About 4:00 this afternoon I was standing in Library Square, pointing a gun at Clark Aposhian (yes, THE Clark Aposhian) and yelling “freeze”, “stop” and “back off” at the top of my lungs.
Yup, I was. Full disclosure, though. It was a plastic imitation of a Glock, and there were 4 other people pointing their imitation guns and screaming at him. We were recreating an activity we performed during the Concealed Carry class that I attended today, for a news camera from an Australian TV station.
Yeah, they offered the CCP class free for teachers again, and I decided to take advantage of it.
I don’t own a gun and I certainly never will carry one into my classroom, but I was very curious about the whole process. I was apprehensive when I went down to the Salt Lake City main library today. I expected to be surrounded by total gun nuts and be fed a day full of NRA rhetoric. I was pleasantly surprised.
I was there from 9 AM to after 4 PM, they even brought in lunch for us and there was probably only about 20 minutes of NRA rhetoric that had me rolling my eyes.
Clark Aposhian was charismatic, funny and sometimes downright reasonable (even to my liberal, anti-NRA self). The day went pretty quickly, mainly because I found the class informative, interesting and entertaining. Clark acknowledged that many of us would never bring a gun into our classrooms, didn’t try to convince us that it was our duty or even that we really should, and thanked us for just being there and considering it.
The morning was spent on gun safety, responsibility and defensive behaviors that would help us avoid the need to even pull the gun. We also discussed the uses and responsibilities of carrying a gun into the classroom. He didn’t right-out say “don’t be a dumbass and try to take out the shooter in a chaotic crowd of kids”, but he did say that we should follow the district policy for a lock down and use the gun if the shooter breaks through the door.
The afternoon was spent on the legal aspects of using the gun. What is, and isn’t, “reasonable force”. Where we could carry it and who had the right to tell us not to bring it there. He asked when it was legal to kill a person, and then explained it was never legal to kill a person. This may seem like a technicality, but to me is was a big change in thinking; You are allowed to use reasonable force to prevent another human being from doing you, or someone else, personal harm and if it results in their death, so be it. But saying things like “If someone did that, I’d kill them.” can end you up in trouble. Because whenever you shoot someone it’s an assault, and killing someone is murder. You may have justification but, like he said many times, you’re going to have to explain yourself. And the prosecutor is going to talk to all your family, friends and co-workers, and comments like “I’d kill them” aren’t going to bode well.
There were a lot more examples, but I’ll sum it up by saying that I was surprised at how much of the conversation was geared towards not using the gun you have a permit for.
Finally, if I ever do get a gun, I know which one I’m going to get.
Look at the name on the barrel and you’ll see why (click on the picture so you can see it). They had one of these for us to look at and hold, and I started laughing when I noticed the name on it. The guy showing it to me was a little relieved when I explained that it had the same name as me.
So, now I have everything I need to get a Concealed Carry Permit, all I have to do is write a $46 check and send it in. They even gave me the big envelope.