A small business owner in Sandy, Utah, is offering a free concealed carry class for Utah educators and students who are at least 18 years old, the KSTU-TV reported.
Bryan Melchior, owner of UtahGunExchange.com, told the TV station that arming teachers could help prevent another tragedy like the shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people.
“The biggest misconception about someone carrying a firearm is that they are a danger or a threat,” Melchior said.
Melchior, who is a parent, added: “It’s high time we defend our children.” If attackers know schools are heavily armed, they are less likely to try harming students and staffers, he said.
What message does it send?
“The message to the bad guys is this: Our schools are heavily armed,” Melchior said. “Our schools are not gun-free zones. If you try to hurt our children in our schools, you will be shot.”
Melchior believes most teachers should carry concealed firearms in class.
On Facebook, about 300 people have expressed an interest in attending Melchior's concealed carry class in Sandy on March 3.
“You know what that tells us is there is demand and the demand is real,” Melchior said.
What about gun control advocates?
Some people believe gun control is the answer. But that concept is strongly opposed by Second Amendment advocates.
Teacher Chelsie Acosta, who attended a vigil at the Utah State Capitol to honor the Florida shooting victims, told KSTU that lawmakers do need to address gun control.
“We wanted to be respectful today of Florida and give them healing and love and support,” Acosta said. “Definitely the next conversation is what we are going to do about gun control?”
Acosta was among dozens of students and teachers attending the vigil, the TV station reported.
“Teachers just don’t know how to process this anymore,” Acosta said.
Arming teachers, having more police at schools, new gun restrictions and better mental health care are among the suggestions being made by politicians, educators and law enforcement.
And while there is little agreement on what should be done, everyone agrees that school violence is a problem that must be addressed, KSTU noted.