Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this


By Miriam Raftery

Photo: ECM news partner 10 News

June 11, 2018 (San Diego) – Nationally, the debate over how to stop school shootings has included proposals ranging from tighter gun control laws to arming teachers.  Some states have allowed the latter, but not California, where a new state law effective January 1st prohibits bringing guns on campus statewide except for law enforcement personnel, educational or sports uses. 

Despite this legal impediment, the San Diego County Gun Owners, a political action committee, held a firearms training class for teachers on Sunday at Discount Gun Mart in San Diego. According to ECM news partner 10 News, about a dozen attendees showed up.

Michael Schwartz, executive director of the gun owners’ PAC, has said the program was “designed just to educate, really no politics involved.” The free course included instruction on safety, buying guns, differences between sport rifles and assault weapons, a firing guns after completion of the other instruction.

As to whether teachers should be allowed to carry guns at school, San Diegans have weighed in on both sides of the issue.

San Diego Unified School District president Kevin Beiser told NBC 7 he believes it’s “just nuts thinking that giving teachers guns is the solution.”  He cited cases in Utah and California, before the recent law banned concealed carry by teachers on campus, where teachers’ guns accidentally went off at school. Another concern is the potential for a disturbed student to take a teacher’s gun and harm others.

Beiser predicts, “It’s just a matter of time before kids are killed accidentally because teachers have guns in the classroom.”

But others argue that allowing teachers to have guns could help them protect students and themselves in the event of an armed school shooter on campus, an event that has been all too common in recent years. Some hope to change California's law to allow teacher's with concealed carry permits to bring their guns onto school campuses. In East County, for example, Alpine Union School District board member Lou Russo has long been a vocal advocate of allowing teachers and event parents to carry guns on campus.

Adult education teacher Marjorie Archibald told 10 News that she previously had a concealed carry permit when she worked in a winery in a remote location.  She said, “My thought is we cannot get rid of all the guns, no matter how many laws they pass we’re not going to get rid of all the guns.” The pistol-packing educator added, “Not all teachers are going to agree on everything, but we need the information to make accurate decisions.”

It’s too soon to tell whether allowing teachers to be armed on campus, in states where it's legal,  will result in saving substantial numbers of lives and halt massacres such as those at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut or Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, or whether new risks of guns in classrooms will cause more harm than good. But with laws changing across the nation, some stricter, some more lenient on who may carry weapons on campus, the debate over whether or not to authorize gun-toting teachers continues to heat up.

Meanwhile some educators and parents say that alternatives should also be considered, such as metal detectors and fencing around schools, banning assault weapons or raising the age to purchase them, and adding more counselors to help identify troubled students before they take aim at classmates and students.




Error message

Support community news in the public interest! As nonprofit news, we rely on donations from the public to fund our reporting -- not special interests. Please donate to sustain East County Magazine's local reporting and/or wildfire alerts at to help us keep people safe and informed across our region.


Huh? "assault weapons ban"? Really?

Assault weapons ban

Grandfather, stalbaum, Gene, Hano, thanks for your posts. Re: Hano: If you want solutions, could you renew the national ban on assault weapons to lower death tolls? These kind of attacks kill a lot more people now that the assault weapons ban expired.

Neither Miram...

...nor any of the liberal posters have any solution...other than it's a bad idea. Why don't YOU guys become teachers in a CA classroom on a gun free campus, without a resource officer (like Alpine), without metal detectors and without fencing....

Also schools DO have campus supervisors.

Rancho Bernardo had them when I went there, in middle school and even in elementary school (can't remember if my elementary school in New Hampshire had them).  In fact, there was a fight at a Mount Miguel football game this past fall where campus supervisors had to intervene.  It was pretty funny, actually.

Also echoing what Miriam said:  there was a gun threat at RB when I was a freshman.  All that happened was a call from the principal and maybe an active shooter drill.  That was it.  Mr. Robinson (our principal at the time) KNEW we didn't want to be treated like cattle and prisoners and guess what?  He ended up right; it was a fake and we went to school normally.  Most kids that make shooter threats don't have the balls to carry it through and the ones that we hear about have balls, means and are legit mentally ill. 

The threat that happened at RB recently was a bit more dangerous because someone actually posted a time and date.  And nothing ended up happening.

Why don't we listen to the kids.

As Liz notes, very few schools have fences let alone metal detectors.

That said, I remember when some local schools put up fences and tighter security. My son  was in middle school age when the Granite Hills and Santana shootings occurred. My daughter was a year younger. They and their friends hated what was done at local schools that made them seem like prisons.

