The controversy over gun control has sparked a new debate - should teachers be armed inside the classroom? Wednesday morning, a California assemblymember introduced a bill to make it happen, co-authored by Assemblymember Shannon Grove.
Assemblymember Tim Donnelly says he wants to do everything he can to make sure every school is safe. Wednesday, he introduced AB-202, which would establish the California School Marshal Plan.
Gaye Bunting is a health teacher at Bakersfield College who says she supports AB-202. She says having a gun inside her classroom would make her feel safe and give her a better opportunity to protect her students.
"If you were also armed at least there would be a chance of fighting back and reducing the number of casualties or preventing them," said Bunting.
"This is not about trying to bring more guns into schools," said Assemblymember Tim Donnelly. "This is about saying that when a teacher is faced with that moment of inexplicable evil, she can defend her life and the lives of the kids that she loves."
The plan would authorize school districts to pay for the training of qualified school employees on how to properly use weapons. According to the Gun-Free Zone Act of 1995, school officials may carry concealed firearms if the school permits it.
"You're not going to know if there's one armed marshal - or two, or ten, or zero - but every school within that district is no longer going to be known to anybody as a gun-free zone where you could just go in and have a fish bowl to shoot in," said Donnelly.
Assemblywomember Shannon Grove co-authored the bill. In a statement, she said, "it's important to give schools around the state the opportunity to adopt preemptive security measures to protect kids in the classroom. This measure is just one piece of the puzzle."
However some people in Bakersfield don't agree with the bill.
Arlene Weed says guns and schools don't mix, and that AB-202 is the wrong idea. "I would be concerned that someone would get a hold of that gun. If you lock it up, and put it away, by the time you unlock whatever it is you have to unlock, the problem will already be happening."
But Bunting hopes it passes. "You'd have that feeling of safety, a little bit, that you aren't vulnerable and you don't have to be the victim of somebody else's violent intentions."
The bill now heads to a committee.