The murders prompted much debate in the area of gun control and the arming of school staff. And on Monday, the Texas senate passed a bill that would eliminate a cap on how many trained, packing employees — known as “school marshals” — each campus may have. The legislation marks the first change to the marshal program since the Santa Fe High School killings.
Under the program, staff are instructed to serve as armed peace officers; their identities are kept secret from all but a handful of local officials.
Republican State Sen. Brandon Creighton told the Texas Tribune the bill grants control to individual school systems:
“School districts need to be able to tailor the school marshal program for their unique needs. SB 244 removes those limitations in statute on the school marshal program to accommodate the unique needs of districts across the state. Each individual district would be able to make those choices on what’s best for them.”
As expected, not everybody’s super psyched about a buncha school staff walking around strapped. Moms Demand Action volunteer Hilary Whitfield ain’t much for it:
“I’m very concerned for the safety of our schoolchildren as lawmakers continue to pass bills that would aggressively increase how many of our children’s teachers are armed. We all want to keep our schools safer, but adding guns to the problem is not the solution.”
To put it simply, she’s wrong. If staff members are armed, that will serve as a deterrent to those hoping to take a school by storm. As my Navy Seal friend puts it, schools are currently “soft targets.”
However, there does remain a question: What is the balance of lives saved due to the deterrent versus harm done via accidents or improper use of force?
The bill — which was initially proposed by police groups — passed 20 to 10.
It’ll now go to the House for debate.
What do you think? Are we safer with more guns in school? Or is it best to limit the number of armed staff, therefore hopefully more effectively relegating the privilege to the very most-equipped staff to handle such an immense responsibility? That privilege, of course, should be limited thusly, regardless.
Personally, I like the idea of the districts deciding for themselves. How about you?
I look forward to hearing from you, in the Comments section below.
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