Although I haven't lived in the US for quite a while, the fiction I write is set there and I like to keep close tabs on what's happening. I'm also always on the lookout for interesting characters, and a recent article in USA Today was useful for both:
"Hansen carries her pink handgun, Lucy, with her every day to each of the 14 schools in which she teaches.
Hansen got her concealed-carry permit a week or two after Sandy Hook [site of the elementary school shooting in Dec. 2012] and participated in a free training course offered to teachers.
She then bought her pink-plated Cobra 380 handgun and started carrying it in her classroom about seven months ago."
The article quotes Hansen:
"I think every teacher should carry. We are the first line of defense."
"I'm not the best shot, but I can hit a target."
Hansen is not as much an exception as you might think. Adults are allowed to carry guns into public schools in 28 states. In some states gun-carrying teachers or other staff members are not obligated to notify the principal or parents.
Utah may be the most gun-friendly state, with more than half a million people licensed to carry a concealed weapon anywhere, including bars, restaurants, parks and schools.
Back to Hansen for some final quotes:
"I keep [the gun] on me. But of course, as females we like to wear skinny jeans, so I have to plan accordingly, and I have to wear clothing that will fit it."
"I based it on Despicable Me 2, on the spy Gru falls in love with. She's a secret agent spy, and she likes to carry her lipstick Taser or her weapons with her and uses them on the bad guys, so I named my gun after Lucy." [When the gun is not concealed in the small of her back, Hansen keeps it in a zippered compartment of a rhinestone-embellished pink purse she bought at a gun show.]
"My gun has become a part of me. I named it, I take it shooting at the shooting range, and I always carry it with me. It's just another accessory."
I think that last sentence is going to stay with me for a while.