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Oklahoma lawmaker's school safety proposal merits careful consideration

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: December 20, 2012

This may be a better option for large districts with financial resources, but many of Oklahoma's 500-plus districts are small and geographically isolated. For those districts, extra security may be unaffordable; travel times could impede a swift law-enforcement response to a crisis. Such concerns led the tiny Harrold school district in northwest Texas to allow staff members to carry concealed handguns starting in 2007.

There is no perfect plan. Some districts may rely on in-house security or local police, while educational staff may be crucial in others. Districts' varying needs and demographics make this a true local control issue; one size will not fit all.

Sadly, in no case can it be certain a school will never be targeted. No one can predict the unpredictable or be totally prepared for it.

Even if authorized, we doubt most teachers would carry a weapon. But those who obtain CLEET certification could likely be trusted. More than 144,000 Oklahomans possess a right-to-carry license with little problem.

Lawmakers shouldn't pass a law to simply say they've done something in response to Connecticut. But nor should they reject proposals in a knee-jerk fashion either. McCullough's legislation may not ultimately warrant enactment, but with children's lives potentially on the line, it does deserve careful consideration and thoughtful analysis.