Armed teachers: the legislature of the state of Tennessee, in the American South, yesterday adopted a bill Tuesday that provides that teachers, principals and other members of the school staff will have the right to carry personal weapons, one year after a massacre in a school.

Today, about fifteen US states allow school personnel to carry guns, but this is at the discretion of the education authorities, against the background of the proliferation of bloody violent incidents with the use of weapons inside schools and universities in recent years.

The law, passed by the Tennessee House of Representatives yesterday, was approved by the state Senate earlier this month. It remains to be ratified by the state’s governor, Bill Lee, who has already said he is “open” to the idea.

The law lays down conditions: teaching staff who wish to carry weapons must, among other things, first undergo 40 hours of “basic school law enforcement training”.

In March 2023, a gunman opened fire inside a Nashville Christian elementary school, killing three students, aged nine, and three staff members, before being shot dead by police.

Tennessee’s legislature is dominated by Republicans, the right-wing party that includes the most passionate defenders of gun rights.

Two Democratic lawmakers were expelled from the chamber last year for taking part in a demonstration on the House floor demanding stricter gun control after the Nashville school shooting.

Massacres in American schools are chillingly common, but federal authorities have little room for maneuver on the matter: each state makes its own laws.