Ohio is making it easier for teachers and school employees to carry weapons. The state says in a new law that teachers need only 24 hours of training—not 700—in order to carry a gun in a school setting. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed this change into law on Monday.
Seven hundred hours of training certainly seems excessive. Surely, whatever needs to be covered in terms of gun safety should be able to be taught in a much shorter amount of time.
But should teachers be allowed to be armed in the first place? Some argue that it will help stop school shootings. It's "probably the most important thing we have done to prevent a school shooter in Ohio," said state Sen. Niraj Antani (R–Dayton) on the Senate floor.
Others may suggest that teachers don't lose their Second Amendment rights when they go to work. Of course, many workplaces prohibit firearms on premises without anyone considering it a big affront to the Second Amendment.
And many teachers are agents of the state, charged with watching the children of families that may have little choice but to send them to the local public school. That shades the situation a little differently.
Are teachers with guns just exercising their rights and protecting their students? Or does this amount to stationing ample armed guards at sites of public education?
One can imagine many scenarios where armed teachers could backfire. For one thing, more guns in schools make it much more likely that a student could somehow get hold of one. And while most teachers who carry will surely do so responsibly, there could always be outliers, who use their weapons to intimidate or threaten unruly students—or worse.
At a hearing on the bill, retired Columbus, Ohio, police commander Robert Meader said it would "cause harmful accidents and potentially even needless deaths."
Of course, Ohio has allowed teachers to carry guns for years, and it's led to little incident.
Previous rules required that teachers could carry if a local school board approved it (and under the new law, school boards will still have to consent to teachers and staff in their district having guns.) How much training they needed to do so kicked off a debate that made it to the state Supreme Court.
In 2021, the Court said "that state law required them to first undergo the same basic peace officer training as law enforcement officials or security officers who carry firearms on campus—entailing more than 700 hours of instruction," notes The New York Times. "That ruling, Mr. DeWine said on Monday, had made it largely impractical for Ohio school districts to allow staff members to carry firearms."
And Ohio is far from alone in letting teachers be armed.
"Twenty-eight states allow people other than security personnel to carry firearms on school grounds, with laws in nine of those states explicitly mentioning school employees," the Times points out.
But the idea is unpopular among educators. "Nearly three-quarters of U.S. school teachers oppose the idea of training certain teachers and staff to carry guns in school buildings," and "nearly six in 10 teachers think it would make schools less safe," reported Gallup in 2018.
Ohio's change has once again kicked off a nationwide debate over educators with guns—plus a slew of misleading headlines about what's actually taking place. For instance, The Washington Post says "Ohio will arm more teachers," making it sound like armed teachers will be mandatory.
Ultimately, Ohio probably has the right idea: leaving it up to individual school districts.
The new law "does not require any school to arm teachers or staff," DeWine said on Monday. "Every school will make its own decision."
Internal dysfunction plagues progressive groups. The Intercept takes a look at how infighting is crippling organizations, including abortion-rights group the Guttmacher Institute. Ryan Grim depicts a Zoom meeting the group held in the summer of 2020:
Heather Boonstra, vice president of public policy, began by asking how people were "finding equilibrium" — one of the details we know because it was later shared by staff with Prism, an outlet that focuses on social justice advocacy.
She talked about the role systemic racism plays in society and the ways that Guttmacher's work could counter it. Staff suggestions, though, turned inward, Prism reported, "including loosening deadlines and implementing more proactive and explicit policies for leave without penalty." Staffers suggested additional racial equity trainings, noting that a previous facilitator had said that the last round had not included sufficient time "to cover everything." With no Black staff in the D.C. unit, it was suggested that "Guttmacher do something tangible for Black employees in other divisions."
Behind Boonstra's and the staff's responses to the killing was a fundamentally different understanding of the moment. For Boonstra and others of her generation, the focus should have been on the work of the nonprofit: What could Guttmacher, with an annual budget of nearly $30 million, do now to make the world a better place? For her staff, that question had to be answered at home first: What could they do to make Guttmacher a better place? Too often, they believed, managers exploited the moral commitment staff felt toward their mission, allowing workplace abuses to go unchecked.
The belief was widespread. In the eyes of group leaders dealing with similar moments, staff were ignoring the mission and focusing only on themselves, using a moment of public awakening to smuggle through standard grievances cloaked in the language of social justice.
This is only one small example in a long-read rife with tales of division and drama. Check out the whole thing here.
All sorts of bad financial signs are percolating. The stock market is plunging in expectation of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates again to address inflation. And cryptocurrency values are also taking a dive.
It's official: The US stock market (S&P 500) closed in a bear market, a 20% decline from the Jan. 3 closing high.
The Nasdaq index is already in bear market
— Heather Long (@byHeatherLong) June 13, 2022
"The S&P 500 fell 3.9 percent on the day, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index slumped 4.7 percent," notes The Washington Post. "The Dow Jones industrial average sank around 2.8 percent. Each of the indexes is down sharply in 2022, and there is no clear indication of when the markets could stabilize. Cryptocurrencies also swooned Monday, with bitcoin losing more than 10 percent of its value."
First SCOTUS decision of the day (and not the last) is about the Double Jeopardy clause.
— Gabriel Malor (@gabrielmalor) June 13, 2022
• The second hearing of the select committee investigating January 6 was held yesterday. The New York Times has a rundown of what was revealed.
• Congress is considering controversial data privacy legislation in a hearing today.
• President Joe Biden is less popular than Donald Trump:
If journalists want a sense of how unpopular Biden is, here's a comparison: Trump's approval average on 6/13/2018 was 43.4. Disapproval: 52.1. Biden's approval on 6/13/2022: 39.3. Disapproval: 55.0. Biden is several points MORE unpopular than the historically unpopular Trump. pic.twitter.com/AtoB4vsF9m
— Scott Whitlock (@ScottJW) June 13, 2022
• Michigan revoked an ACAB license plate after deciding it didn't really stand for "all cats are beautiful." First Amendment lawyer Adam Steinbaugh has more details (and the documents discussing the decision are here):
Someone sent this tweet to the office of Michigan Secretary of State @JocelynBenson.
The license plate was revoked. https://t.co/mVOemt3ovi
— Adam Steinbaugh (@adamsteinbaugh) June 13, 2022
• Inside Democrats' controversial strategy of trying to boost conservative extremist candidates.
• Does affordable housing make the surrounding neighborhood less affordable?