An Alabama state representative argued that female teachers are too “scared” to have firearms in the classroom, according to a Sunday report.
Alabama Republican Rep. Harry Shiver claimed that state lawmakers need to defend “our ladies” during a public safety committee meeting and elaborated on his comments in an interview with AL.com.
“I’m not saying all [women], but in most schools, women are [the majority] of the teachers,” Shiver said to AL.com. “Some of them just don’t want to [be trained to carry firearms]. If they want to, then that’s good. But most of them don’t want to learn how to shoot like that and carry a gun.”
Shiver made the remarks in reference to a bill sponsored by fellow Alabama Republican Rep. Will Ainsworth, which would permit school systems to train certain teachers and administrators to carry firearms at school, reported The Washington Post.
“I’ve heard…that 75 percent of Republicans support it, but I was there live and in person and I know what it is like in the schools,” Shiver continued, reflecting on his 32 years of employment as a school coach and physical education teacher. “Most women wouldn’t like to be put in that position. I know from South Alabama, they wouldn’t.”
The representative also noted that arming teachers could lead to police officers accidentally shooting teachers, comparing police to highway patrolmen and saying that, in such situations, law enforcement officials “shoot the first one holding the gun out. They aren’t told that person is qualified (to carry a firearm). They don’t know.”
Shiver says he will probably abstain from voting on Ainsworth’s bill, which has progressed to the state House upon obtaining a positive public safety committee review and may be voted on Tuesday.
“Signs that read ‘Gun Free Zone’ are a magnet for those who wish to do harm, so we must allow teachers to defend their classrooms with something more lethal than a ruler and a No. 2 pencil,” Ainsworth told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Providing school systems with the option of allowing teachers to carry firearms, especially in rural areas where law enforcement response times are much longer, will make a difference between saving lives and losing lives.”
The representative said that, under the bill, teachers must complete 40 or more hours of training concerning crisis management, gun safety, active shooter engagement, and dangerous situations.
“Much like undercover air marshals who are allowed to be armed on planes where firearms are otherwise prohibited, the identities of armed educators will be kept confidential,” Ainsworth continued. “A list detailing the identities will be kept on file by local law enforcement agencies but will be shielded from public review.”
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