- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 15, 2013

As Vice President Joseph Biden’s gun violence task force readies its recommendations, a new poll Tuesday shows the nation’s teachers aren’t interested in carrying guns into the classroom to protect themselves and their students.

A survey by the National Education Association, a labor union representing about 3 million educators, found that only 22 percent of teachers “favor a proposal to allow teachers or other school employees to receive firearms training and allow them to carry firearms in schools.”

Nearly 70 percent oppose it, including 61 percent who said they strongly disagree with the idea, which has been floated by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and others who believe armed school personnel could reduce the risk of shootings or other violent events.

But the poll does show strong support for background checks and other measures.

More than three-fourths of teachers said they favor a ban on assault weapons, and 69 percent favor a ban on high-capacity clips. Both ideas have been floated by Democrats and gun-control activists in the weeks since the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Both measures also are likely to be included in Mr. Biden’s recommendations, which are expected to be released today.

“Now more than ever we need to do what is necessary, including enacting stronger laws to prevent gun violence, to make sure every child in our nation’s public schools has a safe and secure learning,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel.

• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

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