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Teachers Get Free Gun Training

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In an effort to prevent another shooting massacre like the one earlier this month at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, a Utah gun-rights advocate group offered free concealed weapons training Thursday to employees of the state’s education system.

December 27 (RIA Novosti) – In an effort to prevent another shooting massacre like the one earlier this month at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, a Utah gun-rights advocate group offered free concealed weapons training Thursday to employees of the state’s education system.

“Having armed civilians on school grounds can help thwart attacks,” the Utah Shooting Sports Council (USSC) stated on its website about its program “Safe to Learn Safe to Teach,” aimed at providing teachers with defensive tactics if attacked on school grounds.

The state of Utah allows people to carry guns on school grounds as long as they have a concealed carry permit.

“The only reason to maintain the right for the law abiding to carry a firearm inside a school is if we are committed to and serious about protecting our children,” said Clark Aposhian, USSC’s chairman, in a post on the organization’s website.

USSC said it wants to make schools safer through the class since “to date no lives have been saved by phony ‘gun-free school zones’” but instead “seem to act as magnets for those bent on mass murder,” the organization stated.  

“We’re not suggesting that teachers roam the halls” for armed assailants, Aposhian told the Associated Press. “They should lock down the classroom. But a gun is one more option if the shooter” does enter into a classroom.

The six-hour class was held at a hockey arena near Salt Lake City for up to 200 people who work at a private or public school, college, university, or vocational school. They were offered concealed weapons permit courses and mass violence response training, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

USSC has offered training courses to school employees before, but the Tribune reported that this class was requested after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut that left 20 young children and seven adults dead, including the gunman.

“We just wanted to do something,” Aposhian told the Salt Lake Tribune, whose organization waived the class’s normal $50 fee for those taking the class on Thursday.

The training program being held by USSC comes after the powerful American gun rights lobby, the National Rifle Association (NRA), last week called for armed guards to be placed in every school in the United States as the best way to protect children from gun violence.

“Schools are some of the safest places in the world, but I think teachers understand that something has changed -- the sanctity of schools has changed,” Aposhian told the AP.

“Mass shootings may still be rare, but that doesn't help you when the monster comes in,” he said.

 

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