Should teachers be allowed to carry guns in schools? It's a debate being sparked by last week's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. It's a controversial question, and one legislators and former educators in South Georgia are weighing in on.
Lawmakers across the country are looking at ways that the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting could have been prevented. A common discussion among people now is whether teachers and, or administrators should carry guns in schools.
Senator Freddie Powell Sims is not only a Georgia legislator, she also worked in education for 30 years. She believes security needs to be increased, but does not think educators should carry a weapon.
"If you have armed, trained personnel in every building then that's probably the way we're going to have to go. And that's the reality of it and I know people don't want to live in an armed state, but in order to protect our children, who are the most vulnerable, and cannot protect themselves, we're going to have to start being reasonable and not just look at this as an isolated incident because this is happening far all too frequently in our society."
Former Representative John White also disagrees. "We shouldn't go off the deep end here and arm everybody because one guy who had a mental problem had the wrong gun and did some damage unfortunately."
Instead, White believes we need to look more closely at the weapons we allow.
Adam Lanza, the gunman at Sandy Hook is believed to have used a Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle, which is a civilian version of the military's M-16. It is similar to the weapon used in a recent shopping mall shooting in Oregon and other deadly attacks around the country.
"What I think the legislators around the country should do and the president and the congress is to stop the flow of guns, of that type, into this country and from manufacturers of those guns."
White also believes that clips which hold 20 or 30 rounds shouldn't be made available to the average citizen.
Some suggest that as we look at the idea of more security in schools, we also address mental health and perhaps offer tests or programs for those students who may need it.