Chicago teachers question concealed gun carry suggestion

World Today

Hundreds of thousands of people from across the United States took to the streets Saturday to take part in the “March for Our Lives” protests held in cities across the nation.

The nationwide demonstrations were organized by survivors of the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 dead last month.

Protesters are calling for stricter gun control. But others believe one answer to school shootings is to allow teachers to carry concealed weapons.

CGTN’s Dan Williams reports.

That suggestion has caused concern among some groups. Helen Dumas is the principal at St. Sabina Academy. She believes two-thirds of her students have either lost a relative or a close friend to gun violence. Dumas has been watching the debate over gun control closely. She opposes the suggestion of allowing teachers the right to carry concealed weapons as a way to prevent school shootings.

“I am absolutely against that. I just think it is ridiculous to ask teachers to get trained to shoot guns. Educators are trained to teach not to go to war.”

One shooting range in Southern Illinois is already offering free concealed carry classes for teachers. James Kruger is the president of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police. He believes schools should strengthen security. But he questions whether that should be with armed teachers.

“First of all, I think those folks have a lot of responsibility as it is right now. Police officers especially undergo a significant amount of training on a monthly basis on shoot-don’t shoot situations,” he said. “Are we going to expect that level of proficiency from a teacher? I think is maybe a little misdirected.”

Others see the solution lies elsewhere. Mark Walsh is from the Illinois Council against handgun violence. 

“What we have seen across this country is that more guns don’t make us safer. It actually increases the risk of being shot and killed. We’re in a school today talking about real solutions to the issue and that is more community involvement, more community engagement and knowing what is going on with friends, family and neighbors and that is how we reduce gun violence.”

As the debate over concealed carry continues, many children in Chicago prepared to add their voice to the national ‘March for Our Lives.’ For them, the answer is stricter gun controls. They hope their voices will be heard