CPRC: Data Shows Schools with Armed Teachers Are Remarkably Safe

Clarksville ISD employees undergo force-on-force training. (Photo: CNN)

While details are still emerging about a shooting at a Colorado school this week that left at least one dead and eight others injured, the debate over school safety is already heating up.

In predictable fashion, folks on either side of the gun divide are rehashing their solutions on how best to protect school children. One of the more controversial suggestions, as you know, is arming teachers.

Most of us within the gun community support arming teachers because we recognize a few basic facts:

  1. The most effective way to stop armed attackers is to engage them with armed responders.
  2. The longer it takes for armed responders to arrive on the scene to confront the armed attackers, the more children, teachers, and staff are likely to die.
  3. Almost anyone can be trained to be an effective armed responder.
  4. If armed responders are already present at a school when an attack begins, the response time is immediate and more people are likely to survive the encounter.

Gun-control advocates vehemently disagree with that logic. They reject the idea that willing and capable professional educators can learn how to become effective armed responders. Moreover, they suggest that these armed teachers would present a threat to their students.

Shannon Watts said on Twitter Tuesday, “Soon, NRA lapdogs will say that the teachers in Highlands Ranch should have been armed. Shame them. Shun them.”

The founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America continued, “The Second Amendment is a framework for lawmaking, not a suicide pact.”

New research from the Crime Prevention Research Center flies in the face of those concerns. Based on the data collected over the past 18 years or so, schools that arm teachers are safer than those that do not.

“There has yet to be a single case of someone being wounded or killed from a shooting, let alone a mass public shooting, at a school that lets teachers carry guns,” states the research paper entitled, “Schools that Allow Teachers to Carry Guns are Extremely Safe: Data on the Rate of Shootings and Accidents in Schools that allow Teachers to Carry.

“Fears of teachers carrying guns in terms of such problems as students obtaining teachers guns have not occurred at all, and there was only one accidental discharge outside of school hours, with no harm,” it continues.

Exclusive: When Seconds Count, Armed Teachers Offer Unique Advantages Over Resource Officers

“The average rate of death or injury from shooting is 0.039 per 100,000 students across all schools (so the rate is higher among schools that don’t allow teachers to carry), while it is 0 per 100,000 in schools with armed teachers. While there have not been any problems at schools with armed teachers, the number of people killed at other schools has increased significantly – doubling from 2001 and 2008 to 2009 and 2018,” it concludes.

This graph tells the tale:

To be clear, no one from the gun community is arguing that all teachers should be armed. It would incredibly stupid to compel every teacher, regardless of their feelings and comfortability with firearms, to carry in the classroom. No one is suggesting that.

What we are suggesting is that for districts and communities who cannot afford armed security or SROs, that they at least consider the prospect of arming and training those teachers willing to heed the call.

As the CPRC data indicates, arming teachers does not imperil the lives of students. That “suicide pact” comment from Watts is completely unfounded. The truth is quite the opposite, schools that arm teachers are safer than those that do not. Something to keep in mind as this debate rages on.

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Bill Beller May 11, 2019, 4:41 am

    Almost anyone can be trained to be an effective armed responder.

    Not true

  • Tomo1948 May 10, 2019, 3:55 pm

    So many people wish to protect children, and innocent victims in general, from firearm violence. I agree, no child should be subjected to a school or drive by shooting. However, in many cases, the utilized firearms were not legally obtained. Changes in firearm laws, waiting periods, age restrictions, etc. will do nothing to thwart street gangs and other criminal elements who illegally obtain firearms. The comment I would like to make is this: if liberals and politicians are seriously intending to protect innocent victims why are they not discussing the thousands of innocent victims in alcohol related auto accidents? And the 50,000 – 70,000 innocent victims who die every year do to second hand smoke related illness!!! These numbers far exceed the average annual firearm related deaths. Especially when subtracting firearm related suicide which, on average, accounts for 60% of all firearm deaths. Can somebody please explain why nobody is raising awareness? Now you might say people choose to smoke and deserve their fate. But I am talking second hand smoke victims only. And if you wish to pursue the intentional tobacco use choice, why is the country so concerned about the “opioid crisis”? That also is a choice! You might say tax revenue is the reason tobacco is sold, but with health warning on every cigarette pack. In reality, the federal and state revenue is a small percentage of total tax revenues. And does nothing to offset the monetary and emotional cost of losing a loved one due to a drunk driver or second hand smoke. To extend the discussion, what is the monetary and emotional cost of the average annual 600,000 tobacco related deaths?

