If state Sen. Mike Green (R-Mayville) has his way, teachers and other individuals with carry permits would be allowed to possess their guns in schools, sporting arenas, and other areas where they are currently banned. The senator was told to back off the bill by GOP leadership. However, House Bill 4104, which has a good chance of passing, will eliminate concealed and open carry weapons from the same facilities. That bill has the support of Governor Rick Snyder.
The case for guns in schools
It goes back to the massacre at Sandy Hook, Conn. The question remains if the school had armed staff, could that awful situation been avoided or could lives have been saved. The truth is that no one can say for sure. If staff had engaged in a shootout, children and other staff could have been hurt by stray gunfire. There are no guarantees.
Arming teachers is what Sen. Mike Green wants to do. He feels that personal safety is a key talking point with his bill. The bill went before committee during a lame-duck session last year, but the tragedy at Sandy Hook kept it from going any further. This year, GOP leadership has made it clear—put a hold on it. Since the Conn. incident, there is no way the Governor will sign such a bill.
The case against guns in schools
Right now, anyone with a concealed weapons permit may carry openly in schools and other public venues where concealed weapons are prohibited. House Bill 4104 will change that, making possession of weapons on school grounds, in public sporting arenas, bars, and places of worship, illegal.
The argument is that anyone could walk in with a gun and start shooting long before carry permits are checked. Keeping guns off school campuses is a priority for those who want to insure the safety of school children and school personnel. The teachers’ union fully supports bill 4104 and they want the concealed weapon “loophole” closed.
Guns in or out
There are no clear answers to allowing armed personnel in schools. Research in this area is lacking—there are no data confirming one side or the other. Armed personnel, if properly trained, could be a deterrent if they are in the right place at the right time.
On the other hand, situations where an armed resource officer discharges his Glock .45 pistol in a New York high school, screams that guns should be kept away from schools. See my article Resource Officer Accidentally Discharges Gun In School Hallway, for more information on that situation.
Lynda Altman is very concerned about the state of the public schools in Arkansas and the United States. She writes a blog called Homeschooling When Mom has Cancer. Get notices when this page is updated by clicking on the subscribe link, by email, or contact Lynda @fusgeyer on Twitter.