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Tennessee Enacts New School Gun Laws

Slope Students React to the News
Tennessee+Enacts+New+School+Gun+Laws
Bode Pangborn

Picture it: A Teacher standing at the front of the class teaching times tables to 8 year olds with a glock in their waist belt.
Arming teachers: a terrifying reality that has become more and more popular in schools throughout the United States in the past decade.
Most recently, Tennessee passed a law allowing teachers to carry a concealed gun in the classroom without having to inform parents or fellow staff members on April 26th, and a similar law has been passed in Iowa.
Both of these laws require that a teacher learns proper gun safety procedures.
The basis behind the laws is that a teacher with a gun would hypothetically be able to defend their classroom better against a shooter.
Critics argue that this is unrealistic, and the additional firearm present on campus will only lead to more violence and an easier access to weapons at school.
Sunnyslope students have their own polarizing opinions on the possibility of their own teachers carrying a handgun during class.
A Sunnyslope junior who requested to be anonymous said, “It’s our second amendment right to bear arms, why should teachers be exempt from this?”.
Though America is known for their lackadaisical gun laws, the idea of a teacher carrying a gun stuns many.
“I’d be scared going to school every day if I knew my teacher could be carrying a gun,” said Senior Cole McLaughlin.
Other students are concerned that the law will not do what it intends.
Sunnyslope Junior Tommy Hinks said, “If a student wants to shoot up a school, why even bring a gun anymore when you can just steal one from your teacher.”
Other worries come in the logicality of a law like these ones.
McLaughlin said, “Why not just create a law that limits the availability of firearms to the public, rather than increase the flow of deadly weapons in our society.”
Pro armed-teacher activists argue that a potential shooter would find a way to acquire a weapon, legally or illegally.
“The criminals will always have guns, it’s time that our teachers do too,” said anonymous.
Even with this, students feel that the uncertainty of a teacher having a gun creates a stressful and fear-inducing environment.
Hinks said, “I don’t think I could focus if I thought my teacher had a loaded gun in the same room as me.”
Another critique of the laws is that a teacher firing at a shooter would only add to the danger of the situation.
“If you put a gun in the hands of a teacher the chances of a bullet missing its mark and hitting a kid goes up,” says McLaughlin.
Overall, Sunnyslope has many differing opinions on a potential law arming their teachers.

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