Arm teachers? No way

The National Rifle Association's push to arm school teachers and its suggestion that 40 to 60 hours of weapons training will enable them to handle a confrontation with a shooter in their classroom is short-sighted and unrealistic ("Gun advocates detail plan to arm teachers," April 3).

I know from my own experience that amount of training is wholly inadequate. After seven weeks of intense weapons instruction in Army basic training, where we basically lived and slept with our weapons, we went on a night-time exercise meant to simulate battle conditions. It took just one man firing his weapon, and the entire company was engaged in a free-for-all, with tracers flying from every direction. If we had been firing real bullets, many people would have died.

The Baltimore police department lost one of its finest in a chaotic scene outside a downtown nightclub because they thought the plainclothes officer they saw draw his weapon was a gunman. Can you imagine the nightmares that will occur if teachers carry weapons and police burst onto the scene?

Statistics report that the police accuracy hit rate is only around 44 percent. And mind you, these are men and women who work year round to prefect their weapons skills.

This NRA report is just another way to promote gun sales and increase the proliferation of weapons.

We should ban military-style assault weapons and ammunition clips that hold more than 10 rounds as well as close the so-called gun show loophole and increase penalties for straw buyers.

As a nation we have regulations that protect the safety of citizens by governing the manufacture, distribution and operation of cars, drugs, food and many other products. Public safety is the first consideration when it comes to these products; it should be so with guns as well.

Robert V. P. Davis

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