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Teachers who pack

Published March 8, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

I commend Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, D-Holladay, for introducing a bill to require armed teachers to notify a principal that they carry a concealed weapon while teaching ("Utah bill would let parents know if kids' teacher was packing gun," Tribune, March 1).

Under Spackman's proposal, parents could find out if their child's teacher is armed and request reassignment if the teacher is carrying.

Given the brief training and lack of proven ability to actually shoot and handle a weapon that is required under current law, and the minimal requirements of the concealed-carry law, parents have good reason to be concerned and object.

Teachers operate in unpredictable, occasionally emotional and often crowded environments, where quick decisions regarding deadly force require intensive training that is best left to trained professionals. Simply having a concealed weapon in the hands of an untrained person has little deterrent and creates potential liability for all concerned.

Gun-rights advocates seem oblivious to real-world situations in schools. Perhaps they should go back to school for a day.

Dan Olympia

Salt Lake City