On the heels of the suggestion by the National Rifle Association (NRA) that schools should have armed protection to prevent another Sandy Hook Elementary School-style shooting, numerous groups have announced firearms training programs for teachers, some for free. In Ohio, the Buckeye Firearms Foundation is providing teachers with free firearms training. Foundation spokesman Jim Reese said:
We need to examine how we enhance the safety of our children in that environment. The first responder in a situation such as what we had in that school has got to be the teachers. You've got to educate the teacher, and when you look at the folks who stop these things while they're in progress, it typically is someone else who is armed.
Jim Irvine, president of the foundation, said that the usual $1,000 fee for the three-day training, which includes lodging, tuition, and ammunition, would be paid for by the foundation, adding: “What better use for an educational foundation that to help educators protect our children?”
Irvine, who is also an airline pilot and carries a concealed firearm, said that up until the ghastly attack on youngsters in Connecticut earlier in December, “School boards were just in denial. That denial got ripped away in Newtown. The idea [behind providing this training for teachers] is to make it hard to kill a kid.” He noted that airline safety improved after pilots were permitted to carry following training. Schools should be no exception.
In Salt Lake City, the Utah Shooting Sports Council said it would waive its usual $50 fee for teachers taking its one-day training class. It will be a pilot program initially involving just 24 teachers but will be expanded after the first of the year to include 200 more. Clark Aposhian, one of the instructors, said:
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