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Debate on guns continues

By Joshua Bennett
On March 7, 2013

The issue of having teachers possess firearms in the classroom has been raised in the aftermath of the recent school shootings at colleges and high schools.
 At Pearl High School in Pearl, Miss assistant principal Joel Myrick used his handgun to stop the murderous shooting rampage of a deranged student. The law in Mississippi forced him to keep the firearm in his car. By the time he retrieved it and returned two students were dead.
 According to the Associated Press' recent article Bill would allow armed professors on Tennessee campuses, Tennessee will implement a gun bill allowing professors to be armed on college campuses.
With this suggestion came a lot of criticism.
However, Tennessee is not the only state to consider giving educators the right to keep firearms in the classroom.
Texas has played with the idea of armed professors for some time since some of the states murderous incidents have happened on college campuses.
Armed teachers may help prevent such incidents.
Shots were fired outside the campus at Prairie View A&M University Feb. 21 leaving one person injured.
The shooter eventually fled the scene, but some students wonder what would have happened if the shooter made it to campus.
"If he came on campus the entire student body could have been in danger. I think teachers should be armed to give added protection on campus," said Kelly Williams, senior criminal justice major.
Some students feel if teachers were to have possession of firearms in classrooms it would only endanger students rather than protect them.
"There could be so many horrible outcomes if a teacher had a gun. If a teacher gets really angry what would stop them from using their gun and even if that doesn't happen what if a student steals the teacher's key to their gun case and uses the gun on a peer," said Gaati Werema, a senior finance major.
Texas, one of the most gun loving states, cannot help but have problems with irresponsible gun handling.
At Robert E. Lee High School in Baytown, Texas Glenn Geddie, a maintenance worker, accidently shot himself at a gun class sponsored by the school district in an effort to arm employees.
Assistant director of the office of student engagement Orok Orok sees this as proof teachers and school staff are not equipped to be in possession of firearms.
"Giving them guns will not solve the problem but rather maximize it. Arming faculty and staff opens doors for people who are not well versed in guns to have them, putting everyone in danger," said Orok.
Dr. Bernadine Duncan, director of student counseling, suggests an additional problem in arming teachers.
"If it were required for teachers to be trained in the use of firearms that could prevent a lot of qualified teachers from getting jobs," she said.

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