Texas has always been known as a gun-friendly state – but with a new bill, gun control might become an open can of worms inside the walls of schools.
Texas state Rep. Dan Flynn (R) drafted “H.B. No. 868”, a bill that would allow teachers to use force, even “deadly force” against students or outside threats so long as they “reasonably believe(s)” there is a threat.
It will allow teachers to use force within any educational space, including on campus, in school buses and at school events. The nature of it is meant to be drawn for self-defense and the protection of students, staff and school property.
In theory, this bill, combined with the fact that schools are now training their teachers in the use of firearms, presents more questions than answers to the threat of violence inside of schools.
The question is, where is the line going to be drawn for what is deemed a threat? The bill takes into account the damaging of school property as a threat – but then what if it’s a harmless threat?
Edumacation: Hey Texas students, if you write your name on your desk with a Sharpie, that could be a shootin’! http://t.co/TETJ2peNX7— Michael E. Cohen (@lymond) January 30, 2015
In December, the “Pop-Tart gun" bill was also drafted, advocating for the protection of young children who had been harshly punished for playing with imaginary firearms.
The problem with violence, it seems, is that it begets more violence.
http://t.co/gM0sSzEJ2h TEXAS REPUBLICANS WANT TEACHERS TO BE ABLE TO MURDER STUDENTS— Christina L (@chrisl2185) January 29, 2015
The push behind the bill is deterrence against school shootings that have plagued the news in the past, such as the tragic Sandy Hook massacre. Such events have sprung a political will for arming teachers.
So far, 33 American states are attempting to pass such laws that arm and train teachers with guns, with Alabama, Kansas, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas already successful.
While this bill, the H.B. No. 868, calls for it to put into effect immediately, the bill would still need a two-thirds majority from the Texas legislature. If lawmakers aren't in favor of it being implemented immediately, the bill will take effect on Sept 1, 2015.
On one hand, it is indeed designed for protecting schools. But on the other, the fact that the bill justifies fighting fire with fire, where the term “reasonably believes” is subjective at best, is bound to bring up issues in the future.
Something To Think About: Is Gun Violence The New American Tradition?