I just sent the following to my state representatives, and strongly urge others to do the same. It's past time to end the foolish notion that our kids are somehow safer due to current policy:
Rep. McCormick and Sen. Watson:
As the father of a set of twins the same age as the children killed in Connecticut, I have spent several days pondering the unthinkable - a similar event or copycat occurring in a Tennessee school.
I would like to propose, and ask you both to sponsor and support, a change in the handgun carry laws of Tennessee allowing school staff, volunteers, or parents who possess a valid Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit to legally possess a firearm on Tennessee school property.
It is obvious that the concept of a "gun free school zone" has been an abysmal failure. Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook Elementary and numerous other similar events bear evidence of this failure in the most tragic way imaginable.
The principal and other teachers who were killed trying to stop an armed intruder with their bare hands were denied any means of mounting a more effective defense. Their actions were certainly heroic, but think of the difference an effective weapon in their possession could have made.
Many teachers or school staff may be uncomfortable with the idea of carrying or using a firearm against another person, even under such circumstances. I would not advocate mandating someone do so against their will, but allowing others such as school volunteers or parents to legally carry as well increases the pool of potential defenders available throughout the school day.
The old statement "When seconds count, police are only minutes away" is unfortunately a reality. Police cannot be everywhere at once, and having personnel on-site able to legally respond immediately with deadly force to stop such an event is the only effective solution. Utah and Texas currently allow at least some permit holders to carry on school property, and numerous states (including Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Nevada) are currently considering such legislation.
I thank you in advance for your support of this measure. Please feel free to contact me at any time.
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It is obvious that Tim Woodward of Soddy Daisy is a loving and caring parent. But his solution, while normal for most civilian citizens, it is highly inadequate and inappropriate to this problem.
Teachers are in the schools to teach our children. Administrators oversee the teachers and run the schools. It is wrong to expect or even to suggest that they now be required to also provide the safety and security of our children while on the school grounds. Teachers are unappreciated and underpaid for the expectations already placed on them by society. Now we want to ask them to be willing to place themselves in the line of fire, and take a bullet if necessary also;
I don’t think so. Teachers are there to teach, let’s keep it that way.
Police officers on the other hand are professionally trained men and women, who on any given day, run to the gunfire as others run away from it. We live in a society where we can expect tragedies like the one at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School to happen. It is no longer a question of if it can happen; the question is now when will it happen.
We as a society must stop saying that we cannot afford the cost of providing the “safety” that is now required in our public school systems. The actual statement should be that we can no longer afford “not” to do so.
As former career law enforcement professional who has worked as a patrolman answering calls for service, as well as an administrator and policy maker deciding how the allowed budget money would be used. It is my professional opinion that the situation at hand dictates “that we must” provide our children with a police officer in each and every public school, to provide a safe environment for them to learn and grow. We no longer need to use officers as school resource officers that time has passed. We now need police officers to protect our children, teachers, staff and administrators.
To make any decision in this day and time not to do so is ludicrous. To do so also make a very strong statement that as officials, we are willing to allow a tragedy much like Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School to occur here, simply because we wanted to save money.
We are better than this. A professionally trained police officer assigned to every school, nothing less. We owe this to our children.
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Sir, you make a good argument but it falls apart when one fact is added to the equation. These cowards go where there are no guns, so they have the guns and not the people they are shooting.
If they suspect people have a means to defend themselves, the possibility of an incident such as Sandy Hook will drop dramatically. If you think I am wrong, check the facts.