Republican state Representative Bob Lynn is backing a new bill which would allow school districts across Alaska to arm their teachers and school officials with guns inside public school classrooms.
Arming teachers has become something of a catchall for Republicans across the country who remain unwilling to support new restrictions on gun ownership yet admit that something needs to be done to prevent future tragedies from occurring. But arming teachers remains a deeply unpopular solution, perhaps because it doesn’t work.
Lynn told the Anchorage Daily News that his plan is merely a matter of allowing individual school districts to decide what is best for their communities.
“We’ve got to protect our kids, and how do you do that?” Lynn said. “Should you do that by arming somebody in the school? Should you do that by some other method? I’m not sure I know the answer to that, but that’s why the school boards need to take this up and get input from the community, from all sides of that issue, and make up their own mind.”
So far, Lynn hasn’t convinced any other lawmakers to join him as a co-sponsor of the bill. And while local Democrats have questioned the wisdom of introducing amateur marksmen into school buildings, Republicans may balk for an entirely different reason.
As the Daily News points out, because Alaska has one of the least restrictive set of laws governing gun ownership, Lynn’s bill would actually tighten regulations on bringing guns into schools. Current law allows for any adult to bring a gun into a school building so long as he or she obtains permission from a school administrator. Lynn’s bill would limit who could have a gun to current, full-time employees who undergo some training.