AUSTIN -- So far this legislative session, bills have been discussed to allow for pistol-packing principals, and for concealed handgun permit holders to carry on college campuses. Now a state House member from East Texas wants to allow schools to offer courses to teenagers on firearms and how to shoot them.With his House Bill 1142, state Rep. James White, R-Hillister, has further cemented Texas' pro-gun reputation in the ongoing gun debate, which has heated up since the December shooting in Newtown, Conn. White joins Gov. Rick Perry, Attorney General Greg Abbott and other conservative state leaders who have advocated recently for gun rights.White said his bill is all about training and educating young people on their rights and responsibilities, based on the Second Amendment, liberty, constitutionalism and being members of a free society."This course would be one piece of that solution," he said. "You have to educate the populace on their rights and responsibilities as a free people."White's proposal says that school districts may choose to offer elective courses to students in grades nine through 12 that teach the safe use of firearms, hunter safety and the Second Amendment.The potentially hands-on-firearms courses also could involve training in the safe use of pistols, revolvers, rifles and shotguns, according to the bill.White also said the teachers must be qualified handgun instructors certified or law enforcement officers.Dax Gonzalez, spokesman for the Texas Association of School Boards, supports districts having local control, but also appreciates that White's bill would not require the courses to be taught.But the measure is not without worries, Gonzalez said.For example, there could be additional insurance costs to school districts, Gonzalez said.There are "just a lot of things to consider that this bill doesn't really address," Gonzalez said.White, a former high school teacher, countered by saying there is nothing particularly novel about his bill. Junior ROTC groups have practiced with firearms for years, he said. There also are lots of other dangerous activities taking place at high schools every day, such as welding, chemistry classes and football, White said.With an issue as incendiary as guns, opposition is never too far away, and some members of the Legislature's minority party are ready to fight White's measure.State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, said school legislation should be about getting students ready for college or careers."We need to focus on educating our kids and not on guns," Rodriguez said.