GOCRA Calls on Schools to Better Protect Children, Offers Free Training

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Andrew Rothman Vice President Civil Rights Group Calls on Schools to Better Protect Children, Offers Free Training St. Paul, Minn. – In the wake of yet another massacre in a “gun-free” zone, Minnesota’s Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance is offering free defensive handgun training for any school staff member who receives legal written permission to carry at a public or private K-12 school. “It is time to dismiss the fiction of ‘gun-free schools,’ said GOCRA President Joseph E. Olson. “These schools aren’t gun-free; they’re free-fire zones for criminals.” Mass shootings in this country overwhelmingly occur in so-called “gun-free zones” — schools, post offices, and commercial locations that ban the legal carry of defensive firearms. Minnesota law already allows any licensed permit holder to carry at a school with written permission from a principal, superintendent or other official. Olson called on superintendents and principals to immediately authorize qualified staff and faculty to carry at schools. To further protect children, GOCRA vice president Andrew Rothman will be organizing free carry permit training for any school staff member with such permission. “Over 112,000 Minnesotans have carry permits,” Rothman noted, “That’s more than one in every 35 adults. They are overwhelmingly law-abiding, they carry to protect human life, and they can be part of the solution.” Currently, most public schools in Minnesota follow a “lockdown” procedure in case of a violent attack. In a lockdown, students take shelter in their classroom, lock and barricade the doors, turn off the lights, and remain quiet until the “all clear” is given. Olson pointed out that the State of Israel faced a similar school violence threat after PLO terrorists targeted schoolchildren in the Ma’alot massacre 1974, killing 25 . The Israeli government started encouraging reservists keep their guns at home and carry them on the streets. Teachers armed themselves, and volunteer parents and grandparents in plain clothing patrolled the schools and accompanied every field trip. Israel went more than a quarter century with no further school attacks. Waiting for the police simply takes too long, Olson said. “The Israelis have proven the importance of instantly available armed resistance,” Olson said.  “In every mass shooting incident, from the Texas Tower in 1966, to Luby’s Cafeteria in 1991, to Red Lake, to the present incident, as soon as the first counterfire occurs, whether by a ‘civilian’ or the police, the first return shot ends the murders.” Educators and other school staff interested in attending the free training are asked to contact GOCRA at – 30 –