Lawmaker Calls For Armed Teachers As TN Grants Millions For Officers

Posted at 12:00 pm on November 19, 2019 by Tom Knighton

Guns save lives.

This is a simple fact that we’ve seen play out countless times. More guns mean more lives saved. This, too, is a simple fact.

When it comes to school security, school resource officers serve an important role. However, as we learned in Parkland, they don’t do anything for school shootings if they won’t go in to confront the shooter.

While we need are more school resource officers, but we also something else. As Tennessee grants millions for new school resource officers, one lawmaker is calling for something more.

Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn said Monday the state so far has awarded $7.2 million out of a $20 million pool to assist local school systems in hiring resource officers to protect students.

But despite hiring an additional 206 school resource officers across Tennessee, a state lawmaker called on colleagues to pass a law allowing interested teachers and coaches to carry firearms in schools, calling it a lower-cost alternative.

“There is in my opinion an answer to address school safety,” said Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden, as the House Finance Committee kicked off hearings on next year’s state budget. “And that is allowing teachers and coaches to voluntarily go armed in schools.”

Holt said education officials can then “put up an abundance of signs around those schools saying that students on that campus are protected by teachers and coaches that are on that campus.

“This is not a foreign idea, this is not a new idea,” added Holt, a staunch gun rights advocate. “Other states have gone down this path and they’ve seen success. I would definitely say it’s time for us to look at that, especially in view of how much school safety’s costing.”

Following the hearing, Schwinn sidestepped reporters’ questions on arming educators, an issue that has previously failed to win legislative approval.

In fairness, Schwinn isn’t really the person to talk to there. She’s not a legislator, she’s more of an administrator. There are a lot of things she can do with Tennessee’s schools, but the one thing she can’t do is make a decision on something like that which is really the domain of the legislature. Her offering up her opinion isn’t particularly relevant.

However, I agree with Holt completely on this.

The truth is, we have educators who routinely carry a concealed firearm throughout the nation. They do so responsibly and without a single issue. There’s absolutely no reason they should be disarmed when they go to work. None. They’ve passed multiple background checks, not just for their jobs but also for their gun purchases and carry permits. They’re not a threat.

Arming teachers puts more guns into the schools in the hands of good people who are willing to step up and protect human life, even if it’s just their own. I’m fine with them saving their own skins with their firearms because they’ll end up saving more lives in the long run whether they mean to or not.

At the end of the day, that’s the ultimate way to not just prevent school shootings–after all, who wants to shoot up chemistry class when the chemistry teacher may be carrying a 9 mm–but also quickly end any that may happen anyway.

The question is, will the Tennessee legislature step up and make it happen?