  • Anthony Defazio May 10, 2019, 2:43 pm

    If there is a dire need for armed people in school;’s, there may be another solution. Within the NRA, which is probably the largest trained army within the United States, Has anyone thought of asking for volunteers to stay on the grounds of schools. There are more than 5 million members and i’m sureThat more than half would volunteer their time. Think of the cost saving. We are that army the second amendment suggests.

  • Michael J May 10, 2019, 10:27 am

    My grandchildren attend high school where they chain the gates closed as their security measures and place gun free signs out front. Who are these morons in charge?
    Sue the the people ultimately responsible for creating this mess and hold them personally responsible for each death, it’s time they were blamed for failing to protect our children and for laws that didn’t work.

  • Steve Quarders May 10, 2019, 10:03 am

    It would seem to me that a teacher should be able to have a right to choose to protect ones self in a lawful manner. Doesn’t the 2nd amendment work for them also ? I hear alot of talk about protecting others but the fact is they should have a right to defend themselves, if something like an attack on a school did happen. I personally would not go on the offense in a shooting if it happened, I’d try to get to safety and bring my students with me. If I had to defend myself I would. The basic fact is, that if people are unwilling to protect themselves, why should I or anyone else be expected to risk my life for others who could also be prepared to protect themselves. This is no different than standing up to a bully and saying we won’t tolerate their behavior anymore and will take steps to stop it. If someone can show me proof of a situation where law enforcement has prevented a murder or any other criminal act, I may be swayed to change my mind. Until them I have have to do what I need to do for me and my family. We’ve seen what happens when the lawful are unprotected, the lawless run wild.

  • AK May 10, 2019, 9:37 am

    If Shannon Watts and the other Moms weren’t such unattractive, miserable, unwittingly humorous fishwives, they would not have to “demand action…”…they might get the same that any real, decent woman gets.

  • Bob May 10, 2019, 8:37 am

    There are plenty of teacher who would concur that arming those teachers and administrators who wish to carry concealed at school is a very good solution to out-of-control school shootings. It’s not for every teacher, and certainly every teacher should not carry. In fact, there are many teachers who should not be teaching, but that is another subject for another day. The teachers and administrators who would likely be carrying are those who already carry when not at school because they feel their responsibility to protect themselves and those that they love.

  • ExGob May 10, 2019, 7:59 am

    Here are the cold, hard facts: If a teacher had plans to use a gun for any reason other than to protect innocent lives, the fact that carrying the gun on school property is illegal wouldn’t mean a damn thing. Criminals are not concerned about gun laws when their intent is to commit murder.

    In today’s world we must make every effort to protect innocents and especially children and students. The very best way to accomplish that end is to have firearms readily available to those responsible for their safety. To hell with politics, let’s get down where the rubber meets the road. Allow educators to legally arm themselves if they are willing to do so. And I mean all who are willing and qualified, not just one per school.

  • Mike May 10, 2019, 7:47 am

    My buddy says it best: Trying to convince liberals and anti second amendment people with simple common sense facts is nothing more than preaching to the choir…. They don’t get it because they are too closed minded to listen to someone other than themselves and their kind……..

  • BILL May 10, 2019, 7:37 am

    The Second Amendment is a framework for making laws???? WTF!!!??? That’s how these nasty people think. That’s all they see anywhere they look, a way to make more laws, more ways to control, more ways to subjugate, more ways to collect money, more ways to consolidate power, more ways for personal gain, more ways to expand the government. All they see wherever they look is more ways to take from us and give to themselves. More opportunities for control ,all the while they’re behind the scenes acting out all of their nasty, deviant and perverted little proclivities, usually on minors who are being trafficked around the world to other monsters just like them, who run in the same circles as them, who do all the same sick and perverted things as them. They love making laws but they themselves hate to obey them. In other words, they’re hypocritical in addition to being perverted. Have you ever noticed that they all look sick from something? Look especially at feinstein and Pelosi and naddler and schumer, they look like the devil has control of them, look at their eyes, just look at their eyes.

  • Ed Fickey May 10, 2019, 7:18 am

    One of the most important lines in this statement is (paraphrasing) “….not suggesting every teacher in every school be armed” which is very important to get across. I hear from teachers that there are too many of their own that certainly should not be the ones carrying. Maybe so, but carrying concealed, the perps have no idea who it is that is armed – and with that no idea who to target or stay away from. Much better option if they think more than one could be.

