~ Gun-Free School Zone Laws Put Children At Increased Risk
Posted by Admin on September 28, 2006
UPDATE: August 19, 2008
A Texas School District recently voted to allow teachers and administrators with the proper certifications to carry guns within the school. To read an article about this decision as well as links to more information, please see the following post here at The Liberty Rocks Blog – Texas School District To Allow Teachers to Carry Guns
HOW LONG BEFORE WE LEARN
THAT GUN CONTROL LAWS
ONLY APPLY TO LAW-ABIDING CITIZENS?
Do “gun-free school zone” laws put our children at greater risk? And, what lessons can we learn from yesterday’s tragedy at Platte Canyon High School in an effort to prevent future, perhaps even more horrific tragedies.
I would like to take a moment to remark on one the issues that will most assuredly assert itself in light of the tragedy at Platte Canyon High School yesterday. Many people were reminded of the horrors of Columbine, especially because the responding law agencies were the same as on that day (with the exception of Park County). Colorado media sources have already sought commentary from the parent of one of the Columbine students, Mr. Tom Mauser, whose son Daniel was killed at Columbine*. Mr. Mauser took the tragedy of his son’s death as impetus for pushing for a slew of gun-control laws that ultimately disarm the wrong people. Even here in Wausau, Wisconsin the newscasters at ABC’s Channel 9 (WAOW-TV) showed as a feature related to this tragedy information about a group, Student Pledge, Inc., that was created in the wake of Columbine which focuses on ending school bullying which was a factor in the Columbine tragedy, but has absolutely nothing to do with the events in Bailey yesterday.
While these activists, and their intentions are good, and – in the case of the group featured during the WAOW News Broadcast – can help to decrease school violence perpetrated by fellow students, many are missing the real lesson that can be learned from this tragedy. That is, in my opinion, the fact that our students in classrooms across the country are “sitting ducks” for those criminals considering these types of actions. In particular the “gun-free school zone” laws only exacerbate the situation.
The school “gun-free zone” laws do absolutely nothing to prevent an armed individual intent on murderous actions from carrying out his/her plans. How someone could think that gun laws mean anything to someone who would commit these atrocities is beyond me. Laws are only a concern for law-abiding citizens who would abide by them. It would be impossible to erase guns from our world, and indeed I don’t think even Mr. Mauser would want our law enforcement officials and military to be rendered impotent by not being allowed the tools they need to perform their functions.
In fact, the school’s “gun-free zone” laws in particular create an atmosphere of false security, and prevent adults in the schools – who may be extremely responsible individuals very capable of carrying a weapon – from being able to provide an extra level of protection for the most vulnerable of potential victims – the children they are entrusted with on a daily basis. Indeed, laws preventing guns in the schools in the hands of capable adults creates a huge population of defenseless possible victims who are at the mercy of those who would commit these crimes.
It is not clear whether armed teachers or administrators could have prevented the atrocities that happened yesterday in Bailey. In fact, I have not heard mention that the teacher was in the classroom at the time the gunman entered. However, this situation should again prompt us to take a closer look at how best we can protect the children in our schools. God forbid another Columbine, or Beslan, or Platte Canyon tragedy, but unless we take steps to make these places less of a target there will no doubt be more horrifying incidents in our schools – more children irreversibly damaged by these events, more communities suffering heartbreak. Despite the best efforts of our law enforcement officials they can only respond after the initial damage has been done, and the criminals have the upper hand. (In fact, the terrorists that exist in our world have specifically mentioned our schools as being a target, and this is known by law enforcement agencies, and Departments of Education (.pdf doc).)
I firmly believe that if we allow those teachers and administrators in our school to be armed, we can potentially prevent these types of events. At the very least attackers who would prey on the most innocent in our world, our children, would think twice if they knew they would be potentially facing people who can defend themselves. Many criminals love the power they can achieve by assaulting defenseless individuals. A school with educated, responsible armed teachers and administrators would take away some of the inticement criminals have towards our schools as their target.
I haven’t even touched on the Unconstitutionality of “gun-free school zone” legislation. The 2nd Amendment firmly supports the rights of the individual to keep and bear arms. It was essential in creating the country we seek to protect. And, there are numerous examples throughout history about governments, and dictators using the disarmament of its citizens to carry out atrocities such as genocide, and other measures intent on keeping people oppressed. But, that is neither here nor there. It is obvious that fighting these laws based on Constitutionality is not enough anymore as politicians and activists have attempted to twist this right into one of group and not individuals. Instead, I would ask those who push gun-control measures to think logically for a moment and consider the fact that their efforts, no matter how well-intentioned, only hurt those they seek to protect, and prevent those in our communities who would unselfishly come to the aid of those in need from exercising their ability to do so.
