Killers who invaded a school in Pakistan sparked a debate over whether teachers should be armed; but if what happened during this would-be massacre is any indication, the argument has been settled.
The incident occurred at the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, Pakistan, on January 20. The university was attacked by a handful of machine gun-wielding Muslim extremists who apparently felt the university wasn’t sufficiently Muslim enough
Even as the gunmen were fighting Pakistani police and sill trying to kill teachers and students, university director Mohammad Shakil was able to have the police throw him a gun so that he could protect the 15 students hiding with him in a room of the building.
Shakil exchanged shots with the terrorists, and his ability to fight back likely kept the gunmen from getting any closer to where he and the students were holed up.
“We were hiding … but were unarmed,” Shakil told Reuters. “I was worried about the students, and then one of the militants came after us. After repeated requests, the police threw me a pistol and I fired some shots at the terrorists.”
Shakil wasn’t the only university employee who fired back. Reuters also reported that another armed teacher fired back at the militants. Chemistry professor Hamid Hussain had a pistol with him in his classroom; and when the militants got near the room, he returned fire, forcing the terrorists to turn elsewhere for easier targets.
Professor Hussain and some students hid in a washroom and got ready for death, but it was not to happen, fortunately. “They carried on heavy shooting,” Hussain said, “and I was preparing myself for death, but then they did not enter the washroom and left.”
Eventually, the school’s private security, local police, and army soldiers all worked together to kill all four militants. But the two teachers also helped keep the students in their charge safe.
Of course, the debate has erupted in Pakistan over whether it is proper for a teacher to walk around with a gun in the classroom; but the fact that the students in the care of Professor Hussain and the university president are still alive seems to attest to the efficacy of arming teachers.
Pakistan isn’t the only place where the topic of arming teachers is a hot discussion. Here in America, the question has fostered constant debate, especially after the 2012 attack at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.
Not long ago, for instance, NBC News reported that more American teachers every year are applying for concealed carry licenses–and schools are allowing them to carry in school.
One of the states to allow concealed carry in schools more recently is South Dakota. The Mount Rushmore State passed a law allowing teachers to carry guns on the job in March of 2013.
Several more states are trying to pass similar laws, including North Dakota, Colorado, and Wyoming.