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.

16,858 Cast Ballots In First 3 Days Of Early Voting In Hamilton County

In the first three days of early voting in Hamilton County, 16,858 have already cast ballots. That includes 1,607 ballots received by mail. There were 5,157 who turned out at early voting sites on Wednesday and 5,083 on Thursday. The total on Friday was 5,011. Sites: Brainerd 1,084, 1080, 1,030 Election Office 1,848, 1,731, 1,698 Collegedale 956, 954, ... (click for more)

Clarence Ross, Leshawn Witherow Shot On Walden Avenue Friday Afternoon

Chattanooga Police are investigating a shooting that happened early Friday afternoon at the 6300 block of Walden Avenue.  Clarence Ross, 41, And Leshawn Witherow, 40, suffered non-life threatening injuries.  Hamilton County EMS transported both victims to a local hospital for treatment.  There is no suspect information at this time.  Investigators with ... (click for more)

Please, No Short Term Vacation Rentals In My Neighborhood

Approval of the short term vacation rental item on the City Council agenda for Tuesday  will be the next step toward commercializing our residential properties and communities to benefit those more interested in making money than preserving an old, well-established, rich community of like-minded families.    Anything requiring a business license is ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Kelly Could Win It

I am neither a sleuth nor an odds maker but I’d say there is about a one-in-three chance that Interim Hamilton County Department of Education Superintendent Kirk Kelly could become the permanent superintendent of our public schools next Thursday. I am assured something squirrelly is happening on our newly-seated school board. It has been seven months since the last superintendent ... (click for more)

UTC Defeats VMI, 30-13; Mocs Seniors Gain 34th Career Win

UTC junior running back Richardre Bagley rushed for a career-high 189 yards and two touchdowns to lead the host Mocs to a 30-13 Southern Conference win against VMI at Finley Stadium before 10, 505 fans. "It's a huge confidence booster," Bagley said. "All credit goes to our great offensive line and receivers blocking down field. The coaches did a great job preparing us. Everyone ... (click for more)

Goetz Outlasts Huwe To Win Signal Mountain Pie Run

The annual Signal Mountain Pie Run is one of those races where you don’t have to be the first across the finish line to be the overall winner. It’s a prediction run, so the runner getting nearest his or her predicted time was honored with cash prizes. Gregg Sutton crossed the line next to the old Signal Mountain Junior High with a time of 46 minutes flat, which was exactly ... (click for more)