“Popular”? With whom?

buckeyefirearms_logoThe Buckeye Firearms Foundation (as in Ohio, “the Buckeye State”) followed up the Sandy Hook child massacre with:

a program to provide firearm training to teachers free of charge

“The long-term goal is to develop a standard Armed Teacher curriculum and make the training available to any teacher or school official,” said [Ken] Hanson ["BFA's Legal Chair"]. “To begin, we will use funds from our educational foundation and solicit donations from corporations to pay for the program. Going forward, we will seek funding from a variety of sources to expand the training.”

 No comments, please, on the possibility of an “illegal chair”. Or that the acronym “BFA” is ripe for umpteen alternative expansions, many of which are coarse or scabrous. Or, that in July 2011, the BFA organised its (somewhat ambiguously-named) 1st Annual Buckeye Firearms Foundation Youth Shoot, “north of Zanesville”.

Educationalists and parents will be delighted by the success of the BFA’s initiative:

So far, the Armed Teacher Training Program has attracted more than 600 applicants from all parts of Ohio and several from other states, including Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and West Virginia. More teachers inquire about the program every day.

“We knew this would be popular, but the response has exceeded our expectations,” said Jim Irvine, Chairman of the non-profit Buckeye Firearms Foundation.

That press release is a truly enlightening document. Malcolm savoured much thereof, and here adds some choice quotations:

    • While Ohio generally prohibits firearms at schools, the law includes a provision that allows teachers and staff to carry firearms if the school board approves it. The Armed Teacher Training Program seeks to help teachers get permission to carry concealed firearms on the job and provide advanced training that goes above and beyond the typical requirements of concealed carry.
    • Irvine says the program is entirely voluntary. “No one will be forced to be armed if they choose not to. The strategy is the same as ordinary concealed carry. No one will ever know who is or is not armed. Those who would seek to do harm in schools should be met with armed resistance even before law enforcement shows up. Over time, schools will no longer be considered easy, risk-free targets.”
    • Irvine says the idea isn’t new. “For 25 years, citizens in the U.S. have been legally carrying concealed firearms. A total of 49 states now allow concealed carry, some with no licensing or training of any kind. The concept has worked remarkably well. Most of those who were initially skeptical now admit that citizens can be trusted to act lawfully and responsibly. Millions of ordinary people carry firearms in malls, on buses and city streets, and in restaurants and office buildings. It works for average citizens even in highly populated locations, so why would anyone assume armed teachers in schools would be any different?”
    • A few people have questioned the idea of arming teachers who have no firearm experience or may be uncomfortable with guns. “That’s a misunderstanding of what we’re doing,” said Rieck. “Applicants for the program are not firearm novices. More than half already have a Concealed Handgun License. About 40 percent of our applicants say they have previous self-defense training. Over 60 percent say they have moderate to extensive firearm experience. And over 80 percent have experience with handguns.”

Cue Tom Paxton (or failing him, Pete Seeger):

What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
I learned that policemen are my friends.
I learned that justice never ends.
I learned that murderers die for their crimes,
Even if we make a mistake sometimes.

That’s what I learned in school today,
That’s what I learned in school.

Or, here’s the nearest thing Malcolm can find from Paxton himself:

Hat-tip to Mother Jones.

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Filed under broken society, civil rights, crime, culture, education, Mother Jones, schools, United States

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