Monday, January 28, 2013

"Arm the Teachers" bill dies in committee

A bill that would have given school boards the authority to permit administrators and teachers to carry concealed weapons on the state's public school campuses was defeated in a Senate committee Monday.

SB 9 lost on a party-line, 3-2 vote.

Sen. John P. Morse, D-Colorado Springs, was quoted by the Colorado Springs Gazette as saying that the bill would not only be of no help in reducing violence, but contribute to the problem.

The sponsor of the measure, Republican Ted Harvey of Highlands Ranch, had said he believed the measure is needed so that those who work in schools can protect children and themselves.

The defeat of the measure does not mean that schoolkids, teachers, support employees, and administrators have no protection against a firearm-toting intruder intent on doing harm. Current law permits armed police officers to patrol public school buildings in Colorado.

The presence of an armed guard or other people with guns in a building attacked by a shooter is not a guarantee that no one would be hurt. Some advocates of eliminating laws that set up schools as gun-free areas argue that the presence of an armed security guard at Columbine High School during a mass shooting incident in April 1999 prevented the deaths of some individuals. However, thirteen people, including 12 children, died in that massacre despite his presence.

SB 9 was co-sponsored in the Senate by Scott Renfroe, R-Greeley, and in the House of Representatives by Rep. Lori Saine, R-Dacono.