By The Daily World, Opelousas, La.
OPELOUSAS, La. —
Recent violence involving guns is sure to prompt activity in this year’s legislative session, but the big question is how far will legislators go?
In Louisiana, where the Legislature approved and state residents overwhelmingly endorsed a constitutional amendment establishing the strongest gun rights law in the country, a limitation on gun ownership is not likely in the cards.
Judging from discussions in a hearing on whether schools are prepared for an attack, lawmakers could take steps to try to make schools safer.
Those steps could be as simple as funding deadbolt locks on classroom doors to posting armed guards on school campuses. Many school systems already have what is known as school resource officers. They’re commissioned and trained to deal with crises.
Law enforcement officers at the hearing said they believe a school shooting could be inevitable. That’s why they train as though it’s real.
Rapides Parish Sheriff said he believes that a shooter wouldn’t come to a school where he knows there’s an armed officer.
Some other officers indicated they are not so sure. One said a resource officer might be in a classroom visiting with students when a shooter came on campus.
The first thing schools do when someone is a threat is to go into lockdown. A survey conducted by the Louisiana Federation of Teachers found that many teachers can’t lock their doors from inside the classroom, which is a major problem in an emergency.
But even being locked down is no guarantee of safety.
State Police Commander Mike Edmonson said Sandy Hook Elementary School was in lockdown. Teachers probably thought they were safe until the gunman blasted his way in.
Rep. Greg Cromer, R-Slidell, was the only member of the Select House Committee on Homeland Security to suggest that teachers or coaches could be allowed to have guns at school.
Steve Monaghan, president of the LFT, answered “I was an English teacher. You don’t want me having a gun.”
Studies have shown that even some trained police officers are bad shots in crisis conditions.
As of now, only law enforcement officers can legally bring guns to school, but reports of students bringing guns to school are becoming more common.
The most frightening part of this is that law enforcement officers said it is only a matter of time before a shooter comes on campus.