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While anti-gun activists decry the idea of armed teachers, the truth is that we’ve had them in various states for quite some time. Thus far, there’s never been an issue. There also haven’t been a lot of mass shootings at these schools either for some “silly” reason. Apparently, mass shooters prefer their prey to be unarmed.
Following the Santa Fe High School shooting last year, Texas recognized that what the state needed was armed teachers. School resource officers were all fine and good, but more guns meant more safety for students. However, in the tense aftermath, it opted to limit the total number of so-called “school marshals.”
Now, the state Senate has voted to end that limit.
The Texas Senate moved Tuesday to abolish the cap on how many trained school teachers and support staff — known as school marshals — can carry guns on public school campuses, nearly an hour after the House voted to approve a separate and sweeping school safety bill.
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 students or one marshal per building.
Also, by removing the limit, you take away the potential that a shooter will assume the limited number of school marshals means a given school is essentially unprotected.
Without a limit, they have to assume the possibility of an armed teacher is fairly high, especially in a state like Texas, where guns are such a part of the landscape.
Frankly, the cap was stupid from the start. Ending it is the right move.
By doing so, Texas has made the chances of another school shooting in the Lone Star State plummet. In due course, it may disappear entirely because of measures like this.
Meanwhile, students in anti-gun states will continue to be at risk. Anti-gun legislators will continue to work against arming teachers, thus preventing a layer of protection between kids and killers. To make it worse, they’ll pat themselves on the back for it. They’ll celebrate their refusal to protect children, for crying out loud and they’ll be loved by their bases for it.
“But teachers aren’t paid to risk their lives,” someone will counter. They’re not wrong. Teachers are paid to educate, and I don’t expect a teacher to risk their lives to protect children. But I do hope that many of them will be more than willing to defend their lives. Arming them allows them to do that.
The benefit is that by doing that they will protect children by extension. A dead body isn’t shooting anyone, after all. Arming teachers allows them to exercise self-defense. It just shakes out that they’ll defend others in the process.
I’m OK with that.