Dem Senator: Teachers Should Defend Against Shootings With Pepper Spray, Not Guns

Mikael Thalen
December 13, 2013

A Kansas City legislator opposed to arming teachers says pepper spray is the best choice for protecting children during a school shooting.

Following efforts by Missouri Republicans to allow certain school employees to be armed across the state, Senator Jason Holsman (D) announced plans to introduce counter-legislation that would arm teachers with cans of pepper spray instead.

“Teachers are human beings, there’s a chance that a loaded firearm could end up in the hands of a student and then you have catastrophic consequences,” Senator Holsman told Fox 4 News.

Holsman, whose wife teaches at a local elementary school, argued that teachers can protect children from a shooter by spraying multiple cans of bear mace into school hallways simultaneously, creating a hazardous barrier outside classrooms.

“These six-ounce canisters of bear spray shoot 30-feet in a ten-foot wide radius. It is conceivable that you could blast the hallway, if it was on lockdown and if the perpetrator was to run into that mist, it would disable him,” Holsman said.

Holsman also mentioned the possibility of using pepper spray after a shooter gained access to a classroom, but failed to remark on likely health issues resulting from small children being stuck inside a bear mace filled classroom with a murderous gunman.

“I would prefer her to have some defense mechanism if she was defending her students and someone entered the room, at least the defensive spray would be better than nothing,” Holsman said.

Others like Kansas City Federation of Teachers President Andrea Flinders supported Holsman’s idea, but also argued in support of security guards and metal detectors. Alan Moore, weapons trainer for Ares Tactical Solutions, told Storyleak that using bear mace presented hypothetical outcomes at best.

“In theory that could work, but that’s about it as far as I’m concerned… really just a theory,” Moore said. “Wouldn’t take long before a gunman figured out to bring a gas mask. There are lots of variables in that equation that come into play, such as the students themselves being effected by the mace while in the classroom or while attempting to escape.”

“A trained teacher would be effective, but only if trained. If the teacher kept the gun in a lock box or quick access safe, it wouldnt be an issue with kids gaining access,” Moore added.

While Holsman stands by bringing mace to a gunfight, school shootings are not actually on the rise. As gun homocide hits a 13 year low, over 18 states already allow teachers to be armed.

This post originally appeared at Story Leak

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