When Washington Gov. Jay Inslee confronted President Donald Trump about having armed teachers in public schools, the governor’s anti-gun supporters may have thought he scored some points, but by arguing that teachers don’t want such a program, Inslee may have revealed that he is a bit out of touch.
It also seemed like Inslee was waiting for the right opportunity to use a line that sounded rather rehearsed: “We need a little less tweeting, a little more listening.”
Inslee declared that he had talked to teachers who didn’t want to train with firearms and to law enforcement that didn’t want to train them.
But timing is everything, and by no small coincidence, Fox News interviewed an Ohio sheriff who had a far different perspective and experience.
Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones announced over the weekend that he would offer free conceal and carry classes to teachers in his jurisdiction. He anticipated a class maximum of 50 people. Within 20 minutes of the announcement, he told Fox, he had already received 50 email inquiries.
Elsewhere in Ohio, the Buckeye Firearms Foundation offers the “FASTER” (for Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response) program. Since it was founded in 2013, thousands of educators have been reached, according to the program website.
School districts in other states also allow armed teachers and administrators, including one school district in Inslee’s home state.
This is all unfolding as a result of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Trump has suggested that as many as 20 percent of school teachers and staff might have the interest and background, and maybe even the training, for such an endeavor.
“I have listened to the biology teachers and they don’t want to do that,” Inslee told the president. “I have listened to the first-grade teachers who don’t want to be pistol-packing first-grade teachers. I have listened to law enforcement who have said they don’t want to have to train teachers as law enforcement agencies, which takes about six months.”
It’s not clear where Inslee has listened to these teachers, though some on social media suggest he’s probably been listening only in liberal Seattle. Elsewhere, it appears at least some teachers are definitely interested in the training and opportunity, and that interest may increase as more revelations come out of Florida about how Broward County sheriff’s deputies hesitated outside the school building where 17 students and staff were slain on Valentine’s Day.
The president is no fan of “gun-free school zones,” and those are, by default, the places where school shootings occur. Trump sees these as magnets for crazy people looking to harm children, and he sees armed teachers as a deterrent.
Inslee, as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, may have seen his confrontation Monday as a way to get more face time on television.