Steve Gonzales/Houston Chronicle via AP, File
With a lot of attention still going to Parkland, I suspect a lot of people have already forgotten about the Santa Fe High School Shooting last year. Texas, however, hasn’t. It’s played a factor in policy decisions since it happened, though not in the same way anti-gun activists wanted or expected.
Instead, Texas has approached it in a different direction, one I dare say is far saner. They didn’t go with pie in the sky ideas about gun control that likely wouldn’t work anyway. They took steps to make sure if someone did try a repeat of what happened at Santa Fe High School, they’d get a rude awakening.
Now, one of those measures may be getting a nice tweak.
In the first legislative session after a deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School that left 10 dead and 13 others wounded, the Texas Senate on Monday advanced a bill that would abolish the limit on how many trained school employees — known as school marshals — can carry guns on campus.
Under the marshal program, school personnel whose identities are kept secret from all but a few local officials, are trained to act as armed peace officers in the absence of law enforcement. Currently, schools that participate in the program can only designate one marshal per 200 student or one marshal per building.
“School districts need to be able to tailor the school marshal program for their unique needs,” State Sen. Brandon Creighton, a Conroe Republican who authored Senate Bill 244, said about the legislation last week. “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.”
Of course, Moms Demand Action isn’t happy with the measure. Not that they’re ever happy with anything short of gun confiscation–I don’t care what they claim to the contrary, either.
But in the usual fashion, they’re convinced trained teachers are somehow a danger.
“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,” Hilary Whitfield, a volunteer leader with the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said in a statement. “We all want to keep our schools safer, but adding guns to the problem is not the solution.”
It’s precisely the solution.
While we can die debating how to stop mass shootings–a phenomenon that occurs in every state and in every nation on earth–but they’re still going to happen. Now, teachers are undergoing intensive training to be armed and to meet those potential threats. While the training may not be as intensive as that of law enforcement officers, but it doesn’t need to be. They’re not going to be facing the same scenarios as police.
Removing the cap on the number of school marshals is good. There never should have been a cap in the first place. Any teacher who wants to go through the training should go through the training. Couple this with a move also being considered that would end school marshals having to lock their guns up, and you have a winning combination for Texas.