Less than three weeks after the slaughter at Sandy Hook, an Ohio gun owners' group has launched an "Armed Teacher Training" program. As of yesterday, more than 750 educators in 15 states -- including "multiple applicants" from Washington -- have informed the Buckeye Firearms Foundation that they are fired up and ready to go.
To paraphrase the National Rifle Associations' chief lunatic Wayne LaPierre, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good teacher with a gun." Now, there's a motto the Buckeye gun group might want to run up a flap pole and see if anyone salutes.
Sean Maloney, a criminal defense attorney in the Cincinnati area -- and member of the Foundation -- told The Daily Weekly yesterday that the first class in the pilot program will accept 24 teachers for a comprehensive 3-day training class at the Tactical Defense Institute in West Union, Ohio. All major expenses will be covered, including tuition, ammunition, and lodging (which are expected to total approximately $1,000 per teacher).
One-third of the Armed Teacher applicants are women
To date, three states -- Utah, Texas and Alabama -- allow teachers to carry concealed weapons to school, though it is legal in Ohio to bring a concealed weapon on school grounds if a school district has granted permission.
Foundation chairman Jim Irvine expects more school districts will sign-off on gun-toting teachers in light of the Dec. 14 mayhem, where 20 young children and 6 adults were executed by Adam Lanza with a Bushmaster assault rifle ("Consider Your Man Card Reissued") capable of firing 180 rounds a minute.
"School boards were just in denial. That denial got ripped away in Newtown, Conn. The idea is to make it hard to kill a kid," he said.
Maloney -- who by the way thinks LaPierre's insane suggestion to put armed guards in "every single one" of America's 135,000 public and private schools is not a bad idea -- would not disclose the exact number of applications the Buckeye Firearms Foundation has received from Washington state.
"I can only say there were multiple applicants," he said.
Whatever the case, Maloney is bullish about the quality of training school teachers will get at the Tactical Defense Institute, a 15-year-old program featuring classrooms and seven shooting ranges, all of which sit on 186 rural acres in southern Ohio. It's a lovely place to hear the birdsong after a grueling day of gun fire.
Southern Ohio: A lovely place to hear the birdsong after a long day of gun play
The school personnel chosen for the class must already have basic firearms training and a concealed carry permit, and come with their own handgun, holster, extra magazines and speed loaders.
"Not only do they learn safe gun handling, storage, and transport," noted Maloney, "but they'll learn how to draw from a concealed-carry position and how to barricade themselves properly."
The Foundation will decide by the end of the month on the 24 lucky teachers who will be chosen to go, all expenses paid, for three days of glorious gun play in the undulating hills that make West Union, Ohio, such a special place.
One can only imagine the anticipation!