Thursday, February 08, 2018

KY: After School Shooting, Legislator Works to Protect Children with Armed Marshals

In a recent rampage school shooting in Benton, Kentucky, a 15 year old boy killed two classmates and wounded 14 others. One student said that the worst part was hiding and waiting 45 minutes before the police appeared. This illustrates the problem of relying on centralized police to handle rampage shootings.  A Sheriff's Department School Resource Officer was at the school at the time. It is unclear what effect the School Resource Officer had on the shooting, if any. The shooter was taken into custody without a struggle.

Senator Steve West, (R) SD-027, of Kentucky, has introduced the same bill he introduced in 2017, to allow strictly limited individuals to act as "school marshals" to protect children in K-12 schools in Kentucky.  The bill aims to slightly loosen restrictions on the possession of guns in schools, so that a tiny number of people could react to violent rampages in schools. From
Under Senate Bill 103, public school boards and private schools would be able to appoint teachers or staff to be “school marshals.”

Marshals would be required to have a concealed carry permit to carry a firearm on school property. The gun could only be used “for the protection of a third person from imminent death or serious physical injury,” and would be required to be kept in a lockbox at all other times.

SB 103 is a long, rather complicated bill that places significant restraints on school boards and school administrations.

School marshals are limited to one for every 400 students.

The bill only allows employees of the school to be school marshals.

The school marshals are required to have concealed carry permits.

School marshals would not carry firearms. The firearm has to be kept locked up on school property.

The ammunition used is limited to frangible ammunition.

The guns are limited to the same model of guns used by law enforcement in the area. 

The school marshals have to pay for the installation of the lockup facility, the firearm and the ammunition. The School Administration is allowed to reimburse the marshal for the expense of installing the gun lockup.

Just outside of schools, people are allowed to carry firearms as part of their daily lives. But cross the line into a school, and suddenly, people are treated as if they are prisoners. No weapons allowed, even though the same people can carry weapons all they want outside the school.

Criminals and people intent on harming the children in the school, will not pay any attention to this completely artificial and ineffective line in the sand.

Why not simply allow for those who can legally carry weapons outside the school, carry them inside the school?

A weapon, across the school in a lock-box, is not a very effective deterrent to a school shooter.

An unknown number of armed defenders inside the school is. It complicates the shooters planning, making the potential for successful slaughter far from certain.

SB 103 is complicated and flawed in execution.  It makes it unlikely anything effective would be accomplished.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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