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Pinal County teacher leading charge to arm school employees

PHOENIX — The Arizona Education Association has come out fighting on a bill that would allow teachers to have a gun in the classroom. But there are teachers who support the plan.

Pinal County teacher Teresa Ottesen Binder said she would pull the trigger to stop a gunman on her school campus with her weapons training.

“Yes I could. And I realize pulling the trigger puts me in danger but I care about my students enough that I would risk my life for them.”

The bill, sponsored by Republican State Rep. David Stevens and backed by Attorney General Tom Horne, would give teachers firearm training and allow them to have a gun in the classroom.

Binder doesn’t know if arming teachers could stop a tragedy like the school shootings in Connecticut last December that left 26 people dead, including 20 children

“With hindsight being 20-20 we all wish we knew what the outcome would have been (if the principal or teachers would have been armed to stop Lanza’s shooting).”

Binder said she’s in the minority when it comes to being a teacher with firearms training.

“Most teachers don’t have the training to disarm another person.”

Horne said he would prefer armed police officers in each school but the budget won’t allow for that. The next best option, he said, is arming one person in each school to deal with situations such as the Connecticut school shootings.