On Monday, July 22, Cabarrus County Representative Larry Pittman will reportedly once again introduce legislation to arm teachers.
According to NC gun rights organization Grassroots North Carolina, Pittman will offer his School Defense Act as an amendment to a Senate School Safety Omnibus bill which will be voted on in the House.
Pittman’s last effort to put guns in the hands of teachers came in the wake of the 2018 Parkland massacre, where 17 lost their lives and an armed security officer declined to enter the school building and engage the shooter.
At the time, Pittman urged fellow lawmakers to support his legislation, saying
We need to allow teachers, other school personnel and other citizens, who are willing, to be screened and to receive tactical training and bring their weapons to school, in cooperation with local law enforcement who would need to be informed as to who is doing this. We should give them a fighting chance. Otherwise, when they die, and children die whom they could have defended, their blood will be on our hands. I cannot accept that. I hope you will think this through and find that you cannot accept it, either.
Pittman is totally out of touch on this issue, just as he was last spring when he fought against a bill which prohibited corporal punishment in public schools.
What makes the amazing things going on in North Carolina’s public schools possible is the positive culture that professional educators work so hard to establish. The relationships we build with our students help them see our classrooms as a safe harbor, a place where they will be respected and given the support they need to succeed. We can’t keep that all-important culture intact while militarizing our classrooms. It’s as simple as that.
Adding more guns to our buildings is not going to solve school shootings–it will only make things worse. Statistically speaking, our schools are still very safe places to be. And a recent national survey of educators found that more than 95% did not believe that teachers should carry a gun in the classroom. The notion of a pistol-packing badass teacher taking out a villain in a blaze of gunfire is nothing more than the action movie fantasy of an out-of-touch, NRA-purchased politician.
Grassroots North Carolina, of course, disagrees. They cite research by gun rights advocate John Lott in claiming “schools that allow educators and administrators to be armed are much (much) safer than their gun-free counterparts.”
Side note: GRNC refers to Lott as a “respected researcher.” He’s not:
A little over a decade ago, he was disgraced and his career was in tatters. Not only was Lott’s assertion that more guns leads to more safety formally repudiated by a National Research Council panel, but he had also been caught pushing studies with severe statistical errors on numerous occasions. An investigation uncovered that he had almost certainly fabricated an entire survey on defensive gun use. And a blogger revealed that Mary Rosh, an online commentator claiming to be a former student of Lott’s who would frequently post about how amazing he was, was in fact John Lott himself. He was all but excommunicated from academia.
Grassroots North Carolina is mobilizing its members to contact legislators today and urge them to support Pittman’s amendment. They have conveniently provided email addresses for all House Republicans, which I am including below. For some odd reason, they declined to include House Democrat contact information, but you can find all House members’ individual contact information here.
Please take the time to reach out today and express your opinion on the matter, and encourage others to do the same.
*NC House Republicans Copy/Paste Email List(s):
Jay.Adams@ncleg.net; Dean.Arp@ncleg.net; Lisa.Barnes@ncleg.net; John.Bell@ncleg.net; Hugh.Blackwell@ncleg.net; Jamie.Boles@ncleg.net; William.Brisson@ncleg.net; Mark.Brody@ncleg.net; Dana.Bumgardner@ncleg.net; Jerry.Carter@ncleg.net; George.Cleveland@ncleg.net; Debra.Conrad@ncleg.net; Kevin.Corbin@ncleg.net; Ted.Davis@ncleg.net; Jimmy.Dixon@ncleg.net; Josh.Dobson@ncleg.net; Jeffrey.Elmore@ncleg.net; John.Faircloth@ncleg.net; John.Fraley@ncleg.net; Edward.Goodwin@ncleg.net; Holly.Grange@ncleg.net; Destin.Hall@ncleg.net; Kyle.Hall@ncleg.net;
Bobby.Hanig@ncleg.net; Jon.Hardister@ncleg.net; Kelly.Hastings@ncleg.net; Cody.Henson@ncleg.net; Craig.Horn@ncleg.net; Julia.Howard@ncleg.net; Chris.Humphrey@ncleg.net; Pat.Hurley@ncleg.net; Frank.Iler@ncleg.net; Steve.Jarvis@ncleg.net; LindaP.Johnson@ncleg.net; Brenden.Jones@ncleg.net; Donny.Lambeth@ncleg.net; David.Lewis@ncleg.net; Pat.McElraft@ncleg.net; Chuck.McGrady@ncleg.net; Allen.McNeill@ncleg.net; Tim.Moore@ncleg.net; Gregory.Murphy@ncleg.net; Larry.Potts@ncleg.net; Michele.Presnell@ncleg.net;
Dennis.Riddell@ncleg.net; David.Rogers@ncleg.net; Stephen.Ross@ncleg.net; Jason.Saine@ncleg.net; Wayne.Sasser@ncleg.net; John.Sauls@ncleg.net; Mitchell.Setzer@ncleg.net; Phil.Shepard@ncleg.net; Carson.Smith@ncleg.net; Sarah.Stevens@ncleg.net; Larry.Strickland@ncleg.net; John.Szoka@ncleg.net; John.Torbett@ncleg.net; Harry.Warren@ncleg.net; Donna.White@ncleg.net; Larry.Yarborough@ncleg.net; Lee.Zachary@ncleg.net; Jeffrey.McNeely@ncleg.net
* Limitations of certain email programs and spam filters may require you to send this message to smaller lists. If that is necessary, the above email list is conveniently split into three parts to allow you to easily send this message three times—once to each list.