Dr. John Lott has a new piece at The Daily Caller on the false news claims put out by groups such as the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. The piece starts this way:
Word leaked Thursday via The New York Times that Education Secretary Betsey Devos was considering a Texas request to use federal education grants to arm teachers and staff. Of course, people have lots of concerns.
Will there be accidents? Will teachers lose control of their guns? Will students take them? Will insurance premiums go up? Have there been mass public shootings at schools that allow teachers to carry guns?
MSNBC and CNN were upset yesterday at the possibility. The consideration even prompted MSNBC contributor Yamiche Alcindor to bring race into the discussion. She worried: “If you start arming teachers … you could then start seeing statistics where potentially black students are getting shot.
Of course, no facts were offered to back up these fears. If you believe most of the media, it is a fringe idea that hasn’t really been tried except in a few strange, atypical places around the country.
Unfortunately, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, and smaller news outlets across the country have come to this conclusion because they regularly find their facts on state gun laws by turning to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, founded to honor former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) who was wounded in at 2011 shooting.
“That means eight states — Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, and Wyoming — either allow concealed-carry permit holders to carry at schools or don’t otherwise prohibit them from doing so,” as the Washington Times cited the Giffords Center this week.
The Giffords Center says it is theoretically possible for teachers and staff to carry in Alaska, Hawaii, and Rhode Island, but in fact no schools in those states actually allow teachers or staff to carry. So they make it look like only five states have experience with teacher carry.
This understandably gives legislators pause. Most don’t like to risk lives on something that hasn’t been tested. After all, they don’t want to be seen as extremist. It also makes fearful speculation more plausible.
Even if things have worked out well in a few states, people will argue that we have simply been fortunate or that those states are somehow different. But if teacher carry works out across the country, that rejoinder becomes a lot less credible.
But the Giffords Center has let their strong views on gun control color the information they have given the media on gun laws in many states. Just yesterday, Gabby Giffords made it clear where her organization stood, saying arming teachers “recklessly puts American children in even more danger.”
She sent out tweets yesterday calling for voters to elect “gun safety champions that understand the foolishness of a plan like [arming teachers].”
In fact, thirty states technically allow for teacher carry, and twenty-one actually have school districts where guns are being carried on school property. Here are states (with links) that the Giffords Center missed that actually have at least some school districts with teachers carrying guns (only a few states keep a comprehensive list of schools that allow this and some schools are reticent to publicly announce their policy): . . .
The rest of the article is available here.