COMMENTARY | Texas gun store owner Crocket Keller offers teachers a handgun training discount in the wake of the school shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown. Keller noted during an interview with the New York Daily News that his buddies suggested he offer the weapons to educators free of charge, but, as much as he liked the idea, the small business owner couldn’t afford to go that route.
Kellers Riverside Gun Store in Austin is offering teachers with a concealed carry handgun license a $20 discount on the $110 mandated 10-hour training class.
Although gun ban advocates will likely not agree with the Texas gun store owner’s decision to enhance gun sales after the Connecticut shooting, the man’s heart appears to be in the right place. Americans are still in shock about the senseless murders of 20 children and the six school staffers who heroically placed themselves into harm’s way to try to protect them.
American Federation of Teachers representative Gayle Fallon does not like the idea of arming teachers and had this to say about the issue:
“I knew this would come up at some point, there would be people who think the answer is to put guns on campus. Frankly I think it’s absurd. In a lot of cases, the perpetrator is a kid. Look at Columbine, it was a teenager. You tell me a teacher is going to look in the eyes of a teenager and pull the trigger, it’s not in their emotional make up.”
It would be difficult for nearly anyone to shoot a teenager, particularly so for teachers who may have had the shooter as a student at one point. But, as the actions of the Sandy Hook Elementary School teachers prove, most educators are willing to do anything to protect their “kids” and should be trained to do so for the sake both the children and themselves.
Crocket Keller had this to say about his decision to offer discounts to teachers:
“Teachers can be as well trained in the use of arms as any policeman can. The teachers are there all the time, they know what’s going on. They are familiar with their surroundings.”
As a society we are searching for a way to put an end to such a tragedy from ever occurring again and honor the lives of the victims in the process. Although anti-gun and pro-gun factions are surely approaching a solution to the growing problem of mass shootings from different viewpoints, we should not bash reasonable efforts to help end school shootings or turn the deaths of children into a political football.
The only school district in the country which permits teachers to arm themselves is in Texas, according to the Fort Worth Star Telegram. During a recent address, Gov. Perry stated that he feels a concealed carry handgun license holder should have the right to pack a gun anywhere they go in the state. Perry’s idea could save lives. A person bent on causing as much destruction as possible would likely opt against walking into a building where staffers have the ability to shoot back.