Tennessee Considers Training & Arming Schoolteachers with Guns To Protect Against Shootings Like Sandy Hook Elementary School (Virginia as Well)
More is better … especially when it comes to the safety of our children …
It’s time to look at all options. In the wake of the horrendous Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, the Volunteer state of Tennessee is considering training and arming teachers in classrooms to help protect children. In an effort to look at all options to protect innocent school children and not just “banning” guns. Republican State Sen. Frank Niceley will introduce a bill that would allow the state to pay for secretly armed teachers in classrooms. When asked if putting more guns in schools in the wake of Newtown might make them more dangerous, Niceley said the sentiment was naïve. Not only does an unarmed school leave itself unprotected, it also presents a tempting target.
Tennessee has emerged this week as a center of the “the answer is more guns in schools” sentiment following the Newtown, Conn. elementary school shooting.
A member of the Republican-controlled legislature plans during its upcoming session to introduce a bill that would allow the state to pay for secretly armed teachers in classrooms so, the sponsor told TPM, potential shooters don’t know who has a gun and who doesn’t.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) has said the idea will be part of his discussions about how to prevent a shooting like the one in Newtown from happening in the Volunteer State.
As has been seen following other mass shootings, there’s a strong segment of the gun rights lobby that says the answer to events like the one in Newtown is more guns in more places. But they’ve said the recent massacre shows how important it is to put guns into elementary schools, where even gun-friendly states like Tennessee don’t currently allow them.
America needs to get serious about protecting our greatest recourses and the idea that just banning so-called assault weapons is hardly the answer. If that is all that is on the table, then politicians are only concerned about their liberal anti-gun agenda, not children. The first anti-assault weapons ban did little to stop crime. In the case of the tragic shooting in Newtown, CT, we are presented with so many other issues, like mental illness, violent video games, and an individual who as many people described as just off, awkward and out of place. After 911, we did not ban box cutters, the US put armed federal marshals on planes, ramped up screening procedures to get on planes, created no-fly lists, reinforced cockpit doors and many other safety procedures. The same must be done to out school. If we can have armed guards in banks protecting money, its the least we can do to protect something much more valuable than money, our children.
State Sen. Frank Niceley (R) told TPM on Tuesday he believes it’s time for that to change. He plans to introduce legislation in the next session, which begins Jan. 8, that will require all schools to have an armed staff member of some kind. The current language of the bill — which is in its early form — would allow for either a so-called “resource officer” (essentially an armed police officer, the kind which most Tennessee high schools have already) or an armed member of the faculty or staff in every school in the state. The choice would allow schools that can’t afford a resource officer to fulfill the requirement without having to pay for anything beyond the cost of the training and, presumably, the weapon. But Niceley said schools should use the wiggle room to train and keep on hand armed staff not in uniform.
UPDATE I: Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) consider guns for school officials as well.
Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-Va.) said on Tuesday that it’s “time to have a discussion” about arming school officials, in wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn.
“If someone had been armed, there would have been a possibility to stop the person from coming into the school,” McDonnell said on Washington’s WTOP radio’s “Ask the Governor” monthly program responding to a caller’s question. “I know there is a knee-jerk reaction against that, but I think we should have a discussion about it.”