Pulling off a school mass shooting has gotten a little harder in the United States of America.
Since the horrific Newtown, Connecticut, shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School took the lives of 20 children and six teachers in 2012, there’s been a larger-than-ever effort to teach the teachers how to stop a shooter. Put another way, they’re attempting to remove schools from the ranks of gun-free zones.
And Fox News reports that more than 600 teachers across the nation have gone through a three-day training to learn how to shoot, learn tactics, and learn how to treat injuries.
Similar programs have been conducted in Utah, Alabama, and Texas. Fox News reported that 23,000 schools, or nearly one-third of the schools in the country, have armed people on campus.
Currently, 18 states allow adults to carry weapons on school campuses, and the Buckeye Firearms Association has formulated the free, three-day training program to begin the process of teaching educators tactics in the case of an active shooter.
Hundreds of school teachers in Ohio, Colorado and elsewhere have been trained by an organization called Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response (FASTER). The group, operated by Ohio-based Buckeye Firearms Association, conducts a program that was created along with concerned parents, law officers and safety experts, according to a description of the group on its website.
Laura Carno of Coloradans for Civil Liberties told 9 News that teachers in rural areas are especially vulnerable:
“In a nutshell, it is training for teachers and other school staff who are armed first responders in their schools. [...] By and large rural school districts [...] have made the decision that law enforcement is 30-45 minutes away. [...] They are their own first responders.”
The Buckeye Firearms Foundation introduced the FASTER program in 2015:
Spokesman Jim Irvine says that active shooter training for teachers and administrators shouldn’t be about guns.
Irvine told Fox News it should be about safety:
“The safety of our kids should not be a controversial issue. This is not about guns. For nearly 60 years, not one student has died from a fire. That is due to a redundant, overlapping approach to safety.”
The group says the program isn’t about replacing cops and EMTs; it’s about equipping people to make-do until the professionals get there.