Massachusetts leaders say gun laws prevent school shootings

We had a lively discussion on my Tuesday schedule on how to make schools on the South Coast safer from mass shooters. The discussion focused on arming teachers and other school employees, who are licensed, trained and ready to defend their schools if they come under fire.

There was never a consensus in favor of arming school employees when we had these discussions, usually right after a school shooting, and Tuesday’s agenda was no different.

New Bedford High School

Kenneth Matias/Townsquare Media

The majority of callers seem to support metal detectors and armed security guards in schools, but are hesitant to actually arm teachers.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has signed a bill that gives local school districts the power to decide whether to arm teachers.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts officials appear focused on gun control to avert a school shooting.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy form a coalition of six to 10 governors to discuss possible state and local solutions to the problem of mass school shootings. Hutchinson is the president of the National Governors Association and Murphy is the vice president.

The Association wrote a letter to President Biden informing him of its plans.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker told the State House News Service he plans to contact Hutchinson.

“I’ve spoken to him before about gun control here in the Commonwealth and the nature of a lot of the legislation that’s been passed over the last 10 or 15 years,” Baker said.

Massachusetts Senate Speaker Karen Spilka said other states need to adopt certain gun laws enacted in Massachusetts to address school shootings.

“We would all be much safer and our children would be safer if other states did,” Spilka told SHNS.

Mary Serrèze/Townsquare Media

Mary Serrèze/Townsquare Media

It seems that some politicians in Massachusetts believe tougher gun laws will prevent school shootings, while many of my listeners believe that strengthening school safety should be the priority.

I have invited Bristol County Sheriff, Tom Hodgson, and New Bedford Police Officer and school committee member, Chris Cotter, to intervene, but have yet to hear back from the one or the other.

I will include any feedback I receive from them in an update to this article.

What do you think would protect more Massachusetts schools from mass shootings, more gun laws, or tighter school security?

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