Will more guns keep bad guys away from your children’s school?
A controversial bill that would allow schools employees to carry weapons on campus won the support of a House education subcommittee on Wednesday.
If the proposal were to become law, principals and superintendents could designate school employees to carry concealed weapons. The employees would have to undergo extensive training, said Rep. Greg Steube, the Sarasota Republican sponsor of the bill.
Steube amended the proposal slightly before Wednesday’s meeting; it now requires the firearm to remain on the employee throughout the school day. Steube also expanded the proposal so that it applies to both public and private schools.
“I’ve been getting feedback from principals all over the state about how strongly they support an initiative like this,” Steube said.
As promising as this sounds to those who support firearms in school, not everyone is down for the cause.
Florida School Boards Association Executive Director Wayne Blanton said the law would place a “huge” liability on school systems.
“Our teachers and principals are role models. You are going to send the wrong message to these students,” he added.
What message might that be? That there school is safe and secured because there are people capable of handling a crisis?
A trio of Democratic committee members opposed the proposal: Reps.Randolph Bracy, Gwyndolen Clarke-Reed and Richard Stark.
“Personally I am against guns,” Clarke-Reed said. “I don’t like them. I don’t even like to see them.”
Bracy expressed concerns about possible “unintended consequences.”
But the three were unable to muster enough support to defeat the proposal. It passed with the support of the committee’s eight Republicans, and Democratic Reps. Karen Castor Dentel (a teacher) and Carl F. Zimmermann.
The bill still has a long way to go. To advance to the floor, it must now win the support of three additional committees. And the window for committee meetings is quickly shrinking.
How would you feel about having an armed teacher, principal, or police officer at your child’s school? Would it make you feel better about your child’s safety?
Image via flickr