Letters to the Editor: Yes, arm teachers — with bear spray, not guns

Police look inside a building window
Police peer inside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, as a mass shooting was taking place.
(Pete Luna / Uvlade Leader-News)
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To the editor: Mass shootings occur when assailants with great firepower attack defenseless people. (“Don’t expect teachers to be substitute police officers when the shooting starts,” editorial, June 2)

Most of the roughly 20 million AR-15-style weapons in circulation can shoot a well-aimed round every two seconds. Many AR-15s come with 30-round magazines that can be replaced with another, and another, and another.

Guns are not the only way for people to defend themselves from assailants. Millions of Americans hike in national parks every year and are encouraged to carry cans of bear spray, which shoot a 30-foot-long cloud of pepper spray for eight seconds.


Bear spray has proved 95% effective in stopping grizzly bear charges. A short video provides adequate training for its use.

Bear spray offers a safe and effective way of stopping a gun assailant before they can inflict maximum carnage.

All schools have fire extinguishers for teachers to use while waiting for the fire department. Perhaps it’s time for schools to hang cans of bear spray next to the fire extinguishers so teachers can defend themselves against a shooter while waiting for police to arrive.

David A. Walsh, Manhattan Beach