TULSA - Under a dark gray sky, Lanie Jackson prepares for the possibility of even darker times should a gunman ever come into her school.
"I have it thought out in my head what I'm going to do if that person comes through the door," said Jackson, Warner Public Schools secretary.
Jackson, along with about 30 teachers from the district, are taking firearms training at the U.S. Shooting Academy. The gun range started the class in direct response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.
"The easiest way to stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun," said Jackson.
Joe Bill Lierly agrees. The teacher and athletic director at Kiefer High School says the images of Sandy Hook are still fresh in his mind.
"I was just devastated," said Lierly, tears streaming down his face. "When I think about that age of child in particular, it's not an easy thing to think about."
Lierly already possesses a concealed carry license. And while he doesn't relish the thought of bringing a gun into the classroom, he now considers it necessary.
"To say that we're going to sit here and protect our students without some kind of a gun, it's ludicrous," said Lierly.
Right now, Oklahoma law prevents teachers from carrying guns into schools. Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Keith Ballard and other district officials want to keep it that way.
RELATED LINK: "We believe it is a terrible idea to arm teachers and principals," Chris Payne, director of public information for TPS, said in January. (http://bit.ly/TFbNTi)
Republican state representative Mark McCullough, R-Sapulpa, is proposing a bill this legislative session that would allow teachers and other school staff to carry guns in school.
READ House Bill 1062 (http://bit.ly/okhb1062)
"If someone is intent on committing a violent act there is only one way to respond to it and that is with like force," said McCullough.
Under his plan, teachers who volunteer would go through what's called CLEET training, the same training police officers get.
READ Rep. McCullough's memo dated Dec. 20, 2012 outlining his vision ( http://bit.ly/WMupAJ )
But Ballard isn't buying it.
"My reaction to the proposal is that it's a knee-jerk reaction," said Ballard. "Teachers, myself, we can't get that kind of training, and think how expensive it would be and how time consuming it would be."
McCullough admits arming guards at every school may be a better option, but says that may also cost too much.
"Will we be able to afford having resource officers at all our schools going forward?," asked McCullough. "That's a real question."
And that raises other questions as well.
Both Columbine High School and Virginia Tech had armed personnel on campus. And in both cases they could do little to stop the violence.
"I think a lot of it has to do with the circumstances of those shootings. You know, where were they in relation to the circumstance?," asked McCullough.
Armed guards already patrol some Tulsa schools and that's something Ballard supports.
RELATED LINK: Tulsa Public Schools addresses security changes in wake of Connecticut shooting ( http://bit.ly/14PpbYD )
Ballard also says Tulsa schools are looking for other ways to improve security like automatic locking systems on all school doors, something that's only in place in some schools now.
Ballard says the district also gets security support from Tulsa police and conduct drills with students often, but he also believes that arming teachers would mean it's only a matter of time before someone gets shot accidentally.
"There will be mishaps that will happen," said Ballard.
"There are always chances or things that are not foreseen that you don't intend but what we're talking about is a risk analysis," said McCullough.
If the bill becomes law, some teachers say they'll be ready, just in case the next gunman decides to visit their school.
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