CBS News freaks over armed teachers in Texas

AP Photo/ Rick Bowmer

The state of Texas has a reputation for guns. That’s clearly a holdover from teh Old West reputation that permeates so much of the state.

So, it’s unsurprising that it’s a state that allows school districts to permit armed teachers in the classroom.

And it seems CBS News finds that something worthy of concern.

Since January, 50 people have been killed and 122 injured in at least 152 incidents of gunfire on school grounds across the U.S. To respond to the threat of such attacks, some districts — in at least 29 states that allow it — have taken the controversial step of authorizing school staff, other than security guards, to carry firearms on campus. Texas is one of those states.

In the aftermath of the shooting in Uvalde that killed 19 children and two teachers, Texas Republicans have urged schools to arm up and “harden the target.” But Texas state laws regulating armed staff are sparing, allowing school districts to decide for themselves the type, and amount, of training school staff need to carry guns on campus.

According to the Texas Association of School Boards, “school districts can grant written permission for anyone, including designated employees, to carry firearms on campus” under Texas Penal Code 46.03, but the law does not lay out standards for training. The only thing a school employee needs in order to carry a firearm on campus is a license to carry, which requires a background check and a proficiency demonstration. Otherwise, individual districts determine the amount and type of additional requirements, which can include active-shooter training courses and psychological evaluations.

And it seems that the fact that Texas doesn’t have a lot of regulations over how this works is a problem.

Which is hilarious because the people who tend to think that also have an issue with preemption, claiming that local communities know their own needs better than the state and should be permitted to handle those issues as they see fit.

Apparently, that doesn’t apply to the school boards.

That’s what gets me about this. Well, that and the fact that this breathless concern revolves around a non-issue.

We don’t know how many armed teachers there are in Texas, but what we don’t hear about are incidents with them. For all the fearmongering among activists and the media about armed teachers, they’re remarkably lacking in hard evidence of this being a problem.

Oh, they try, mind you:

Despite these efforts to arm teachers, Sonali Rajan, a school violence researcher at Columbia University, says there’s no evidence that it makes schools safer.

“There is no science available at the moment, absolutely none, that shows that arming teachers would either deter gun violence from happening to begin with, nor would it deter or reduce the lethality of a shooting once it was occurring,” said Rajan. “There is evidence that shows very clearly and very definitively that the increased presence of firearms leads to increased firearm violence and firearm related harms.”

The fact that there’s “no science available” is a pretty good indicator, at least to me, that it works. We’ve seen how the science on this stuff is so heavily slanted it’s not even funny.

That also goes to the vague argument that “the increased presence of firearms leads to increase firearm violence.”

See, if this were a legitimate problem, we’d have countless anecdotes of teachers flipping out and shooting people or something, only we don’t. What we do have are the occasional incident where no one gets hurt but do indicate a cause for concern, but are so scattered and rare that they represent a non-issue overall.

So, they just make claims about guns in general and assume that this applies to teachers as well.

That’s simply not the case.

Armed teachers can and will save lives. Just their mere presence is something a would-be shooter has to take into account.

It’s only a matter of time before we’re writing about one that didn’t and got himself killed by an armed educator, whether it be in Texas or elsewhere, and that will be a good day to see these people contort themselves trying to explain it away.