CNN Analyst and Former FBI Assistant Director Tom Fuentes caused quite a stir recently due to his comments on the practicality of teachers with concealed carry firearms in the classroom. Specifically, regarding female teachers and school faculty carrying concealed handguns throughout the day on their person.
On February 24, 2018, during a live broadcast and after sharing his expertise as a firearms instructor at state and federal levels, Mr. Fuentes exchanged the following conversation with CNN anchor Fredricka Whitfield, taken directly from CNN’s Transcripts Page (http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1802/24/cnr.02.html)
FUENTES: …Sandy Hook had an all-female faculty from principal to teachers. And for a woman, where are you going to hide that gun during the day? You can’t put it in your desk drawer, somebody might steal it and you can’t get to it.
You’re not going to have it in a safe in the principal’s office, you can’t get to it. On your person, hiding it — if you wear a dress, if you wear a skirt, are you going to have to wear a jacket every day with a belt and a holster the way a detective, you know, on duty would do?
It’s not a real practical solution even for a variety of reasons much less being adept is more than just pulling the trigger and making the bullet go down range.
Barring Mr. Fuentes’ ability to use a search engine online before the broadcast aired, one can’t help but wonder if the former FBI director simply wasn’t aware of the fact that companies like Packin’ Neat, Lethal Lace, Gun Tote’N Mamas, and Girls WIth Guns and several others offer a variety of options for both open and concealed carry for women.
Whether the female shooter has already found her best carry method, or if she’s still researching the best holster, carry purse, or other methods for concealment of a firearm – the number of holsters for use on the female body in order to secure the weapon is far from lacking.
Ms. Whitfield’s continued the conversation:
WHITFIELD: Right. And the comfort level, all of that. You know, so many teachers have arms open. They want to hug their kids. I remember that from my school teachers. And certainly that would present a real problem of where exactly to put the gun if it comes to that.
FUENTES: Oh, yes. The kids are going to be “hey, Miss Jones, are you packing?” I mean it’s just not a good situation for it.
I’m of the opinion that firearms safety education should begin in the home. However, the NRA has the Eddie Eagle program to teach gun safety and etiquette to children for exactly this reason with DVDs, stickers, coloring books, pamphlets for parents and children alike.
Regarding the latter part of the conversation, Whitfield and Fuentes assume that the kids would either be afraid to learn that their teacher was carrying a firearm, or would be flippant regarding the issue. They’re appear to be more worried about what the parents might think about an armed teacher, rather than whether or not it provides a safer environment for the kids while they’re at school.
What’s the answer? CONCEALED CARRY?
In general, the handgun carry permit-licensed public understand that concealing a firearm legally is much more than “pulling the trigger and making the bullet go downrange”. It’s consistent training, muscle memory, responsibility for the firearm at all times, and so much more.
For Mr. Fuentes to instantly jump to the “where would the Little Lady put such a dangerous object” mentality and not at all address the need to train our teachers on what to do during an active shooter situation in a classroom setting is unsettling, but not surprising.
At some point, given the rise in classroom shootings over the past decade, I hope the powers that be will begin to draft protocol beyond simply ‘forming a straight line to go to the cafeteria for lunch’ or ‘Common Core Basics’. Hopefully, they’ll begin concentrating just as much on the training needed for teachers to protect the children they’re entrusted with each day.