Letter to the Editor: Parents don’t want teachers armed. Teachers also strongly opposed.

To the Editor

In the 14 months since Sandy Hook, there have been 44 more school shootings, resulting in another 28 children and educators killed by guns.

The NRA’s answer to this national tragedy is to allow teachers to carry weapons. But nowhere in its agenda is support for common-sense legislative reform that would reduce gun violence.

The stranglehold the gun lobby has on Congress is why the Greenwich Council Against Gun Violence is holding the Greenwich Rally to Support the Sandy Hook Ride on Washington. On Saturday, March 8, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at Town Hall we’ll welcome Team 26, cyclists riding 400 miles from Newtown to Washington, D.C., to honor victims of gun violence and call for federal legislative action.

The rally will include a press conference with scheduled remarks from Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Congressman Jim Himes, and Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen. First Selectman Peter Tesei will welcome Team 26 to Greenwich and Selectman Drew Marzullo will give them a sendoff to their next stop in Harlem.

Except in the hands of law enforcement, guns in schools are a bad idea. Parents don’t want teachers armed. A 2013 Quinnipiac poll reported that 65% of Virginia parents opposed allowing teachers to carry firearms. In South Carolina, one of the most permissive gun rights states in the country, a 2013 Winthrop poll reported similar results.

Teachers are also strongly opposed. The National Education Association found only one in five teachers favors carrying firearms in schools, while six in 10 strongly oppose it. Arming teachers is a dangerous proposition. Even among police officers, shooting accuracy is shockingly low. A 2008 Rand study of the NYPD reported an average hit rate of just 18%. Now imagine the outcome of teachers shooting in a crowded classroom.

Teachers don’t want guns. They want common-sense gun regulation. The NEA survey reported that approximately three-fourths of teachers favor bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. We’re fortunate to have both in Connecticut, but we need to speak out for action at the federal level.

Please join us on March 8 at Town Hall to make your voice heard.

Jonathan Perloe