The entire country is shaken over what happened in Uvalde, Texas. No one wants to see another massacre happen. While Congress is fighting over what gun control should and shouldn’t look like, Ohio decided to take another approach entirely.
The state doesn’t care about restricting guns. They are realistic. They know that criminals will own guns regardless of what laws are passed. So, they decided that it was time to take care of teachers.
Today’s teachers are entrusted with the health and safety of every child in their classroom. They are responsible for teaching, socializing, and protecting – even if that means pulling a trigger on an invader.
We saw what happened in Uvalde. The police sat outside of the school for close to an hour, allowing an 18-year-old gunman to shoot and kill two teachers and 19 students. It was horrific, to say the very least.
It has many states thinking, or at least the conservative ones. What can be done to protect students? The answer seems to be simple: arm the teachers.
If one of the teachers in Uvalde had been armed, the massacre would have been unlikely to happen. The gunman would have still gotten into the school, but when he made it into the classroom, he would have been met with the business end of a pistol in his face. The threat would have been immediately dissipated.
As of Monday, all “qualifying” adults are able to carry without a permit. This means that a number of people have had restrictions lifted on them – teachers, bus drivers, and custodians being the most notable.
Should these school employees desire, they can carry a firearm at work.
Ohio’s governor, Mike DeWine, signed House Bill 99, lowing the required training hours for armed personnel from 728 hours down to 24. That’s a substantially lower number – and it means that armed personnel may not have the expertise that is needed.
DeWine has said that the preference is still for law enforcement officers to be the ones to carry at schools.
The legislation happened shortly after what took place in Uvalde, Texas. Residents of Ohio who are at least 21 years of age no longer have to complete an eight-hour handgun training course so that they can carry and conceal a firearm.
Further, the legislation goes as far as eliminating the requirement that people have to tell police officers if they have a concealed weapon. They simply must answer if they are asked.
DeWine has thanked the lawmakers in his state for making it easier for Ohio to protect its children and teachers.
With the elimination of handgun training, though, it’s questionable as to whether Ohio went a little too far. What’s to say that a scared teacher won’t get a handgun – and won’t have the knowledge to effectively shoot it when the time comes?
Still, DeWine boasts that this is a win. “My office worked with the general assembly to remove hundreds of hours of curriculum irrelevant to school safety and to ensure training requirements were specific to a school environment and contained significant scenario-based training.”
Teachers aren’t required to have guns. Schools aren’t required to make their custodians carry. Instead, the decisions will be on a school-by-school, teacher-by-teacher basis.
Parents will also have to be notified if the school board has allowed teachers to carry. Additionally, school boards have the ability to mandate firearm training before bringing a gun onto a school campus.
Republicans have said that the new bills passed in Ohio are a “doing something” approach to the Uvalde shooting. We can thank Ohio for indeed doing something. Meanwhile, Democrats are squabbling about what they should do so much so that it will likely be that they do nothing.
It’s why Florida, Ohio, and other conservative states are doing something so that they can say that they have worked to protect students and teachers in one way or another.