Bill to arm teachers is a runaway train
BY World's Editorials Writers
Friday, February 08, 2013
2/08/13 at 7:10 AM
Stopping the bill to allow some school personnel to carry guns in classrooms will be like stopping a runaway train.
House Bill 1062 by Rep. Mark McCullough, R-Sapulpa, came out of the House Public Safety Committee Wednesday. How's that for irony? This bill is approved by the Public Safety Committee.
The bill would authorize individual districts to develop policies that allow teachers and administrators to be armed on school grounds but only if they are also reserve law officers.
So, in addition to teaching our kids and running our schools, we're asking these folks to also become reserve officers by completing a Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training course.
School safety is an issue with parents, teachers and administrators. Arming teachers, however, doesn't seem to be a solution.
Taking a course on gun safety and learning to fire and hit a paper target is not sufficient training. A recent series in Time magazine points out the problems with arming teachers.
Shooting a paper target once every few weeks does not qualify someone to shoot and possibly kill another human being, even an armed one.
Law enforcement officers seldom fire their weapons in the line of duty and even experienced ones don't hit their targets every time. The Time article is worth the read.
There also are the issues of liability and security. Firing a weapon in a school could result in unintended damage. Making sure a weapon is secure would be imperative but it also would hinder quick access.
If this bill passes it would leave the decision to arm teachers up to individual districts, where we would hope that cooler heads would prevail. There is little doubt that it will be a popular idea with many Oklahomans.
McCullough said, "My duty as a legislator is to bring forward ideas that solve the problem." True. This bill, however, will not solve the problem. It likely could cause more problems.
HB 1062 could now go before the full House. We hope it doesn't get that far. Runaway trains, however, are difficult to stop.
Original Print Headline: Runaway train