Tennessee teachers may soon carry guns, thanks to lawmakers who ignored desperate, theatrical stunts from activists

Tennessee lawmakers passed a bill permitting teachers and staff to carry a concealed weapon under certain conditions, despite angry theatrics from activists.

On Tuesday, hundreds of anti-gun radicals ramped up their efforts to stop the gun-rights legislation. They stormed the capitol building in Nashville, carrying signs and chanting unoriginal slogans such as “Blood on your hands!” and “Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! The GOP has got to go!”

Noted Democrat agitator state Rep. Justin Pearson, who has already been expelled from the Tennessee House once for his disruptive activism, spoke in the midst of the group, railing in the cadence of a Southern preacher, “This is what democracy looks like!”

The activists, most of whom appeared to be women, then performed a protest known as a “die in,” whereby participants collectively collapse to the floor, pretending to be dead. They apparently believe the demonstration reflects the carnage of mass school shootings, though members of the public and law enforcement in the building that day instead likely enjoyed the brief moment of quiet.

The cries of the activists then reached a shrill pitch when the measure, SB1325, passed easily through the House, 68-28. Four Republicans joined all 24 Democrats in voting against the bill. Three more Republicans abstained.

“Vote them out!” one woman shrieked as a security officer escorted her and another individual out of the gallery. “Vote them out!”

The bill will now go to the desk of Republican Gov. Bill Lee. If he signs it or does nothing, it will become law. His only means of stopping the measure from taking effect would be to veto it, but he has never vetoed any piece of legislation since taking office in 2019.

Thus, the bill will almost assuredly soon become the law of the state. But, cosponsor Republican state Sen. Paul Bailey clarified that it will not force any “faculty or staff member” to carry a weapon. It “simply gives” them “the option,” he said.

The bill also places several conditions on teachers and staff interested in arming themselves on campus. The following is a summary of those conditions, per CNN:

• Get an enhanced carry permit

• Get written authorization from the superintendent, principal, and the chief of the appropriate law enforcement agency

• Complete 40 hours of basic training in school policing and 40 hours of Peace Officer’s Standards and Training commission-approved training that is specific to school policing each year at the educator’s expense

• Complete a background check

• Undergo a psychological exam conducted by a Tennessee-licensed health care provider

As CNN noted, the bill passed just over a year after the horrific shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville, which left six Christians — three adults and three children — dead. However, CNN neglected to report that the individual responsible for the murders identified as transgender, describing the shooter only as “a 28-year-old former student.”

CNN also incorrectly asserted that “gun violence is the leading killer of children in the United States,” which has already claimed the lives of 436 children this year. The leading killer of children in America, by far, is abortion. According to NPR, more than 1 million children died from abortion in the U.S. in 2023 alone.

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