Tennessee governor looks to pass bill arming every school with guards

by Seth Udinski

Seth Udinski, FISM News

Following the terrible Covenant School massacre one week ago in Nashville, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee (R.) is looking to pass legislation that would give every school in the state the funds to hire armed guards to protect the safety of students and teachers on campus.

The governor’s proposal awaits the Tennessee chambers of congress, where experts believe it will pass easily. The proposal would grant millions of dollars to both private and public schools to station at least one armed guard on campus.

Though the nature of the funding would look differently for public schools as it would private, both kinds of institutions would be eligible for funding.

Lee said recently,

I think we all understand when people are fearful, when people are angry, when people lash out. I have those same emotions myself, we all do. We have an obligation, I have an obligation, to do what I can and work together with leaders across this community to address people’s concerns and to protect our kids in whatever way we can.

This announcement coincides with a proposal on the national level, as Lee’s home-state colleagues in the Senate are looking to pass the SAFE School Act nationally.

Tennessee Senators Marcia Blackburn (R.) and Bill Hagerty (R.) are pushing the nationwide bill that would provide “a $900 million grant program that will allow both public and private schools to train and hire veterans and former law enforcement officers to serve as school safety officers, hire off duty law enforcement officers, and provide funding to harden schools and increase physical security.”

Author’s Biblical Analysis

One week after this horrid shooting, my heart still breaks for the families of the victims of this hate crime. I would imagine the same is true for many Christians, especially now as we enter Holy Week and we see the reminders of our need for a Savior.

Yet I am encouraged by the response of the Tennessee governor and senators, and I believe Christians should be as well. Let me be clear when I say this also: This has nothing to do with the question of gun rights. This has everything to do with the question of protecting children, teachers, and school staff.

If these proposals would pass, both in Tennessee and on a national level, we must look at the logical implications. Shooters are universally deterred from attempting to take lives when they know they will face armed opposition.

Even in the case of last week’s shooting, we learned not long after the massacre that the murderer, 28-year-old Audrey Hale, had planned to attack a second target but neglected to go for fear of heightened security.

I believe Christians should pray that these bills get passed. The biblical implications of this report give us all the reasons why: Children should be protected.

God has many qualities, known in theology in two separate categories: His communicable attributes and His incommunicable attributes. While the latter describes the qualities of God that mankind cannot emulate (examples would be His sovereignty, His perfection, or His omniscience), the former describes those that man can exhibit, though imperfectly (examples would be His kindness, His generosity, or His forgiveness).

One of God’s communicable attributes is His protection and provision. Following the example of our Lord, Christians must be ready to protect those who are most vulnerable.

The Bible often describes God in warlike terms, and this is not by accident.

The Lord is a man of war; The Lord is His name.  – Exodus 15:3

Our God is a warrior, a Defender of His people who fights on their behalf. He is mighty in battle, He is the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep, and when He fights, He always wins.

Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.  – 1 Samuel 17:47

This is not to say that Christians must take up arms and slay those who disagree with us. We must love our enemies and pray for those who mistreat us (Matthew 5).

Yet, we must also be ready to defend those who are most vulnerable, and there are fewer groups of people in society more vulnerable than children. This is the same heart attitude behind why Christians should be pro-life: those who are most vulnerable must be protected.

Why should we do this? There are many reasons, but I believe the most profound and important is because God has first done this for us.

In the final analysis, we were all once weak and vulnerable in our sin. We all have a target on our back from the enemy of our souls, whose lone desire is to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10).

So what did God do for us? He waged war on our behalf. God the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, fought and bled and died for us when He suffered on the cross. When He rose from the dead, He stomped on the serpent’s head, rescuing all of those who belong to Him (John 6:39).

Let us follow in the example of our Captain and love the least of these in this same way.

The Lord your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you…  – Deuteronomy 1:30