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How Much Training Do Teachers Really Need To Carry?

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I recently came across a dumb conversation on Twitter that can actually be a little instructive. Instead of going straight to answering the question of how much training a teacher needs to be able to safely carry to defend children, I’m instead going to shoot down the assumptions that lead to thinking teachers need dozens or hundreds (or even thousands) of hours of training.

Bad Assumption #1: Cops Receive Thousands Of Hours Of Excellent Training

Here’s the thing: looking at the overall hours police spend going through an academy and then continuing education is a great way to lead yourself astray on this question. Out of 1,000 hours (assuming it’s even that many), a police cadet has to spend time on dozens of different topics. Much of it is completely useless to a teacher or anyone else carrying a gun for self-defense. A few of the topics include evidence handling, police procedures, emergency vehicle operation, fingerprinting, the laws relating to arrest and detainment, crowd control, directing traffic, FEMA ICS/NIMS courses, hand-to-hand defensive tactics, the use of tasers and OC spray, handcuffing, traffic violations, felony stops–I think you get the point!

The fact is, everything you’ve ever seen a police officer do and dozens of other things you don’t see them do all take up time in an academy and in continuing education. If a cadet is lucky, there will be maybe 100 hours of firearms instruction, but much of that is learning about use of force laws, so the actual amount of gun handling instruction will be far, far less. I went through a volunteer police academy where we spent exactly two weekends on the range, and it took me years to fix the bad habits I had picked up in that academy.

There’s more evidence of this, though. Remember the “only one” guy? Yeah, he was a “highly trained” federal agent! Ask anyone working at a gun shop or at a range who some of the most unsafe shooters are, and police officers WILL be on that list, and likely at the top. Talk to the best-trained police officers who go out and shoot competitions, and they’ll tell you that the average cop just isn’t very skilled with a firearm.

I don’t mean to trash on cops here, but anyone being honest about law enforcement training will tell you that police training simply isn’t a good benchmark.

Bad Assumption #2: Blood Will Run In The Streets

Like all anti-gun arguments, the idea that teachers can’t safely carry a gun without “only one” level training is pure garbage.

In fact, I can tell you about a place where teachers carry on just four hours of required training. Surely such a place would be littered with the bodies of deceased children, teachers, and janitors, right? I mean, some goober with 4 hours of training and NO LIVE FIRE INSTRUCTION REQUIRED would certainly be a menace to society, and belongs nowhere near schools.

But, this is how things are in the entire state of Utah. Anybody with the easy to get permit, teacher or not, can carry in any school in the state. I’m sure someone can point to a few isolated incidents where something bad happened, but it’s certainly not the norm or even common. Such things happen at school in other states when people carry unlawfully, after all.

But, more importantly, Utah has never had a mass shooter in a school. The reasons for this probably extend far beyond the question of whether teachers are allowed to carry, but at the end of the day, the proof is in the pudding. If a whole state’s worth of teachers are allowed to carry on almost zero training without something terrible happening, the argument against letting teachers carry in other states is utterly without merit.

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