit disappointed to read the response to the program from one Sandy Hook teacher. (Emphasis added)
“Never in a million years would I have guessed that one response to what happened in our town would be to arm teachers,” said former Sandy Hook teacher Abbey Clements. “Can you imagine if children were hurt by you in that situation? How would you live with yourself.”
If Ms. Clements was actually in the school during that massacre she has my sympathies and it’s understandable how she might be even more put off by firearms. But at the same time, her question might seem odd to other teachers. How would you feel if a child was hurt by you, presumably as the result of an accident? First of all, that’s why some of her colleagues are taking full safety and operational training… to minimize the possibility of an accident. And how do you suppose you would feel if you were in that classroom unarmed when the shooting began, knowing that you might have had the chance to stop the killer and save those children?
It’s not as clear cut of a debate as some of these folks think. And while I’m not in any way advocating that all teachers be forced to carry, the ones who feel driven to do so and are willing to be fully trained in safe firearms handling should have the chance.