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360: Should concealed weapons be allowed on school grounds?

Lawmakers consider school safety proposal
Posted: 5:54 PM, Feb 21, 2018
Updated: 2018-03-05 22:48:38Z

Editor's Note: Denver7 360 stories explore multiple sides of the topics that matter most to Coloradans, bringing in different perspectives so you can make up your own mind about the issues. To comment on this or other 360 stories, email us at  360@TheDenverChannel.com . See more 360 stories  here .

DENVER -- A committee is reviewing legislation allowing those with concealed carry permits to be on school grounds. Right now, only law enforcement like school resource officers can be armed.

For the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Patrick Neville, R-Castle Rock, the push is personal. He was sophomore during the Columbine High School shooting back in April 1999.

"First and foremost, it would allow good people to actually defend our kids in schools,” said Neville.  Anyone from teachers to retired officers could be armed. Schools could institute their own training.

"It would actually deter these crimes from even happening. If someone's thinking about committing something so heinous like this," said Neville. "They're going to think twice about this."

Another perspective in this discussion is also personal. Jane Doughtery is opposed to the measure. Her sister Mary was killed in Sandy Hook.             

"Gun extremists believe that putting guns in the hands of good teachers will stop bad guys from committing mass shootings in our school. It seems a little oversimplified to me,” said Dougherty.

"Advocates of guns in schools have a Hollywood idea of what my sister and three brave educators murdered on Valentine’s Day would have been capable of doing against an armed intruder," she said.

While the opinions of parents certainly vary, the organization representing Colorado teachers says no way.

“Violence met with violence results in more tragedy and is not the kind of vigilance we want for our students," said Amie Baca-Oehlert, the vice president Colorado Education Association.