    • Jim May 10, 2019, 12:29 pm

      Almost 80% of teachers are women, 90% in primary school. Aside from the fact that women in general tend to not be firearm carriers, their clothing often tends to not be conducive to concealed carry unless they dress in a very specific fashion; they couldn’t leave the gun in their purse or desk drawer after all. (men can get away with always wearing a suit jacket/blazer). Beyond that, if you think students won’t know within a few days of a school allowing armed teachers, who is carrying, you’ve been out of school too long. There’s no way you can move around in a classroom writing on the board, within a few feet of the students without at least one noticing a bulge/print. All it takes is one and the the whole student body will know.
      I’m not saying I disagree with the idea of armed teachers, it’s probably the least bad choice available. Just saying that there are issues with doing so, and that it isn’t an easy/painless fix for the problem.

  • Bob May 10, 2019, 7:09 am

    The anti second amendment groups will just ignore the stats or compare them to thousands of gun free schools that have had no shootings to show that guns made no difference there. You will not change their minds. They just don’t have any common sense and refuse to listen to reason.

  • Arch May 10, 2019, 4:09 am

    Anti-gunners do NOT want anyone armed in the schools, because they WANT schools to be shot up and children/kids killed, in order to advance their gun banning agenda. Those who imposed that school (and other locations) be deemed “Gun Free Zones”, should be arrested and summarily prosecuted for placing people in harms way.

    • Steve Quarders May 10, 2019, 5:20 pm

      Law makers government agencies, and all anti gun politicians should be held liable when something like a shooting or other acts of terrorism occur and our rights as Americans to protect ourselves has been taken away. Sue the anti gun schools, cities, towns, counties, and states etc. if they can’t protect our citizens and take away their rights to do so. Hit them where it hurts, the pocket books! God knows they really aren’t trying to hard to protect us. Looks like they want to disarm us so the cheating and stealing from taxpayers can go unchallenged.

  • coyote hunter May 9, 2019, 9:10 pm

    Send a copy of this report to every democrat, anti gunner, liberal flake that’s out there…People say why does this keep happening in our schools…DUH, even deranged idiots can figure that one out, you’d think our so called educated politicians could….sheeesh! what a bunch of maroons!!

  • Eric S. May 9, 2019, 8:52 pm

    Lets start at the beginning here, Let start by making the death penalty mandatory for ALL violent crime. Lets get rid of the freedom of speech so our citizens don’t get shot for telling someone to f-off because if you cannot say it then no one will get made and kill you. Lets get rid of ALL religion so no one is offended by the one you choose and decides to kill you for it. Hell, lets just get rid of the entire constitution because the police and government can protect us from ourselves and HUMAN NATURE right? After all, if someone breaks into your house you can just ask them to sit down and wait for law enforcement to show because you caught them in the act and it’s time to go to jail. LMFAO. I love my country but my gun rights and my guns are the VERY LAST thing I will EVER give up. I want to live and I will do what ever is needed to make that happen regardless of who shows up at my door to take my only true protection from becoming a victim or statistic. GOD HELP US ALL.

  • Huapakechi May 9, 2019, 5:35 pm

    The article only states the obvious, cowards will attack the unarmed and defenseless while avoiding those who are armed. This has been obvious for decades, and emphasized by the colorado theater shootings when the perp avoided several closer movie theaters because they did not have a “no gun” policy.

    For me, it’s “don’t ask, don’t tell”. Nobody will know that I have a concealed handgun unless I have to use it to defend myself or others.

  • Kimberpross May 9, 2019, 9:41 am

    I am not sure how one gets past the liberal blinders of firearms. Especially when a school, or other, mass killing occurs and the question asked is “How” it occurred vs. “Why” it occurred. If we use real problem solving as one would use in say a manufacturing environment where someone is injured, the “5 Whys” and uncovering the root cause is the process, and then putting in place a fix to prevent it from reoccurring. In the case of all these killings, jumping on the firearm and suggesting stricter laws (The latest killing was by an 18 yr. and 16 yr. old, nether legally allowed to have a handgun, more laws can’t make that more illegal), registration, confiscation does not solve the problem, it is treating a symptom. That seems quite logical. I guess that is why the liberal gun grabbers can’t get their heads around it.

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