State Lawmakers Aim to Put Guns in the Hands of Teachers - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

State Lawmakers Aim to Put Guns in the Hands of Teachers

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TEXOMA---Political leaders in both Texas and Oklahoma are calling for changes in gun laws at schools after last Monday's school massacre that left 20 Connecticut children dead. Both Texas Governor Rick Perry and Oklahoma State Representative Mark McCullough say they want to see some teachers and administrators carrying guns in school.

Loud applause rang out from a Tarrant County tea party forum Monday after Perry expressed his support for allowing teachers and school administrators to carry concealed handguns.

"With our concealed handgun license, if you go through the process and you have been duly backgrounded and trained and you are a concealed handgun licensed-carrying individual, you should be able to carry your handgun anywhere in this state," Perry said at the event.

He told audience members that his staff will work with Republican lawmakers on their bills and that when it come to gun control, local school districts should be able to decide their own policies. 

Some Texoma administrators say guns are not the issue.

"We need to pay attention to the mental health issues in our society. Every one of these issues, the events of Friday and beyond, are people who had some sort of mental health problem or issue with not being able to deal with society,"  Denison ISD Superintendent Dr. Henry Scott.

Mark McCullough is also pushing for guns in Oklahoma schools. On Monday, he introduced a bill that would allow some teachers to carry firearms at school and school events. Only CLEET certified teachers and principals would be allowed to carry a gun.

"These teachers would be trained at the same level as our law enforcement are currently trained. They would be trained in target acquisition, in marksmanship. They would be trained in all of the things that our current police officers are trained in," McCullough said to KOKH.

Durant school administrators say this is not the solution to safer schools.
 
"Whether it is federally or state, we've got to do something to help people with mental issues. It's always that. Somebody in their right mind would never go in and commit one of these atrocities," Durant ISD Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth said.
 
However, despite Simeroth's disapproval, several of the people we talked to today say they want to see teachers carrying guns.

"Guns don't kill people. People kill people," Walter Dorman said.

"It's better to be armed then defenseless," Mike Bullock said.

High school student Alex Hamilton says he would feel more secure if his teachers carried guns.

"It's giving self defense and if someone were to come into a school and pose a threat, I think kids and teachers would be more safe if that were allowed," Hamilton said.  

McCullough says he has received a lot of positive feedback on the bill. Lawmakers are currently in the process of drafting legislation, which must be filed by mid-January.