Rep. Eric Watson Proposes Hot Button Legislation

Reported by: Alisha Searl
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Updated: 1/07/2013 7:23 pm
In order to prevent carnage like that at Sandy Hook Elementary, State Representative Eric Watson, says, we need proactive legislation here in Tennessee.

Watson adds, "So horrific, no words have been invested to describe that experience.  Not reactive."

Todd Shoemaker, Principal at Bradley Central High School, adds, "I feel like we need an available option if something like that does take place, that you can stop the threat towards your students."

So, Watson is proposing this: In addition to school resource officers, he wants to give teachers and faculty members the option of carrying a gun or hiring a security guard.

9th grade science teacher, Holly Kesley, is on board.

Kesley adds, "I'm beginning to think that the chances of a teacher having an accident with a gun are less than someone coming in on a rampage."

But others disagree.

We brought the issue up on Facebook, and some said, "IT'S TOO MUCH OF A RISK.  THESE KIDS WILL FIND A WAY TO GET TO THIS WEAPON."

Kesley says, "That is an issue. One of the things I've said from the get-go is that it would have to be like the air marshals, where no one knows."

Watson confirms, the weapons would need to be concealed, and no one would be allowed to know who's carrying and who's not.

Watson adds, "They will also have to complete a 40 hour course in basic school police training."

Training would include topics like crisis management and hostile situations.

Staff members, who are part of the program, would also have have to get a handgun carry permit.

They are all details that will be ironed out in the months to come if this bill is passed.

Other topics that will soon be ironed out include liability and insurance, but Watson says he doesn't think they will be a major issue in getting the bill passed.

The legislature convenes in Nashville on Tuesday.

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