Texas school employee shoots self at training class to arm teachers

You really can’t make this stuff up.  A school maintenance worker in – wait for it – Texas was attending a concealed-carry class at the local school.

The school district was sponsoring the class as part of its program to arm teachers and other school employees, in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre and the NRA’s call for America to arm its schools.

What could possibly go wrong?

You can guess what happened next.

The maintenance worker shot himself in the leg and had to get sent to the hospital, where he’s in fair condition.

As our Jon Green already reported, 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.

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.

Jon noted another takeway from the study: “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.”

Good luck with that.

Sadly, it’s not like this is our first encounter with a less-than-responsible “very responsible gun owner.”

Yesterday we had the very responsible gun owner who decided to open fire at a shoplifter outside a Walmart in Florida, and ended up shooting three cars and nearly hitting a pedestrian.

Yesterday we also had the dog that shot its owner who had left his loaded shotgun on the floor of his truck, where his dog got to it.

Armed teacher via Shutterstock

Armed teacher via Shutterstock

Then a few weeks ago we had the woman whose gun fell out of her pocket at a McDonald’s and shot her husband.

Or the winner who lost his gun at a movie theater, didn’t think of reporting it to the cops, and it was found, loaded, by some kids.

Or the five people who were wounded at guns shows in 3 different states on “Gun Appreciation Day,” a response to the Sandy Hook massacre.

So good luck to Texas, as it puts even more loaded gun in the vicinity of its schoolchildren. Let’s hope they have better luck weeding out the child sex criminals than Sheriff Arpaio did.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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44 Responses to “Texas school employee shoots self at training class to arm teachers”

  1. hollywoodstein says:

    It’s really strange how few people get shot when there aren’t any guns around.

  2. josephebacon says:

    Sounds like there will be a lot more Darwin Award winners!

  3. GMann says:

    Vague at best is correct, unclemike. I’ve read nowhere that he shot
    himself in “real newspapers”. . . No one wants to admit they shot
    themselves. . . No one wants to admit they shot a client. . . I say this
    with the thought that the truth will be never know for sure. I do know
    that I am a die hard Librul. . . I own guns. I am Democratic thru and
    thru (unlike the bullet that hit the school employee. I love this site,
    too. But I have done a quick scan and haven’t read anywhere else where he shot himself. Help me if you can. . .

  4. benb says:

    Your kid gets shot at school. Which is more likely: a psychopath or an accident involving a staff member’s gun? It’s clear that that Texas school board doesn’t have a lick of sense but I wonder whether the parents do.

  5. unclemike says:

    And you will assure me…how? The article is vague (at best) as to who was holding the gun when it went off, but it certainly implies it wasn’t the instructor.

  6. GMann says:

    Indeed, I did misread. I assumed the employee that stayed behind was not the victim. But I will assure you that the employee MOST likely did NOT shoot himself! When his gun jammed (aka FTF – Failure to Feed) it was NOT in is hands when it fired or accidentally discharged. You do not have 4 hands on a pistol at once. . . The victim, standing right next to the instructor handed him the gun. The motion / action to free up a jammed round can easily expose a finger or thumb to a severe pinch or even fracture. . . ONE person clears a handgun and IF the instructor let the inexperienced employee do it. . . Yank his certificate. . .

  7. olandp says:

    The teachers may not be able to get the guns out of their holsters, but I’ll bet those kids could lift the gun before the teacher even notices. Ever put anything down and take your eyes off of it at school?

  8. emjayay says:

    It’s not that complicated. What kind of country do you want to live in, Somalia or Afganistan, or England? What kind of city, Tombstone or Dodge City in 1880 or Kyoto in 2013?

  9. mucholderguy says:

    Gun fanciers are so timid and put-upon that they need weapons of war in order to “equalize” themselves with normal people.

  10. colleen2 says:

    I’m pretty sure you said that guns, ammunition and gun owners should be as heavily regulated, trained, insured, licensed and taxed as automobiles and their owners.

  11. Jennifer Jia says:

    Mission Accomplished.

  12. UncleBucky says:

    That’d be a sticky situation…. :|

  13. Naja pallida says:

    Well, Mall-Wart is an exception in many ways, because they have basically become unaccountable to anyone. Plus, the majority of their militia is allocated to preventing employees from taking merchandise, because they instill absolutely no loyalty at all and don’t pay enough for any normal employee to give a shit about the company.

  14. karmanot says:

    Solved, thanks to Republicans…..Sequester—-no cops no problems until……

  15. karmanot says:

    Ain’t that the truth. Two cops were shot dead on a doorstep, near here when the perp said wait a minute, went in to get his coat and brought out a gun instead. Both cops dead.

  16. karmanot says:

    Full arming! Ms. Nancy could also use a can of hair spray and a lighter, if her Uzzi jams.

  17. karmanot says:

    Reading the history of WAL*MART lawsuits you will soon discover that they have one of the largest security militias in the world, do pursue shoplifters etc outside, detain them, often beat and threaten them, and hold (kidnap) them for hours before calling local police.

  18. Lawyercat says:

    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – more people kill *themselves* with guns than all homicides of any type (guns or non-gun) in the country combined.

  19. UncleBucky says:

    Hahaha, my point indeed. Time and money diverted from education or their regular job(s).

  20. UncleBucky says:

    Amen, brother! So right!

  21. Naja pallida says:

    I’d say it seems to be working, but these kind of accidents are nothing new at all. They are a regular part of our gun culture. They’re just getting wider reporting now, because of the extra scrutiny from it being a national topic of discussion.

