School districts in the US state of Colorado have been encouraging teachers to arm themselves and even offered staff advanced gun training in a bid to make pupils safer.
A group called Coloradans for Civil Liberties is bringing the programme to the state, which is called FASTER: Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response.
The voluntary three-day course involves trainers with police, SWAT and federal law enforcement backgrounds, who will guide participants through training on disabling an active shooter, hand-to-hand fighting and emergency medical treatment of gunshot wounds.
Speaking to STV News Tonight, the gun rights group co-founder Laura Carno said: “Here in Colorado where we are doing this training, and in many other states throughout the United States, it is already legal for school staff members – with permission of their schools and with training – to have firearms on their campuses to protect kids.
“If you think about a bad guy who walks into a school, and you’ve got little kids huddled in a corner, and the bad guy can just indiscriminately shoot them and kill them, don’t you want somebody there who can stop them?”
In 1996 in Dunblane, gunman Thomas Hamilton massacred 16 children and one teacher, which led the UK to enforce stringent new laws on gun ownership and registration.
It was the last mass shooting in a school in Britain to date.
Pressed on this point, Ms Carno said: “It doesn’t mean there won’t be (one).”
But another Colorado-based group, Colorado Ceasefire, disagrees with the approach of Coloradans for Civil Liberties.
Colorado Ceasefire lobbies for gun violence prevention through tougher regulations.
President of the group Eileen McCarron told the Denver Post: “As a former teacher, the idea of arming teachers is frightening.
“Teachers have enough to do without worrying about stopping an assailant with a gun.”