Arming teachers doesn’t work

Conservatives’ decision to double down on their guns-save-lives rhetoric is not only callous and disrespectful in the wake of a national tragedy, it also cuts against evidence showing that putting more guns in schools (including arming teachers), and issuing more concealed-carry permits, will do more harm than good.

In a 2010 study, students voluntarily signed up for a gun safety course, and were provided with basic training and a faux-handgun (shooting plastic bullets filled with paint) that they would then keep on their person during class. At random times, an armed intruder would enter and open fire. The participants were charged with defending themselves; none were successful – not even the self-described gun enthusiast.

ABC News’ report on the study:

Armed teacher via <a href="">Shutterstock</a>Even with more training than is typically required to obtain a concealed-carry permit (for added irony, the concealed-carry permit class I link to does not allow loaded firearms in its classroom), most of the participants in the study were unable to even get their gun out of their holster, let alone bring down the intruder.

Arming teachers, or students, simply doesn’t work in practice.

One key takeaway from the study was that in order for concealed-carriers to be effective in defending themselves and others they need to go through rigorous, police-style training every two weeks at a minimum. Anything short of that renders the weapon holder less than useless in a gunfight.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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