NRA lobbyist says arm teachers - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

NRA lobbyist says arm teachers

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

While much of the National Rifle Association and official members have been quiet after the Newtown, CT, shooting, a Tucson member, Todd Rathner is speaking out.

Rathner is described as an NRA board member and former lobbyist for the NRA in Arizona.

Rather, whose wife is a pre-school teacher, says an armed teacher would have been able to defend themselves in Sandy Hook School.

"Why should she be in a defenseless victim zone and not be able to defend herself," he says. "Why should she be a sitting duck when some nut tries to break in and tried to shoot the place up."

Rathner calls school safe zones where guns are not allowed as "defenseless victim" zones.

But at a press conference in New York, gun-control advocate and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, when asked the question whether the principal should have been armed said, "Some people say dumb things and some say stupid things."

He went on to say, "Guns kill people. They don't belong in schools."

Pam Simon, who was shot twice during the Jan. 8, 2011 assassination attempt on former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, says "it's always a concern."

She is a vocal supporter of gun control legislation through the group, I Demand a Plan, a gun control group endorsed by several hundred mayors across America.

She says the Marana School District, where she taught young children for more than 20 years, prepared for an armed intruder.

During one incident where, during an outdoors reading session, a car drove by and pretended to act out a drive-by shooting, the children were huddled indoors.

"One of the questions the kids asked was, would you take a bullet for us," she says. "I thought what have we come to that students would ask that question."

She says, "I went on to tell them, I'm a mom and I would react with instinct because I care about my students so much."

Rathner says that's why teachers, who volunteer and with proper training, should be armed.

"Why should they have to run and hide? Why can't they stay and fight?" he says.

In his press conference, Bloomberg called for legislation banning high-capacity magazines, which can hold 30 rounds or more.

Rathner takes issue with that.

"We had the assault weapons ban in this country for 10 years and did absolutely nothing," Rathner says. "We still had mass-casualty shootings."

The shootings at Columbine High School, which left 15 dead, happened in 1999. The ban took effect in 1992.

There is a dispute as to whether the ban was adequately enforced and it was allowed to expire in 2004.

Bloomberg called for it to be re-instated.

Copyright 2012 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.





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