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Protecting America’s Schools With Education and Training

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Brennan Linsley

In the aftermath of last year’s horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in which 17 innocent students and staff were brutally murdered, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission conducted a thorough investigation and put forward a number of important recommendations.  Among them was to recommend the state Legislature allow teachers to carry concealed guns on campus to stop future shootings.  The commission made clear that it’s often not enough to just have one or two police officers or armed guards on campus. 

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri who led the state commission said he long believed only law enforcement personnel should carry guns at school, but his position "morphed" after studying other shootings and watching security video of the Stoneman Douglas attack. According to the Associated Press, Gualtieri said it "gnaws" at him that gunman Nikolas Cruz stopped firing five times to reload his AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, but no teacher or other school employee could use those pauses to shoot Cruz. He now believes trained, volunteer teachers should have access to guns so they can stop shooters who get past other safeguards.

It's with this same shared belief that the second annual “National Train a Teacher Day” (NTATD) will be held nationwide on Saturday, July 20th, in which thousands of school teachers and administrators across the country will be offered free self-defense training by Certified Instructors and Training Counselors. 

Each day, more states and school districts are allowing teachers and administrators to exercise their Rights and carry firearms on school campuses to better protect the students in their charge. In Florida, for example, after the Public Safety Commission put forward its recommendations, the State Legislature created a "guardian" program that allows districts to arm school staff and it was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis in May. 

The United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) is proud to be an official sponsor of this national event because we must empower educators across the country with the training and tools they need to defend themselves in the case of a criminal attack.

As part of our sponsorship of National Train a Teacher Day, the USCCA is also donating materials used by volunteer USCCA Certified Instructors who are offering free courses for teachers across the country.  Donated materials will include Countering The Mass Shooter Threat, Concealed Carry And Home Defense Fundamentals, and Emergency First Aid Fundamentals books and the online e-Learning program that goes with each for teachers participating in the training programs across the country.  

We believe, as millions of Americans do, that the solution to evil acts of violence is found through education, empowerment, the elimination of “gun free zones,” and the free exercise of the rights and liberties of law-abiding Americans, not by passing more failed laws that only restrict Americans’ right to defend themselves.  

All too often we see evildoers targeting schools and other “gun-free zones” precisely because they know the innocent people inside are often unable to protect themselves.  We saw that most recently in Virginia Beach where city employees were not allowed to have a gun at work for self-defense and were subsequently unable to defend themselves when a co-worker opened fire.  

Despite what opponents of the Second Amendment might say, the protection and security of our children is not a “gun” debate and partisan politics should be left at the steps of the school doors.  In an emergency situation, seconds matter and educators trained in self-defense can be the front lines of defense for our students because they have the necessary knowledge and experience to protect their classrooms. 

National Train a Teacher Day will empower teachers across the country with the education and training they need to help keep themselves and our children safe.  Please visit www.nationaltrainateacherday.com for more information, to connect with a trainer or volunteer to help with this important nationwide effort.

Tim Schmidt is the president and founder of the U.S. Concealed Carry Association and may be contacted at Press@USCCA.com.

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