FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Arming Teachers Not the Solution
Active Shooter Situation Very Difficult, Even for Most Experienced
PPA & ORCOPS Backs Ban on Gun-Modification Equipment
Calls for Tougher Sentencing Guidelines
Portland, OR: Arming teachers and other school employees is not a solution to mass shootings in America’s schools. Daryl Turner, president of the Portland Police Association (PPA) and Oregon Coalition of Police & Sheriffs (ORCOPS) said that “while some people suggest allowing educators to have guns in schools, deeper, more careful consideration reveals that such a move would open the door to many problems, pose serious risks, and is likely to be counterproductive.”
“As a law enforcement officer, I know that using a gun takes extensive training, ongoing practice, and experience. When you add in a live, active shooter, there are extreme pressures to make the right choices and quick decisions in a very chaotic situation. Without the proper training, the outcome could be disastrous,” said Turner. “A teacher’s job is to educate children and it would be hard for the vast majority to quickly become highly skilled marksmen equipped for a confusing, rapidly unfolding crisis.”
“In an active shooter incident, having teachers running around a school with guns while law enforcement enters the building could make it difficult for us to differentiate between the good guys and the bad guys. It would increase the risk of innocent people — children, other teachers, and police officers — being injured or killed,” said Turner.
As a first step to stop mass shootings, Turner is urging lawmakers to do two things immediately. “First, elected officials should ban all equipment that allows for the modification of guns that makes them more powerful and lethal. These devices, like bump stocks, which allow a semiautomatic weapon to perform more like a fully automatic weapon, should not be freely available for sale on the internet or in stores.”
“Secondly, the nation should enhance sentencing guidelines for those who commit mass shootings, alter weapons, commit shootings in schools, hospitals, and government buildings, shoot first responders (police, fire, emergency medical services personnel), or use guns in incidents of domestic violence. However, these greater penalties would only work if laws are enforced and prosecuted and greater sentences are given.”
The gunfire incident allegedly by a teacher at Dalton High School in Dalton, Georgia today punctuates the need for a greater conversation and action.