After another high school turned into the scene of a mass murder, state lawmakers are pushing for a bill that would allow school districts to arm teachers and other staff members to defend themselves from future attacks.
On January 23rd, a 15-year-old shooter opened fire at Marshall County High School in Western Kentucky. The teen began shooting at 7:57 AM. Before he was arrested by sheriff’s deputies at 8:06 AM, the juvenile had injured 18 people and murdered two others. Had the deputies not respond so quickly, there would have undoubtedly been many more fatalities.
After the shooting, Republican lawmaker Senator Stephen introduced Senate Bill 103. This law would allow public and private schools to appointment school employee(s) in good standing as armed “marshalls” at the school. The marshall would have a concealed-carry license that would allow them to carry at the school. The bill would require teachers and school staff to be in good standing and undergo background checks and proper training before being allowed to carry. Another stipulation is that there would be no more than one “marshall” per 400 students.
Another Republican, Kentucky State Senator Ralph Alvarado, has already co-sponsored the bill. He says that many rural counties can’t afford to hire off-duty police officers to protect their schools. This bill would help those small communities protect students and staff at schools. Even some Democrats are in favor of arming school personnel. Democratic Senate Minority Leader Ray Jones gave a floor speech in which he called for the legislature to dedicate public money for an armed officer for every single public school in Kentucky.
Right after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the National Rifle Association asked Congress to act immediately to put armed officers in every school to ensure the safety of the nation’s children. In spite of this, Congress has not acted. So, schools that want armed guards must pay for them, and not every school has the funding to do so.
Some liberals, who are in favor of tighter gun control measures, oppose the law. Rather than arming school personnel, they believe that better security at the door should be a priority. They argue that an armed marshall inside the school will not stop a shooter from entering the school and shooting at people.
However, advocates for the new bill say that a quicker response from an armed marshall can make a big difference. It can reduce casualties and might prohibit a would-be shooter from targeting a school in the first place. As more and more people arm themselves, it would become riskier for shooters to engage in mass shootings.
Since teachers and other school personnel have already passed background checks and are tasked to keep the nation’s children safe, arming teachers and school staff seems like the logical choice. This bill would undoubtedly prevent senseless killings of our nation’s children and those tasked with educating them.
~ Firearm Daily