In South Dakota, main bill sponsor Rep. Scott Craig, R-Rapid City, said earlier this week that he has received messages from a growing number of school board members and administrators who back it. Craig said rural districts do not have the money to hire full-time law officers, so they are interested in arming teachers or volunteers.
South Dakota doesn’t stand alone on this issue. For a dozen years, Utah has allowed teachers and others with concealed carry licenses to wear a gun in a public school. A couple of school districts in Texas have been given written authorization to allow guns in schools. And legislatures in other states, including Georgia, New Hampshire and Kansas, are working on measures similar to South Dakota’s.
The measure does not force a district to arm its teachers and would not force teachers to carry a gun.
This is an entirely reasonable measure, in the sense of what reasonable really is – not the “reasonable=total ban” of anti-rights forces.
Educators will be given the option. They will be free to choose. It’s something that will allow them another tool to deal with the threats that exist in the world, and will allow them some measure of protection as well as deterrence against future violence.
It allows those who choose to take that responsibility and authority to take it. It allows those who decline that self-reliance to be protected by others while not having that heavy burden of responsibility thrust upon them. There are no mandates, only options.
On Monday, the South Dakota House voted 40-19 to accept the Senate version of the bill, which added a requirement that a school district must decide in a public meeting whether to arm teachers and others. Another Senate amendment allowed school district residents to push a school board’s decision to a public vote.
This is also good. It allows for a community which would say no, and then that suffers a tragedy, to know exactly who among their elected officials to sue for using government force to make their children defenseless. It also allows those communities with their heads firmly planted in the sand to demand that they keep their children defenseless, so if something does happen, they’ll know they have no one to blame but themselves.
It offers accountability, both for those for giving educators the option to exercise a Constitutional right in defense of the children they are tasked to take care of for 8 hours a day, and it offers accountability for those who believe that ripping out the gazelles horns will keep the lions away.