Arizona debating letting concealed handgun permit holders in schools

The debate on letting concealed handgun permit holders in schools picks up steam in Arizona:

Supporters say the permit-holders should be allowed to carry guns at schools so they can defend themselves and others if a gunman starts shooting people and police haven't yet arrived at the scene.

Opponents say police officers urgently responding to a school shooting might have difficulty distinguishing innocent permit-holders from the gun. . . .

Could someone please give me an example of when this concern has actually come true during one of these events?

Thanks to Scott Davis for the link.



Anonymous chris said...

"Opponents say police officers urgently responding to a school shooting might have difficulty distinguishing innocent permit-holders from the gunman"

I'm no law enforcement officer, but isn't target identification a pretty important issue? How does the same cop handle the difficulty of a possible plain clothes officer at a crime scene? As with other arguments against concealed carry, this one doesn't hold water.

2/19/2008 1:34 PM  
OpenID WesFCSI said...

Found your site through Republican Sport Shooters.

I think the SC House debated the same issue last year. Rumor they may do it again!

2/19/2008 3:21 PM  
Anonymous Dennis said...

I'm a retired Police Officer, Tucson Police Dept., and have fully supported the right to carry firearms on a school campus. You have to remember, Police Chief's are political appointee's and are generally quite liberal. The two Chiefs interviewed in the newspaper article are the University Police Chiefs and are very liberal.

2/19/2008 5:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

As a former police officer (nearly two decades) and a current high school English teacher, perhaps I can add a bit to the discussion.

Virtually all teachers in all schools are required to wear a distinctive identification card--much like a badge--when on duty. And from the moment a police officer begins firearm training, long before they are ever allowed on the street by themselves, the fact that they are absolutely responsible for every round they fire, no matter the circumstance, is drilled into them.

Police officers know that they will run into ambiguous situations at any moment, situations where good guy/bad guy calls won't be easy or automatic, and so they are trained to hold their fire until they're sure. Indeed, sometimes they make mistakes, but we hear about those mistakes because they are, thankfully, relatively rare. What we don't hear about are the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of times each year that officers made difficult but correct calls and did not shoot people who ought not to have been shot.

People who make the "the police might shoot teachers or students" argument merely reveal their lack of understanding of reality. But acknowledging that this is always a possibility, would we rather take that risk, or allow deranged killers to shoot as many students and teachers as possible until the police can arrive?

As a teacher, and a concealed carry licensee, I would surely prefer to carry while working, and knowing police procedure, I'm relatively certain that I can avoid being shot by responding police officers. If I'm within handgun range, it's highly likely that the bad guy will be down and neutralized long before the officers arrive, and I'll be waiting for them, handgun holstered and out of sight, hands in plain sight, and guide them in.

2/19/2008 7:59 PM  

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