Rochester, N.Y. --- As many debate what led to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut there are simultaneous debates about should be done to prevent something like this in the future.
Those are often discussions that flow from school security to mental health awareness or funding to gun control laws.
Among the concepts being debated is the idea of arming teachers with guns in schools. In 2008, in response to the Virginia Tech shooting, a school district in Texas (Harrold Independent School District) passed local rules and regulations allowing teachers with firearms training to carry concealed weapons in school.
A decade ago, the State of Utah became the first and only state to pass a law that states public schools can not ban an individual from carrying a concealed weapon on campus. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 18 states in 2011 introduced legislation allowing concealed weapons on school campuses and two states -- Mississippi and Wisconsin -- passed such bills.
Understandably, people we spoke to expressed various opinions on the idea of arming school teachers.
“No, no they shouldn't,” said Rochester mother Dializ Cooper. “That is just giving teachers and students an excuse to carry a gun to school or bring a weapon to school to say 'I'm defending myself, my teacher has one.' No, I wouldn't want my kids going to a school where a teacher has a gun.”
“Yes, without a doubt,” Chris Burns a Brockport father said. “I think they should be armed. I mean why not? I feel like responsible people should be able to make their own choice.”
On WHAM-1180, Conservative Talk Show Host Bob Lonsberry fielded calls of all sorts on the issue of gun control laws.
“Two positions on guns,” Lonsberry said of his callers’ viewpoints. “Either ban them or give them to teachers. One side says we have too many guns, too dangerous guns, too many bullets in the magazines. The other side says if you meet fire with fire you got a lot better chance of coming out safe and sound.”
Lonsberry used to broadcast a talk show in Salt Lake City, Utah and was among the outspoken voices ten years ago when this legislation was pending.
"The issue came up, well what about a school teacher who is at work?” Lonsberry recalled. “And the people decided that wasn't a bad thing.”