The kids don't want to have to be fenced in and treated like prisoners.  Most of them want assault weapons not to be sold, and other guns kept out of the hands of those who are mentally ill, to sharply reduce school shootings and make it easier to stop a shooter at least when they stop to reload.  Security officers who are trained could hve waepons at schools without arming teachers, who are supposed to build trust and not intimidate students, plus havng teachers have guns in classes runs the risk of someone other than a shooter getting hurt. We also need to do more to get mentally disturbed kids help before they go postal and start shooting up schools.  There is no single answer; for students to be truly safe is going to take a combined approach with every side giving a little something up to protect our children.  The problem is that one side doesn't seem willing to compromise at all.

We compromise other rights to protect public safety.  We have First Amendment freedom of speech, but not to shout "fire!" in a crowded theatre because that could cause a stampede and endanger others. We aren't allowed to incite riots as "free speech."   We have privacy rights in the constitution, courts have found, but those rights have limits when federal law enforcement is trying to track communications of suspected mobsters and terrorists.  The U.S. Supreme Court has already held that gun ownership rights can be limited to keep certain types of weapons out of the hands of citizens. You can't own a fully automatic weapon or a tank or a bazooka; those are NOT protected by 2nd amendment rights. Assault rifles capable of firing hundreds of rounds and committing mass murder could lawfully be banned too if Americans had a mindset to do it.  It was done before under the Feinstein bill and mass shootings dropped sharply every year that the ban was in place. So anyone who opposes reinstating that ban is basically saying you're okay with letting people be gunned down at schools, concerts, nightclubs, shopping malls, office buildings or anywhere else some nut goes on a rampage, just so you can own an assault weapon which you do not need to hunt deer or protect yourself from burglars; there are plenty of other guns that will work for that.

That's my personal opinion and may not reflect the views of everyone at ECM or our publisher, but as a mother who has had kids traumatized by gun threats and gun violence before, and knew at least two victims injured in local school shootings, I am personally disgusted with those who don't give a damn about what students actually WANT to make THEM feel safer -- it's not turning schools into prisons. It's sensible gun measures and mental health screenings.





Doesn't look like a prison to me.... What you're really saying is that you are willing to sacrifice children if in the end you can get the gun ban you want. No more despicable position.

Who’s Liberal?

Those of us that want more restrictions placed on those that want firearm ownership to come with stricter background checks as well as ample training requirements for those that own these weapons hold a conservative view by wanting this Those that do not are being liberal in their views. Get your your terminology straight there Hano my boy!

I am so Liberal! Thank you for asking!

I like to use more pepper than most... Pizza toppings Im very liberal with Bell Pepper & mushroom and onion, I'm Extremity focused on those that feel they should tell me what to do with Laws and Taxes. Other than that I would say yes! Im liberal with my Pizza toppings....

Thanks for the smile.

It's too bad words like libreal and conservative get a bad rap in politics.

"Conservative" is a good thing when we're talking about conserving our natural resources, conservation of parks and national monuments, or conserving our financial resources.  "Liberal arts" in ancient Greece meant the mark of a well-educated person.

A Liberal Arts education today includes the study of literature, philosophy, math, science and social sciences amont other things -- subjects everyone should know about.

So it's true - many of us have both liberal and conservative qualities!



There is nothing wrong with gun safety training, gun ownership, or teachers participating in either. But the idea that teachers carrying in front of their whiteboards is going to make anything better hearkens back to the days when Americans believed that cutting taxes in the middle of an expansion was a good idea, that tariffs are a good idea (see 1929), to when the political block (whites) who benefit most from the social safety net were the most against it because the Heritage Foundation told them alternative facts and racism helped the marks swallow, to when the elderly voted to have pre-existing conditions removed from their health care coverage, and when a small number of people hijacking four airplanes could trick a nation into two wars at the cost of trillions in national debt, for nothing in return, and when meeting with your enemies was weakness until Kim Jung-un. Now, let's bring back bleeding and leeches to cure disease, rape to teach about abstinence, and liar loans while we are at it. The Chevrolet Corvair was nice. And let's put lead back in paint and asbestos in our corn flakes, because regulation is bad. Let's see how that all works out.

Silly rabbits - bad idea!

Standard firearms training is one thing. Combat training is quite another. Even seasoned police officers make critical mistakes, and in a firefight, accuracy can fall dramatically. Friendly fire can be an inevitable outcome. Who will be held accountable if a teacher 'accidentally' wounds, or kills a student while engaged in a gun battle with a shooter? Let the professionals handle these situations, that's what these men and women are trained and hired to do.