Did you know that in the 10 years Utah has had laws permissive of teachers carrying concealed guns on school campuses, there hasn’t been even one fatal K–12 school shooting in the whole state? Apparently, even a resident can carry his gun on school premises, provided that they have a permit.
But I thought guns were the problem. I thought adding even more guns into the mix means increasing fatal school shootings, not rendering them obsolete.
Maybe it’s not the guns that are the problem. Maybe it’s that in many states, people are not allowed to defend themselves from an attacker who breaks into a school with murderous intentions.
After Sandy Hook, most people took to one of two opposing positions that are supposed to prevent more incidents like Sandy Hook. Either the solution is to crack down on gun owners and continue to try to purge our society of evil guns and make schools as gun-free as possible; or, the solution is to allow concealed carrying teachers to bring their concealed guns to work for self-defensive purposes.
NBC News reported on one such Utah teacher named Kasey Hansen:
Hansen, a special needs teacher in Utah, is prepared to take down any armed gunman that barges through the doors of one of her classrooms. Hansen carries her pink handgun “Lucy” with her every day in each of the 14 schools at which she teaches. The 27-year-old teacher works with elementary, middle and high school students with hearing impairments in the Granite School District.
“I want to protect my students,” Hansen said. “I’m going to stand in front of a bullet for any student that is in my protection and so I want another option to defend us.”
Hansen is one of an unknown number of armed teachers across the country. Legally gun-owning adults are now allowed to carry guns in public schools in more than two dozen states, from kindergarten classrooms to high school hallways. Seven of those states specifically allow teachers and other school staff to carry guns in their schools.
Hansen got her concealed carry permit a week or two after Sandy Hook and participated in a free training course offered to teachers. She then bought her pink-plated Cobra 380 handgun, and started carrying it in her classrooms about seven months ago.
“I think every teacher should carry,” Hansen said. “We are the first line of defense. Someone is going to call the cops and they are going to be informed, but how long is it going to take for them to get to the school? And in that time how many students are going to be affected by the gunman roaming the halls?”
Perhaps it’s because of people like Hansen that Utah hasn’t experienced a fatal school shooting in the past decade. Knowing that there are over half a million Utah residents with concealed carry permits, many of whom are school teachers and staff members, might be a deterrent to someone wanting to barge in and shoot a bunch of people. That’s just common sense.