FasterSavesLives.org featured in Springfield News-Sun article on school safety
by Chad Baus
2:52PM Thursday, April 23 2015
Buckeye Firearms Foundation’s FasterSavesLives.org is featured in a lengthy Springfield News-Sun article exploring the topic of school safety.
The article, entitled “Some Ohio school districts have guns at the ready, ” notes that an estimated 30 Ohio school districts include guns in their security plans, and that 144 more teachers are being trained through the FASTER program this summer.
From the article:
Sidney City Schools superintendent John Scheu firmly believes the move to improve security with more weapons, while controversial, is necessary in the wake of the tragic 2012 school shooting in Connecticut.
“Sandy Hook took us to an entirely different level in terms of taking a real serious look at what we are doing system-wide in our seven buildings to provide better security for our staff and for students,” Scheu said. “We decided to be proactive instead of reactive.”
The article notes that while Sidney and many other schools are adding guns and training (at little to no cost to taxpayers), the Springfield school system has spent $1.6 million on security technology, including new door-lock systems and high-definition video cameras.
Again, from the article:
With the proper training and oversight, the move to place guns in the hands of school personnel has the full support of local law enforcement. Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart said he was part of the planning process.
“If you would have asked me 10 or 15 years ago if we would have firearms in school and teachers that are armed, I would have said that is not going to happen,” he said. “We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto. The world has changed.”
Response time to the scene of a shooting is a prime concern. According to Lenhart, every 17 seconds after the first shot is fired in a school shooting, another child dies or is seriously hurt.
In other words, in the words of Sheriff Lenhart, “faster saves lives.”
Lenhart also took the time to destroy a commonly-held myth that only the police are proficient enough with firearms to be trusted to carry them in schools.
The training for teachers and staff who have access to firearms in an emergency includes a 16-hour course developed by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. Once a month, deputies who work in the schools train as a team with the teachers who volunteered to be weapon certified.
“Ironically as it may seem, I may (regret) saying this, they (teachers) are better shots than some of my deputies,” Lenhart said. “They are very focused. They have the same passion you and I do for protecting kids.”
After including warnings from Ohio’s gun ban lobby about what a terrible idea this all is, the article concludes with information on Buckeye Firearms Foundation’s FASTER program:
The Buckeye Firearms Foundation, vocal supporters of weapons in schools, is optimistic about the growth of the number of districts putting firearms in the hands of staff. Joe Eaton, program director of the foundation’s FasterSavesLives.org, said his organization began putting together a training program for teachers within a few weeks after Sandy Hook.
Once the organization began offering the free training, it found plenty of interest.
“Since we started this in 2013 we have run over 300 Ohio teachers through it from about 50 districts throughout Ohio,” Eaton said.
Teachers from Illinois, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Kentucky also have taken part. Of the 3,000 people who applied to take part in the program, Eaton said 45 percent have their Ohio concealed handgun license and are already carrying a weapon outside of school.
Eaton said the foundation will hold firearms training this summer for six classes, with 24 teachers in each one.
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.