Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Day 16: Guns is Schools Bill HB35 Update

Day 16: Guns is Schools Bill HB35 Update

Tuesday 02/12/2013. Sixteenth day of the Georgia Legislative Session. We had the review from committee of the HB35, bill meant to allow schools personnel to carry concealed weapons in school property. This is the second time the Committee of Public Safety and Homeland Security reviews this bill, and since the previous meeting last week, I admit the subcommittee assigned to improve the bill did a serious job making it workable. As for the current version, the bill puts the whole discretion in the Education Board of the district in which the school is located, from allowing the school to be part of the program, to discretion on checking the training and eligible personnel, to costs of implementation. Given the current budgetary crisis of the school system, I doubt many schools will have the chance to adopt this new policy.

HB35 is clearly an attempt to address the issue of safety in schools, especially after the tragedy of Newtown and our very own local shooting. Although the bill is more workable now, its proposal as a real safety solution still lingers in incertitude when its implementation is considered. Gun control is taking much national attention lately, but there is a social singularity that needs to be considered when thinking in long term solution for the issue: the lack of acknowledgment we as society give to the destructive power of a gun. When we see so many cases of accidental shootings and misuses of weapons, it is legitimate to ask whether the solution to a problem of violence is to add more potential to violence to the equation, especially if we see such intense emotional attachment to guns as we have witnessed by the most vocal supporters of the Second Amendment.

HB35 was approved by the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee, and it is ready to get a date to be in the floor of the House.

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