They’re the first state interested in protecting children from crazy people who see “gun free zones” as easy pickings
(NY Times) South Dakota became the first state in the nation to enact a law explicitly authorizing school employees to carry guns on the job, under a measure signed into law on Friday by Gov. Dennis Daugaard.
Passage of the law comes amid a passionate nationwide debate over arming teachers, stoked after 20 first graders died in an elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., in December. Shortly afterward, the National Rifle Association proposed a plan for armed security officers in every school, and legislation to allow school personnel to carry guns was introduced in about two dozen states. All those measures had stalled until now.
Several other states already have provisions in their laws — or no legal restrictions — that make it possible for teachers to possess guns in the classroom. In fact, a handful of school districts nationwide do have teachers who carry firearms. But South Dakota is the only known state with a statute that specifically authorizes teachers to possess a firearm in a K-12 school, according to Lauren Heintz, a research analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures. (big snip)
The law says that school districts may choose to allow a school employee, a hired security officer or a volunteer to serve as a “sentinel” who can carry a firearm in the school. The school district must receive the permission of its local law enforcement agency before carrying out the program. The law requires the sentinels to undergo training similar to what law enforcement officers receive.
This is all voluntary for each school, they don’t have to allow guns for protection, but it’s fantastic that they have the option. If there is just one or two armed and brave people in a school it could make a huge difference in making a nutjob say “no, I think I’ll commit mass murder somewhere else”. Heck, teachers and administrators could simply carry an unloaded weapon if they’re squeamish and never let anyone know it’s unloaded, and it would be a deterrent.
Opponents, which included state associations representing school boards and teachers, said the bill was rushed, did not make schools safer and ignored other approaches to safety.
The article includes exactly zero other approaches. Let’s go to the comments
peterheron – I trust there is not a single teacher in South Dakota who will opt to bring a gun into his / her classroom. Metal detectors, OK fine, but teachers with guns? This is an extraordinarily stupid law; the article does not make clear the NRA’s stance on this–did they provide money to the legistrators / Governor?–but the intent is clear: more guns. That benefits no one but gun manufacturerers, and morticians who specialize in coffins for children.
So, we should trust teachers to mold and shape the minds of our kids who are in their hands for 8 hours a day or so, but shouldn’t be trusted with actually protecting their charges?
Now, we wait to see what the politicized Obama DOJ does. Making schools gun free zones is a federal law, which still allows for “resource officers”, but does the law disallow other school employees from carrying? Will the DOJ threaten to sue or actually sue the state? All while ignoring Colorado’s marijuana laws?