Rep. Eric Watson Files Bill To Allow "Highly Trained" Faculty And Staff To Carry Weapons At Schools

Saturday, January 5, 2013

State Rep. Eric Watson filed legislation on Friday "to allow certain school personnel to undergo specific training to be prepared in case events occur that threaten the safety and lives of children."

He said, “Today, as a state, as a nation, we grieve for the lost of innocence from the events that occurred in a violent outburst on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. The event was so horrific no words have been invented to satisfactorily describe the horror experienced by the precious elementary students, their principals, their teachers, their parents or the small New England community that will never be the same. There is nothing any of us can do, to ease their pain, or to cause these little children to come back to their family this Christmas.

”Reaction to the tragedy in Sandy Hook (Newtown, Conn.), has increased the debate about how best to protect against school place violence. Watson has begun laying out the frame work for a law that would give local schools an option to allow members of the facility and staff to serve as an added measure to combat an active shooter in their school building. The violence we see spreading from shopping malls in Oregon, to movie theaters in Colorado, to college campuses in Virginia, to elementary schools in Connecticut, is being spawned by the society in which we live. Politicians can no longer be allowed to defend their personal ideological reasoning instead we must protect our children. Parents will no longer tolerate inaction from politicians.

“Our government does all it can to promote business, lower taxes, etc… but now is the time to begin doing all we can to stop the next attack on a movie theater, a shopping mall, a college campus or a elementary class. We must now focus on enforcing our current laws and expanding the use of resources to an unprotected class. The people must know that we will do all we can in Tennessee to protect our children.

"Principals and school leaders in my district have asked me to present legislation that will, under specific guidelines, allow highly trained faculty and staff to carry a weapon in their school. The individuals that choose to do so will have to be a handgun carry permit holder. They will have to get permission from the local LEA and take further training in crisis management and hostile situations. In addition the ammunition in the weapon will have to minimize the risk of ricochet. This legislation will let the individuals who commit these crimes know that in Tennessee, we will protect our children. We must now use every action to solve, prevent, and stop these events from occurring.”

Rep. Watson is chairman of the Judiciary Committee, graduate of the Tennessee Bureau Investigation State Academy- Class President, graduate of the Tennessee Sheriffs School, Graduate of the Tennessee Law Enforcement Academy, graduate of the Tennessee Public School System, Co-Chair of NCSL Law and Criminal Justice Committee, appointed member of the Tennessee Criminal Justice Coordinating Council and as well a detective for the Benton Police Department.

A press conference will be held 2 p.m. on Monday at the Bradley Central High School in Cleveland. Director of Schools, principals and teachers will be present to speak about this bill as well, it was stated.


Chattanooga, Soddy Daisy Men Among Those Caught In Knoxville Meth Conspiracy

A federal grand jury in Knoxville returned a 32-count indictment on July 21, against 36 individuals involved in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, a conspiracy to launder money, and numerous firearms offenses, including Eduardo Rivera Gattorno of Chattanooga and Brady Thompson of Soddy Daisy. Those indicted include:   Martin Kenneth Wheeler, Jr., 50, ... (click for more)

Governor's Council Extends Application Deadline For Vacancy In 9th Judicial District

The Governor’s Council for Judicial Appointments has extended the deadline for applications for the Criminal Court judge vacancy in the 9 th  Judicial District – Loudon, Meigs, Morgan, and Roane counties. The impending vacancy has been created by Judge E. Eugene Eblen’s announcement that he is retiring effective  Dec. 31 . The council received two applications for ... (click for more)

Sheriff Hammond Is Right On The Muslim Threat - And Response

Sheriff Hammond is exactly correct on the Muslims in Tennessee.  He sees with clear eyes the problem with the Muslims in our state and country.  They do want to take over Tennessee.  Our politicians are selling us down the river and allowing the trouble makers to dig in like tics and suck out the life's blood of our Constitution and take us over.  They ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My September Garden

As we begin the annual pilgrimage into fall, I walk through my garden and, in the spirit of Orchids and Onions, I see colorful mums starting to flower at the same time dried-up weeds are begging to be pulled. So as we turn the calendar to September, here are some things that catch my eye: A COLORFUL MUM to Chattanooga State for unveiling the Michael Hennen Hospitality Center in ... (click for more)

Jumper, Ex-Baylor Star, To Start For Vols Against Bowling Green

When 25th-ranked Tennessee plays Bowling Green on Saturday afternoon at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, former Baylor School standout Colton Jumper will be the Vols’ starting middle linebacker. The 6-foot-2-inch, 227-pound Jumper played at Baylor for coach Phil Massey and recorded 251 tackles, 39 tackles for loss, 22 sacks, two interceptions, caused five fumbles, recovered two ... (click for more)

County Schools Waiting On Report On Condition Of East Ridge High Stands

County school officials are awaiting a report from city of East Ridge inspectors on the condition of the concrete football stands at East Ridge High School. Lee McDade, assistant supt., said maintenance of the stands is up to the county schools. The concrete stands are currently roped off. The concrete complex includes a lower area with coaches' offices and player dressing ... (click for more)