A Republican lawmaker in Oklahoma thinks that he can prevent another horrific mass school killing like the one in Newtown, Connecticut by arming teachers and giving them the same training as law enforcement.
“The reality of this situation is this man performed a great evil thing and that could have possibly been prevented had we been prepared to meet force with force,” state Rep. Mark McCullough told KOKH on Monday.
McCullough plans to introduce legislation that would give school teachers and administrators the right to carry firearms in school. Under current law in Oklahoma, it is a felony to possess a gun on school property.
“I’m going to err on the side of trusting my teachers if it comes down to it,” the lawmaker explained. “I am not going to trust a madman.”
And McCullough explained to KOKH’s Marisa Mendelson that parents shouldn’t worry because teachers would required to get the same type of Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) certification that police officers have.
“These teachers would be trained at the same level as our law enforcement are currently trained,” he said. “They would be trained in target acquisition, in marksmanship. They would be trained in all of the things that our current police officers are trained in.”
Oklahoma parent Tom Jones, however, wasn’t comforted by McCullough’s assurances.
“I don’t believe that’s the answer, I really don’t,” Jones insisted. “I’d have to ask, how are you going to screen the teachers? How do you know you don’t have a mentally ill person?”
Republican state Sen. Ralph Shortey is also on board with McCullough’s plan, but he said that he would allow any teacher with a concealed-carry permit to bring firearms into the school without additional training.
“When citizens have the liberty to protect themselves, they will do so, and they will do so responsibly,” Shortey told The Oklahoman.
McCullough said that he expected to have the bill filed by mid-January.
Watch this video from KOKH, broadcast Dec. 17, 2012.