NBC News Takes to the Shooting Range With Pistol-Packing Teacher

By Mark Walsh — September 23, 2014 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Well, here’s a sign of the times.

“NBC Nightly News” on Monday featured a report by Cynthia McFadden on teachers who are legally carrying guns in their schools. Particularly, one 27-year-old special education teacher who packs a .380-caliber pistol with pink accents in her pink purse. She teaches in Utah, where schools must allow teachers and other school employees with concealed-weapons permits to have guns in school.

“If an intruder comes into my school, I’m not going to go after him, but I’m going to protect my students,” teacher Kasey Hansen told McFadden.

“What can your little, bitty pink gun do?” McFadden asked her.

“It could surprise him. And stop him,” she replied.

McFadden and her crew accompany Hansen to a shooting range, where the teacher is visibly nervous as she fires at a target. “I see your hands shaking,” McFadden tells her.

The gun instructor suggests that arming teachers is a good idea because school shooting “carnage” ends “with the first good guy who shows up with a gun.”

Cut to a sound bite from a representative of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, who begs to differ that arming teachers is wise.

McFadden matter-of-factly notes that just a couple of weeks ago, in a school in Hansen’s district, a teacher accidentally shot herself in the leg while in a school restroom.

The correspondent also points out that Utah law doesn’t require teachers to notify their employers about their concealed guns and that Hansen was revealing to her fellow teachers and her superiors via the NBC News report that she packs heat.

A small graphic appearing for a few seconds says the NBC report was done “in conjunction with Carnegie-Knight News 21.”

News 21, the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism, is a non-profit effort funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation that pairs college journalists with traditional media outlets on various reporting projects.

The News 21 site, based at Arizona State University, has an ongoing “Gun Wars” section that has focused on, among other things, laws about teachers carrying guns. (This report from the site would seem to be the impetus for NBC’s own version last night.)

Education Week visited a Texas school district in 2013 where teachers were being trained how to use guns in compliance with that state’s concealed-carry law.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Education and the Media blog.