‘Our children are sitting ducks in gun-free schools…’
Lawmakers in various states have launched proposals to arm educators after a mass shooting this week left 17 dead at a Florida high school.
In the Sunshine State, where suspected gunman Nikolas Cruz carried out his rampage Wednesday, legislators are drafting an amendment to a bill which would legalize the carry of firearms on school grounds.
“If passed, the bill would let employees carry guns on campuses if they passed background checks and were certified with training created by the state’s Criminal Justice Standards,” reports WFAA.
In North Carolina where concealed carry is currently prohibited inside schools, Rep. Larry Pittman said he’s working with police to draft a bill which would train and arm school faculty members.
A Republican lawmaker in Alabama is also sponsoring a bill allowing “some public school teachers and administrators to receive firearms training and be authorized to carry concealed weapons during the school day,” according to AL.com.
In a press release Thursday, Rep. Will Ainsworth claimed gun-free zones leave students “sitting ducks.”
“Our children are sitting ducks in gun-free schools, and as the parent of three public school students, I believe we must act now in order to prevent another tragedy,” Ainsworth stated.
“With roughly two-thirds of the regular session remaining, there is ample time to research, introduce, pass, and enact this much-needed and potentially life-saving legislation.”
At least two districts in Texas began arming teachers years ahead of the shooting, as reported by WFAA Friday.
Argyle Independent School District has been arming a “select amount of employees” since 2014, and the Keene Independent School District implemented a similar policy in 2015.
Northwest of San Antonio, the Medina Independent School District was showered with praise for putting up a sign in 2016 warning would-be criminals that “staff at Medina ISD may be armed and will use whatever force is necessary to protect our students.”
Currently about one-third of states allow teachers to carry firearms on campus, but Education Secretary Betsy DeVos recently said all schools “clearly have the opportunity and the option” to arm teachers.
Meanwhile these teachers in New Mexico are taking matters into their own hands: