US teachers take up free firearms training in the wake of Sandy Hook massacre
Teachers have flocked to a Utah firearms training programme to teach them how to tackle an armed assault like the Sandy Hook massacre, which left 20 children and six teachers dead earlier this month.
More than 200 teachers responded to the Mass Violence Response Training course offered by the Utah Shooting Sports Council, a week after the National Rifle Association (NRA) launched a campaign to put armed guards in every school in America.
Utah is one of two states in America that allows licensed teachers to carry concealed firearms on school premises.
"If we should ever face a shooter like the one in Connecticut, I'm fully prepared to respond with my firearm," said Kasey Hansen, a special education teacher from Salt Lake City, after the training session.
After the Sandy Hook shootings, Wayne LaPierre, the head of the NRA, provoked a fierce reaction from teachers' unions and gun control advocates by suggesting it was "crazy" not to put armed guards in schools.
Meanwhile, an Arizona sheriff has announced plans to deploy an armed volunteer posse to protect students in the wake of the school shooting.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio told KTVK-TV he has the authority to mobilise private citizens to fight crime. He says he does not plan to put posse members inside Phoenix-area schools but will have them posted around the perimeters.