Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Legal Guns in Schools

As guns find their way into schools, one Arizona legislator successfully campaigned for schools themselves to be armed with guns. State Senator Karen S. Johnson lobbied for students and teachers to bring guns into schools for self-defense. She claims that the massacre at Northern Illinois University could have been averted if the professor in the class or a student had a gun to shoot down the assassin.

Using this rationale, other lawmakers have taken heed. Although her proposals have not gained wide support for K-12, as she initially also intended, the thought has been seriously bantered around for higher education campuses.


This is not a story reported in the media as a sensational ploy. Rather today, March 5, 2008, The New York Times and other national newspapers carried the Arizona story and a photo of the gun lobby sponsor.

The proposal is gaining support and was passed by a state committee last week by a vote of 4 to 3. Arizona is also the state where in 2002, a nursing student failing courses shot and killed three professors. If one of them had a gun, could all have been saved?

Arizona is not alone; 15 other states have similar legislature pending allowing guns to bring borught into the school setting for self-defense. To read more about this story, use think link toi access the article that appeared in The New York Times, covered by reporter Randal C. Archibold.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/05/us/05guns.html
Photo of State Senator Karen S. Johnson of Arizona, sponsor of legislature for firearms on school campuses; photo credit to: Jeff Topping,The New York Times

Be sure to post your comments on this pending bill related to combatting violence perpetuated by students bringing guns to the school with the intent to bring harm to others.

6 comments:

Lisa T. said...

Are you kidding me? I understand the reasoning behind the proposed legislation, but is that reasoning very rational? Violence in any form, against anybody or in any location is an atrocity, but I don't believe arming educators and students with weapons will stop disturbed people from committing horrible crimes. I empathize with the victims and others who witnessed those horrific events and could understand their need to feel safe in their environment and need to protect themselves and the people they love, however, I don’t believe less restrictive gun laws is the answer. I agree with the statement in the article that makes the point about how the average armed citizen is not trained to respond to emergency situations like those in the school massacres. The article also brings up a major concern that well-intended vigilante citizens responding to a situation could be mistaken for the original perpetrator. How are the law enforcement officials going to discern between the innocent and the criminals if they are all brandishing weapons? Maybe the police can just ask… ‘Will the real gun-toting crazy person please raise their hand?’

Melissa J said...

This is a topic that I am quite torn about teaching in the higher education field. I was even more bothered to be reminded that Arizona was home of the nursing student who killed 3 of her professors. Each time I fail one of my students or a student is not happy with me I wonder if they are going to come back and shoot me. It is said to think that way but I think that is the world we now live in. We are in the process of increasing the security at our school and one of the biggest points of discussion is should the security guards be able to be armed. This is something I agree with especially being in a higher education environment as well as an inner city. I do agree with the article in which they state the outcomes of the massacres could be different if someone had a weapon, the teachers or the students. Just think the massacre started with a student bringing a weapon so the end result could have been much different if there was someone on the other side armed just like the crimminal. As I think about this topic, I also think about how it is every American's right to hold a weapon to protect themselves, family and a third party. Keeping this in mind, saving a third party could have been a fellow student or teacher so with this in mind, I ageee with making guns more legal. However, I must say I think it should only be kept to security guards at this time and perhaps some faculty members. It scares me to think if students were coming to class, but then again this point can be agrued to if the faculty is allowed to do so, why cannot the students. I think this is a topic of great debate and will be more present in the future. I do think something needs to be done to make schools safer. I am responding for higher education and overall I don't think guns should be allowed in schools in any level or by anyone less than the college level.

mary beth said...

I don't think more guns are the answer. I think less guns in the public, less access for young people, less violence on TV and on the streets, and more sensitivity to the victims of violence are the answers. I agree with Bill Cosby when he says that our young people are trying to tell us something and we're just not listening...I think we need to have a national discussion about why young people are resorting to violence...what are we adults, teachers, parents and caregivers, not hearing and not doing that incites these kids to murder? what moral teaching are they lacking? is the technology world de-sensitizing a generation of youth to the value and purpose of human life? If so, more guns will not provide the context that they are missing.

Margaret H. said...

I can't believe this. I don’t feel that anyone should have guns in school. I don’t care if its me as a teacher or students. I know I would not feel safe in any way. There are so many people out there that have guns but don’t know how to use them correctly. That’s how accidents happen. I know I wouldn’t want to standing up in front of a class teaching students that have guns with them. What if I made one of them really mad?? They might take the gun out and shot me or another student. I wouldn’t then want to have a gun with me just in case this happens. I don’t think having a gun on me would make me feel safer. I would be too scared.
I understand that we need to change rules and laws according to what is happening in our society but I don’t think this would be a good change at all. I don’t think that I would want to teach knowing that people could bring guns to school. I know that it happens once and a while in schools but not on a daily bases.

Tony Ruiz said...

This is just shocking. When I read the article and looked at the honorable senator's picture, I get the feeling that she is not whole-heartedly committed to this idea. Are we really at a point in life where we in the US are not even safe to go to school? Why is it that our international neighbors don't have a serious a problem as we do. Maybe we should look at what they're doing to combat issues.

Bill Clinton is right to note in his interview with Charles Barkley that many ideas have been tried in other places, so it it up to us to look at them and see why they are working. I truly believe that before we go into the classroom, we need to look at what is happening in our homes first. This is where our young children get initiated into life. I was watching the Columbine School report on TV the other day and there is no doubt that there were warning signs both at the home and at school that few people bother to take further action. I guess if we start there, then we wouldn't have to talk about bringing guns to school. If that happens, who is to say that the teacher won't lose their senses and start their own mayhem. I find this article disturbing about the atmosphere our future generation of teachers are entering into.

Sherri said...

This country is becoming increasingly more violent. Self-defense is the reason why we should increase the number of people carrying guns. How would we explain this logic to our students? How do you separate the self-defense carriers from the criminals? Schools, up until recently, were considered safe zones. Our focus should be on reclaiming the safe zone not manning it.

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