Teachers And Guns: An Educator Explains Why She Learned To Shoot

teacher firearms training course

North Carolina public-school employee Michelle Fish can't take a gun to school. But that didn't stop the 42-year-old elementary school librarian from recently participating in a daylong seminar on how to handle and carry a gun.

Fish was one of a dozen or so educators in the Tar Heel State who attended the free firearms training course at Triangle Krav Maga combat center in Cary, just west of the capital, Raleigh.

"I'm still debating whether I want to even have a gun of my own," Fish tells AOL Jobs. "But I wanted to be well informed if I decide to do that." (Fish asked to be identified by her maiden name to protect her privacy.)

North Carolina law bans bringing firearms, concealed or carried openly, to any public or private school or school-sponsored event, though since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Conn., last month, some advocates have argued that teachers should be armed.

Fish, who is married and has a young son, says that she's also considering other forms of personal protection such as pepper spray or a taser gun. Her concern is driven by the Sandy Hook shootings, in which 20 first graders and six adults died, as well as the killing spree at a Aurora, Colo., movie theater last July in which 12 people died. Closer to home, Fish says, several break-ins at homes in the county in which she lives have also left her feeling more vulnerable.

More: Guns-To-Work Laws Proliferate, Despite Mass Shootings, Employer Opposition

"Criminals are endangering good citizens' lives, and I just wanted to be well-informed [of the laws] and how to protect me and my family," says Fish of her decision to take the firearms training.

Triangle Krav Maga is among several groups nationwide that has held or plans to offer such training to school employees following the Sandy Hook shootings. Courses offered by the organizations, which mainly include gun-rights groups, have reported overwhelming response to the offerings.

In Ohio, the Buckeye Firearms Association reports that it has received more than 1,000 requests for the classes it's planning to offer in the spring, which the group describes as "advanced training dealing with active killer scenarios."

A majority -- 70 percent -- of those who have so far signed up are teachers, 14 percent are administrators and the balance is comprised of staff and other school employees, the association says. About 85 percent of the applicants are public-school employees and half work in high schools. A start date for the courses has yet to be set.

Fish, who has never used a gun before, said that she felt "so scared" on the evening before the firearms course, uncertain whether it was the right choice. But, she added, "I feel like how you battle fear is with information."

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Arming teachers, in general, is lunacy. Just wait until a teacher shoots the wrong person or accidentally shoots someone. One or two carefully screened and trained teachers in a school might be OK, but generally NO. I am a former secondary school principal and I would not want the responsibility of arming teachers nor would I want to be armed myself. For the rare occasion of a school shooting tragegy, this is asking for a lot of trouble.

January 28 2013 at 6:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Guns are not the problem. Its about 30 years now that God was expelled from schools and government. This is the problem. What else has changed in the last 30 years.

January 28 2013 at 10:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

wow teachers with guns...lol whens it gonna happen when a kid TAKEs that gun and uses it..WOW and gun training..How they gonna get away from a machine gun plasterrd from there heads..seriously..TAKE all guns away from every idiot in the world...DUHHHH grow up hellooooo

January 28 2013 at 10:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

People are so funny they don't want this or that but when something happens they want this or that fixed

January 28 2013 at 9:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Good for her and others standing up to protect themselves against gun toting thugs and nut jobs.

January 28 2013 at 9:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I say keep guns out of schools..next thing they will be shooting our children.

January 28 2013 at 9:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

so...police have issues with shooting the right time/criminal.and they train daily for just this action.....now..we lay that onto a history or math teacher?...stupidest idea ever...next to a screen door on a submarine...

January 28 2013 at 8:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

just wait until some punk...finding this a challenge.....shoots up some school..and teachers do shoot back..wounding and killing a few innocent kids ...then..watch the lawsuits..years of trials.millions of dollars...and lives wasted by this "bullet headed mentality"...the only winners..."the nra and the lawyers".....sound familiar too all?

January 28 2013 at 8:57 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to PHILL AND TRISHA's comment

The sad irony is if a teacher or a security guard was armed and shot the shooter at Sandy Hook, thus saving innocent lives, the teacher or guard, although a hero, would've been fired and possibly sued by the shooter's family.

January 28 2013 at 9:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Just what we need more guns on the street by people who dont know how to use them, BAN ALL GUNS

January 28 2013 at 8:33 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

All teachers should have a gun in their school room to protect the children they teach. Every home should have a gun in their home to protect their families and do not wait untill you see the whites of their eyed to shoot. Any signs of trouble or shootings then shoot the bastards Don,t you know if a killer knows a school is unarmed they will go after it quicker with an unlicensed attack gun ? These people do not care so we have too. Do not leave a shool full of children free target. Fight , fire with fire. Be ready as this is not over with yet and never will be. Our kids come first With no gun to fight back with more kids will get killed. At least they have a chance this way. Learn to shoot and aim a the first one who steps over the boundries. I am a granmother but still believe in self defense. Put more alarms in the schools. One police guard is not enough and get volunteer x soldies to stand post. ARMED. Nothing is to good for our children Don,t leave them like sitting ducks and I am a Christian, but we live in different world in our lives now.. Be ready for them. . .. . .

January 28 2013 at 7:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to elnpet's comment

go hide in your closet with your gun...

January 28 2013 at 9:27 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

what if a kid grabs that gun..BAN all guns..people like u like this type of stuf huh..HOWWWWWWWWWWS a teacher gonna stop a machine gun ..THEY cant .HELLOOOOOOOOOOO...roflmao people like u are Pathetic for real..and your a christian u want people shot..lol.ok dokey..WEIRDOs .n the world besides the killers..BAN ALL GUNS BAN ALL GUNS BAN ALL GUNS...

January 28 2013 at 10:14 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to thatker's comment

Boy! In your mental state I hope you never get a gun.

January 30 2013 at 8:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

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