Gun-rights advocate recommends letting some educators have guns in school

December 18, 2012

Scott Kanowsky

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(AP/File)
File: a Chief's Special handgun. A top Illinois gun-rights advocate says guns and firearms training for some educators could help prevent mass shootings.

In the wake of the shootings in Newtown, Conn., one of Illinois' chief gun-rights advocates has suggested giving guns and firearms training to some educators as a way to deter future slayings.

"If you're the intended victim, you're the best person to stop that crime right there. And that's what we have to face," said Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association.

Pearson thinks schools should consider armed security guards too.

"Somebody has to be there that can stop [attacks] at that moment," he said.

Ben Schwarm, the deputy executive director of the Illinois Association of School Boards, didn't take a position on Pearson's ideas. But he said it's difficult for a school to prevent an attack once a shooter enters the building.

“I don’t know how you stop somebody forcibly entering your building. I really don’t know what the solution is to that,” Schwarm said.

He said he expects educators to begin re-examining school security measures and safety drills in response to the Newtown shootings. Meanwhile, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said Tuesday that his office and other state agencies will look into state safety measures at educational institutions in the coming weeks.