  22. Naja pallida says:

    And that makes it better, how? Tells me that even with a qualified “expert” directly on hand, they still can’t be safe. What’s going to happen when we have an “AD” in a classroom?

  23. Naja pallida says:

    Considering that most stores even have policies that they don’t chase shop lifters if they can’t be stopped in store, for liability reasons, just tells me that everyone who wants to carry in public should be required to carry liability insurance. So if you decide to pop off a few rounds in a parking lot full of innocent bystanders, you should be held responsible for any and all damages, whether you think you’re doing right or not.

  24. arren says:

    So the guy runs OUT of the store just so he can chase a shoplifter? I believe most of the people with carry permits are just looking for a reason to shoot something. After all, what use is a gun if you can’t shoot it?

  25. It’s true. We live in a fantasy world where we think it’s like a video game.

  26. Too bad someone didn’t try to stop him from shooting himself with one of their guns.

  27. Badgerite says:

    Sounds expensive. Taxpayers would, of course, have to foot the bill. When are these people going to give up on trying to take the country back to the days of the ‘wild west’.

  28. nicho says:

    Do you really expect a gun nut to read more than two sentences? Their lips get tired.

  29. nicho says:

    But even police can’t get it right — can’t react in time — shoot the wrong people. Miss Nancy is in her classroom, something’s going down in the school, where’s her gun? Is she packing heat all day or does she have it locked up somewhere where curious little kid hands can’t get it. I hope it’s locked up. So Miss Nancy, with her hand shaking, goes to the gun locker to get and load her weapon. How long will that take?

    All of a sudden, the door opens and a guy with a gun is there. What does Miss Nancy do? It could be the bad guy. It could be an off-duty cop who is there to help. It could be the new custodian coming to protect them. It could be a parent who was packing heat and at the school for a teacher conference.

    Miss Nancy has about 10 milliseconds to decide whether to fire or not. Else she’s dead and the kids along with her. The average person has a very hard time pumping a round into someone when they’re not sure who it is — or even when they know who it is. A bad guy, unfortunately, knows exactly who’s who — and has no compunction about pumping rounds into people. After all, that’s why he’s there. That10 millisecond hesitation on the part of pistol-packing Miss Nancy is all the window of opportunity he needs.

    It’s a stupid plan put forth by stupid people and believed by people who are even more stupid.

  30. nicho says:


  31. slappymagoo says:

    Even better is when someone who is in a school AND armed gets shot by an armed intruder who now can walk over to the corpse and have an extra weapon to use to shoot more kids & staff…and if some of THOSE people were also armed and insufficiently trained, the murder could go on much much longer.
    Would that be one large price to pay for our freedoms, or a series of smaller prices bundled together?
    I mean if you want to dream of scenarios where the good guys always win, you should at least spend a few seconds imagining what it would be like if they don’t. That’s how better decisions tend to get made.
    Unless you like being an idiot. In which case: Carry on.

  32. Randy Riddle says:

    All this talk about gun control is actually Obama’s secret plot to force gun-nuts to shoot themselves in the nuts.

  33. Dano2 says:

    Of course they are paid for their time, so taxes go up. Right? Paid to fondle guns, right?



  34. unclemike says:

    From the linked article: “…one certified person stayed for private instruction with the instructor and had a mechanical malfunction with his weapon,”

    So, the person who stayed behind (who was a school employee and not the instructor) had the malfunction and got shot (by his own hand, via ricochet). So a school employee *did* accidentally shoot himself.

    Don’t let the facts get in the way of your reading comprehension.

  35. UncleBucky says:

    Sarcasm or intentional claim…? Clarify any irony here.

  36. UncleBucky says:

    Hahaha, I bet some NRAers here will start to make claims about paper cuts now…! {snicker}

  37. UncleBucky says:

    Police-style training EVERY TWO WEEKS…

    Hm, I wonder what that would look like? How many per school (remember, if the “guard” is armed and if the perp comes in the back window, Miss Nancy in the Kindergarten has to be armed and trained…) would need bi-weekly training and for how many hours per session, what nights, and how far would they have to travel to receive “police-style” training? Hm. Lost time grading papers and preparing lesson plans to “teach the test”

    Lots of logistics. Isn’t that what GOP/TPers are simply wonderful at? {snicker}

  38. unclemike says:

    Let’s also ban hammers and knives, right? RIGHT? *facepalm*

  39. unclemike says:

    Did you blithely skip over the rest of the article? Or just ignore the parts that were inconvenient to you?

  40. nicho says:

    Made an ass of yourself?

  41. Woman killed in accident with Sardis Driver’s Ed vehicle

    HA HA! How ignorant are schools trying to teach students to drive. Cars are damaged all the time and people are killed! They need to stop this practice now!

    …see what I did there?

  42. GMann says:

    You did actually make it up. He did NOT shoot himself. . . Actually the story “gets better”. The instructor stayed over to give private instruction to another student. The instructors gun rammed and while trying to “clear” it he had an “accidental discharge” (called an AD). Add a few ricochets and that’s the story. . . Don’t let the truth get in the way of the facts. . .

  43. henrythefifth says:

    The best comment I’ve seen on this was at TPM. Someone wrote, “All the guns in the world aren’t enough to make us safe from all the guns in the world.” Pretty much.

  44. Yes, it’s much better for our children to be gunned down in schools with no hope of rescue than to have one man accidentally shot in the leg. /end sarcasm

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