Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine calls for arming school employees

by Chad D. Baus

Various Ohio media are reporting that advocates who've long been calling for arming our teachers to deter mass murderers and to stop them if they can, have a new ally: Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine (R).

From The Columbus Dispatch:

Attorney General Mike DeWine said today that Ohio schools should consider arming at least one staffer in their building in case of a shooting.

Stressing that it was a local decision, DeWine said, "If I was on a school board ... I would seriously consider having someone in that school, who may be an ex-police officer, someone who has significant training, someone who had access to a gun in school.

"But you would have to be very careful about it. I'm not saying everyone in the school should be armed but someone who knows what they are doing and who has that gun under lock and key and can get to it instantly out of their office. That's something I would at least debate and talk about."

..."We traditionally think of first responders as law enforcement, police and fire departments. But when there is a school emergency, teachers and educators are really the first responders to our children," DeWine said. "We need to take a holistic approach and make sure educators are prepared for any type of emergency and threat."

According to the Dispatch, DeWine's remarks came at a press conference where he announced that his office would expand safety training to educators and expand his School Safety Task Force following the horrific shooting in a Connecticut elementary school last week which killed 20 first graders and six teachers and administrators.

The training, currently available to law enforcement, will be available to teachers and administrators starting with a session in Columbus next month.

WCPO (ABC Cincinnati) is reporting that DeWine isn't the only Ohio official calling for arming our teachers to protect our children.

From the report:

There were new calls Tuesday for school districts to consider allowing school resource officers (SRO), teachers and staff members to carry guns on school grounds.

The recommendations from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters came on the heels of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Adam Lanza took his own life when he heard police officers enter the building after he shot and killed 20 schoolchildren and six adults.

The question now is whether the crisis may have been averted if there was an armed staff member or SRO on site.

Deters believes that would be the quickest way to stop such tragedies, and said he doesn't oppose school personnel carrying concealed weapons.

"I have no problem with them carrying on their person, none at all," Deters said. "If it's a trained officer, I have no problem with that at all."

Asked about teachers being armed in their classrooms, Deters replied, "If a teacher is trained to handle a weapon, I would have no objection to a teacher having a weapon."

In separate coverage from WCPO, DeWine is quoted as pointing out that Ohio law does not need to be changed for teachers to have guns in school.

Indeed, ORC 2923.122 is what makes weapons illegal in Ohio schools. But provision (D)(1)(a) says the prohibition does not apply to "any other person who has written authorization from the board of education or governing body of a school to convey deadly weapons or dangerous ordnance into a school safety zone or to possess a deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance in a school safety zone and who conveys or possesses the deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance in accordance with that authorization."

Right now, in Ohio, school boards have the ability to authorize any law-abiding persons they chose to bring a gun to school to protect our children if the nightmare begins again.

While the media and anti-gun politicians and extremists are following the same failed formula they have after every such horrific incident over the past two decades, they are missing a reality that more and more Americans seem to be waking up to:

We've tried all these 'get rid of the guns' laws before. It's never worked before and it won't work now. Americans are fed up with acting like we're all helpless when some nutcase decides to share his pain with the world and kill innocent people.

There's only one thing that works. Shoot the guy who is murdering our children. That works 100% of the time. It never fails. We arm our pilots. We have armed guards to protect banks. Politicians and rock starts travel armed or with armed security. It works for them. It will work for schools.

We need to stop being so passive and start acting like we give a damn. Stop the politics. Stop the talk. Let's do what works!

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.

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