On March 8 a law went into effect, in the state of South Dakota, to allow teachers and other personnel to be armed with guns.
It’s supposed to help prevent tragedies like the school shooting in Connecticut, on December 4, 2012.
The bill doesn’t force teachers to be armed, but gives them a choice.
It’s the first “teacher gun law” since the Newtown, Connecticut incident, but not the first overall.
Two school districts in Texas have policies allowing some teachers to carry weapons.
A school district in Ohio wants to arm some employees with handguns.
Utah has been working on a “guns in schools” bill. There are also other states that are working on drafting legislation.
The South Dakota bill, mentioned first above, was opposed by several school board reps. They were concerned about safety, accidental shootings, training, liability, etc.
The only thing I can think of to describe all this is that it’s just sad. When I was growing up, even all the way through college, I can’t remember many incidents involving weapons, other than maybe knives.
I was disgraced when I started seeing young grade school age children at bus stops smoking cigarettes. And no one seemed to care.
But things have gotten much worse than cigarette smoking kids.
Years ago, many schools didn’t even have fences around them, as a large number do today.
There were no security cameras. Today most schools have security cameras all over – outside cameras, cameras in hallways, common areas, and other locations.
At some point, because of the violence, sexual assaults, and other problems, most public schools were staffed with a sheriff’s deputy – commonly called a “school resource officer”.
There was nothing like that when I went to school. Yes, there may have been some fights, but not enough violence to need a full-time law enforcement officer.
There have been incidents of school shootings throughout history, but most involved just one or two people being shot.Then in the late 1980’s there was a dramatic increase in shootings, and “mass shootings”.
Such as at Cleveland Elementary School, Stockton, California, on January 17, 1989, where a total of 6 children were killed, and 30 people wounded.
Now we are at a point where teachers are carrying guns and/or considering it. Having a gun is a big responsibility. It requires proper training on how to use it, clean it, and store it safely.
Maybe it would be better to equip and train teachers with self-defense weapons first, such as pepper spray and stun guns. At least these aren’t lethal.
I wonder how many teachers resent the stress of not only worrying about gun violence from kids, but now the added burden of carrying weapons themselves.
If you have thoughts about this, let us hear them.