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Texas Representative Aims to Introduce School Gun Bill
Five days after the Newtown school massacre, President Barack Obama has announced he's taking executive action to tackle the tough issue of gun control laws. On Wednesday, the president announced an inter-agency group led by Vice President Biden that will address gun violence. He gave the group a short deadline in January to come up with concrete proposals.
“This is not some Washington commission,” President Obama said at a news conference on Wednesday. “This is not something where folks are going to be studying the issue for six months and publishing a report that gets read and then pushed aside. This is a team that has a very specific task to pull together real reforms right now.”
In the wake of the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre, many Americans are in favor of reforming gun policy. Lawmakers not only at the federal level, but also here in Texas, are scrambling to answer what would be most effective?
Representative Jason Villalba, R-Dallas, believes he has the solution. Villalba said he plans to introduce a bill that would allow for one armed school employee for every 400 students. The employee would have to be trained and certified. They also would need to buy and maintain their own weapon.
“I perceive all parents want the protection for their children that I want,” Rep. Villalba said.
Faculty members like principals, teachers, even custodians, would be able to carry the concealed weapon on campus. Villalba said these so-called school marshals would go through a heightened level of training that would go beyond that required for a concealed handgun license.
“These people aren't breaking up fights, not charged with any responsibility other than making sure in an active shooter scenario, children’s’ lives are being taken, that we have that last line of defense.”
“Teachers carrying guns to school is not going to prevent anything,” said parent and avid hunter Mitchell Doremus. “How do you know the teacher isn't going to go psycho and kill all her students? I wouldn't allow my kids to go to school with teachers carrying guns.”
“I think it's a great idea,” countered former daycare worker Sandy Albritton. “You have to protect yourself and protect your students and protect your job as well.
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo suggested restraint on the issue.
“There's no 100 percent solution,” he said. “We know where the sources are, part of it is eliminating the source. We need to tighten the source. You can have a dozen officers at every school; it takes nothing but seconds for these things to happen."
According to current Texas law, school districts can grant written permission for employees to carry firearms.
Representative Villalba also told KEYE TV the weapons would be stored under lock and key somewhere in the school or carried by school officials who don't interact with children on a regular basis.