A controversial new Tennessee law passed earlier this week, allowing educators to carry handguns at public state universities and colleges starting July 1, but an amendment yesterday to the legislation requires that they must provide “trigger warnings” before shooting students.
“Trigger warnings are typically provided before frank discussions of potentially traumatic subjects, such as abuse and rape,” said law expert Netta Gertson. “With this new law, it’s only fair that a professor provides a warning before discharging a firearm into a student, for whatever reason.”
Supporters of the law argue that it provides extra safety on campuses and allows people to defend themselves, while opponents – including students, faculty, administrators and police chiefs – disagree and say it would interfere with how active shooter situations are handled by the police.
This amendment came on the 46th anniversary of the shootings at Kent State, where four students were killed by guardsmen and nine others were wounded.
“This special type of trigger warning is essentially saying, ‘Something violent is going to happen real soon, in your face, sucka,'” said Gertson. “Maybe the student is always late for class, or doesn’t participate in class discussions enough.”