This week’s school shooting in Uvalde, Texas has shed light on how states and school districts across America are protecting and keeping teachers and students safe.
A picture posted online, according to a Reddit poster, of a sign purporting to be from an Ohio school district is 200 yards from an all-girls school and says, “Caution: Entering a school area where staff have been given authority to carry firearms.” .”
The image and post received almost 55,000 positive reviews.
Ohio gun laws
Gun laws were changed on March 21, 2017 in the open-carry state of Ohio under then-Governor John Kasich. While people in the state can legally own and carry a firearm with or without a concealed handgun license, section 2923.122 of state law dictates that “no one shall knowingly bring or attempt to bring any deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance into a ‘school security’ carry zone” – this includes schools, school buildings, school grounds, school activities and school buses.
However, government regulations permit persons who hold a valid concealed handgun license—including active duty military personnel—to carry them in a school security zone when they are not entering a school building or campus. The gun cannot exit a vehicle when it is in a school safe zone, and if a person exits the vehicle, they must lock it after exiting.
ABC News 5 reported in April that a new Ohio Senate proposal, House Bill 99, would relax gun regulations by about 95 percent. It would essentially allow teachers, janitors, cafeteria workers, and essentially anyone else who isn’t a student to carry a firearm after about two hours of training.
Opponents of the bill called it “troubling,” while supporters said it would “restore some sanity in school safety.”
Should we arm teachers?
The Ohio sign mentioned above isn’t even clear to many adults, with one Redditor asking if it’s meant to deter potential shooters – to which another user replied that “it’s intentionally vague so a potential shooter doesn’t know who they have to defend against.” .”
Another user said that they assume anyone could carry a firearm at any time, adding that signs intended to warn others about staff carrying firearms on school property may not be a deterrent if “the shooter isn’t planning to.” to survive at all. “
That was the case with the shooter in Uvalde, as was Sandy Hook Elementary School.
A debate ignited as to whether or not arming teachers is feasible.
Some didn’t care about the sign or its meaning.
“Honestly, I’d be fine with that,” said one. “It’s not that they force unwilling teachers to do it, it’s voluntary.”
“If they’ve received training and volunteer to have a gun somewhere they can reach — maybe a floor safe behind their desk, then I agree with that stance,” said another.
However, most did not agree with arming teachers.
“I think the whole point that half of America is trying to make is that we shouldn’t agree that teachers and children are even in this situation. Arming teachers and staff is nothing more than a band-aid. How will this stop mass shootings? somewhere else. Should our pastors also be armed? Our grocery store clerks?” said one Redditor.
Another said it was difficult to explain to non-Americans, especially after the Uvalde shooting, where police were accused of standing outside rather than stopping the gunman.
“How do I explain to my friends abroad that in our country the police are not obliged to rescue people and teachers should?”
Others believe that arming teachers could pose a threat to children of its own.
“It’s only a matter of time before a teacher points a gun at a misbehaving student,” one suggested.
Another added: “Only a matter of time before a teacher snaps and shoots his own school. So what? Arm the students?”
Republicans in Congress are among those who have advocated arming school staff or limiting student access, while most others believe teachers are either already underappreciated or have not made a commitment to take up arms.
About two dozen Republican senators have received donations from the National Rifle Association, including 16 who received more than $1 million.
“Cops are too cowardly to attack an active shooter, but our teachers will be brave enough,” said one Redditor. “Is this what you want me to take with me?”
https://www.newsweek.com/sign-near-school-warning-staff-carrying-firearms-sparks-debate-1711065 Sign near school warning of staff with firearms sparks debate