Bradley County Commissioners Support Rep. Eric Watson’s Bill Permitting Guns In Schools

Tuesday, January 08, 2013 - by Tonya Brantley
Bradley County Commissioner Jeff Yarber, left, and Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis, right, present a proclamation honoring Constable Ira Cox to his widow, Virginia Cox, center.
Bradley County Commissioner Jeff Yarber, left, and Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis, right, present a proclamation honoring Constable Ira Cox to his widow, Virginia Cox, center.
- photo by Tonya Brantley
During the first voting session of the new year Monday evening, several Bradley County commissioners commented on State Rep. Eric Watson’s recent press conference in which he plans to introduce legislation in this year’s General Assembly permitting certain school personnel to carry a weapon in schools.
 
The bill would give schools the option to have school staff members and faculty become highly trained handgun carry permit holders.
They would then have to obtain permission from the local school system and take crisis management training. Types of ammunition permitted will also be included in the bill.
 
Commissioner and former school principal Bill Winters said, “It seems to be a well-balanced, thoughtful approach. It’s not for every teacher. The legislation that has been mentioned is excellent. It’s additional support to help protect the treasures of our community, our children.”
 
Commissioner and former school principal Terry Caywood said, “Our director of schools has already been proactive with several things he has already done. With this legislation and some of the enforcement steps they are implementing, I think we are heading in the right direction.”
 
Commissioner Charlotte Peak-Jones said, “Rep. Eric Watson’s legislation is to not mandate but give our local bodies the option of letting teachers and other people in the school system actually have arms in classroom. We ask our teachers to come out here and be first responders in emergencies in our school systems. This is just going to be another tool in the tool box for those teachers hopefully.”
 
Commissioner Adam Lowe said, “There have been times where this administration has stepped up to be the voice. We do not have legislative power, but we do have the opportunity to speak on behalf of the thousands of people we represent. I think this may become an occasion where that would be valuable. I had planned on introducing a resolution next week which would essentially go to our elected representatives who are going to take up this debate in the coming year. I think it gives them some ammunition, pardon the pun, if they have some declared statement from the localized governing body. Any legislation in support of existing gun laws and existing measures is what we would like to see. The community will support the citizen’s right to bear arms and protect themselves. I look forward to giving you the resolution next week and I look forward to us discussing it. We have an opportunity to be a voice for the people we represent. It is a way for us to say to our representatives at the state and federal level this is where we stand as a community and this is where we would like you to stand when it comes time to vote.”
 
In other business, Commissioner Jeff Yarber and County Mayor D. Gary Davis presented a proclamation honoring Constable Ira Cox to his widow Virginia Cox. Part of the proclamation states:
 
Ira Cox made a commitment to emergency service in 1954, the beginning to a lifelong commitment to volunteer services and his community. He served in many leadership roles in support of our community’s emergency services including Acting Chief of Rescue, Assistant Chief, Safety Officer and Lieutenant as a member of the Bradley County Rescue Service for fifty-eight years.
 
Ira Cox served as a professional and volunteer firefighter with the Cleveland Fire Department, as a reserve officer for the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office and as a constant and dedicated resource for our emergency services. He was elected Constable in the Fifth District in 1998 serving over 14 years in office and named “Constable of the Year” in 2008.
 
Mr. Cox was instrumental in raising funds to purchase the “Jaws of Life” for Bradley County and was the first person in the county to use this equipment that has saved many lives. He has dedicated his life to improving the safety and security of Bradley County citizens.
 
The Bradley County Commission recognizes and honors the immeasurable contributions and the dedicated service that Ira Cox made to the emergency services in Cleveland and Bradley County. The Bradley County Rescue Service, as well as areas of emergency services, benefited greatly from the humble service and commitment of Ira Cox.
 
The Bradley County Commission will hold its next work session meeting next Monday at noon.

La Onda Gets 30-Day Beer License Suspension; J.J.'s Bohemia 14 Days

A bar check made by the Chattanooga Police at 1:30 a.m. on July 27 at La Onda Nightclub and Lounge, 6175 Airways Blvd., resulted in a 30-day beer license suspension. At issue was the legality of allowing people under the age of 21 in the establishment unaccompanied.   The beer code specifies that a business must have over 50 percent of total gross sales comprised ... (click for more)

City Council Taking Applications From Those Interested In Serving On City IDB

The City Council is taking applications from those interested in serving on the city industrial Development Board (IDB).   There are four vacancies on the board that has been in the news for its controversial approval and re-approval of $9 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for developers of Aetna Mountain. Resumes are due by Sept. 29.   ... (click for more)

Walking Among Memories, The USS LST-325

I have walked among the head stones at Flanders Fields and have seen the entrenchment of soldiers with only bayonet tips sticking out of the earth. Later I traveled to Normandy where I stood on the sand and made scuff marks with my shoes on Omaha Beach and climbed the hill to the magnificent American Cemetery there. I again walked among the many, many tomb stones so neatly and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Aunt Martha

During my first year at Ole Miss, I was so distracted by the stunning coeds on campus that I paid too much attention to the wrong kind of figures. I ended up flubbing a math class, which at the time was most serious and potentially deadly for an American boy. It meant I didn't have enough credit hours to avoid the draft and in almost no time I got a red, gut-retching postcard that ... (click for more)

Lookouts and Minnesota Twins Sign 4-Year Agreement

In a fast-paced, high stakes game of musical chairs with the three players from Major League Baseball - Minnesota, Arizona and Colorado - vying for one chair (Chattanooga Lookouts), the Twins from Minneapolis came up the winner Wednesday. Officials from the Minnesota ball club flew to Chattanooga Tuesday and signed contract papers for a four year player development ... (click for more)

Lady Mocs Volleyball Team Set To Host Scenic City Showdown

The Chattanooga Mocs returns to action Friday and Saturday at Maclallan Gym is they host the Scenic City Showdown – Presented by Hampton Inn & Suites.  Its second three-team tournament of the season, Chattanooga welcomes UT Martin, Stetson and South Carolina State to Downtown. “This is another great opportunity for us to display our city, campus and facilities ... (click for more)