Yesterday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed a bill which allows teachers to carry firearms in schools after receiving proper training.
Yesterday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed a bill which allows teachers to carry firearms in schools after receiving proper training. This is a controversial move to prevent student casualties during armed intruder events which bring guns in schools. It was sparked after the deadly Ulvade, Texas school shooting which left students and teachers helpless as local law enforcement stood down.
While the majority of parents have admitted in a recent poll that they prefer teachers to carry guns in schools, educators in Texas are highly opposed this option. Many parents, educators, and lawmakers have been struggling to make sense of what happened at Robb Elementary School last month. Plenty of politicians have used the opportunity to push for gun control calling their ideas “common sense” reform, while law-abiding Americans who do not wish to have their 2nd amendment rights infringed upon wish to arm teachers instead of restricting guns further than already present gun laws have.
A House panel has advanced 8 bills as a gun control package that would heighten the age limit to legally obtain a semiautomatic rifle from 18 to 21, lower the capacity limits, and improve public information sharing procedures that make it easier for individuals to contact the FBI regarding gun owners. Being that most school shootings are isolated incidents that do not target masses of students, Ohio Representative Jim Jordan called these measures “political theater.” He also posted on Twitter, “They’re trying to restrict your Second Amendment rights without due process.” Instead of chipping away at Americans’ constitutional rights, Ohio lawmakers are focused on allowing teachers to bring guns into schools so they can defend children should an armed intruder break into the building.
Ohio Governor DeWine supports this move and signed HB 99. This legislation reduced the required training hours for teachers to make carrying guns in schools more accessible for teachers who are prepared to protect students. Ohio teachers will now need to pass 20 hours of training, at least 2 of which must be gun-range experience. In addition teachers must receive an additional 4 hours of additional handgun and general training in order to continue carrying guns in schools. This training must be done each year and affords students the peace of mind that the person teaching them can stop an attacker even if police stand down.
This comes just as Ohio’s new Permitless Carry Act has taken effect. While teachers may now carry guns in schools, law abiding Americans living in Ohio are also able to legally carry a firearm without a permit. Some critics point to raising rates of violent crime and fear this will cause an increase in gun violence, but about 60% of gun violence incidents are suicides and many question if adding those isolated self-inflicted incidents should be included in data used to inform the population about potential threats. In addition, the U.S. murder rate is lower than it was in previous decades, and the chances of a student being killed in a mass school shooting are the same as being struck by lightening, which is 1 in 10 million.
The chances that a teacher will need to defend students against an active shooter are very low. Despite this, the emotional response to the deadly Ulvade school shooting has led to heated debates over school safety protocols. Instead of waiting for a big government response to the situation, Ohio lawmakers have taken swift action to allow trained teachers to carry guns in schools so they can prevent another tragedy even if law enforcement won’t.