For the sake of our children, and the sake of all innocent victims of criminals world-wide the illogical pushes for restriction legislation must be ended. Laws only apply to those who respect them in the first place — not criminals.
* – I am searching for this particular article which I remember reading at the Denver Post website on Wednesday. It is possible that this is one of the articles that has been re-written/edited to include updated information which took out Mr. Mauser’s comment.
EMBEDDED LINKS CITATIONS:
1.) “COLUMBINE HIGH SCHOOL TRAGEDIES” – Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia – Wikimedia Foundation
2.) “WAOW-TV WEBSITE” – Ch. 9 WAOW-TV (ABC) – Wausau, Wisconsin
3.) “STUDENT PLEDGE, INC. – NEWS FEATURE” – Ch. 9 WAOW-TV (ABC) – Wausau, Wisconsin, US – 27 September 2006
4.) “STUDENTPLEDGE.org – OFFICIAL WEBSITE” – Student Pledge, Inc. – Founder: Diana Behnke – Wausau, Wisconsin, US – Website Created; Aug. 19, 1999, Last Updated: Sept. 15, 2006, Accessed on: Sept. 28, 2006
5.) “FACT SHEET ON GUN-FREE ZONES ACT: MYTH VS. REALITY” – Gun Owners of America (GOA) – Springfield, Virginia – Accessed on September 28, 2006
6.) “THE SCHOOL” – Feature Story by C.J. Chivers – Esquire Magazine Volume 145, Issue 6 – The Hearst Corporation – June 2006 (Note: This feature article is long, but well worth the read. It details the horrifying Beslan School Massacre providing many details from those within the school itself and what happened during the standoff and the eventual end.)
7.) “SPECIAL REPORT: TRAGEDY AT PLATTE CANYON HIGH SCHOOL IN BAILEY, COLORADO” – by Michelle K. – Liberty Rocks Blog – Wisconsin, US – 27 September 2006 (Note: This link is to the coverage at my blog of the Platte Canyon HS Tragedy. The entry includes many links to other resources for information on this horrific event.)
8.) “TERRORIST ASSAULTS ON SCHOOLS? COULD HAPPEN HERE, BOOK SAYS” – by Jeff Commings – The Arizona Daily Star (AZStarNet.net) – Lee Enterprises – Tucson, Arizona – 26 August 2006
9.) “LETTER ON BESLAN SCHOOL ATTACK TO EDUCATION PROFESSIONALS (.PDF)” – by Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Education – SchoolSecurity.org – 6 October 2004
~ RESOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION ~
“CO. ATTACK PROVES FALLACY OF ‘GUN FREE SCHOOL ZONE’ LAWS, SAYS CCRKBA” – News Release – Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) – Bellevue, Washington, US – 28 September 2006
“GUN FREE SCHOOL ZONES ACT” – Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia – Wikimedia Foundation
“GUN-FREE SCHOOL ZONES ACT OF 1990” – Text of S. 2070 IS, 101st Congress, 2d Session – Prentice Hall Publishing Website – 5 February 1990 (Legislative Day, 23 January 1990)
“THE GUN-FREE SCHOOL ZONES ACT OF 1995” – Florida Atlantic University – Florida, US – Accessed on 28 September 2006
[NOTES: This document provides information on the revisions made to the Gun Free School Zones Act of 1990 due to the U.S. v. Lopez case (see link below) that struck down the original law. The revision did not really affect the outcomes of the original law at all, it just added directions that pertain to prosecutors trying cases under the law. It remains illegal for anyone except law enforcement to posses or discharge a gun within a school zone.]
“U.S. SUPREME COURT – UNITED STATES V. LOPEZ, U.S. (1995)” – Supreme Court Finding in the Case of United States vs. Lopez __U.S.__ (1995) – FindLaw – Eagan, Minnesota, US – Accessed on 28 September 2006
[NOTES: This decision struck down the original Gun-Free School Zones act passed by Congress in 1990. A revised version of the Gun-Free School Zones Act was passed as a result of this case.]
“THE AMENDED GUN-FREE SCHOOL ZONES ACT: DOUBT AS TO ITS CONSTITUTIONALITY REMAINS” – by Seth J. Safra – Duke Law Journal, pg. 637, 2000 – Duke University, School of Law – Year of Publication: 2000 – Accessed on: 28 September 2006