States consider arming teachers, staff to better protect innocents against psychotic murderers
By Mark Anderson
The Michigan House of Representatives approved, 68-41, a bold pro-firearms bill late on December 13, which turned out to be the eve of the next day massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and six adults were gunned down by crazed shooter Adam Lanza. Now, the governors in Virginia and Texas are proposing similar measures in order to beef up security at our nation’s schools.
Michigan’s S.B. 59 allows concealed-carry permit holders in the state to carry their licensed firearms into formerly forbidden places like schools and day-care centers, churches, universities, colleges, hospitals, stadiums, etc., as long as the permit holders get additional training.
Sadly, though, Governor Rick Snyder promptly vetoed the bill, S.B. 59, on the afternoon of December 18. Snyder said he vetoed it partly because he felt it was weak in terms of allowing affected places to opt out of the bill’s provisions and still prohibit firearms on their property.
Bill sponsor State Senator Mike Green (R) was disappointed, saying the veto leaves in place a confusing patchwork of gun allowances and restrictions rather than the clear standard that S.B. 59 would have created. Meanwhile, schools remain as vulnerable as ever before.
David Thweatt agrees that there is a place for legal firearms in schools. He’s the Harrold Independent School District administrator in northwest Texas who’s known worldwide for getting the local school board’s approval five years ago to allow all trained and licensed school staffers, working in his rural district’s one and only K-12 building, to be armed with concealed weapons.
He told AMERICAN FREE PRESS that he’s receiving community support even after the Newtown event.
Thweatt maintains that armed staff in any school must include the teachers, who are closest to the kids. “The shooters have to believe they’re going to be shot at,” to prevent an assault in the first place, said Thweatt.
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and Texas Governor Rick Perry have also called for much improved access into schools and other public venues for trained, licensed gun owners, including staff. They understand that violent assailants always take the path of least resistance in carrying out their cowardly and heinous acts, often targeting areas that they know ban guns.
Mark Anderson is AFP’s roving editor. Listen to Mark’s weekly radio show and email him at [email protected]