Oklahoma House of Representatives’ latest concealed carry legislation has sparked an outrage among parents.
The bill, approved Monday and passed onto the state Senate, dictates that identities of public school teachers and staff members who carry weapons around students can be kept hidden. It would also exempt their names from the Oklahoma Open Records and Open Meetings Acts for “the safety of the armed personnel,” according to bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jeff Coody (R).
Although it isn’t clear if Gov. Mary Fallin supports the bill, what’s pretty obvious is the fact that the state doesn’t think parents have a right to know if their child’s life is in danger.
“I voted against this bill as a parent with children in the Oklahoma public school system,” Rep. Jason Dunnington (D) told Think Progress. “If a teacher has firearms in the classroom, parents should be able to know who that is. What if the teacher is a notorious gun lover or mentally unqualified?”
Senate Bill 1036 is an update to existing legislation that legalized public school staff in Oklahoma to carry a gun — provided they attend training, receive a certificate and receive approval by the board of education.
Most gun rights advocates believe concealed carry is the antidote to school shootings. In fact, this opinion has become increasingly popular in recent days, leading several states across the country to allow teachers and students to carry guns on campus.
They cite the extremely controversial and highly debatable “good guy with a gun will stop a bad guy with a gun” theory to defend their stance when people criticize such laws and deem them a danger to both students and the staff, but one cannot deny the obvious repercussions to it.
Along with the dangers of handing a concealed weapon to a mentally unstable person, there is also the threat of accidental shootings. Last year on Christmas Eve, a 17-year-old died on after being shot by her father who was cleaning a gun he thought was unloaded. In a similar incident, a father shot his 12-year-old in the arm while trying to teach her about gun safety.
What if a gun accidentally goes off in a school filled with hundreds of children? Would the students and parents then know who fired the shot? Well, if the new Oklahoma bill is actually passed in the Senate and signed into law, they won’t.
Some local groups also actively criticize the bill.
All these ignorant people excited to care a gun for what? To look "cool" or start more terror in Oklahoma ?— ? (@Im_Nathaly) April 7, 2016
Recommended: Deadly Loopholes in Gun Control Laws May Aid Gun Violence