Re: HB 136, 237
Guns do not belong in our schools or public meetings unless in the hands of well-trained professionals. As a member of a very small and unique group, I witnessed a school shooting on 17 September 1993 at Central Middle School in Sheridan and assisted students who had been wounded and traumatized by the incident. I also witnessed the shooter take his life. There was no possible chance that, had I been armed, I could have intervened and prevented the event. The thought that armed teachers could prevent these occurrences is ludicrous. Consider the number of times an armed teacher has prevented a mass shooting in a school. There is evidence of 12 incidents since 1997 of shootings in gun free zones. Only two were schools and only one involved an educator who retrieved a concealed weapon. The over-arching commonality of these events was the mental instability and bullying suffered by the perpetrators. This prevention should be the focus of any legislation.
Also, consider the unintended consequences of armed teachers, including them being mistaken for perpetrators and being shot by law enforcement during the chaos of these incidents, the teachers not having the time to train to the extent of law enforcement officers and unintentionally wounding and possibly even killing students, and the possible access students would have to guns, which would have to be kept in teachers’ rooms for these emergencies, among many other possible negatives.
After teaching for 40 years in public schools, although I am now retired, I have complete confidence in law enforcement’s training and dedication to deal with and prevent mass shootings on our campuses. In Sheridan, teachers and law enforcement have been highly trained to respond to violent events and are extremely effective in lock-down and evacuate procedures. By the way, I do own firearms and work to protect the original intent of the 2nd Amendment. Please ask your Senator to vote no on HB 136 and 137.
John T. Best
Big Horn, Wyoming