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RICAGV: Danger of untrained concealed carry holders in Rhode Island schools



As officials are learning more about the shooting last month at the STEM School Highlands Ranch, it is becoming clear that the school’s security guard added to the chaos of the shooting.

The chaos began when two shooters, both students at Highland Ranch, opened fire during school. According to an investigation released by the Highlands Ranch sheriff’s office, the school’s security guard (who was hired because the school did not have a school resource officer), responded to the shooter with shots and, in the process, accidentally shot a first responder deputy sheriff as well as one of the students who was trying to escape. The student was injured.

This incident is a clear example of why carrying guns in our schools must be limited to trained individuals with experience in active shooting and shoot don’t shoot scenarios. Only trained resource officers who have gone through an extensive 16-40 weeks curriculum with 60+ hours of firearms training have the experience to take on active shooter without firing more deadly bullets.

While the gun lobby claims that we must be doing more to harden our schools and arm teachers, Highlands Ranch proves to be a strong example of why only first responders and trained school resource officers should carry in schools. Allowing teachers, whose job it is to teach our children to carry the burden of becoming trained active shooters would not only be infeasible but also more dangerous.

The Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence is an organization that was created by concerned citizens of Rhode Island. The organization came to be in 2013 after the Rhode Island General Assembly failed to pass common sense gun legislation. We recognize gun violence as a public health issue. Using common sense means and methods, we seek to reduce injuries and deaths from gun violence. We are dedicated to changing the narrative of common-sense gun safety legislation.