In the wake of recent school shootings, the idea of allowing teachers to carry firearms has gained steam, thanks largely to President Trump, whose Feb. 22 remarks "closely mimicked a speech" delivered earlier that day by National Rifle Association president Wayne LaPierre, writes James Hohmann of The Washington Post. He did likewise in a speech Friday to the Conservative Political Action Committee conference. In Butler County, Ohio, just north of Cincinnati, Sheriff Richard Jones says he will offer a free concealed-carry gun class to teachers, as well as training on school shootings, Sarah Hager reports for the Cincinnati Enquirer.
The idea has appeal in rural areas, where many teachers and parents are gun owners, but there are many obstacles to turning teachers into guards. Many gun-violence experts, educators and school safety advocates have panned the idea. David Hemenway, a professor of health policy at the Harvard School of Public Health and an expert on the public-health impact of gun violence, said "It's a crazy proposal" and some teacher with firearms training would likely injure an innocent student by accident, Elizabeth Chuck and Corky Siemaszko report for NBC News. Teachers may also injure themselves with an improperly secured firearm. That happened recently when a Utah elementary school teacher, who had a legal permit to carry a firearm in school, accidentally shot herself in the leg while she was in a faculty bathroom. No students were injured.
Another factor not often considered: arming teachers could cause schools' liability insurers to either raise rates sky-high or cancel policies entirely. When Kansas made it legal for teachers to carry firearms in 2013, the liability insurance provider for 90 percent of the state's school districts decreed that any school permitting employees to carry concealed handguns would be denied coverage, Steven Yaccino reports for The New York Times.