Monday, February 18, 2008

Guns in our schools-- legally

Apparently Arizona is debating allowing concealed carry rights in school zones, in the wake of all the recent school shootings (and there has been a LOT lately, hasn't there?).

Honestly, this... kind of makes sense. It's really sad that we have to deal with this at all, but you know, we live in a country where it's so easy to get a gun without a permit, we kind of need people who are armed as defense.

I'm not so sure about how young this goes, though. I can see letting high school teachers and staff, even middle school teachers and staff, who have permits and are trained in gun use and safety carry weapons, but honestly, when was the last time a first grader shot up a school? They bring weapons in at that young, but they can usually be restrained/disarmed easily. I guess you could make exceptions if there was a particular danger for an individual, like the case in Oregon where a teacher sued the school district because they refused to allow her to carry a gun when she was worried about her ex husband attacking her (he had threatened to kill her).

Maybe tighten up the standards as to who can get a special permit to carry a weapon at a school? I would say that the standards there should be a little stricter, ie, psych evaluation, take classes on gun safety, and prove that you can effectively use the gun to prevent an attacker from continuing (preferably without killing them, but preventing them from using their weapon or moving). And repeat the entire process every 5 years. At the same time, they could teach potential applicants the procedure should police arrive (basically it would have to be that unless doing so would mean serious injury or death, drop to the floor, take your hand off the trigger or slide the gun over to the cops, and keep your hands where the police can see them-- aka, give them all the signs that you are completely on their side).

I doubt I could ever kill or injure something alive with a gun, but I still support gun rights-- partially because it's in the Constitution, clear and apparent, and partially because I think people should have the right to do whatever they want as long as it's not hurting anyone else. Of course, people need permits and training in use beforehand, because guns are a lot more complex with much more variety than when the Constitution was written, plus people are living closer together and we medicate the mentally unstable people instead of locking them up or trying to exorcise them (this is a VERY good thing, don't get me wrong, but it does mean that a random, dangerous person can stop their treatment and wind up on national television). So yeah, there needs to be regulation. Also, because our culture is very different and kids are less mature at the same ages, obviously kids need to be even more regulated in gun ownership than adults, and no kid should ever be allowed to have a gun in school.

As for college students, I'd say you should keep kids from having them in the dorms or bringing them on campus. If they hunt, they can buy a storage locker somewhere. It's not that I don't think college students should defend themselves against attackers, it's just that I am a college student, and I know college classes, and honestly, I'd feel safer if one loner comes to campus and I can't be defended from them than by allowing your average college student to have a gun...

On second though, better ban it for middle school teachers too. I always was amazed that my middle school teachers didn't try the "going postal" route. Clearly, destined for sainthood.

Sorry if that was rambling, what are your thoughts on gun control?

16 comments:

Jeannie said...

I'm in Canada and frankly, I don't know anyone (besides farmers or hunters) who owns a gun for protection. None of us think about it whatsoever. According to Michael Moore we have just as many guns per capita as you but if we do then there are a lot of collectors or we have more farmers per capita. We are beginning to get more gun violence esp. in Toronto and I hate to say it - the black community there. Most of these people have come from other countries and have brought their propensity for violence with them. And that is perhaps the real problem. Violence breeds violence. The good guys want guns because the bad guys have guns but who can really tell them apart? Any one of us could go off our nut on a bad day. I'm not sure gun control IS the answer. The problem isn't really about the guns but about fear. And, as close as our culture is to yours in so many ways, we are not quite as paranoid here - or rather, our media and advertising does not have quite as much fear mongering in it (although this is rapidly changing). American "entertainment" glorifies violence - blowing people up, shooting - and crime. Everything is sensationalized. Being rich and famous or infamous is touted as the American Way. If you can't get it through honest labour then go out and take it any way you can. I don't have a clue how to put the genie back in the bottle - I wish we could keep from letting ours loose too. Maybe a media law needs to be put in place - not to stifle free speech but that everything must be put in perspective - if one guy goes nuts and shoots 23 people then point out what any one person's chances are of dying from shooting. In spite of what we hear, I'm pretty sure most people even in the States die from natural causes. I think lessening a lot of the bombardment of fear instilled by the media will make folks less anxious, less stressed, less likely to feel they need to be protected from whatever, and less likely to go on a rampage from having so many things coming at them from all direcitons. Sorry for rambling too.

Basiorana said...

I don't care if people want to defend themselves and buy a gun and never defend themselves, which I guess is the case most of the time. As long as they aren't shooting innocent people and they lock up their guns when they aren't holding them, I can't think of much harm that can come from a person buying a gun for protection.

My guess is the best defense would be improving education and thus getting kids out of gang violence and poverty, so the next generation was better. But I say that for everything.

Judit said...

Do keep saying that! It's a good idea even if it doesn't reduce gun violence. I don't think arming ourselves is the answer, it's not safe and not ethical. School shooters are obviously formerly law abiding citizens who should not have had access to firearms regardless, before they turned into murderous sychopaths.

Judit said...

P. Psychopaths.

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