Tennessee advances armed teacher bill

Image by whitebullfilms from Pixabay

As I noted Thursday morning, the Nashville, Tennessee shooting is a prime illustration that a quick and aggressive response saves lives. The problem is that when seconds count, police are just minutes away.

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What works best is for armed individuals to be present at the site of a mass shooting. That’s difficult to do, of course, since you can’t mandate everyone carry a gun everywhere. However, you can empower people to carry in places where such shootings are likely to happen.

Tennessee is taking steps to do just that.

Republican lawmakers in Tennessee advanced a bill through a House committee on Wednesday that would allow teachers to carry firearms in their classrooms – a move being criticized by Democrats, civil rights leaders and gun safety advocates as tone deaf in the wake of a shooting last week at a Nashville elementary school that killed three 9-year-olds and three school staff members.

It’s not tone-deaf. It’s simply not what these people want to see. Unlike what we see so often after mass shootings, this directly relates to what happened in Nashville.

They want an assault weapon ban when there’s not even a hint that the killer couldn’t have killed just as many people with the handgun they were carrying, but get upset at the possibility of empowering teachers and staff to put dipsticks like that down without waiting for the police.

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Moving on…

“Our community is still grieving last week’s mass shooting at Covenant elementary that took 6 lives – their solution is more guns,” said Democratic Rep. Justin Jones, who represents parts of Nashville. “Shameful.”

After the shooting at the Covenant School, Rep. Tim Burchett, Tennessee Republican, told reporters, “We’re not going to fix it.”

On Monday, thousands of K-12 students, college students, parents and community members rallied at the Tennessee state Capitol to demand stronger gun laws – a blunt rebuttal to Republican Gov. Bill Lee’s call for $155 million to place armed security guards in every public school, beef up other security measures and bolster mental health services.

“There is a serious conversation needed about school safety,” Lee said. “It must begin with the recognition that we cannot control evil, but we can do something.”

Lee is unfortunately correct.

However, the media outlet–US News and World Report–decided to focus more on the upcoming expulsion of three Democrats who disrupted the state House with an anti-gun protest rather than the policies. Kind of typical, really.

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The truth of the matter is that this is exactly what is needed, not just in Tennessee but throughout the nation. As noted earlier, when an armed citizen is there and ready to act, the death toll in these incidents drops considerably. Early and aggressive responses are the key to mitigating these acts of evil.

Yet gun control gets pushed, despite its abject failure time and time again. Have we already forgotten about Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay in January? Two major mass shootings less than two days apart in the most gun-controlled state in the nation.

If gun control didn’t work there, why would it work in Tennessee?

The answer is that it won’t. Luckily, lawmakers there clearly have better sense than to believe it would.

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