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Firearms Training Unit Detective Barbara J. Mattson of the Connecticut State Police holds up a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, the same make and model of gun used by Adam Lanza in the Sandy Hook School shooting, for a demonstration during a hearing of a legislative subcommittee reviewing gun laws, at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, Conn., Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill) Firearms Training Unit Detective Barbara J. Mattson of the Connecticut State Police holds up a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, the same make and model of gun used by Adam Lanza in the Sandy Hook School shooting, for a demonstration during a hearing of a legislative subcommittee reviewing gun laws, at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, Conn., Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)  

Survey: Connecticut teachers oppose guns in school

A month and a half after the Sandy Hook shooting, a survey of public school teachers in Connecticut shows overwhelming opposition to the idea of letting teachers carry guns in the classroom.

The survey was conducted by the Connecticut Education Association, a teachers union. Some 85 percent of respondents opposed any proposal to allowed armed teachers on school grounds. Instead, a majority of respondents favored stricter gun control as a way to guard against future mass shootings.

CEA executive director Mark Waxenberg used the survey results to argue for tougher gun laws and increased funding for public schools.

“We are encouraged by the response to address the practical and systemic issues raised by the senseless massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” he said in a statement. “We are hopeful that legislators will listen to teachers and pass legislation that will help prevent this type of tragedy from ever happening again.”

The Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., which resulted in the deaths of 20 children and 6 adults, has prompted a fierce national debate about gun laws. Many on the political left, including President Barack Obama, have called for Congress to pass stricter gun control measures. Some organizations on the right, including the National Rifle Association, want the federal government to hire more police officers to guard schools.

But several states have already taken the step that virtually all Connecticut public teachers oppose: letting teachers themselves carry guns.

In Texas, for instance, any teacher who has both a permit and the principal’s permission may bring a weapon to school. Supporters of the policy argue that it’s especially necessary in rural areas, where police would be delayed in arriving on scene. If a shooting occurred, armed teachers would be a school’s best defense.

Eighteen states allow teachers to carry weapons on school grounds, according to NBC News. A Republican-backed proposal that would have allowed teachers to carry in Colorado was recently defeated in the state legislature.

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