Firearms Training School Is Offering Free Instruction For Teachers

By Jim Burns
CNS (Cybercast News Service) Senior Staff Writer
March 7, 2001

( — The school shootings in California have prompted a Las Vegas-based firearms training institute to offer free gun training for school personnel. The Front Sight Firearms Training Institute said Wednesday they would offer free firearms training to any school administrator, teacher or full-time staff members. The school’s director believes that training school personnel to use firearms will cut down school violence.

However, the school has laid down ground rules. Applicants must submit a letter requesting training but the request must be on school district letterhead and signed by the top school district official. The applicant also must be designated as the school’s safety monitor by the top school district official.

"We had offered it previously after Columbine. We've trained a number of teachers since then, most of them from private schools. I'm sure we will hear from teachers on this offer, because it’s the only real solution to the problem," Dr. Ignatius Piazza, Front Sight’s director and founder told Wednesday in a telephone interview.

"Most [school] districts cannot afford to have even one full-time police officer in every school, but they can easily afford to train three or more of their selected staff members to a higher level of firearms training than offered in police academies because Front Sight will provide the training free," Piazza said.

The American Federation of Teachers, one of America’s largest teacher unions is not impressed with the idea, according to spokesman Darrell Capwell.

"That sounds like an awfully frightening idea, actually. Arming more people is not the way to stop violence in schools. Having better ideas about what kind of students are susceptible to bringing weapons to the school, trying to prevent it before it happens, sounds like a much better idea than trying to escalate [violence] by putting more guns into the schools," Capwell said.

The National Education Association doesn't like the idea either.

"We don't subscribe to the notion that more guns in schools are going to make schools safer," NEA spokesman Michael Pons said.

Piazza also said he understands that his offer may offend some school administrators and parents who do not see arming and training selected school staff members as a positive solution to violent attacks.

Teachers, Piazza adds, "will be trained to carry a concealed weapon, so potential attackers will not know which teachers are armed and which are not. In states that have adopted concealed weapons laws for private citizens, violent crime has dropped. School attacks will drop as well once it is known that any of the teachers and staff members on school grounds have the ability and training to stop a violent attack immediately."

However, Piazza points out that historically, his approach has worked while gun control has actually increased violent crime by "shifting the balance of power to favor criminals and lunatics."

"My offer is not a new idea. In the early 70s, Israel was faced with much greater problems of armed terrorist attacks on schools. The cry for more gun control was heard then too, but Israel very carefully analyzed all possible options before adopting the proactive position of arming and training their teachers. School shootings stopped and terrorists looked for easier targets," Piazza said.

Piazza maintains that gun control never has and never will stop "criminals and madmen" from carrying out "acts of gun violence."

"In our country, every time a misguided individual on psychiatric drugs goes on a killing spree, anti-self defense legislators, watch the polls and exploit the dead victims in order to fool the public into accepting more gun control. The problem is not guns. Guns don't cause these incidents to occur anymore than cameras cause child pornography or automobiles cause traffic fatalities," Piazza said.

Piazza added, "Israel had the right answer. Society is safer when we train and arm our law-abiding citizens. Front Sight is willing and able to set the example for the rest of the country to follow."

"How many times must we experience another Littleton, Colorado or Santana High School before we wake up, study the research and adopt policies which actually reduce crime and begin saving our children instead of leaving them helpless victims for the next drug user to snap?" Piazza asked.

All original material, copyright 1998-2001 Cybercast News Service.