After Florida School Shooting, Alabama Lawmaker Preps Bill Allowing Teachers To Be Armed


In the wake of the school shooting Wednesday in Florida, an Alabama representative will introduce legislation that will allow teachers and administrators to be armed.

Rep. Will Ainsworth is preparing a bill that would give public school employees to carry guns during school hours, according to WHNT.

The representative said that teachers from Marshall County had reached out to him Thursday evening with concerns for their students.

“They wanted to know what we could do to prevent that in Alabama,” said Ainsworth.

He is reportedly researching the issue to find the best possible solution, WHNT reported.

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“Our kids are literally sitting ducks. You saw the video online of kids having to hide behind desks — they were literally defenseless,” Ainsworth explained. “That’s where this came from.”

The state legislator is planning to introduce legislation that would allow teachers and administrators to be armed at school.

“If a teacher, an administrator, a coach, a principal would like to be armed they can go through a training process,” he explained. “It’s going to be a POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) process used for law enforcement and they can actually carry a firearm in the school system.”

Ainsworth believes having armed school employees could prevent school shootings or at least the tragic impact of them.

Do you agree with the representative's proposal?

“They are going to be able to protect the kids and a gunman may think twice about going into a school,” he said.

He is planning on working with other Alabama lawmakers to draft the bill and recommends lawmakers across the country do the same. Though, according to WHNT, Ainsworth does not think that the current gun laws need to change.

The gun law debate was rekindled after Nikolas Cruz 19, allegedly opened fire with an AR-15 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida on Wednesday, killing at least 17 people. Cruz was charged Thursday with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

He had a history of posting disturbing content to his social media accounts, and on Wednesday, YouTuber Ben Bennight posted a video to the platform claiming that in September 2017, a user named “Nikolas Cruz” commented on one of his previous videos.

“Im going to be a professional school shooter,” the comment read. At the time, Bennight took screenshots of the comment and alerted both the FBI and YouTube.

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation admitted Friday that “protocols were not followed” after they received a tip in January about shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz.

According to their statement, a person close to Cruz called the FBI’s Public Access Line and reported concerns about him on Jan. 5, 2018.

“The caller provided information about Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting,” the statement read.

The information from the caller “should have been assessed as a potential threat to life” and then given to the FBI Miami Field Office, “where appropriate investigative steps would have been taken,” under the established protocols.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith