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.


PHOTOS: Armed Forces Day Parade In Chattanooga

Crowds watched the annual Armed Forces Day Parade along Market Street (click for more)

Spencer, Tn., Man Charged With Criminal Homicide In Stabbing Death

A joint investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and several other law enforcement agencies has resulted in the early morning arrest of a Spencer, Tn., man charged with criminal homicide.   At the request of 31 st District Attorney General Lisa Zavogiannis, TBI Special Agents joined investigators with the District Attorney’s office ... (click for more)

The History Of Avondale Recreation Center

I grew up in Avondale from third grade until I was married and two children. East Chattanooga had a center since before I was born. The only time I was gone was when I, along with six buddies, joined the USMC.   The families in Avondale, a working class neighborhood, wanted a community center closer to home so the Avondale Civic League took on the task. They raised the money ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Bad Ideas Never Work

When the Chattanooga City Council gave Kevin Muhammad, who is purportedly the “leader” of the Nation of Islam’s “Chattanooga chapter” or whatever it is, “the right” to speak for 20 anguished minutes on Monday night, everybody who heard about it could have told our city leaders it was “stinkin’ thinkin’.” My goodness, did you think he was going to read a sweet passage from the ... (click for more)

Mustangs Clip Raiders, 4-3, On Chambers' Clutch RBI Hit In 10th

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Winning two regular season games against Cleveland was no picnic for the Walker Valley Mustangs. Capturing a win-or-go-home District 5-3A tournament showdown with the Blue Raiders was even tougher to nail down for coach Joe Shamblin’s squad. Bunts by Jacob McCall and Hunter Shamblin set the stage for Jacob Chambers’ walk-off RBI single in the 10 th ... (click for more)

East Ridge And CFCA Reach New Contract

The city of East Ridge and the Chattanooga Futbol Club Academy (CFCA) have agreed to a new five-year soccer field-use agreement for five fields at Camp Jordan Park. The agreement allows CFCA to practice at Camp Jordan Park and play games there on fields 1-5. The East Ridge Futbol Club (ERFC) plays recreation soccer on fields 6-8 and often works with CFCA to use field 5 on Saturday ... (click for more)