ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Grade school teachers with concealed guns. For many – perhaps most – of us it’s a bizarre concept and yet it could soon become a reality if the Missouri legislature passes a proposal co-sponsored by Representative Rick Brattin (R-Greenwood).
Brattin calls the idea a deterrent.
“I’m not going to want to run into a police officer knowing the fact that there’s a good likelihood I’d get shot, not beat up,” he said. “Everybody wants to point their finger at the guns when something happens. That’s kind of like pointing your finger at the car of the drunk driver who just killed somebody.”
And he dismisses the fear that, for example, a football player could out-muscle a petite teacher for the weapon. “If that’s the situation and they want a gun, more than likely they’ll have the guns no matter what.”
Brattin says he’s considering adding a provision that would require additional training for any teachers with guns.
The National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers released a joint statement Thursday afternoon, calling such proposals “astounding and disturbing.”
“As the rest of the country debates how to keep guns out of schools, some are actually proposing bringing more guns in, turning our educators into objects of fear and increasing the danger in our schools,” the statement read. “Guns have no place in our schools. Period. We must do everything we can to reduce the possibility of any gunfire in schools, and concentrate on ways to keep all guns off school property and ensure the safety of children and school employees.”
The groups called for a renewed focus on bullying and mental health funding in addition to gun control laws.
Meanwhile, an opposite proposal to that of Brattin’s comes from Democratic Representative Stacey Newman (D-Richmond Heights). She’s proposing an end to the so-called gun show loophole which allows guns to be bought at shows without a background check. Currently, 17 states require background checks at gun shows.
“After the recent horrific massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, we must ensure that all firearms purchases, regardless of where they are sold, include the same comprehensive background checks as required for licensed firearm dealers,” Newman said in a statement.
“Stopping gun sales to those who should not be permitted to buy firearms (including the mentally ill), will prevent future senseless gun violence. 181 school shootings have occurred since Columbine in 1999. We cannot sit idly by and wait for a similar tragedy in Missouri. Doing nothing is no longer an option.”
The concealed carry bill backed by Brattin is supported by top lawmakers. Among the 24 co-sponsors are House Speaker Tim Jones, of Eureka, and Majority Leader John Diehl, of Town and Country. As for Newman’s bill, its chances seem far less hopeful in the Republican-controlled legislature.