Police say a boy opened fire with two handguns in a science classroom, wounding a teacher and another student. Gov. Eric Holcomb has begun to address the question that will almost certainly dominate next year’s legislative session: How do we prevent something like this from happening again?
The shooting at a middle school in Noblesville, In., last Friday rocked Indiana this week and will likely have lasting political ramifications, reports the Indianapolis Star. Police say a boy opened fire with two handguns in a science classroom, wounding a teacher and another student. During a press conference that was supposed to highlight Indianapolis’ new direct flight to Paris and kick off the Indianapolis 500 weekend, Gov. Eric Holcomb instead began to address the question that will almost certainly dominate next year’s legislative session: How do we prevent something like this from happening again?
Holcomb argued that the state’s focus on school safety plans and resources is working. He said it played a key role in preventing additional carnage in Noblesville, though he declined to provide details. Democrats are clamoring for stronger laws to restrict access to guns. “Legislators must admit and take seriously that we have to keep guns out of our schools, and restrict access to deadly weapons by dangerous individuals. No child should go through something this traumatizing and it’s our job to stop it,” Indiana Senate Democrats said in a statement after the shooting. This month, Indiana’s Republican-dominated General Assembly held a one-day special session, and approved an additional $5 million in safety improvements grants and made $35 million available for school safety loans. The bill also required school safety audits and allowed schools to barricade doors for three minutes during a fire alarm to investigate an active shooter situation. Lawmakers have loosened gun restrictions in recent years, including a 2014 law that allowed guns in locked cars in school parking lots. After school shootings in Kentucky and Florida, lawmakers took a pass earlier this year on jettisoning Indiana’s handgun carry licensing requirement.