Grass Roots N.C. says arm teachers to stop school shootings

cjarvis@newsobserver.comDecember 18, 2012 

Here’s one response to the Connecticut school –shootings tragedy.

The state’s main pro-gun group, Grass Roots North Carolina, said Tuesday it will push for a law arming teachers.

The organization says as soon as the General Assembly convenes next month it will seek legislation that would allow teachers and others with concealed handgun permits to pack heat in the classroom.

In a news release, Grass Roots North Carolina president Paul Valone sent out announcing the plan, he uses the oft-cited retort to gun control that gun-free school zones are actually contributing to school killings.

He cites several statistics to support that contention, and concludes with researcher John R. Lott’s finding that, with the exception of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' attack, “every public shooting since at least 1950 in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry guns.”

The Washington Post’s fact-checker Glenn Kessler wrote on Tuesday: “But Lott’s conclusions are controversial – and other academics have criticized his work as either simplistic or subject to empirical errors.”

A 2004 report by a committee of the National Research Council of the National Academies concluded no link between right-to-carry laws and changes in crime can be determined.

Lott told the Post that most academic research supports his findings.

Kessler concludes: "It appears such laws have not increased the crime rate, as opponents had feared, but it is equally a stretch to say such laws are a slam-dunk reason for why crimes have decreased"

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